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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

June 10, 2005


I thought it was worth mentioning Blackjack, an Australian cop show the BBC have started airing in a late night Monday summer slot. It's often in the summer you'll find some hidden gems in the schedule and I think this is one of them.

With a grainy, filmic look, and feature-length Inspector Morse type storytelling, it's about a blackballed cop (Colin Friels) who finds himself working with a bunch of rookies in the basement archives after ratting a colleague, and starts investigating cold cases.

Nothing new in cold cases, but I've always disappointed in the BBC's own treatment of such things (Weirdy Beardy Trevor Eve, James Bolam and the like). The first episode, he investigated a kidnapping from 1973, and it was a terrific story, well done. My one criticism would be that I didn't know who the hell they were talking about when they mentioned people's names, but it didn't really matter, because you sort of knew what was going on.

There was a nice moment with a scanned photo and a bit of Photoshoppery, that was more believable and realistic than CSI-style discovery of miraculous details ("Zoom in on the reflection in the teaspoon on the table... Enhance... Distort... Rotate... It's... Doctor Evil!!"). She basically got a partial number plate and went off and did a trawl.

Reminded me in a lot of ways of Hack, which is working its way through its second and (sadly) final season on ITV3. Revamped for season 2, it's actually much better: the domestic wife/son stuff has gone (for Mike), and it's darker and meaner, with a sexy new neighbour played by Jacqueline Torres.

Anyway, certainly worth watching the next Blackjack, Monday night on BBC1. I don't think there are many of them, so it's not a long-term commitment.


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