This mystery series from the U.K. outlines the adventures of a psychologist employed by the police to aid them in profiling and questioning suspects. "Fitz" (Robbie Coltrane), an avowed drunkard and gambler, has an uncanny knack for boring directly into the hearts and minds of his subjects, many of whom may in fact be saner than he is...Written by
Aaron Finkelstein <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I drink too much, I smoke too much, I gamble too much. I *am* too much.
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All the stories were originally shown on ITV in several parts, each of one hour (including commercials). However they were later released on DVD as a single episode per story, with a combined cast list rather than the one from the end-credit sequence of any of the transmitted parts of the story. See more »
It's impossible to overstate how classy this programme is. The cast are uniformly superb, Jimmy Mc Govern's writing is by times disturbing and violent, by times deeply compassionate, and the overall tone of the piece is dark and moody, but with just enough ascerbic humour to lighten the weight.
Coltrane is excellent here, but he's spoiled also; he's been given one of the best-written roles in TV history, but he portrays Fitz with effortless panache. No easy thing given the complexity of the character. He's an almost supernaturally gifted psychologist, but he can't understand his wife and son; he's capable of real understanding and compassion, but is an inveterate user of people despite himself.
The supporting cast are excellent, and those actors brought in to play "villains of the week" almost always hold their own. You'll cry when, at the end of "To Say I Love You", the young stutterer realises he'll never be able to say the things to his girlfriend that he wants to say. Robert Carlyle's Albie in "To Be Somebody" is one of the standout characters of the entire series. Fitz's final chat with the put-upon Catholic housewife in "Brotherly Love" is truly disturbing, but heartbreaking too. You'll feel for each of these characters, which is an amazing feat by all concerned in the making, considering their crimes are so graphically portrayed, and the show is so unflinching about revealing the kinds of effects violent crime has on survivors, and the families of the victims. This is classy television.
It's not without it's faults, of course. The standard does tend to take a nose-dive when Jimmy Mc Govern's not writing (not by much, sometimes, but always perceptibly) and the quite graphic nature of most of the episodes means this won't be to everyone's taste, but these are small flaws. This is wonderful stuff. It's impossible to overstate this fact, so i'll say it again: this is really classy television.
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