01 January 2001

TV & Radio Crime Log: Driver, Julie

The DriverJust the one new drama for you to get stuck into, telly-wise. The Driver stars David Morrissey as a bloke who accepts a job offer from a local gangster called The Horse. Nagged him into it, probably.

The blurb doesn’t stop for red lights:

Taxi driver Vince McKee finds his life taking an unexpected turn when he accepts an offer to drive for a criminal gang. It’s been engineered by his old friend Colin), who has resurfaced after a six-year stretch in prison.

The Driver is the story of an ordinary man who - out of frustration with his job and his life - makes a terrible decision. Ever since their son Tim cut ties with the family, Vince and his wife Ros have drifted apart. They blame themselves for his departure and have become accustomed to living separate lives.

The offer of becoming a driver for gang leader The Horse at first seems like an exciting proposition to Vince, but as the gang prepare for a major job he soon starts to wish he could have his old life back.

There’s a great cast in there – David Morrissey, Ian Hart and Colm Meaney - and a muscular, if familiar, title. I imagine this drama, written by Danny Brocklehurst, is more Drive, by way of Jimmy McGovern, than Fast And Furious.

The first of The Driver’s first three episodes is on at 9pm tomorrow night – Tuesday – on BBC1.

There’s more drama, of the audio variety in Julie, the Afternoon Drama on BBC Radio 4 at 2.15pm on Friday.

It’s based on the true story of Operation Julie, the biggest drugs bust in British history.

The blurb never leaves home without an Alsation:

In the 1970s a large proportion of the world’s LSD supply was coming from the wilds of West Wales. Based on true events, this is the story of how one idealistic chemist - Richard Kemp - sought to change the world. And how one determined detective - Dick Lee - set out to stop him.

In 1977 the Operation Julie police team retrieved 18 million microdots of LSD from one small cottage in Tregaron, West Wales. The street value of the haul was more than £65 million. But this was no ordinary drugs ring. - it grew out of the exploits of a handful of idealistic hippies, motivated by a genuine desire to open people’s minds.

Julie is written by Enders and Casualty stalwart Rob Gittins.

That, as they say, is your lot.