Saturday, 15 March 2008

The Fixer

I’ve not paid much attention to television thrillers, as opposed to detective dramas, in recent years. But a trailer attracted me to last week’s opener in a new series from ITV called ‘The Fixer.’ I was tempted and I fell. Of course, I should have been writing the new novel. But actually, ‘The Fixer’ was too enjoyable to switch off once I’d sampled a few minutes.

The idea is that a dodgy government agency (plenty of them to choose from) springs criminals from jail so that they can commit nefarious yet deniable acts which the official law and organisations could not possibly dirty their hands with. Not a bad premise for a light entertainment vehicle, even though one shudders at the prospect that it might provide more grist for the Diana conspiracy theorists' mill.

Andrew Buchan plays the central character, John Mercer. He has experience of warfare, and is an accomplished killer - he murdered a couple who molested his beloved sister (played by Liz White from ‘Life on Mars’) – yet has a genuine vulnerability. I wasn't sure about the casting of Buchan in the opening scenes, but he grew on me as the story went on. He is teamed up with a Jack the Lad called Calum, who is in the script for light relief. They work alongside glamorous Tamzin Outhwaite and the man in charge, splendidly menacing Peter Mullan.

It’s early days yet, but this series may be worth sticking with. I’ll certainly take a look at the second episode. Though I know, I know, I really do need to get cracking with this novel….

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