The previous commentator needn't worry any more: all 8 episodes of Big Breadwinner Hog have been released on DVD. Tough gangster stories have been in fashion for years, and this release should please any friend of "Get Carter" and those Guy Ritchie movies. Many classic 60's shows have disappointed me, but the Hog has stood the test of time well: I consider it one of the very best 60's TV dramas.
I've never heard of the writer/producer Robin Chapman before. After seeing this and his earlier gangster saga, Spindoe, I am really impressed by his work. He manages to write violent and tough, yet theatrically literate and intelligent drama. In fact his background is in theater.
Big Breadwinner Hog (Peter Egan) ignites a gangland war in a big city, just like Spindoe before him. He is a violent mod, full of arrogance and energy. The series gives just about equal time to the desperate misadventures of the drunk ex-mercenary Ackerman (Donald Burton). On top of the criminal hierarchy sits the methodically minded sadist Lennox (Timothy West). All three give good performances (Burton may be on the verge of overacting), especially Timothy West is magnificent.
The clashes of these three personalities make for some exciting and entertaining viewing. The show is infamous for its violence, and the characters sure bleed more than in other British (or American) TV shows of the time. There is, however, dark humor as well. In fact the victim of the famous acid attack provides the comic relief in the next episode! This mixing of humor into the darkest moments should be something familiar to modern viewers.
All in all, Big Breadwinner Hog is a great show. Unfortunately it is a bit cheaply produced compared to shows like The Saint. If you can overlook such trivialities, I strongly recommend watching it. I wonder if others enjoy this as much as I did?
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