CE Films - Part 1 - 1990-1991

24, 31 Oct, 7 Nov 1990
TV film (3 parts) | Dir. Lesley Manning
Role: Dick (druggie).

Video example - Gallery - IMDb - N/A

"Black journalist Sammy Dean is hired by a prominent MP, Grenville Barker, to find his missing daughter who has been kidnapped and a ransom note sent. He discovers that things are not quite so straight forward and the situation gets quite dangerous. Neither Barker nor Dean suspect that Virginia has engineered her own kidnap by her black half-brother Roy, a complex character who is seeking acknowledgement from his father, and whose associate Winston is involved with the dangerous drug world." [source]

Alex: "The series is based on a book by Mike Phillips. It's the author's debut, released in 1990 and immediately picked for TV adaptation. The screen version apparently is a more mainstream detective story, taking liberties quite often. Speaking of the book, it's narrated very slowly and carefully. If one is not familiar with the author's background – the racism problematic isn't just a gimmick – it might seem rather heavy-handed. Going by the video examples, Dick and Sally, while still junkies, are quite different in the series. Also, the clips available indicate a couple more scenes were created."

7 Dec 1990
TV series | Dir. Andrew Morgan
S. 5, ep. 13: 'A Reasonable Man'
Role: Stephen Hills (AIDS patient).

Video example - Gallery - IMDb - N/A

"James Lawrence, obsessively jealous of his wife follows her and is knocked down crossing the street. In Casualty, demented and paranoid, he holds Megan at gunpoint causing a tense situation and major upheaval in the hospital, with Charlie risking his life to help Megan." [source]

Alex: "Stephen is a desperate youth who needs treatment, but that's not a simple matter when you're gay and have AIDS. It's a tiny role, but it gets its point across, even in this frenzied episode with hostage taking and people falling about with various ailments."

On the AIDS theme in the early 90's, as reminisced by Nicholas de Jongh in London Evening Standard, 2000: "In 1991, I was one of several people asked to write hour-long dialogues about issues of public interest which were staged at the Royal Court Upstairs. Mine was about Aids and a young doctor dying of it. The director asked me to attend auditions. There was one young actor who stood out from the rest. His reading electrified us both. He took the part. His acting enthralled me then and has done ever since. The actor was Christopher Eccleston."

20 Feb 1991
TV series | Dir. Adrian Shergold | Wr. Daniel Boyle
S. 5, ep. 1: 'Second Time Around'
Role: Terrence Mitchell (learning disabled youth).

Video example - Gallery - IMDb - Get: Region 1, Region 2

Alex: "This is a long running TV series, but you do not need special knowledge to watch a particular episode. If you are a fan of crime drama, you will certainly enjoy it – it is a good programme, and the plot is quite interesting, capable of captivating even a more suspicious viewer.

"Terrence is a learning disabled young man who together with his parents seems to have been involved in a twisted story. This is the old crime that Morse reviews, trying to solve the recent murder of a retired Deputy Police Commissioner. The plot is well constructed, and until the very end you'll keep changing your mind who are the victims and who are the criminals. It is also a poignant commentary on family relations and things people do – or don't do – for their loved ones.

"Portrayal of Terrence is very honest. Compared to Derek Bentley in 'Let Him Have It', this character is rather uncomplicated. Still, this is definitely the first step towards deeper understanding of the problematic, both from affected person's and media point of view, problematic so keenly explored in the feature film." 

Conclusion: The earliest widely available example of Chris Eccleston's work and a good episode of the detective series.

DVD Notes:
2002 "Carlton" Region 2 (double bill with 'Masonic Mysteries'). English HOH subtitles. Extras: Only a cumbersome photo gallery.

23 Apr 1991
TV series | Dir. Alan Grint | Wr. Guy Andrews
S. 2, ep. 1: 'Jo'
Role: Radio (inmate, 'red band').

Video example - Gallery - IMDb - Get: Region 1, Region 2

Alex: "Arguably, Series 2 of 'Chancer' is nothing like the first, but it is a small role in the opening episode that is of interest. Derek Love (aka Stephen Crane, the swindler Series 1 was about) is serving his sentence, and
Radio is one of the inmates in the prison. And there's not much more to say about him. He appears briefly, clearly jumped-up and pesky (he got his nickname for a reason), causes some headache for Derek – and leaves dramatically.

"Trivia: You'll also see Susannah Harker ('Perfect Parents') and Peter Vaughan ('Our Friends In The North') in this series."

Conclusion: If you are a fan of Clive Owen, you might have already watched the series. If you aren't, it doesn't pay to make a huge effort to get hold of it, especially as prior knowledge of the main characters is required.

DVD Notes:
2002 "Network" All Regions (Complete Series Two). No subtitles, no extras.