|Index||6 reviews in total|
This mini-series is on my list of the five best
things I have ever seen in my life. I loved this
piece. Gritty, realistic but shaped beautifully
with real heart and true characters which had
depth and soul.
Only the first series was shown in the USA (on HBO), there are actually 3 series total (Band of Gold 2, and the 3rd series, simply titled Gold) continue where the first series leaves off.
I found the writing to be incredible and the casting inspired. The performances of Cathy Tyson and Geraldine James were far superior to what most American actresses can do on their best day. Singer Barbara Dickson is nothing short of brilliant as Anita. Samantha Morton and all the rest of the cast are superb - there's not a weak link in the bunch.
Anyone who thought this mini-series was boring has been watching too much crap American television, and must have the attention span of a gnat.
This show actually included three series, the last one called "Gold," with Geraldine James now a social outreach worker and Cathy Tyson having retired from the profession. All were very good, the second series particularly: excellent acting, believable characters, and shot in a way that called be called artistic (though much of the setting was back streets and bars). It was here that Samantha Morton first became really noticed as an actress.The first two series were written by Kay Mellors, and the fact that the last was not detracts from it a bit. It's still worthwhile, and would be nice to watch again. If only it, and the others, were more available.
Band of Gold is a misleading title for a drama set amid the sordid world of street prostitution in the back streets of Bradford in the North of England. The series is up with the best of British drama with memorable characters achingly realistically portrayed. But there is one notable drawback. The first episode is so brilliantly written and involving with an ending sensational enough to leave me breathless that everything following is something of an anticlimax and the end of the series is certainly rather a let down.
But even at its worst Band of Gold is better than most of what passes for drama on TV today. See it if you get the chance.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In the mid nineties ITV played it safe on Sunday nights, Cilla Black,
You've Been Framed, Heartbeat, dull, safe shows aimed at older viewers.
Then this Kay Mellor series shot on to the screens, a drama about the
sordid reality of the lives of prostitutes in a poor Northern town.
Band of Gold totally exploded the myth of Pretty Woman as prostitution
being glamorous and working girls being swept off their feet by
millionaires, it showed life on the streets and in seedy flats for what
it really is, dangerous, nasty and with the threat of violence and
death never far away.
Band of Gold was a brave series for Sunday nights and 14 million viewers seemed to agree that it was a gripping, controversial drama. Also it had a bit of the Yorkshire Ripper element in it, with a religious fanatic picking up prostitutes in his car and killing them; in the tragic first episode, a single parent forced onto the game to pay off her debts is murdered on the moors. Also sinister, but not a killer,is the businessman only known as Curly who has a heavy fetish for rubber gloves and stockings. You think he is the killer, but he's not, and tragically he is stabbed to death in the second series by a troubled teenaged prostitute with a drug addiction.
However, it is the excellent cast that make this show what it is. Cathy Tyson is brilliant as the main character, Carole, whose mother and grandmother were prostitutes and she knows no other life. Geraldine James also roughens up for her role as Rose, an embittered older prostitute, Sam Morton takes a fine role as teenage prostitute Tracey and Richard Moore is brilliant as Curly. The first two series are well worth watching, but the third one , Gold, where Carole and Rose become outreach workers for addicts and prostitutes isn't as good. If you want a gripping, shocking and controversial drama DVD, then I do recommend you buy Band of Gold.
Okay, this show was not the sort of thing that I would go for straight
away although I have seen a good few parts and I know that it is quite
a strong drama which is not afraid to go into the gory details of
prostitution, especially when their operations go wrong.
It made me sick to see a couple of women going into prostitution to provide for their children while not allowing the dads to help, but then again that's what some women do. Sadly this does reflect real life. Then again it feels a bit like male-bashing propaganda.
There is quite a bit of language and violence and a very small amount of scenes of a sexual nature. This is surprising as with a programme of this nature, you would expect to see a lot more. So the fact that the video release was given the 18 certificate must mean that the violence and language is enough to tip it over, and believe me it does.
Good gripping drama, if you can take it.
Originally watched this in the mid 1990s, and then re-watched the series again on DVD. Series 1 of Band of Gold was excellent. Tense, interesting and realistic. Episode one especially was dark and dramatic. Unfortunately the show starts jumping a series of sharks in series 2. Becoming more and more ridiculous. Bodies being put in the back of cars that crash driver-less into shop windows. Moving from intense drama into dramedy. If they had been able to sustain the quality of series one, this would have become a classic. Series one can be watched without watching the rest of the series, and is very worthwhile and will be six hours well spent.
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