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The Syndicate (BBC) [DVD]
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The Syndicate is a brand new five-part drama that follows five workers at a cut-price supermarket in Leeds whose lives are turned upside down after they jointly win the lottery, going from facing redundancy and battling the present economic downturn to having more money than they ever dreamt of.
Timothy Spall plays supermarket manager Bob, whose newfound wealth cannot mask his persistent health problems. Joanna Page plays single mother Leanne, who although welcoming her financial freedom, is worried about the consequences that the win will bring.
They are joined by their supermarket colleagues--dog-loving Denise, played by Lorraine Bruce (Dalziel And Pascoe, Benidorm), and brothers Stuart, played by Matthew McNulty (Five Days, Lark Rise To Candleford, Single Handed), and Jamie played by Matthew Lewis (Harry Potter).
The Syndicate is written by Kay Mellor, whose previous critically acclaimed dramas include: Band Of Gold, Playing The Field, Fat Friends, The Chase and A Passionate Woman.
There's an easy-to-aspire to piece of thinking at the heart of the BBC's drama series, The Syndicate: what if you won a lottery jackpot? And more to the point, what if you were part of a synidcate that won the jackpot, bring in millions, and turning five lives completely around in the process?
That's what happens here, as a group of workers at a Leeds-based discounting supermarket find that their numbers come up. Amongst those suddenly with riches beyond their wildest dreams? There's the always-wonderful Timothy Spall, excellent here as Bob, the manager of the supermarket. Credit to goes to Gavin And Stacey's Joanna Page, who plays a single mother who initially finds that hardship has been removed a little.
The Syndicate is a drama series primarily, albeit not without dashings of humour. But what makes it particularly work is the humanity at the heart of it. In spite of the premise, there's a true feel at the heart of the series, and it's relatable drama, too.
Much of the credit for that must go to writer Kay Mellor. Her previous work has included Fat Friends and Band Of Gold, and across the five episodes of The Syndicate, she expands the drama beyond its original gimmick as such, into something far more compelling.
Well-written and excellently played, The Syndicate is quality British drama, with a bunch of characters it'd be no hardship to meet again. --Jon Foster
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Top customer reviews
scenes and swearing aren't always necessary,when the storyline is good and so
are the players. Every now and then a little jewel like this comes up, I'm glad
we still have writers of the calibre of Kay Mellor. Well done all round
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