on 20 June 2006
Quite simply one of the best and most original pieces of UK television in years. Once you get used to the characters bursting into lip synched song it's a tale of greed, murder, betrayal and the damage that families and life cause. All of the cast are excellent. David Morissey makes Ripley Holden almost sympathetic when it would have been easier to play him as a cartoon monster, Sarah Parish is awesome as a woman on the edge of an emotional breakdown, and David Tennant is brilliant as the very complex DCI Carlisle. Also deserving mention is Georgia Taylor as Shyanne, Ripleys' uberbitch daughter. Some of her scenes with Sarah Parish are astonishing. I really can't recommend this highly enough, buy it!
on 21 February 2006
Welcome to Blackpool—the place of fun, greed, murder and love.
I must admit at first I was very cautios about watching this kind of drama. Although I’m a fan of well made musicals and 99% of great BBC programme, this particular drama has managed to surprise me. Very pleasantly indeed.
What to say about this gem?
First of all, I don’t think that people who never watched a musical in their life, will be left bored or disappointed. In fact I find this drama a perfect foray for them into the world of musical programme.
Another thing I’d like to point out is that this is not your typical musical—and the musical part should be considered just as an occasional break or commical relief from the serious, dramatic parts.
When I say not your typical musical—I mean there is no original just-for-movie/series-made music, like let’s say from "Moulin Rouge", which is in some aspects similar to this. That being the fact that the popular music was incorporated into the story. The real difference here is that the actors don’t sing the way the do in MR. In "Moulin Rouge" you hear their voices and the music accompanies them.
In this piece you hear the music, watch the actors dance and play but basically sing along with the original songs and their performers (exception being the male/female Gabrielle impersonator). There are parts where they just start humming along or suddenly cut in along with the original singers.
It’s sort of like watching musical videos.
Why the comparison with Moulin Rouge?
Well it’s colorful, flashy in some parts and dark and dramatic in others. There’s seriousness added with murder and the police investigation and then there’s fun and comedy, mixed with musical numbers and dancing. And let’s not forget like in "Moulin Rouge", it’s also a love story but with a happier ending.
To put it into equation—80% DRAMA + 20% MUSIC = FUN
The characters are very colorful, emotional, funny, sarcastic and also very lovable.
From Ripley Holden, played brilliantly by David Morissey to Natalie Holden—exeptional Sarah Parish, their not so perfect children Danny and Shayanne, Ripley’s business partners, employees and let’s not forget the fantasticaly quirky but lovable DI Peter Carlisle who adds much to the fun part of the story, as well as to its seriousness.
Feauturing the music from the eighties as well as some modern hits. The choriography is brilliant and the music goes well with the story.
I have already seen it several times and each time it gets better and better.
Looking for the extras you won’t find interviews, outtakes or deletes scenes but a separate place to find all those exeptional musical numbers.
Well done BBC! Here’s hoping to see more of these kind of dramas in the future.
on 6 January 2006
You'll know within the first 5 minutes whether 'Blackpool' is going to grab you and hold you, or whether you want to consign it to the bin. All the key ingredients are there from the outset ..... a well-to-do family are getting up and getting ready to go out. Nothing unusual in that - except that as they wash, dress and go out, they're belting out "Viva Las Vegas". Then you see them at a casino on Blackpool promenade as the lead character (a bit of flashy greaser named Ripley Holden) announces to everyone that he has great plans for both the casino and his empire. He is clearly brash and pretty hard whilst his wife and family frequently look more than a little uncomfortable.
After that comes a complex story of love, murder, mystery, betrayal, greed, guilt etc. etc. ..... A story that is punctuated and illustrated at regular intervals by songs as scenes shift effortlessly from narrative to musical and back to narrative with the characters themselves initiating the moves between dialogue and song.
The overall story is excellent and revolves around a murder, so in this respect it's a detective story. But it's far, far more and as a TV production, it really shows what the BBC can achieve when it takes a chance.
This is an outstanding drama full of well-developed and quirky characters and with enough conflicts between them to keep any fan of Eastenders happy!
