Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Out by Trevor Preston

This is my first program review. I finished watching this serial two nights ago so it is a good place to start. From here I will work backwards and forwards on those already viewed and those yet to be. If I can I will set up a format for the reviews I can stick with.

My review : (5 stars) "Who Grassed Frank Ross". I put the writer's name, Trevor Preston, in the heading as he was probably the most important person in getting this story told. He's a Clapham boy and lets you know it. It's written from the heart. In the special features you can hear the writer, the director Jim Goddard and the producer Barry Hanson speaking over the first and last episodes. I advise you to do this after you have watched them normally. This really is great and having just started watching Fox, also with the Trevor Preston and Jim Goddard combination, I can't understand why there hasn't been one of their series on every year since 1978. Maybe the ITV program makers have become too politically correct. If so, it's a great shame as that would probably be better than Life on Mars or its spin-offs.

The cast is great - Tom Bell plays Frank Ross, the South London crook, to perfection. The police and other crooks are fine. I'm not sure that Trevor Preston writes women's roles that well but it doesn't hurt in this story. Great filming, this is what TV can do so well. If you take a movie like the Michael Caine version of Get Carter but have 6 hours to show the story instead of just 90 minutes then you would get something like Out. Characters can develop and scenes fleshed out. A personal admission, I went to school in Clapham near the Common although I came by train from Plumstead in South East London.

Look out for : The late John Junkin who plays a London heavy so well and also the taxi driver at the very beginning, Brian Hall - Terry the cook in Fawlty Towers, who died in 1997.

Details : 1978 TV Serial in 6 episodes of about 50 minutes each made by Thames TV and Euston Films.

Episodes : 6 - It Must be the Suit, Not Just Pennies, Maybe He'll Bring Back a Geisha, A Little Heart to Heart with Miss Bangor, The Moment He Opened His Envelope..., I Wouldn't Take Your Hand If I Was Drowning.

Features : Two episodes, the first and last, available with talk-over by the writer, director and producer.

Print quality : Very good

Sub-titles : No

Discs : 2

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