I Didn’t Say That Did I?: It’s a CRACKER!

by Paul D Brazill.


Oh Manchester, so much to answer fer.

It was only a couple of years? ! CRACKER was a Granada TV series that was created by the writer Jimmy McGovern which ran from 1993- 1995. A mere two years, yet it made a great impact  in that short time.(Okay, there was also a  fine Hong Kong set special in 1996 -and another in 2006,which I didn’t see.)

The star of the show was Scottish comedy actor Robbie Coltrane who was previously best known for a cracking- see what I did then? – performance in the BBC’s version of John Byrne’s Tuttie Fruttie and for throwing a chair through a pub window.

Coltrane played Fitz, a brilliant, hard-drinking, heavy – smoking, bad- tempered criminal psychologist who worked as an assistant to the Manchester Police Force. “I drink too much, I smoke too much, I gamble too much. I am too much.”. Top man.

Colrane was mesmerising. The stories were gritty and twisty and moving -even when they pushed the boundaries of melodrama. The rest of the actors involved  were spot on too, in particular Christopher Ecclestone as the young detective learning more about life’s underbelly than he wanted.And Robert Carlyle was super impressive as the bitter, disillusioned Albie in the amazingly intense story ‘To Be A Somebody.’ But it was all great.

Later, there was a watered-down U.S. version with Robert Pastorelli as Fitz . Pastorelli is a good actor but it really was a decaffeinated version of the original.

Cracker recieved Edgar Awards and BAFTAs and all that cobblers but you don’t need such middlebrow approval do you? If you haven’t seen it, well, GET CRACKING (Did you see what…ok, I’ll get me coat…)

8 thoughts on “I Didn’t Say That Did I?: It’s a CRACKER!”

  1. Can’t believe the series only lasted 2 years..crazy! Funny you should mention the episode that I remember so vividly too. Robert Carlisle was intense and I’ve never forgotten it. It was only years later – probably when Ecclestone became Dr Who that I realised he’d been in Cracker as well.

    saw a repeat of this episode recently and it was just as good as I’d remembered.

  2. Cracker… as good as Brit crime series get. And the bonus… it was not only filmed in places I’d walked, some of the extras were lads I know!
    Great shout, Paul.

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