What a shame. Less like Cracker as was known and loved throughout the 90's, more like ageing rock stars revisiting former glory days, their old energy and vitality no longer there. Where once characters we cared about drove the action, here the central characters barely feature. Where acute, social observation once feed plot and characters, both are now eclipsed by lecturing, social sound bytes. Americans, Terrorism and 9/11 feature heavy handedly in this uninspired tale of a former British soldier turned killer. Notable stalwarts like Penhaligan and Wise no longer feature (nor is there any credible backstory to account for the past ten years) and their replacements are one dimensional, cardboard cut-outs barely registering cameo appearances. Into this mix Robbie Coltrane tries to inject something credible but, given little to work with, fails to deliver except on rare moments, which only serve to remind how good this show really was and how bad this spin off is. Not his fault. Jimmy McGoverns uncharacteristically substandard script and Antonia Birds shambolic direction must take much of the blame.
This episode ends as if to be continued. Whilst answers to many questions in the Cracker canon are still eagerly sought (what happened to Penhaligon, etc.) on the evidence of this it would be better not to know than to have the Cracker experience further tarnished with another sub standard offering.