Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Press Gang


Steven Moffat wrote the best episodes of the recent Doctor Who revival, the terrific two parter The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances. Prior to this, he is probably best known for the sit-com Coupling, about which my boundless loathing of Jack Davenport prevents me from commenting. He is also the creator of two, earlier, short lived comedies: the unfairly maligned Chalk, and the under-appreciated Joking Apart, as well as a handful of one-off projects. But to anyone coming home from school between 1989 and 1993 he will always be the man responsible for Julia Sawalha's career.

The dude invented Press Gang. He could orphan me, burn down my house and frame me for touching a ten year old's privates and I'd still love and worship him.

The show invented dramedy long before Buffy, and the "72 hours earlier" trick years before JJ Abrams took it to the knacker's yard and turned it into glue.

Season Four has just been released on one of those little shiny disc things, and either I've always had far too much taste for my nostalgic fancies to ever be embarrassing, or I'm much too easily pleased. All the same, this seems just as brilliant and groundbreaking to me now as it did sixteen years ago. With its high production values, daring structure, surprisingly hard-hitting plots, cracking dialogue, honest characterisation (rare in a show about teenagers screened at tea-time), and an ensemble cast with a passel of Oscar and BAFTA nominations/wins between them, Press Gang deserves to be seen again.

Category: Movies and TV

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