The Whistleblowers - Series 1  [DVD]
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Ben Graham (RICHARD COYLE) and Alisha Cole (INDIRA VARMA) are two lawyers about to witness something that will take them into a world of few moral certainties. They observe a miscarriage of justice on their own doorstep and, instead of giving in to the temptation to look the other way, they speak out. However, by trying to do the right thing, Ben and Alisha suddenly find themselves on the other side of the law enemies of the state. Produced by Carnival Films, The Whistleblowers is a six-part series created by the award-winning Tony Marchant (The Mark Of Cain, Passer By, Holding On, Recovery, Kid In The Corner), who writes three of the six episodes. One episode is written by real life whistleblower and ex immigration officer Tony Saint, another by ex teacher Steve Thompson and a sixth by Paul Logue (Sea of Souls). Each episode of The Whistleblowers begs the question could you? Or, more truthfully, would you?
About the Actor
Indira Varma is a British actress, from both Swiss and Indian descent. Varma trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and has achieved recognition on both sides of the Atlantic with her role in the BBC/HBO drama Rome as Niobe and also as Dr. Adrianne Holland in the CBS medical drama 3lbs in 2006. She can also be seen in big-budget movies such as Bride and Prejudice and Basic Instinct 2. Back on British soil, Varma has appeared on some of TV s best-loved shows such as BBC s Little Britain, The Canterbury Tales and Torchwood. CBS beckons again for Varma, who has just finished filming Comanche Moon, the final instalment of the Lonesome Dove series for the American channel. She will star alongside Val Kilmer, Linda Cardellini and Rachel Griffiths when the drama premieres in November 2007. Daniel Ryan is an actor who has been seen on many of TV s most successful serial dramas, including Casualty, Holby City, The Royal and Where The Heart Is. Ryan became more recognisable in 2004 when he won the role of Andy Coulson in Steel River Blues, ITV1 s popular fire-fighting drama. Most recently, he has appeared on ITV1 again, alongside Stephen Fry in Kingdom, the Norfolk-based comedy drama as well as on BBC1 s Hotel Babylon. Ryan has also managed to fit in several starring roles in theatre, regularly appearing in Royal Shakespeare Company productions. These include Richard III, A Midsummer Night s Dream and The Changeling. Ryan will next be seen on our screens in BBC1 s Messiah, which he is currently filming.
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The episode by which I stopped watching was the one about the suicidal boy and the school.
Ironic for the previous episode about abuses of pharmaceutical companies, the show called for mental health assessment and clinical procedures, implying that only depression could cause suicide and not that other factors needed looking at. Most of all - he needed support.
Coyle’s character unbelievably gets a teacher job he’s not qualified for (which is unethical) and prints off the budgets off the head’s computer as he awaits his contract.
Whilst rightly attacking the schools as businesses mentality, it throws in a tirade against faith schools, which is quite different, and offensive.
It made the Christian school seem cranky and outmoded, deliberately showing the science lesson featuring creationism as ridiculous. Yet it is equally so that evolution is taught as fact without any query: that too is indoctrination, and it is not an unquestioned theory, even among those without faiths.
What should be taught is the spectrum of beliefs - of which creationism is one end, and not merely believed by fundamentalists - for the pupils to decide about themselves, including the world creating beliefs of different faiths. Yes, science and RE aren’t so far apart sometimes.
It was an odd jump from torturing terrorism suspects, to viral panic induced for the benefit of the drugs giants, to rattling the cages of LEAs.
The whole tone and the writing was too angering to continue with. No wonder I found it in a bargain bucket, to whence it will return.
This all sounds great however the drama moves at such a pace (normally a good thing in a thriller) that there is little time for characterisation or decent dialogue and you get the feeling they are just going so fast so you don't notice the yawning great plot holes that appear as they move from one far fetched situation to another. The final few minutes of the first episode in which they hold a press conference and stream video footage from a mobile phone of someone being tortured are laughably unbelievable.
This was meant to be ITV's answer to Spooks but it never gets close to offering the kind of thrills, intelligent writing and superb pacing that Spooks does. In short very disappointing.
It's very much of its time and for the time being that's not a problem.
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