DRAMA SERIES The Knock
Scottish, starts Sat 21 Oct, 9.05pm. Aaah, autumn That trme of year when the evenrngs start gettrng colder and darker, and all you want to do rs curl up rn front of the box and watch sonre hrgh gualrty drama The powers that be are aware of your desrres and churn out nrore serres at thrs trme than trees shed leaves Unfortunately, rt's not Just leaves that are fallrng, standards seem to be gorng the same way, and The Knock, now rn rts frfth serres, rs rrght at the bottom of the prle
The producers of the Customs and EXCrse drama obvrously realrsed thrs at some pornt, and have grven the show a radrc’al overhaul The core cast from the last four seasons rs romed by some new faces, rncludrng Queer As Fo/k’s Peter O'Brren, playrng the head of lndrgo, the elrte specral team In addrtron to the new regulars, an assortment of guest stars have been roped rn as a means to rarsrng the
Brand New Bra Channel 4, Tue 24 Oct, 9pm.
Srt back rn awe as two Drcks turn therr attentrons to yet another tragrcally neglected bare necessrty Descrrbed wrth more than a hrnt of rrreloclrama as 'one of the most corrrplex engrneerrrrg problems known to man “or womanr', redesrgnrng the humble bra seems at frrst, a rather odd chorce of task and, fare I say rt, a \.'.'ee brt unnecessary7 When Drck Powell and chharcl Seymour or'rgrnally attempted thrs ITIdITIII‘O'tt‘. project, the whole tltrng \".(,‘III trts-up. But rt only takes tne rnsptratronal srght of Seymour r‘ubbrng a 386 between hrs frngers and leer‘rng rn clrsbelref not at the s'neer scale of the thrng, but at rts rncredrble lack of practrcarrty to convrrrce you that thrs trme, these guys rrtean busrness
Srttrng stony-faced whrie an attractrve young lrngerre desrgner‘ fondles her breasts, frankly descrrbrng partrcular areas of rnarnmarra! drsc'omfort, rts cr'rsappo:ntrrrgly clear that the two av.'arcl-\.'~/rnnrng desrgners are embarkrng upon therr monumental
Cheesy plots fail to satisfy show’s profrle
The frrst of these rs Rrk Mayall, Iosrng what's left of hrs drgnrty as a slrmy rndustrralrst wrth a nasty srdelrne rn arms smugglrng and drugs runnrng He rs, of course, excellent rn the role, but really, what was he thrnkrng7 Other celebrrty treats rn store rnclucle Martrne lvlc'Cutcheon, Davrcl Threlfall and Gillran Taylforth. Is that the sOund of a barrel berng scraped?
Former EastEnders asrde, the all-new Knock rs much the same as the old one For all rts promrse of excrtement, what wzth hrgh-level organrsed crrme, rnternatronal drugs tr'affrcikrng and the lrke, the whole experrence rs strangely flat. The characters never fully engage, and the Swrss cheese-style plots are preposterous For a show drrected by those responsrble for Casualty, London's Burnrng and Ho/by Crty among others, you wOuId expect more substance Strll, rt rs autumn, so yOu won't have long to wart before sornethrng better comes along (Krr'sty Knaggsr
Two Dicks flesh out their subject
task wrth admrrable professronalrsm Whrch rs obvrously why the frlrrrrnakers felt the need to rntercut the proceedrngs wrth porny footage of topless women bouncrng around .n a sunny glade And club a camp Euro- pop soundtrack rnto the background
Okay, let's aclrnrt rt, two mrddle-aged men obsessrvely devotrng seven-day weeks to stare at boobs7 It's all a brt pervy rsn’t rt? Thrngs get worse when rt's revealed that the revolutronary desrgrr‘s greatest problem rs rts tendency to warp slrghtly around the breasts Thrs rs known rn the Industry as 'creep' Strll no one hazards a smrrk
It's only as the project develops that everyone rnvozved begrns to realrse the sheer rnarketrng potentral of the ultra- comfortable Broforrn bra A major lrngerre company shows an rnterest and before long, Powell and Seymour look set to bust apart the world of women's underwear ‘We've not drscovered a cure for cancer or elrrnrnatecl tlrrrd world debt,’ admrts the man who's pumped one hundred grand rnto the prorec‘t. ‘We've rnvented a bra, for Chrrst's sake But rt's one hell of a bra ' (Olly Lassman)
DOCUMENTARY SERIES Treasure Channel 4, Sat, part of 4Later
Collectors are funny folk. Most people wrll happrly absorb and rndulge rn a variety of pursurts and cultures wrthout thought but the collector mentalrty pushes everythrng else out rn fav0ur of a lone obsessron. In thrs serres of short programmes made by Glasgow and Perth-based Speakeasy Productrons, we peek rnto the ’lrves' of varrous hoarders as they tell us rrr therr own words, exactly why therr rndulgence rs so excrtrng
Coverrng a huge array of SUbJGCIS, the serres dabbles rn rnflatable rubber clothrng, wrtchcraft memorabrlra, antrque medrcal equrpment, Star Wars toys, vrbrators and laundrette lrnt. Wrth Davrd, who shows off hrs ZOOO-strong collectron of movre monster models, or James, who covers hrs walls rn flyrng ducks, yOU get the feelrng that rt doesn't dramatrcally effect therr lrves.
