A New TerrorWith almost 15 years under its belt, the Cracker series has purportedly reached it’s final episode with this new outing. Featuring Robbie Coltrane (best known as Hagrid from the Harry Potter films) in his most prolific role as psychologist Dr. Eddie Fitzgerald, better known as “Fitz”, this edgy cop drama has been entertaining audiences for over a decade.

This new adventure has Fitz returning to England for his daughter’s wedding after living in Australia for nearly a decade. What Fitz sees in his old Manchester stomping grounds are profound changes in scenery, promptly and singularly attributed to 9/11 and the Iraq war. In fact, much of the episode’s focus is on these two hot button issues. News from Iraq blares on every television station throughout the hour and a half drama, while even casual conversations find the war and other politically charged issues arising quickly and heatedly. At times this begins to feel a bit overbearing and heavy-handed, though the viewpoints are not necessarily cut and dry. As writer Jimmy McGovern says in an interview, “I’m not gonna toe the P.C. line.” He’s definitely not toeing it here.

What’s most interesting about the show’s format though is McGovern’s unique spin on the police investigation drama. In Cracker the real story is never a simple whodunit, but a more complex and examining why. From the very beginning the audience knows who the killer is, so the show unfolds in two parts: one following Fitz as he tries to uncover the killer’s identity, and one following the killer as he tries to maintain his secret. Though it makes it almost perfunctory when Fitz discovers the killer’s identity, it also makes for a thrilling exploration into the mind of a murderer.

Coltrane freely admits that his character is “not a great role model as a dad or a husband,” considering that he’s an alcoholic and a gambler who spends more time at work than with his family, but Fitz is a delightfully endearing and humanly flawed character that audiences can truly relate to. The rest of the cast works hard, but none quite live up to Coltrane’s superb portrayal.  Though this final episode still maintains some of the bite and edginess of the original series, the story’s a bit too politically motivated and the action a bit forced at times. Cracker: A New Terror may not satisfy the expectations of old Cracker fans, but it’s still a fairly decent cop story with a strong cast.

Zach’s Rating: B-
Ultra Liberal’s rating: C-
Neo-Conservative’s rating: C-

To purchase Cracker: A New Terror, visit Amazon
For more information on Acorn Media, visit their homepage

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