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Cracker (ITV 1993-1996, Robbie Coltrane, Geraldine Somerville)

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Robbie Coltrane gives a memorable star turn in crime drama series Cracker as the uncompromising expert criminal psychologist, Dr Eddie “Fitz” Fitzgerald. He’s also a chain-smoking gambler and alcoholic, who finds it difficult being faithful to his wife. But his ability to get into the minds of violent criminals means that the police often – reluctantly – rely on foul-mouthed Fitz to help solve their most difficult cases.

After three seasons and a feature length special the series ended in 1006 but there was a surprise one off revival ten years later.

Memorable moment: The powerful, shocking scenes in the second series, when DS Jane Penhaligon (Geraldine Somerville) is raped and then pieces together the details, realising her attacker is very close to home. She then sets about exacting her revenge.

Summing up his love of excess, Fitz says: “I drink too much, I smoke too much, I gamble too much. I am too much.”

Trivia: Coltrane and Somerville appear in completely different guises in all four of the Harry Potter films. Coltrane stars as Rubeus Hagrid, the gamekeeper and teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, while Somerville plays Harry’s deceased mother, Lily.

Robbie Coltrane also appeared as a villain in the US remake of Cracker, which was re-titled Fitz.

The stories were generally 3 parters although are often shown feature length for repeat screenings.

cast
ROBBIE COLTRANE as Fitz
BARBARA FLYNN as Judith Fitzgerald
GERALDINE SOMERVILLE as Det Sgt Jane Penhaligon
CHRIS ECCLESTON as Det Ch Insp David Bilborough
LORCAN CRANITCH as Det Sgt Jimmy Beck
RICKY TOMLINSON as Det Ch Insp Wise

crew details
Creator: Jimmy McGovern
Producers: Gub Neal, Paul Abbott

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: ITV – Granada
Duration: 22×50 minute episodes 1×100 minute episodes 1×105 minute episode
Aired From: 27 September 1993 – 28 October 1996 and 1 October 2006

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TV

Combat Sheep (BBC-1 2001, Steve Coogan, Ronni Ancona)

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Combat Sheep

One-off comedy film Combat Sheep detailed the comic adventures of four ex-army mascot sheep. Made using a mixture of live action and puppetry.

cast
STEVE COOGAN as Harris
RONNI ANCONA as Peaches
MARK WILLIAMS as Moose
KEVIN ELDON as Cooper
CHRIS ELLISON as Detective Inspector Hindle

crew details
Writer: Tim Firth
Additional material: Peter Baynham and Graham Duff
Executive Producers: Steve Coogan, Henry Normal
Producer: Robert Howes;
Director: Dominic Brigstocke.

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC One – A Baby Cow Productions – Childrens Company
Duration: 1×30 minute episode
Aired From: 30 December 2001 at 5:35pm

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TV

Clochemerle (BBC-2 1972, Cyril Cusack, Roy Dotrice)

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Clochmerle BBC 1972

Period sitcom, based on a novel by Gabriel Chevallier that was adapted by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, that saw the French villagers of Clochemerle kick up a fuss over plans to install a new toilet.

cast
CYRIL CUSACK as Major Piechut
ROY DOTRICE as Ponosse
KENNETH GRIFFITH as Ernest Tafardel
WENDY HILLER as Justine Putet
HUGH GRIFFITH as Alexandre Bourdillat
BERNARD BRESSLAW as Nicholas the Beadle
MADELINE SMITH as Hortase Girodet
GEORGINA MOON as Rose Biraque
PETER USTINOV as Narrator

crew details
Writers: Ray Galton, Alan Simpson
Novel: Gabriel Chevallier
Producer: Michael Mills

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC Two – Bavaria
Duration: 9×30 minute episodes
Aired From: 18 February – 14 April 1972 Fridays at 10.05pm

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Clairvoyant, The (BBC-2 1986, Roy Kinnear, Sandra Dickinson)

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In Roy Clarke penned sitcom The Clairvoyant used car salesman Arnold Bristow is knocked down in a car accident and suddenly finds himself with psychic powers – or so he believes. There was a pilot broadcast 27 Nov 1984.

cast
ROY KINNEAR as Arnold Bristow
SANDRA DICKINSON as Lily
HUGH LLOYD as Burma
SHAUN CURRY as Newton
GLYNIS BROOKS as Dawn
CARMEL CRYAN as Carmen

crew details
Writer: Roy Clarke
Producer and Director: Alan J.W. Bell

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC-2
Duration: 6×30 minute episodes
Aired From: Pilot – 27 November 1984 and Series – 15 May – 19 June 1986

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