on 3 December 2002
I vaguely remember the series from the first time round, but I hadn't realised just how superb it is. It now looks slightly dated, but this really just adds to the atmosphere and suspense. A genuinely excellent drama with more than its fair share of suspense and plot twists. Fantastic acting too.
on 18 May 2002
Drama in the eighties was a high point in British tv history and drama's do not come much better than WIDOWS. The first series from Lynda La Plante tells the story of how three widows join together to finish the robbery their husbands died trying. Joined by fourth member - the recenlty widowed Bella - the women set about financing their future lives alone. But are they? Intrigue, suspense, action and some first rate acting puts WIDOWS above the rest, making it (to this day) an unmissable piece of quality television and a must have for any DVD collection.
on 22 June 2005
Hard to believe this first hit the screens 22 years ago. Watching it again, I remember it like it was yesterday, so memorable was it. Sadly, few drama series have come close to matching it since. A mixture of suspense, humour, superb acting and a terrific storyline make Widows a 'must-see' for any fan of crime drama. Lynda La Plante, take a bow.
on 29 March 2002
Finally avaliable on DVD (and a welcome return on video after years in "deleted" hell)!
When a gang of men die while attempting an armed robbery, their widows - led by Dolly Rawlins (played by the fantastic Ann Mitchell) - decide to do the robbery themselves....
One of - if not THE best series made by Thames in the 1980's. A stellar cast, great script by Lynda La Plante (who later went on to pen the hugely succesful Prime Suspect), and a welcome addition to anyone's collection.
Part 2 wasn't quite as good, but is still a worthy addition.
on 12 June 2002
It was great to see this finely crafted crime drama again now available remastered on DVD. The extras - interviews with writer Lynda La Plante and producer Linda Agran provide insightful thoughts on this series. It is a tragedy that Euston Films (who also did The Sweeney, Fox, Minder) are not still making hard-hitting dramas for television today. Highly recommended.
on 8 October 2008
This is essential viewing for anyone who loves good solid drama. The story is gripping and the performances spot on. Lynda La Plante gives insights into the characters in a few words that other writers would use whole scenes to convey. This means that while the pace never slackens, the characterisation never suffers. Even the incidental characters are fully formed, from the embittered policeman desperately fighting his old battles over again, to Shirley's mother, getting by in a dangerous world.
The story is told at a good pace, allowing the feeling of time passing by in a way that seems missing from a lot of modern dramas that seem to take place within a single afternoon. Lynda La Plante builds the tension superbly. Nothing is ever overstated and this adds to the gritty realism. The action never disappoints, especially in the raid itself. The day of the raid is beautifully depicted, with the widows gathering at dawn to make their last minute checks. You never forget that for all their tough talk, this is the scariest thing any of them has ever done. To mention incidental characters again, watch out for the look of astonished horror on the face of the security guard during the raid.
You may expect the aftermath of the raid to be an anti-climax, but Ms La Plante racks up the tension still further up to an almost unbearable trip through customs.
But above all these factors there is the towering prescence of Ann Mitchell as the indomitable Dolly Rawlins. Tough as old boots on the outside, but with depths of emotion well concealed inside. This is no cliched "Tart with a heart" portrayal however, Dolly has a deep sorrow at her core, explained and dismissed by her in a single line of dialogue. Ann Mitchell uses the tiniest gestures and looks to give us a compelling portrait of an iconic figure in television drama. This fantastic actress is truly one of the greats. It is baffling that she is not spoken of in the same breath as Judi Dench and Helen Mirren.