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5 items from 2011

What TV cops' cars say about them

23 November 2011 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

The Sweeney is being remade – and Inspector Regan, played by Ray Winstone, has traded in his Ford Granada for a Ford Focus. Would he really drive a car like that?

More than 30 years after Jack Regan banged up his last villain, the Sweeney is being remade as a feature film. Replacing John Thaw and Dennis Waterman as flying squad detectives Regan and Carter are Ray Winstone and Ben Drew – and instead of a dodgy souped-up Ford Granada there's to be a shiny new Ford Focus.

It's the Ford Focus that's the problem. It may be a cut above the old Rover that Inspector Wexford used to potter around the Hampshire lanes in, but a two-litre turbo-charged St hatchback Ford Focus just feels too boy-racer for Regan. Regan was an unreconstructed 70s man and nothing less than an unreconstructed 70s car seems to fit. Can you imagine John Thaw pulling a »

- John Crace

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Obsessive, Compulsive, Procedural #2: ‘Prime Suspect’

26 October 2011 10:01 AM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Prime Suspect

Created by Lynda La Plante and Alexandra Cunningham

Based on the ITV series Prime Suspect created by Lynda La Plante

imdb, NBC, Thursdays at 10 Pm

1.01 Pilot

Directed by Peter Berg

Written by Alexandra Cunningham

1.02 Carnivorous Sheep

Directed by Jonas Pate

Written by Alexandra Cunningham

1.03 Bitch

Directed by Michael Waxman

Written by Liz Heldens

1.04 Great Guy, Yet: Dead

Directed by Jonas Pate

Written by John McNamara


The U.S. Prime Suspect has one terrible, undeniable problem: its title. Even though the U.S. Prime Suspect is closely based on the U.K. Prime Suspect, the title just doesn’t work. The reason for this has everything to do with the structural difference between U.S. broadcast network prime-time and U.K. broadcast network prime-time.

The original Prime Suspect is one of the best TV shows of all time. In bringing us the adventures of Dci Jane Tennison, Lynda La Plante »

- Michael Ryan

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Noel Collins obituary

11 September 2011 4:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Stalwart of the TV police series Juliet Bravo

Noel Collins, who has died of cancer aged 74, was a linchpin of the police series Juliet Bravo throughout its entire six-series run. As Sergeant George Parrish, he was familiar for his "Yes, ma'am" response to consecutive uniformed inspectors Jean Darblay (Stephanie Turner) and Kate Longton (Anna Carteret). Parrish and his male colleagues were seen adjusting to working with a female boss in the BBC programme, which was launched a decade before the more hard-edged Prime Suspect – although four months after ITV's The Gentle Touch, which starred Jill Gascoine as a detective inspector.

The pace of life was slow in Juliet Bravo, whose title came from a police call-sign. The series (1980-85), set in the fictional Lancashire town of Hartley and described by one television critic as "Dixon in skirts", was also notable for being the flipside to its creator Ian Kennedy-Martin's previous, »

- Anthony Hayward

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TV matters: novels and television

15 June 2011 4:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Television and fiction have a long history of affinity – and it works both ways

The revelation from Salman Rushdie that he is creating a sci-fi series for the cable network Showtime, in preference to another work of hardback fiction, is an illustration of the affinity between TV and the novel: far greater, in terms of both narrative and production, than that between the book and film.

While cinema and TV frequently turn novels into scripts, TV also has a long tradition of the reverse journey. Through all the different manifestations of the Doctor Who franchise, the tie-in novelisation, adapted or expanded from episodes, has been a constant marketing tool. At jumble sales and in charity shops, you will still sometimes find battered paperbacks spun off from Juliet Bravo , Angels or General Hospital.

And two of the medium's major writers – the late Dennis Potter (Pennies from Heaven, The Singing Detective) and Stephen Bochco (La Law, »

- Mark Lawson

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The Killing: BBC4's new Scandinavian import

21 January 2011 4:25 AM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

It's Prime Suspect meets State Of Play via Wallander and every bit as good as that sounds. Meet Inspector Sarah Lund, star of Danish cult hit Forbrydelsen (The Killing)

Gravelly goddess Sharon Gless telling the flasher to put it away during the opening credits of Cagney & Lacey. Helen Mirren's Dci Jane Tennison insisting that Met misogynists call her guv, not ma'am, in Prime Suspect. The 80s power-hair of Jill Gascoine in The Gentle Touch and Heather Locklear in Tj Hooker – so huge it barely fits on their warrant card photos. There is nothing quite like a female TV cop. And we've been waiting ages – four years, in fact, since the Kleenex-crumpling climax of Prime Suspect: The Final Act – for another worthy one to come along. But already this year, like buses with blue lights on top, two have arrived at once.

A fortnight ago, the annual Above Suspicion mini-series brought us the formidable, »

- Michael Hogan

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