March 15, 2009


Cracker: Clever, Arrogant, Plump and Enduring (MIKE HALE, 3/15/09, NY Times)

THE early 1990s were a bit of a golden age for the British television crime drama: “Inspector Morse” was at its peak; the first and best “Prime Suspect” mini-series appeared in 1991; and in 1993 a corpulent, arrogant, gambling-addicted psychologist named Fitz, fully embodied by the Scottish actor Robbie Coltrane, made his debut in the series “Cracker.”

Those three shows, all carried on the ITV network, would earn 6 of the 10 British Academy awards for best drama series or mini-series from 1992 to 1996. “Cracker” won the best series prize in 1995 and ’96 and then ended after just 10 installments, as Mr. Coltrane and Jimmy McGovern, the show’s creator and primary writer, walked away. Now Acorn Media has collected the entire run, including the 2006 one-off “A New Terror,” in “Cracker: The Complete Collection” (10 discs; $119.99).

From the perspective of 2009 it’s startling to note that when “Prime Suspect” and “Cracker” arrived, the only Top 10 crime drama on American television was “Murder, She Wrote.”

Still can't bring myself to read or watch The Remorseful Day, but thankfully they brought Lewis back.

You can find all these series at The Box: Cracker; Inspector Morse; and Prime Suspect

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 15, 2009 7:33 AM
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