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Customer Review

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good British Crime Show, May 3, 2005
This review is from: Cracker: Series 1 (DVD)
Crime/Drama/Police (This is not the 1997-1998 ABC show that was based on the UK show, this is the UK show)

British show starring Robbie Coltrane as Dr. Eddie "Fitz" Fitzgerald. Fitz is a criminal psychologist that helps the local UK police catch criminals. Fitz is quite good at helping the police, but he has trouble with his marriage/family due to his addictions (gambling, drinking, etc.). The first series aired in the UK in 1993 and also starred Lorcan Cranitch (Det. Sgt. Jimmy Beck; an angry violent cop); Christopher Eccleston (DCI David Bilborough; head of the detective group); Barbara Flynn (Judith Fitzgerald, Fitz's wife); Geraldine Somerville (Det. Sgt. Jane Penhaligon: while bucking for a promotion, she ends up in something of a relationship with Fitz). Cracker's first series was written by Jimmy McGovern. This series is a very gripping, realistic police drama. Highly enjoyable. Warning: The dead bodies are sometimes seen in all their nudity on an examining table during the show's progress (not exactly easy to sit through, especially when the bodies are carved up and the insides are revealed).

There are three stories in the first season/series. The first season of "Cracker" tells its stories over several episodes (2 or 3 episodes). The first series includes the story "The Mad Woman in the Attic," told in two episodes, "To Say I Love You," told in three episodes, and "One Day a Lemming will Fly," told in two episodes.

The Mad Woman series of episodes finds Fitz helping the police investigating a serial killer, and the prime suspect is a amnesiac bloody man found near the train (first episode 4.22 & 2nd episode: 4.43). The first episode opens with Fritz listening on the phone to a horse race, right outside a classroom where he is supposed to be working as a guest lecturer because he needs the money. Meanwhile the very bloody dead body of a woman is found on a train, and the police quickly determine that she was killed in the same manner of other women. They are after a serial killer. Eventually the police's need for some help, and Fitz's need for money, causes the two to come together, though this occurs at the very end of the first episode of the two part story. Warning: the dead woman is carved up on the examination table (the only completely nude corpse shown during the first season).

The second story involves a quite strange relationship between a boy and girl. The boy has a good enough singing voice to do well in local bar competitions, but cannot otherwise express his thoughts without stuttering (or when he is in a high state of excitement - anger, the stuttering goes away). The couple meets up at a bar, where Sean, the boy, places second place in the contest, and the girl, Tina, leads him back to her place. While that couple is starting, another couple is in a state of high tension. Fitz's relationship with his wife Judith is in trouble, but Judith is willing to come home if Fitz changes, which he can't seem to allow himself to do. Trouble starts immediately for the younger couple (Tina and Sean) when some people come by looking for their money, and the couple end up on the wrong side of the law quickly, though it begins at a minor level (car theft, bus theft) and escalates to murder within the first episode. During the escalation, and before the murders start, the boy is arrested for stealing a bus, and goes "insane" when he is separated from Tina. The police, and Fitz, are on the case. Three parts, three ratings: 3.95; 4.36; 4.30. Nudity warning: naked man in shower; corpse seen, but only legs.

The third story involves a missing/murdered boy and a community that believes that they know the culprit, and want to take justice into their own hands. That suspect? The boy's teacher. The boy is first discovered by a couple having some fun running through a forest involved in a fantasy sequence, but they don't, at first, come forward. A strange story involving mob mentality and know-it-all psychologists, and a possibly gay man (4.29; 4.25).

Americans may remember Coltrane, if they didn't see this series on A&E, from such work as "From Hell"; as Valentin Zukovsky in the James Bond movies "The World is Not Enough" & "Goldeneye"; from the movie "Nuns on the Run" and other movies (like "Harry Potter").
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