Cracker The Complete Series
Starring: Robbie Coltrane, Christopher Eccleston, Ricky Tomlinson, Geraldine Somerville, Lorcan Cranitch, Barbara Flynn, Kieran O’Brien, Tess Tomson,
Date: 1993-1996, 2006
My Review and Thoughts:
Cigarette smoking, alcohol drinking, addicted to gambling psychologist with all the right answers and yet the raw nature of Dr. Eddie Fitzgerald a.k.a. Fitz is a true original bad ass character that leaves a true mark on TV history.
The stark introduction of Fitz takes place in the two part Episode/Movie titled “The Mad Women in the Attic.” You are soon introduced to a manic, sarcastic passionless prick yet a brilliant mind understands the criminal mind, the human psyche. Fitz gambles his families money away, pushes his family away. His home life is unstable due to his gambling and alcohol addiction.
After Fitz gambles the last of the money his wife Judith who has long put up with his failing health, gambling addiction and drunken rants finally walks out on him taking his daughter. Soon he finds himself in the murder mystery. Two women have been brutally murdered, slashed, pubic hair shaved.
After the second victim is found dead on a train, who Fitz happens to know, who was a past student of his, he places his psych business card into the pocket of the grieving mother and father of the last victim. Meanwhile a man is found laying half dead on the side of the train tracks. He suffers from amnesia. The police rush to judgment and believe he is the killer.
They have no proof and Fitz after being brought in starts to believe the man is truly innocent yet the police are stubborn and ass’ and go about torturing the man.
Robbie is a true one of a kind genius at the role of Fitz. His character is extreme, blunt, rude and powerful. Fitz pushes the limits. He often steps over deep into the underworld of thoughts and ideas.
He brings the very tip of mixing sanity and insanity together to solve the crime‘s at hand in this one of a kind series, the mysteries that take place through out this amazing masterpiece of a series is mysteries to revisit and always remember..
Back in the first episode the amnesia victim half dead on the side of the train knows nothing or at least he says he does not. Fitz injects himself deep into the investigation. He becomes a burden to the two detectives who go about trying to prove the guilt instead of the man being innocent. Detective David Bilborough played by the wonderful Christopher Eccleston is sort of a man that wants the case closed and yet no matter what it takes. He has tunnel vision, only focused on the amnesia man.
The rush to judgment ordeal disturbs Fitz. Fitz after being told they no longer need him, teams of with a female detective Jane who is overlooked and treated like a lady don’t belong here in the squad of boys. Fitz picks up on that and uses it, in having her help him solve the case in hopes that she will be taken serious.
This two part episode/movie is a brilliant part and start of this landmark series. A true masterpiece of murder, mystery and thick plot and a wonderful character development in the first two episodes.
The original three seasons of the series ran from 1993 to 1995. After words two movies where created, one being a 100 minute episode in Hong Kong in 1996 and the other being a two part episode/movie in 2003.
The best way to describe Fitz is he is an anti-hero. Obese and many would think of him off his rocker but in reality Fitz holds it together through his booze and gambling and his sarcastic ways. Fitz is perfect in describing himself: "I drink too much, I smoke too much, I gamble too much. I am too much."
Your main characters through out the series is Detective David Bilborough. He is a true villain police officer in away. He has tunnel vision and wishes to close cases right off not caring if the person is innocent to him everyone is guilty and if it was not for Fitz many suspects would be behind bars. His purpose in being that way is he wants to push himself above and beyond, he wants to succeed.
Detective Jane "Panhandle" Penhaligon who Fitz gives a chance on the very first episode and treats her like she is worthy of being with the boy detectives. Through out the series the relationship will build and Jane will become Fitz love interest as he is separated from his wife, due to his horrible ways.
The Mad Woman in the Attic: Two women have been murdered, there pubic hair has been shaved, both have bled out. The lasted victim is found on a train and is known by Fitz. A prime suspect is found and Fitz is called in to prove he did it.
To Say I Love You: Fitz’s marriage is falling apart. In this episode he finds himself against a couple in love who take it to extreme by showing the love through murder.
One Day a Lemming: A 14-year-old boy, Tim, is found hanging from a tree--murder or suicide? Fitz find out from the boy's brother that Tim was gay and with the main suspect being Tim's teacher, Cassidy, DS Beck and Fitz embark on extracting a confession. But is it real or are they just responding ... to the demands of DCI Bilborough and the public?
Three more episodes: To be a Somebody, The Big Crunch, and Men Should Weep. 'Fitz' combats personal crises and professional challenges when racism, religion, and murder get in his way.
Episode One: Brotherly Love - The brutal murder and violation of a prostitute quickly leads to an arrest, but while the suspect is in custody, an identical murder happens. At the same time, the death of Fitz's mother reunites him with his brother Danny,
Episode Two: Best Boys - When the older Stuart Grady meets the teenage Bill Nash, the instant attraction between the two leads to murderous consequences.,
Episode Three: True Romance - Fitz is the target of a secret admirer who is willing to kill — and keep killing — to get his attention, understanding and love, even if it means targeting Fitz's loved ones.
Two TV Movies or Season Four:
White Ghost: - While in Hong Kong on a lecture tour, Fitz is asked by the local police to help investigate the murder of a Chinese businessman.
Nine Eleven: - Fitz returns to Manchester for his daughter's wedding, but is soon involved in another murder investigation when an American comedian is killed, apparently without motive.
The whole series if to me one complete movie that shadows one man and his up’s and downs in life as he struggles to come to terms with his own demons and faces the nightmares of the world around him.
This was a landmark series that will forever be apart of my thinking pattern. If you have not seen this series then you are not watching what true cinema, mystery, story telling, acting is all about.
This is am masterpiece to be watched and spread and remembered.