Sunday, 13 January 2013

Brian Cox: Bob Servant Independent

Just Janice: "it's so refreshing to watch off-the-beaten track Scottish drama"
Brian Cox is back on our TV screens next week - the Emmy-winning Dundonian actor, not the youthful Physics Prof who's never off the box.
Dundonian actor Brian Cox is back on screens
Dundonian actor Brian Cox is back on screens (photo courtesy of Herald Scotland)

The thesp is playing the title role in Bob Servant Independent - the new TV comedy about the ridiculous, larger than life, local businessman, which follows on from the popular books and radio series written by Neil Forsyth (no relation).
In the TV series, the self-aggrandising Dundee Mr Big launches himself into the world of politics by running as an independent candidate in the local by-election. The problem is that the so-called 'man of the people' doesn't actually like people. Not like real-life politicians at all, then.
In the way that Ken Stott is a perfect fit as Ian Rankin's Rebus, it's hard to imagine anyone other than Cox play Servant - and he has a perfect sidekick in his hapless campaign manager, Frank, played by Jonathan Watson.  Neil Forsyth's script is cracking, but another factor that sets the show apart from the majority of TV comedies is its setting - Broughty Ferry.
It's so refreshing to watch a Scottish TV show that's not set in Glasgow or Edinburgh; just brilliant to have a scene where the main characters walk down a street that's not lined with tenements, and where the view at the end of it is of a bright orange RNLI lifeboat. What a pleasant change from the usual Central Belt fare - the Taggarts, Rab C Nesbitts, Lip Service, and a bunch of comedy sketch shows which are invariably set in Glasgow.
At a preview screening at the stunning Gardyne Theatre this week, the Bob Servant producer revealed that when he was pitching the idea to southern commissioners, they presumed that Broughty Ferry was a fictional town. Jings, these Londoners are so provincial. After all, part of the joy of Danish dramas such as Borgen or The Killing is to be immersed in a new culture, a different land or cityscape.
More off-the-beaten track drama please - how about a murder mystery in Melrose or a thriller in Thurso?
Read more at Herald Scotland

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