My iPlayer Pick is a show that is now almost half way through its seven week run, I’m talking about a new BBC Two sitcom – Taking the Flak – a look at what happens when the big boys of the BBC come into a previously uninteresting country after civil war breaks out.
Taking the Flak follows the story of Harry (Bruce Mackinnon), a stringer in a relatively un-interesting small African country as he thinks he’s about to get his big break when teh big boys appear from London.
The big boys include Jane thomason (Doon Mackichan) and David Bradburn/John Simpson (Martin Jarvis) and a rolling string of cameramen. You also get a look at the slightly weird news desk/news editor back in London calling for the story he needs and passing the pitch from the Karibu (the small African country) team on to the almight six, ten and as a last resort News 24 – clearly shot before the re-brand.
It isn’t bad and improves considerably by Episode three – anyone interested in news, news presentation and news production will have a special soft spot for this show as it is almost completely filmed in that style.
It ISN’T Drop the Dead Donkey (of which I’ve started re-watching on DVD for the fourth time) but it is a good series, well worth the seven half hour investments you’ll make.
Here is episode three.
But there is another show I’m really into at the moment that goes out at the same time as Taking the Flak – Getting On. It’s on BBC Four, is set on an old people’s ward in a hospital, is pretty much grey all over and features performances by Jo Brand and Joanna Canlan as Nurse Kim Wilde and Sister Flixter respectively. It also includes Dr Pippa Moore played by Vicki Pepperdine.
It was filmed in HD, is available in HD and I REALLY hope it comes back for another series. It’s also available on series link on the iPlayer so you can still go back and catch the whole thing – as is Taking the Flak.
There are only three parts, it is mainly ad-libbed and was directed by the ever brilliant Peter Capaldi. There is a real feel of The Thick of It in the series – but different, darker and strangely addictive. In fact of the two this is the better show but Taking the Flak is an easier watch and a simpler laugh.
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