Wednesday, 24 July 2013


'Target' is a deadly serious show, which may be why it's so very funny. A sort of Alan Partridge re-imagining of 'The Sweeney', 'Target' is set in Southampton, and stars ant eater featured Patrick Mower, who plays Inspector Steve Hackett. Hackett is the sort of man who never speaks when he can bellow, does all his own stunts (sometimes) and drives a flashy American car: the sort of maverick on the edge copper who one day they'll throw the book at but, for now, gets results. Crime is a disease - he's the Beechams. He's also desperate for a shag, but only has two hours off a week so is reduced to making dates he can't keep with witnesses or sniffing around old flames who had more than enough of him when they were going out.

A tiring, violent show (for the first series, anyway - things were toned down second time around thanks to the efforts of Mrs. Mary Whitehouse) 'Target' reminds me of something that would have appeared in boy's comics of the time like 'Action' and 'Fireball': full of shooters and villains and cars being driven into each other, but utterly one dimensional - an adolescent fantasy of blood and guts, pretty girls and shouting. Hackett dominates everything, which is just as well, as no-one though to write any other characters, so everyone else in the show is dull and interchangeable, just puppets for Hackett to yell at or nick, send out to get killed or ordered to the shops to get him a bar of chocolate. Much worse than that, however, is that Mower tries to live up to his inexplicable image as a sexy symbol by constantly walking around in his underpants, and once you've seen that, it stays with you and rakes at the inside of your eyeballs until you weep blood.

Who says men can't multi-task?

So - not much 'cop' (don't forgive the pun, I get away with far too much as it is) but not entirely without merit - it's certainly entertaining. I'd like to see the show remade, properly, as a comedy, using the same scripts and starring Matt Berry. That would be ace. Come on, BBC: GO! GO! GO!

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