At last - a Scottish comedy series minus the Glaswegian stereotypes
BBC Scotland's comedy Unit has a pretty good track record - with Rab C Nesbitt its shining star - but rarely if ever has it come up with anything as original and subtle as this. The military setting is completely convincing as are all the characters. The officer figure is the only one to be caricatured; all of the others are exactly how one imagines a group of young, often bored, soldiers to be. The story lines are fanciful enough to allow for situations to develop which give full scope for Gary's sense of fun, and his one-liners are terrific. The plots break off from time to time - either for a supposed video clip of the lads fooling about off-duty in Iraq, or for one of Gary's philosophical monologues to camera. When we are accustomed to hearing only West of Scotland accents on Scottish comedy programmes, Gary's Edinburgh accent is a joy. What a pity not all of the cast could manage an east coast accent - Julie in particular leaves us wondering how and why she made the trip east. But that's a minor irritation. Gary Tank Commander is a joy to watch - let's hope we see him again.
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