Fitz is a drunkard, a gambler, a boor, and a brilliant criminologist in this smart, gritty television series.

So says the press release!

I have to admit that I love British cop and spy shows. They are the complete antithesis of what we expect here in the US. Here our cops and spy’s are well heeled, technically savvy and backed up to the hilt with forensic help. The Brits do it differently, the hero is usually seedy but smart.

Dr Edward “Fitz” Fitzgerald, played by Robbie Coltrane, is the perfect example. Fitz is a mess, his personal life is a complete train wreck, his gambling and drinking habits alone flag him as a danger to society, and himself. But Fitz has a brain. He is a criminal psychologist (a cracker). The Greater Manchester Police may not like Fitz and certainly do not approve of his lifestyle, he is the best consultant they have.

We use the term ‘think outside of the box’. Fitz doesn’t have a box that he could fit into! This man is the ultimate anti-hero, overweight, a cigarette permanently in his mouth, a penchant for anything that contains alcohol. And willing to bet on just anything you can think of. Fitz is a one of a kind!

Although Cracker is twenty years old, it is as fresh today as when it first aired. Cynicism runs rampant. The police don’t like Fitz, his wife doesn’t much like him, in fact I am not sure that Fitz likes Fitz. Fitz is an institution unto himself.

Produced by Granada Television for ITV and created and principally written by Jimmy McGovern.

Cracker is indeed a cracking series. I recommend the DVD set from Amazon, the link is above.

Simon Barrett


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