Fitz among equals

Britain sold ace psychological crime series Cracker to the States who liked it so much they re-filmed it using glamorous

American actors. Now ITV has bought the American version and is calling it FITZ. To help you

preview TV

udge how successfully

Robert Pastorelli steps into Robbie Coltrane's sail-like suit, check out the handy comparison elow. Words: Brian Donaldson.

«i 1:. . 'm *

Robbie Coltrane

Setting An unspecified metropolitan swamp in the north-west of England. Grainy, gritty, grey. Probably called Liverchester.

Writing style Archetypal Jimmy McGovern. Gritty realism, dirty sex, impending violence, Catholic guilt blah, blah, blah. You know the score.

Visual style Bleak in a bright daylight kind of way so that murder victims can be seen in their full gory.

If the show had a smell what would it be? Used tenners, used condoms, Boddingtons and murder victims. Body double Oliver Hardy, Dr Johnson, Mason Boyne, a Govan mechanic.

Wardrobe Anything big, baggy and black.

Sporting allegiance Glasgow Celtic, as proved by his baiting of Bobby Carlyle’s psycho-intellectual Liverpool fan.

First cigarette An unrelenting fug from the opening credits. Smoking is Cracker’s biggest motif.

Sex appeal Loads, apparently. Not everyone’s cup of Boddies though.

Sex on screen Up against trees, on the office floor, inside two-bit hotel rooms, in front of the kids. You name a place: somebody’s done it there.

Wit Sarcastic and obtuse one-liners from a Scot with a chip on his shoulder the size of the Stone of Destiny. Most likely to say 'Your round', ’l'm off to Newmarket', 'Ach, pish'. Anything in a brilliantly observed mock- Connery v0ice. Uncanny ability to talk an endless stream of cod-philosophical bollocks with Cigarette perched on lip.

Robert Pastorelli

Setting Los Angeles We know this from Fitz's JOb with the LAPD, the LA skyline, LA landmarks and his suppOrt for the LA Dodgers. Otherwise, it’s a bit of a grey area.

Writing style Unless there’s an American screenwriter called Jimmy McGovern, then it's by the same bloke. But and it's a big but later episodes Will be scripted by Yanks who wouldn't know a rosary from a Waitrose.

Visual style Bleak in that very murky kind of way that signifies harrowing drama in the States. Imagine Millennium in a power cut during a candlemakers’ strike.

If the show had a smell what would it be? Asphalt, astroturf, burning bUildings, crack cocaine, over-watered 'Scotch'.

Body double Jeremy Clarkson, Gary Glitter, Max Boyce. Or anyone With a dodgy poodle-cut.

Wardrobe Sports casual. Like he's Just stepped off the eighteenth hole. Makes Alan Partridge look like Alexander McQueen.

Sporting allegiance LA Dodgers, as proved by his statement that they are his team.

First cigarette After a whole ten minutes. And it’s probably a caffeine-free Marlboro diet-Light.

Sex appeal If you like your blokes to have a certain glam-rock, fast car, Welsh panto star Vibe about them.

Sex on screen Teasy stuff. The slick, edited, primetime US kind. Wit None discernible. The lines are good, but Pastorelli ain’t no Coltrane.

Most likely to say 'I think a five iron Will suffice, caddy', ’Does my bum look big in this?’ Uncanny ability to talk an endless stream of cod-philosophical bollocks Without a cigarette.

Supporting cast

Hannah Tyler

Like Gladiators’ Jet or Linda Hamilton in Terminator compared to the mousin shy and self-conscious Jane Penhaligon of Cracker. Her handbag probably contains a miniature Uzi While Panhandle Wields a copy of Minx.

Lieutenant Fry Ex-US marine type. Bullet- headed bruiser with an absurdly short haircut. Utterly unlike his scraggy bearded, nicotine-stained UK counterpart Ricky Tomlinson.

Judith Fitzgerald Long-suffering wife of Fitz. Younger, duller and even more marginalised than Brit actress Barbara Flynn. Thethoughtof her having any kind of affair is likely to send viewers to sleep.

Michael Fitzgerald Long-suffering

son of Fitz. Thankfully, no - pony-tail or embarrassing TWix l’ ad, though this is matched by total lack of personality. His role is to be kidnapped and sell tacos. Sometimes, simultaneously. Quite a trick if you can pull it off. ' I Fitz begins on Scottish, Mon 2 Feb, 70.40pm.

23 Jan-S Feb 1998 TIIE UST 99