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LoM actors return - The Ex-Communicator

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February 12th, 2011


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08:55 am - LoM actors return
Most of the cast of Life on Mars seem to have been on the telly recently. Dean Andrews is starring as Alex Kingston's husband in the ghost story Marchlands. Apparently this is based on an American TV drama called The Oaks, which I haven't heard of. I think it's pretty well set up - the drama cuts between events in the same house in 1967, 1987 and the present day, as all inhabitants of the house are affected by the presence of a little girl who died there. Some critics have said it was hard to follow, but I think that's just an example of the timid expectations that people have of television drama. Lots of visual references are used to orient you rapidly into whatever time period a scene is set. Really, it's not the slightest challenge to follow it. Here is an example (contra Outcasts) of a show which expects the audience to fill in a few gaps - and we cope.

Mad Dogs stars Philip Glenister and John Simm. Together again for one last show. It is highy reminiscent of the great film Sexy Beast starring Ray Winstone. Same physical feel, same threatening vibe. One difference, which changes the dynamic, is the virtual absence of female characters. This makes the whole thing seem a bit more self-indulgently blokey. At first I thought it would just be four famous actors 'avin' a laugh in Majorca, and somehow persuading Sky to pay for it. In fact it was a bit more constructed and effective than that. And the four actors - Mark Warren, Max Beesley and our chums - know what they are doing alright. They are not mucking about. I will watch the rest.

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