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Single-Handed (2007– )

TV Series  |   |  Drama, Thriller
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Jack Driscoll is transferred from Dublin back to his birthplace in the remote west of Ireland as Garda Sergeant, the role recently vacated by his father, Gerry. Jack's first major case is ... See full summary »

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Series cast summary:
Owen McDonnell ...
 Garda Sergeant Jack Driscoll (13 episodes, 2007-2010)
David Herlihy ...
 Garda Finbarr Colvin (13 episodes, 2007-2010)
Ruth McCabe ...
 Eithne Driscoll (13 episodes, 2007-2010)
 Cathal (7 episodes, 2007-2009)
 Dennis Costello / ... (6 episodes, 2010)
 Brian Doyle (6 episodes, 2010)
 Gemma Burge (6 episodes, 2010)


Jack Driscoll is transferred from Dublin back to his birthplace in the remote west of Ireland as Garda Sergeant, the role recently vacated by his father, Gerry. Jack's first major case is an investigation into the death of a young woman, found in an isolated caravan. Jack is frustrated in his attempts to identify the woman as the community closes ranks. And what looked at first like accidental death takes on an increasingly sinister hue. Jack uncovers a tangled web of blackmail and sexual abuse, involving the farmer whose field the caravan occupied, a local hotelier, his father's oldest friend and a builder with a reputation for violence. Jack's relentless pursuit of the truth dredges up long-buried crimes and pits him against his new Inspector and Gerry, who may hold the key to the mystery. Throughout all of this there is one glimmer of hope: a romance with a young Dublin nurse, Saoirse visiting her uncle in the area, wealthy local builder Tommy Gallagher, who is drawn to the place -... Written by Anonymous

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Drama | Thriller



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18 March 2007 (Ireland)  »

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Jack Driscoll  »

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User Reviews

Excellent series set on wild coast of County Galway in Ireland
19 May 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Irish, like the Danes, live in a small country which has produced its fair share of theatre, film, and TV drama. This excellent RTE police series is no 'Celtic Twilight' story, but is instead a disturbing exploration of the under-surface of modern Irish society as it extends even to such a remote place as County Galway, beside the Atlantic Ocean. The hero of the series, superbly and quietly played by Owen McDonnell (who was born in Galway and has its soil in his bones), is a young sergeant in the Irish police, who are known as 'the Garda' (a Gaelic name). This review is of the entire 12 episodes produced so far, comprising Seasons One and Two. It is not known if there will be any more, but I hope so. It is a very absorbing series which goes at a gentle pace, revealing intrigues and crimes slowly, rather than at the breathless pace of a Hollywood film which has to squeeze everything into 90 minutes. McDonnell's father had been a senior Garda figure, and in Season One, McDonnell comes face to face with the fact that he had been dishonest and criminal in his job, as most of his colleagues had also been. McDonnell is a thoroughly honourable man struggling to keep his honest nose above sea level in this wholly corrupt place. The series is shot entirely on location and the scenery is remarkable for its bleak beauty, a nearly treeless landscape running down to a shattered sea and endless shimmering water dusted by drifting clouds, with spectacular sunsets. The area is extremely isolated and under-populated. The locals are deeply inbred and introverted, clannish, secretive, suspicious, brutal, and, well, Irish, which means they can also be charming and amusing while they are scheming against you. The wickedest character in the series is a perfect serpent, retired Garda Inspector Dennis Costello, played with sinuous menace and cunning by Sean McGinley. He runs the local pub called Mallons, a den of iniquity, scheming, and plotting. Everyone in the area seems consumed by greed, lust, perversity, or unnatural passions of one kind or another, and none of them are honest apart from stalwart Owen McDonnell, whose character is called Jack Driscoll. If anyone ever wondered how so many murders could possibly be committed in the small town of Oxford in order to justify the INSPECTOR MORSE series, try County Galway for limitless decadence. How can such a desolate place be seething with such much corruption, brutality, and quiet crime? The series is clearly meant to be a reflection upon contemporary Ireland, a country where all the politicians are said to be corrupt, where all the businessmen are said to be corrupt (and I have met some of those!), and where incest, rape, murder, brutality of every kind imaginable, and of course the sexual perversities and crimes of the Catholic clergy, are rampant. It is also a country where greed ran amok and resulted in the economic collapse from which Ireland is still struggling, with doubtful success, to make some kind of recovery. There are some powerful performances by supporting players in this series, especially the sinister and knowing mother of McDonnell, played by Ruth McCabe, who conveys as much by her eyes as many actors do when they scream. She refuses to condemn the immorality of her late husband and thinks her son is a fool for being such a 'good guy', which certainly is a new angle on the cozy mum theme, for she will sit down and have a nice cup of tea while justifying dishonesty and immorality. McDonnell's bewilderment and exasperation at the hypocrisy and dishonesty he finds on all sides never breaks him, but he looks sadder and sadder, and says a great deal when he does not speak, rather like those silent Danes in THE KILLING Part One (see my review). If the Irish can produce a series like this, they have not lost their touch. Let's have more.

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