Date Published: 18-May-2011
The politically correct mandarins at the BBC reckon that we have too many male detectives on the box, which is the pathetic reason they’ve dropped the stylish Italian Aurelio Zen for a variety of modern day Miss Marples.
At the same time, the head honchos at ITV finally abandoned its long relationship with Taggart – although in fairness, they gave it another 17 years after Taggart himself had shuffled off to his eternal reward.
Indeed Jim Taggart – brilliantly depicted in all of his misery by the late Mark McManus – might have still had his name over the door, but a generation only remember Mike Jardine and Jackie Reid as the main protagonists, or even more recently when the main role as handed over to DCI Mark Burke.
So killing off a programme called after a detective who has been dead since 1994 is one thing – but calling a halt to a series because we have too many male detectives on the box is a different matter entirely.
They seem to forget that women have found Rebus, Morse or the Frosts, Taggarts and Crackers of this world every bit as entertaining as the rest of us – right back to Poirot, Petrocelli, Columbo, Joe Mannix, Jim Rockford and Theo Kojak as a matter of fact – and that female crime solvers have been, well, a little less believable.
Of course there was Cagney and Lacey, and we’ve had DI Jane Tennison, Angie Dickinson in Police Woman, as well as Patricia Cornwell’s brilliant Kay Scarpetta. But against that, there was Jessica Fletcher, Nancy Drew, Hetty Wainthrop, Charlie’s Angels – not to mention the Scarecrow’s sidekick Mrs King.
Purdy was a big draw in the New Avengers, but Steed solved the crimes; and when Laura Holt set up her detective agency she knew she had to have a man’s name over the door – hence Remmington Steele. Similarly Moonlight had Bruce Willis’ David Addison as the loose cannon and Cybil Shepherd’s Maddie Hayes as the rock of sense.
Irrespective of your desire for gender balance, the reality is that male detectives have left a bigger mark on the small screen than their female counterparts who – with obvious exceptions – were either there for their looks or their entertainment value.
But regardless of the detective’s gender, there are key ingredients that remain the same when it comes to a successful series these days. Some might even call them clichés.
The first inescapable fact is that murders rarely occur in ones – and quiet areas with a high profile detective in town have a conversely frightening serious crime rate. A television series needs a crime spree or the whole thing would be hard to sustain for twelve or fourteen episodes.
But it never ceases to amaze at how quickly the most innocuous of sylvan suburban settings can suddenly turn into Los Angeles with a death rate higher than sub-Saharan Africa.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Appeal for information following Portumna crash
Date Published: 08-May-2013
Gardai are appealing for witnesses following a single vehicle crash at the Portumna bridge this morning.
The road from Nenagh to Loughrea reopened shortly after 11 this morning following the completion of a technical exam.
Four men were travelling in a van when they hit the Portumna bridge around 6:30 this morning.
Gardaí, ambulance and two units of Portumna fire services rushed to the scene, and one of the men was taken to Portiuncula hospital in Ballinasloe.
He is being treated for head injuries, which have been described by Gardaí as serious.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Portumna Garda station on 09-097-42060
President Higgins among GMIT’s first ever honorary fellowships
Date Published: 10-May-2013
GMIT is to honour seven outstanding individuals including President Michael D Higgins with Honorary Fellowships at a special ceremony later this month.
It’s the first time in the 40 year history of the Institute the Governing Body of GMIT has decided to award honorary fellowships.
The GMIT Honorary Fellowships will be conferred at the g Hotel in the city this day two weeks Friday 24 May at 2.30pm in front of 200 invited guests.
Galway commuters hold their breath as LRC intervenes in bus strike
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway commuters are holding their breath as there has been a potential breakthrough in the Bus Eireann dispute, as both sides have agreed to talks at the Labour Relations Commission.
The LRC intervened this afternoon, on day two of strike action that has seen 95 per cent of bus services disrupted across the country.
The LRC’s Director of Conciliation Services, Kevin Foley, says the National Bus and Rail Union and the company have agreed to meet for mediated talks at 8 this evening.