Monday, 3 December 2012


Brighton Rock! Peter Mullan is a gangster with severe problems in the new drama: THE FEAR. Image: CHANNEL 4.

One of Scotland's finest exports-the dark and intense talent that is actor/writer/director Peter Mullan makes a welcome return to British TV screens this week with the new four-part gangster drama given an unusual new storytelling edge: THE FEAR, showing on the UK's CHANNEL 4 Monday to Thursday, from tonight. The straight talking, hard edged, eyes seemingly ready for violence Mullan is Richie Beckett, once an old-time, ruthless crime lord of his Brighton beach patch now gone straight and seemingly respectable, running his now legitimate empire with his two sons, the highly strung and aggressively ambitious Cal (Paul Nicholls), operating their shadowy other world of profitable drugs and prostitution, and his more mature and reasoning brother Matty (played by GAMES OF THRONES excellent young rising star Harry Lloyd). But when a family of thoroughly evil Albanian gangsters- surely the modern world's most archetypal heavies these days (and tailor-made for use in film and TV!)- arrive on the scene and see a gap in the market ripe for exploitation, the Becketts, caught in an opening business negotiation turned sour, are quickly thrust into a street war against their edgy and equally dangerous new opponents. So far, it all seems pretty good plot-wise anyway (think BRIGHTON ROCK meets THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY!), and, from early trailers, this looks like quality stuff, especially with it's top drawer cast. But what's intriguing, and will surely add extra plot story and character dimension, is the revelation that Richie is beginning to have serious mental health problems whilst all this is erupting, affecting his memory, decision making, his relationships with his family and a sudden blurring of the lines between what is real, what's happened in the past, and what lies beyond in his already dark and fractured imaginings...

Trailer: The Fear Trailer (Peter Mullan - Channel 4 ) - YouTube
The Fear - Interviews - Peter Mullan Interview - Channel 4

Well supported by Richard E. Grant as one of Richie's old nemeses whom he turns to for medical advice, and Anastasia Hille as his bitter ex-wife with a secret, Mullan's performance will surely win further kudos. With its heavy violence and epic, cinematically glossy storytelling, mixed with the personal and affecting tragedy of dementia, THE FEAR looks set to bolster CHANNEL 4's reputation for unique drama just that little bit more, ready to lead viewers into Christmas with a darkly disconcerting, unsettling, paranoid and delusional bang!

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