FALLEN HERO THE COMPLETE SERIES
Network DVD | Region: 2 | Release Date: 25th April, 2011
Del Henney, probably best known to modern audiences for his role as the nasty builder in Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs, takes the lead in Brian Finch’s masterly 12 part series Fallen Hero.
Made for ITV and running for two season between 1978 and 1979, Henney plays highly regarded Rugby League star, Gareth Hopkins who has his career cut short thanks to an horrific knee injury. Hopkins bitter at the way his career has ended finds that his whole life is on the verge of falling apart. The job that was tied to his league role falls by the wayside and his marriage which has always been rocky is also on the verge of collapse, thanks in no small part to his highly antagonistic relationship with his teenage stepson, Martin.
As the series progresses Hopkins tries his best to get his life back on track, only for one set back after another to come his way, the biggest of which sees him quite literally left holding the baby (just before the complete breakdown of his marriage to Dorothy, played by Wanda Vertham, he had managed to leave her pregnant).
Fallen Hero is a wonderfully strong piece of drama. Brian Finch has a real handle on human relationships and the dynamic between people and what draws us into doing the things we do. Hopkins, a former miner from a welsh village is cut from a similar cloth as Joe Lampton from Man At The Top (season two of which is also released on DVD this month), tough and uncompromising but where Lampton will stop at nothing to get what he wants, Hopkins is more downbeat and sorry for himself. You do end up siding with him though even if you sometimes want to tell him to pull him together.
Definitely recommended and easily as good as anything currently on TV. The three disc set features all twelve episodes from the series.