Starring: Christian Burgess, Patrick James Clarke, Ingrid Lacey, Michael Byrne, John Bennett Price: £29.99 Amazon price: £17.93 Network DVD price: £16.99 Released: June 7th 2010
"The Professionals remade by the producers of Inspector Morse. Excited yet?"
A year ago, that's how I would have started this Lost Gem for Saracen, a 1989 show which never got repeated, released on DVD, uploaded to YouTube or made available to the public in any way since its first broadcast nearly 21 years ago*.
Saracen, launched on the back of a pilot movie the previous year called The Zero Option, centred around the operatives of Saracen Systems, a private security company that exclusively hires ex-special forces soldiers for its protection work around the world.
Starring British actor Christian Burgess and American actor Patrick James Clarke as the ex-SAS David Barber and the ex-Delta Tom Duffy (B&D - Bodie and Doyle anyone?), it was an action-packed but thoughtful show that looked at geopolitical issues, the morality of various industries (including the security and weapons businesses) and the armed forces.
And I remembered it as being a bit dull, honestly. It has great music by Barrington Pheloung (Inspector Morse) and I had it on VHS for a long time, but I ditched my copies in the mid 90s on the general grounds that it wasn't all that.
But Network DVD are nice enough to be releasing all 13 episodes and the pilot movie on DVD on Monday and in a nice reversal of the usual "memory cheats" syndrome (that is, you remember something from when you were younger as being good but it turns out when you re-watch it that it's rubbish), Saracen turns out to be actually a very good show indeed that my poor little 17-year-old brain couldn't take. It takes a little time to find its feet and work out how to balance smartness and action, but it does manage it.
It also help that Ingrid Lacey from Drop the Dead Donkey is in it.
Here's the introduction from the first four episodes that explains the set-up, together with a bit of action from the first episode. I've also added for nostalgia freaks a trailer with the series highlights that originally aired on ITV back in the day that I've been saving up for over a year - that's how far in advance I prepare some of these things. Impressed much? Thought not.
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A UK media blog focusing on the best scripted TV from around the world, with daily news, views, exclusive reviews and good conversation. There's a bit of a bias towards the latest and greatest US TV, but we also cover Scandinavian, Canadian, European and Antipodean TV, as well as UK TV ranging from new Doctor Who to old Z Cars, and BBC4 to S4C.
Add in film, theatre, art, books, events, competitions and even weekly reviews of Wonder Woman comics, and you've (hopefully) got officially the fourth best blog on the web for media lovers. Oh yes, and there's The Barrometer, the ultimate guide to quality TV.
Praise for the blog Cision: fourth most important UK TV blog Blogging Edge: Blogger running Britain 2013
"For most of us watching the telly of an evening is a way to wind down and relax, but for Rob Buckley it’s his blogging bread and butter. With reviews of cult classics and up and coming US and Brit television shows, The Medium is Not Enough is fast becoming essential reading for TV buffs, with over 50,000 hits a month."
"The Medium Is Not Enough is a light-hearted look at TV, often from the US, but also from the UK. With varied, well-written content, the blog features healthy engagement and features well in search engines."
"Billing itself as 'officially the fourth most popular UK TV blog', there are several whimsical regulars here that could help it climb as high as number three…"
I'm Rob Buckley, a freelance journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of, although you might have heard me on Radio 5 Live's Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I've edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for trade magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider and the equally short-lived Death Ray and Filmstar magazines; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it "web site for urban hedonists" The Tribe. I'm freelance now and have contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network and TV Scoop.