Comparisons with 'The Singing Detective' or 'Pennies from Heaven' are obvious - but despite certain imilarities, 'Blackpool' still stands on its own as a breathtaking piece of drama.
on 9 August 2005
This is one of the best BBC dramas ever. Ripley Holden is a fantastic creation and, whilst I love David Morrissey and would rate him as the finest actor of his generation, I wouldn't have cast him in this lead role - my mistake, it was one of his finest performances building, on what first appeared a crude 2 dimensional character, into an immensely complex individual who forces you to challenge many of your prejudices and beliefs. It is a great plot and murder mystery interwoven with a complex love story. I couldn't stop watching and stayed up until 4am to complete the series. This alone makes the licence fee worth paying!
on 13 October 2007
TV drama at its best, and clever into the bargain.
I only rented this because I wasn't sure, from what I had read, what I would make of it.
Now I've added it to my wishlist!
It's a bit of an odd concept - gritty northern drama meets musical meets murder investigation meets comedy - but it's very very well done, with a brilliant cast.
Morrissey is, as someone else has said, born to play this role; sleazy but compelling, by halfway through the first episode I very much wanted to see how he would turn out. A performance that makes what could have been a bit of a one-trick-pony character into a complex and interesting man, for whom, in spite of everything, one still has compassion. An outstanding performance.
Parish and Tennant are the heart of the drama, at turns heartbreaking, beautiful, and sexually charged.
Tennant in particular shines as the disciplined policeman falling into potential corruption and having his life turned upside down. Fascinating performance to watch and impossible to take your eyes off him in so many scenes. Compelling.
All the supporting cast are strong, down to workers at the amusement arcade, Ripley's family, the religious "nut" outside the front door (fantastic - better known as Filch in the Harry Potter movies but a brilliant cameo in this role) and, possibly a personal favourite, DCI Carlisle's (Tennant) sidekick Blythe.
Impeccable. Watch it.
on 31 July 2005
This series was great fun when it was first shown on tv, I did not expect to enjoy what was basically a musical set in Blackpool but it was so well put together and written that I looked forward to my weekly dose of singing dancing and a great story line, David Morrissey, Sara Parrish and David Tennant are all terrific as is the supporting cast, I just hope another series is commissioned although this looks unlikely as all the loose ends where tied up in the original series, but i can still dream.
on 21 April 2006
A mixture between the Singing Detective, Coronation Street and Cracker! That's the comparison I make. A splendid northern drama with plenty of nitty gritty. If you don't quite get it at first then stick with it because it is worth it.
on 3 August 2005
When Blackpool was on T.V. last year I kept thinking please bring this to Dvd.
Eight months later my wish came true.
Blackpool is fantastic with a good supporting cast including
Sarah Parish, David Morrissey & David Tennant.
The singing and dancing were amazing and the storyline kept you holding onto the end of your seat thinking who did the murder?
Praise also must go to the BBC for bringing this to our screens.
There is just one more wish, please, please can we have a second series.
on 21 November 2006
It had to be exceptionally good to follow in the footsteps of the great Dennis Potter, and it is. The music adds surreal excitement to a top quality thriller-mystery.
The box says "For clearance and contractual reasons, certain edits have been made." Does anyone know what was edited?
on 5 February 2009
I discovered Blackpool while searching for all things Tennant, after having seen him perform as Hamlet in London.
I wasn't disappointed...
It's a brilliant achievement, with top performances from all actors and a wonderfully entertaining story.
The idea to have musical numbers were actors sing over famous songs karaoke style (and sometimes dance too) was cleverly worked into the tapestry of the drama.
Without giving too much away, this is the story of Ripley Holden, the larger than life owner of an amusement arcade in Blackpool, who finds a man murdered on his premises. A nerdy cop (DI Carlisle - David Tennant) is sent from out of town to investigate and falls head over heels for Ripley's long suffering wife Natalie (a luminous Sarah Parish).
She falls (big time, and who can blame her?)for him too, despite the fact that he's not as straightforward as he seems...
The passion between Carlisle and Natalie is so palpable that you can breath it, the chemistry between the actors is explosive (you can see them in Recovery, they work so well together!).
David Morrissey as Ripley Holden is right on the money, giving a complex and multi-faceted performance that will turn many of your preconceived ideas on their head.
And I defy you to EVER listen again to "These boots are made for walkin'" without wanting to tango with whoever is around!
I give it a 10 out of 10 and I beg you:WATCH THIS OR REGRET IT FOREVER!!!