Top positive review
34 people found this helpful
on 27 March 2013
Irish author Ken Bruen's novels are the basis for the three made-for-television full length films featuring the stormy and rebellious Jack Taylor, played by Edinburgh born Iain Glen. Set in Jack's home town of Galway with its scenic background, it also embraces its darker underside. Jack is a maverick with his own eccentric ways of taking on matters of life. Dismissed from the Garda police ranks for violent conduct he becomes a private investigator. A heavy drinker who resides in a B&B when not in a bar or patrolling the backstreets of Galway , unshaven in his hallmark great coat, Jack takes on thankless cases usually from desperate women who get no joy from the police. What he starts he finishes, no matter his methods or consequences. These inevitably involve conflicts with the law, violence, deaths and plenty of action. Plot summaries are readily available and won't be explored further here.
Iain Glen plays Jack Taylor as a rugged mournful man who despite seemingly knowing half of the people in Galway, has few true trustworthy friends and is very much a loner. Those who know the oft-hidden charitable side of him show him respect and help in his investigations (even within the Garda from Kate, played by Nora-Jane Noone, also hinting at a romantic connection). Iain Glen's accent is one for the Irish to comment on but voice-overs were used in the pilot 'The Guards'. He brings a presence and charisma to his role and although it could be construed as cliched, I found his performance convincing. The supporting cast are of police, clergy, homeless and assorted rogues and villains adding to the series make-up.
The crime dramas are 'The Guards' (2010), 'The Pikemen' (2011) and 'Magdalene Martyrs' (2011). 'The Dramatist' and 'The Priest' have been filmed and broadcast in Ireland with Glen, Noone and young side-kick Cody (Killan Scott). A sixth is due to be filmed and all committed to Channel 5. Largely a German production, the interior bar, B&B, Garda station and the hospital ward were filmed in Bremen (about 30% of each installment). I enjoyed this for its pace and action, the rapid changes of settings and plot direction and the grit and determination of the lead actor with an excellent cast. Looking forward to the next series.