5 items from 2015
Set in a Manchester bed linen factory, Paul Abbott’s dramas deal with infidelity, rape and racism – and there’s no guarantee of a happy ending
When Clocking Off started its run on the BBC back in 2000, it quickly established itself as not just your bog-standard 9pm drama. Paul Abbott, who had paid his dues on Coronation Street and Cracker, created an ensemble cast of characters whose stories became more twisted with every scene.
Theirs are tales of ordinary people with complicated lives and dark secrets, set against the mundane backdrop of a Manchester bed linen factory, Mackintosh Textiles. It’s a place where real life is more shocking than the participants of any gossip-hungry tea break could ever imagine. Although the story arc unfolds week by week, each episode stands alone with stars such as Sarah Lancashire, Philip Glenister and Lesley Sharp taking it in turns to inhabit centre stage. »
- Hannah Verdier
Paul Abbott is in danger of having created a new character every bit as monstrous as Shameless’s Frank Gallagher, and he is so excited that the words can’t tumble out fast enough. Detective inspector Vivienne Deering (played by Joanna Scanlan from The Thick of It) is not shy of squirting vaginal deodorant in public meetings, occasionally confuses it with her mouth spray, takes the longest (singing) pisses in TV history, will do anything to protect herself, is pretty good at looking after others too, and is not to be messed with. No Offence is the first original UK TV series Abbott has written in more than a decade.
He has been working in television for 30 years, and »
- Simon Hattenstone
No Offence consists of eight hour-long episodes, and follows Di Vivienne Deering (Scanlan), DC Dinah Kowalska (Elaine Cassidy) and DS Joy Freers (Roach) as they attempt to keep the streets clean from crime.
Writer Abbott previously said about the show: "I'm a big fan of well-told cop shows and jet-black social comedy, and I wanted to see how explosively we could bang two genres' heads together.
"No Offence is reared on wilder-than-average seeds, and I've had a ball with the AbbottVision team in building this concept."
Setting his new series in 18th century Australia might seem like a departure for Jimmy McGovern - the BAFTA-winning writer renowned for using drama to address issues plaguing contemporary Britain.
"Jimmy adores the people he writes and he knows intrinsically who each of these people are, and the way that those characters interweave is inherent to him," Tovey suggests.
Buring - speaking to DS a few days later - is similarly effusive about McGovern: "He just gets straight down to the nitty-gritty of what it means to be human.
"You can be in the future, »
5 items from 2015
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