A truculent homeless man, sweaty and aggressive from the effects of spice, a synthetic cannabis, is yelling at a group of Metropolitan Police officers, “I hate you lot, but at the same time I f***ing love you lot.”
It’s a mixed message, but the police take it in their stride. At least the ranting man won’t be bothering members of the public, says police constable Laura. With her oppo Oz she rides London’s streets dealing with, among many other things, a dim request from an American tourist at 4am in Piccadilly Circus: “Is there any way we could get a ride home?” He’s politely told, “We don’t do lifts, there are plenty of buses.”
This enthralling documentary series takes us right into the thick of policing a capital of nearly nine million people, including when events turn ugly on a hot summer night and Oz and Laura are called to an impromptu party-turned-riot in Hyde Park. There are brutal stabbings.
Vincent Swan (Ed Westwick) is a fast-talking double glazing salesman/charmer/lothario in writer Damon Beesley’s personal journey back to the 1980s’ Essex of his youth (and his dad’s job).
Beesley has also recruited James Buckley and Joe Thomas, two of the leads from his Channel 4 comedy hit The Inbetweeners, and the banter-heavy territory feels both similar and familiar: Buckley’s Fitzpatrick is another unprincipled smoothie while Thomas’s Lavender is a failed musician whose avarice usually helps him overcome any refined, considered impulses.
It’s sharply written, looks great and the tunes are fab, but you’ll need to be seduced by our main man – who constantly tries to take the viewer into his confidence with frequent direct-to-camera asides – to get properly suckered into this. Vincent is as odious as he is compelling, and his appeal could eventually wear off.
Like Britain’s motorways or the Tube, Heathrow deals with such vast passenger numbers (38 million people flew out of the airport last year) that the system is only ever a few moments away from chaos.
When one flight to New York is cancelled, a frantic tessellation puzzle ensues as staff attempt to calm tempers and rebook 40 passengers’ flights. It’s a process that takes more than six hours and could cost the airline hundreds of thousands of pounds.
We also meet sniffer dog Ruby, trained to detect large sums of cash that might be coming in or out of the country illegally. One woman is left with some explaining to do after £2,500 is discovered in her bag.
Arnold Schwarzenegger said “I’ll be back,” and he was, seven years later. But the success of the subsequent sequels should not undermine the powerhouse strengths of James Cameron’s original hi-tech nightmare.
Arnie is perfectly cast as the violent cyborg who is time-warped from the future to alter the nuclear war-torn course of history, while Linda Hamilton shines as the bewildered waitress who will unwittingly become the saviour of the human race.
Maximum excitement is generated from the first frame and the dynamic thrills are maintained right up to the nerve-jangling climax. Wittily written with a nice eye for sharp detail, it’s hard sci-fi action all the way.
A new series of gigs, arranged and crisply filmed by Amazon, kicks off with our Robbie doing the hits in the relatively intimate environs of the Church of St John-at-Hackney.