BBC — TREVOR EVE — SHOESTRING — 2017 (1979–1980)
This series I had wanted to find on DVD for more than twenty years finally came out in 2017, thirty-eight years after its creation. But here it is and it was sufficiently well reformatted for the image to look normal. The characters are not crushed vertically nor stretched horizontally. So they look normal.
The location of this series is Bristol and around and we cross the toll bridge finally in the last episode, and twice mind you. The people do not have too strong an accent and their English is close to standard. After all, Bristol is a university city with a very famous and good university. They do not insist too much on the past of this city and harbor that is twinned with Bordeaux because they have one past fortune in common: they were both slave-trade ports.
The series concentrates on local cases that require a private eye, in this case, a private ear. The local cases have to do with some social problem most of the time with a background of some trafficking shady people who try to rob other people, to fool other people, to make a profit illegally and on the run, to exploit some categories of people, particularly down on the social scale. These small and even petty criminals are pure self-centered people who do not even want to think of the consequences of their acts on the victims.
We could compare this series with Bergerac which is also on this line of local criminal cases with a local detective. The main difference is that Bristol here is practically the sole location and you do not have some criminals who come from far away, from outside the region, the country, international traffickers. Except for one or two cases. That makes this series rather sweet and cozy for some evening entertainment.
The last remark I will do is that Trevor Eve is perfect for his role. He is cool, easy-going, friendly especially with victims, in a relationship that is in no way permanent or continuous, rather a free relationship. For 179–80 he is also quite open to the lifestyles the people he is dealing with may choose and his palette of characters is quite open as for such orientations and choices. That makes this chap rather sympathetic. Yet he is too often hit on the head. That might have serious consequences for his mental and cerebral health. He should be more careful. The last episode is a Christmas special in a way that is a real gem of empathy and dedication.
Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU