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SPENDER is the kind of gritty, intelligent cop drama that's been missing from North American television screen. The BBC produced series is a positive gem, having run for 3 consecutive seasons, and spawned one film entitled "The French Collection". Starring the excellent and multi-talented Jimmy Nail ("Still Crazy", "Evita"), it has garnered a following in Canada through re-runs on Showcase Television.
The character of Spender is a tough and able cop cleaning up the streets of London with his somewhat unorthodox methods. Following a tragic incident, he's sent home, back to the North-East to his home-town of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, which had taken him 20-odd years to get out of. Now re-united with old friends and haunting ghosts from his untamed past, the loathing he feels for the city and his new assignment drives his character to push the limits, and test the powers that be that govern his jurisdiction. But once we meet Spender's family - divorced wife Frances and his two young daughters - we witness an unexpected dimension to the character: that of a father and protector of his children, who finds it awkward to work his way back into their lives.
Excellent scripts, hard-hitting drama and action accompany a wealth of talent involved in the making of this quality program. Jimmy Nail not only stars, but pens a few of those scripts. Together with his friend Tony McAnaney (who also co-stars as Keith and writes the music for the series) they combine to produce a unique and often haunting musical score which creates just the right kind of atmosphere for the program. And of course, there's the thick and sexy accents which can only come from the North-East.
Spender is definitely worth a try. If the catchy theme doesn't get to you, the high-drama will!
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