TV Cream

TV: E is for...

Edge of Darkness

To the writer!Troy Kennedy Martin’s eminent nuclear wasteathon with BOB PECK on the hunt for the killers of daughter JOANNE “PISS OFF, VAL” WHALLEY and encountering JOE DON BAKER, Captain Hastings, Eric Clapton’s guitar, the Barbican, Lord Percy, loads of big fuck-off bars of radioactive metal, black daisies and an incredibly touching scene featuring Peck and a big vibrator (don’t laugh, you’ll well up when you see it and all) along the way.

Pedants and lollygaggers moan low about how James Lovelock’s Gaia theories of global despoliation and natural rebalance are got all wrong by the script, but never mind them: if you want Big Themes tackled by a drama that doesn’t lose sight of the characters running about inside it, and a bit of classic thrillage with your intelligent nodding, you don’t get better than this series, which can hold its head up alongside any of the much-vaunted box sets of today. Spoiler: he turns into a tree at the end.



  1. Applemask

    July 24, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Watching it for the first time AS WE SPEAK (or as I type at any rate). Need to get past shouting “Mitchell” every time the mighty JOE DON BAKER shows up.

  2. Five-Centres

    September 16, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    I still can’t get over the scene where Bob Peck is searching his daughter’s room, finds her dildo and kisses it.

    What sort of father would do that? It’s all very odd.

  3. Nick H

    September 16, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    RIP Troy. This was a masterpiece!

  4. TV Cream

    September 17, 2009 at 7:59 am

    Loads of people go “eh?” at that dildo scene, but surely that’s what makes it so great? It turns the whole cliche of “grieving relative going through deceased’s possessions” on its head (by combining it with the “suspicious parent goes through kid’s possessions” cliche), and gives the whole thing a very uncomfortable atmosphere. Which is entirely appropriate, as we’re watching a man helpless with grief. It’s the sort of thing TKM did that pretty much no-one else would dare try, even if they thought of it. Joanne’s dildo beats Stan Ogden’s specs into a cocked hat. In a manner of speaking.

  5. Five-Centres

    September 17, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Yes, it’s appropriate, but it’s still shocking, even today.

  6. John Harvey

    June 9, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Night time train scenes filmed in Hunslet, Leeds, at Middleton Colliery Railway. Kept local populace up all night.

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