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Author Topic: Gangsters (1975-78)  (Read 3066 times)

Inspector Tanzi

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Gangsters (1975-78)
« on: 24 Dec 2010 - 18:40 »

Emerging from the Play for Today anthology series in 1975, Philip Martin's near two-hour-length play Gangsters proved so popular that a series was commissioned and followed eighteen months later. Following the lead of such gritty cop dramas as The Sweeney, Gangsters revealed a world of racial segregation and ghettos in the style of American television; and it didn't hold back on the violence or bad language either.

Former SAS officer John Kline (Maurice Colbourne) emerges from prison to find himself employed by DI6 (a highly specialised branch of the CID) as an undercover agent to monitor and report on and intercede, where required, in the events of the Birmingham underworld. However, he soon develops some particularly unpleasant enemies, more often than not, finding himself caught between the two opposing forces.

Featuring all the episodes ever made, it's time to get (re)acquainted with John Kline in this truly groundbreaking television show.




It started off as a one off episode from "Play for today" in 1975...

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073032/

...and went on to have two series, one in 1976 and one in 1978.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0164258/

I watched the Play for Today episode and I found it quite enjoyable, looking forward to checking out the series.
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Inspector Tanzi

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Re: Gangsters (1975-78)
« Reply #1 on: 31 Dec 2010 - 20:10 »

Watched the first series and it was pretty good, not as hard hitting as I was expecting but definately worthy of a watch, now onto the second series  :D
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Inspector Tanzi

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Re: Gangsters (1975-78)
« Reply #2 on: 03 Jan 2011 - 20:20 »

Right, just finished the second series, the first one was far more superior in comparison. The second series was ruined by foolishness here and there and become a parody of itself whereas the first series was a serious crime drama.

Overall it's definately worth watching the first series, don't get me wrong the second series has its moments and with the comical situations taken out of it it still wouldn't have been as good as the first but would have improved it.
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demented_uk

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Re: Gangsters (1975-78)
« Reply #3 on: 03 Jan 2011 - 22:08 »

I love the Play for Today episode, it reminds me of the THE FRENCH CONNECTION but set in Birmingham  ;D.  On my journey to and from work I frequently drive through the underpasses where John Kline is through during the opening credits.  I am almost through the first series and am about to start the second.  I have been told that the second series is different in both tone and stylistically to the first series.  Your posts have got me wanting to finish the series now Tanzi.

I work with someone who is currently writing an article on the Gangsters series, we are hoping to both do an audio commentary for the Play for Today episode at some point this year.

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Inspector Tanzi

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Re: Gangsters (1975-78)
« Reply #4 on: 04 Jan 2011 - 00:15 »

I think you will agree after watching the second series that the first is a masterpiece in comparison.

...and what the hell is that W.C.Fields business all about!!!
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Mojo

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Re: Gangsters (1975-78)
« Reply #5 on: 04 Jan 2011 - 13:45 »

The original Play For Today and first series are excellent.

The second series is like a completely different show. Entertaining in a fashion, but I wish they'd picked a different programme to 'experiment' with.

Now what we need on dvd is Target.
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Inspector Tanzi

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Re: Gangsters (1975-78)
« Reply #6 on: 04 Jan 2011 - 13:47 »

Now what we need on dvd is Target.
I've got some dvd-r's of some of them, not watched them yet.

Isn't Mower supposed to be a bit of a ruthless bastard in it?

Have you seen Law & Order Mojo?
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Mojo

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Re: Gangsters (1975-78)
« Reply #7 on: 04 Jan 2011 - 18:24 »

I haven't seen Law & Order, but I've heard it's good. Wasn't it a one-off?

I have the first series of Target on dvd-r. I've always liked the show. Not quite up there with The Sweeney ( what is? ) but it's a good 'un all the same.

The second series was watered down because of complaints about the violence and suffered as a result. A proper boxset of both series is seriously overdue.
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Inspector Tanzi

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Re: Gangsters (1975-78)
« Reply #8 on: 04 Jan 2011 - 18:46 »

I haven't seen Law & Order, but I've heard it's good. Wasn't it a one-off?
I reckon you'll like it. I thought it warranted it's own thread so I just made one  :D

http://www.lovelockandload.net/forum/index.php?topic=4279.0
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