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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A More Obscure Title from ITV's Drama Archive, 31 July 2013
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This review is from: Hine - The Complete Series [DVD] (DVD)
Hine is one of the lesser known titles to be resurrected by Network but it did grab attention in its day (1971) on the grounds of its examination of the ethics of the arms trade. The moral issues involved were integral to the series - one memorable episode centres on a clash of ideology between Joe Hine and a old friend (the excellent David Burke,) who is a Labour MP with a zero tolerance of those who profiteer from conflict. No second series was commissioned.

The pace and style of the series works well, and Barry Ingham's performance as Hine is compelling - he is a driven, dynamic, arrogant character. He's flawed but revels in being the underdog. He doesn't always close the deal either - success is not a foregone conclusion. In many respects, Hine resembles the more celebrated Power Game of a couple years earlier. It is all about competitive business practices and how contracts are won (usually with bribes). Hine is pragmatist in an unstable, violent world - yet he has a semblance of conscience, and a hint of Northern grit (class war was very much a staple of the times, and it is here just as strongly as Man At The Top or contemporary drama by Ken Loach or Trevor Griffiths).

One might also expect Hine to dally with a string of adoring women through the series, but this aspect is refreshingly played down compared with other dramas of the era with powerful male protagonists. Hine is estranged from his wife and resists the attentions of his secretary, who blows hot and cold.

Unfortunately, Hine has not survived in its original state - the picture quality is generally very good but only 3 episodes remain in colour. The quality of the production is such that this is no great impediment to our latterday enjoyment. Hine wouldn't get made today - not a detective or vicious murder in sight! And that is good reason to watch and enjoy it.
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