The same cannot be sard for Isobel, the most tattooed woman rn the world (yes, she's got them there) and Nerl, whose seemrngly random collectron of 5000 porn magazrnes doesn't feel so much lrke a collectron as an attempt to Justrfy enthusrastrc masturbatory habrts.
Wrthout any krnd of commentary, these brref rnsrghts often leave the protagonrsts seemrng fascrnatrng at best, and freaks at worst. They are lard very bare and grve an rnsrght rnto the obsessrve nature of human berngs,
The Scarlet Pimpernel BBCI,Wed, 8.30pm a ’They seek hrm here, they seek hrm there' apparently. Well, not any more, because the affable hero of the 18th century arrstocracy rs back, and gOrng about hrs dandrfred busrness as usual
At the begrnnrng of the second serres, chhard Er Grant rs busy savrng a beautrfully posh French marden wrth gadgets and darrng rust lrke the James Bond rn a powdered wrg he rs. Alas, tragedy strrkes when he returns home to frnd hrs wrfe has dred durrng chrldbrrth. Oh woe rs hrm. But then he's off agarn, berng terrrbly prthy, goonrng around France and generally gettrng rrght up the Republrc ’s nose
Really, you cc)uldn’t wrsh for anyone better to play an upper-class tth by day and a dashrng herorc twrt by nrght, but even Drckre can't breathe any lrfe rnto the trred scrrpts and lazy plots at hrs drsposal. What’s more, each of the perrpheral characters rs basrcally a cardboard cut-Out stereotype, and not even a funny one at that.
In fact, the whole show rs caught between attemptrng to be a serrous drama and a thrgh-slapprng farce, the result berng a brt of a waste of trme really. (Doug Johnstone)
North Square Channel 4, Wed, 9pm
One suspects that the people behrnd North Square wanted rt to be taken serrously. They’ve bunged rn the shrftrng vrsual angles of Thrs Life to suggest that thrs'll be a multr-faceted look at the legal professron. There are shots of women weerng, They’ve even got barrrsters who (crrpesl) are a brt nasty and not lrke Rumpole at all,
And then some clever bastard was let loose on the scrrpt to produce the most bombastrc one-lrners thrs srde of Mission Impossrb/e 2; 'No one fucks over one of my boys,’ declares Peter lecLersh (Phrl Davrs), forgettrng for a moment that he’s a Leeds-based clerk and not Joe PescI's understudy ’Let me cut the crap, rf I may,’ suggests glamour krd Alex, who hasn't gurte got the hang of thrs lark,
Thrs drsrunctron makes North Square flawed rf addrc’trve vrewrng, And whatever rts asprratrons, central to the serres' appeal rs the soap factor erl the dashrng Alex betray hrs wrfe for sultry Stevre7 erl frery Scot Brlly get done for brffrng an obnoxrous rrval? And how wrll newcomer Morag cope.7
Wrth rncreasrng rnternal drvrsrons, gangland warfare and a farr amount of graturtous shaggrng promrsed for the nrne future eprsodes, rt seems lrkely that we’ll be there to see rt (James Smart)
Collecting is fascinating or freakish
Thigh-slapping, dandified nonsense
Milking the bombastic one-liners
‘:9 Oct 2 \‘0‘. 2000 THE llST119