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John Hannah is nothing less than stunning in his role as forensic pathologist Ian McCallum. Whilst some have criticised him for a range of facial expressions that go from dark and thoughtful to dark and brooding he is perhaps the most entriguing of all characters to grace our small screens in recent years. At the start of the 1995 series we find Ian living with his long term partner Joanna, this relationship breaks down after McCallum manages to sleep with another detective who is subsequently murdered. McCallum is called in to investigate the death. McCallum fails to reveal that he was the last known person to have contact with the deceased and, as in many following episodes, McCallum is forced to break some rules in order to get to the truth of the matter. Ian McCallum manages to be both a "man's man" and a bit of a sex symbol, many blokes will be able to relate (or rather aspire) to McCallum's ability to go out to a bar, have a quiet drink and find himself returning home with a female companion under each arm (a la the Fonz in Happy Days). I should also mention at this point that there is yet to be one episode of McCallum in which we are not given a shot of John Hannah's naked behind, this may spur some of you on to watch it; likewise some will be deterred. I personally find myself indifferent to John Hannah's butt. Overall McCallum is an amazing program, each episode lasts roughly one hour and fifteen minutes. The situation between himself and Angela Maloney (Zara Turner) is resolved in the final episode of the 1998 series. Enjoy.
I love this (all too short) series. I also enjoyed John Hannah in the few episodes he did of the 'Rebus' series. He was a probably a bit too young for that role ( I expected an older heavier kind of presence, one with more 'rough gravitas'). No matter, I really enjoy all his work, and that universally admired Scots accent is a big contributing factor. It's interesting that this is a role that has as the main characters a Scot(John Hannah) and and Irish lady (Zara Turner),with the whole show set in London! I suspect that the accents add a great of appeal to the show (and probably prompt a good deal of rewinding of some scenes to catch the meaning for many North Americans). This note is actually a query,because the opening theme music is a lovely guitar sequence, but I can't find out any more than that except that the music appears to be written by 'Daemion Barry'. Yes, but who played the theme tune? It's very evocative of an Eric Clapton style, but I'd love to find the actual recording of this tune. Any info welcome.
As with some of the best films and series, I stumbled across this quite
by accident. It was late, a storm was in full force outside and I was
sitting comfortably on the sofa when I flicked past a channel that was
just about to show one of the episodes. I intended merely to watch a
couple of minutes while waiting for the commercials to be finished on
another channel before switching back to some or other sitcom. About an
hour and a half later I remembered my resolve and was so happy that I
hadn't done that. Needless to say I made sure I saw all the other
John Hannah has been brilliant in almost everything I have seen him in and he does not let down here either. All other cast members do a stellar job too. My personal favourite (aside from John Hannah, of course) is Gerard Murphy.
The only negative side to this series are the limited amount of episodes. Only 8 with JH himself and an additional 1 with someone else. I would love to see McCallum back on the screens, though it would have to be with JH!
The series is centered on Forensic Pathologist Dr Iain McCallum (John
Hannah) who is a Scot working in London. He works on a team that is
suitably quirky and dysfunctional but is also a very tight knit group.
He drives a motorcycle, tangles with authority and has a somewhat
tumultuous relationship life with his live-in girlfriend Joanna
(Suzanna Hamilton). The stories are centered on criminal cases
investigated by the Forensics and Pathology team working with the
The strengths of the series include a solid cast and some very interesting characters, of particular note is John Hannah probably best known for playing Jonathan in The Mummy and its sequels. The series also make very good use of the London locations, focusing mostly on the more rundown and disreputable areas. The morgue/forensics laboratory is appropriately dark and dingy, far removed from the hi-tech antiseptic look of most American procedurals.
The weaknesses as I see them seem to have to do with focus or direction of the series; it seems at times to want to concentrate on the cases and at other times on the character development and unfortunately for the most part it doesn't adequately service either. For me the cases also rely far too heavily on coincidence to connect McCallum closely with them. Less of a problem are the more typical complaints seen in procedurals, McCallum is involved in a great many criminal investigations and the police with whom he works seem to be constantly one step behind our hero.
One minor quibble in that some of the incidental music does not appear to be original, some of it sounds distinctly like Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
The series ran for nine episodes over two seasons
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I got this as a complete set of 9 episodes on 5 DVDs. I knew nothing
about the history of the series. Season 1 of the series has the pilot
episode as episode 1 and then 3 more episodes for a total of 4. Season
2 lists 5 episodes with the last being Beyond Good and Evil with an
original Air Date of 7 December 1998. The other 4 episodes on season 2
were broadcast from December 1997 to Febrausry 1998. So Beyond Good and
Evil looks like season 3 episode 1, except there are no more episodes
in season 3.
Spoilers here. The two main characters of the first 8 episodes, Dr. Iain McCallum (John Hannah) and Dr. Angela Moloney (Zara Turner), are missing from this episode being replaced by Dr. Dan Gallagher (Nathaniel Parker) and Dr. Charley Fielding (Eva Pope). I recognized Nathaniel Parker from the series The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, which began in 2001. So they were planning to have a season 3 but only one episode was broadcast.
It seems odd to try to continue a series named after the main character, McCallum, when the main character is gone from the series. So they might have been planning a return of Dr. Iain McCallum, but when that failed the series was canceled. I have no inside information on this but I do see that both John Hannah and Nathaniel Parker were involved in other projects in 1999. Does anyone have any information on this?
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