ITV has something of a problem. It's had such rubbish programmes on for so long that even when it gets some decent shows, no one will watch them. And since no one watches them, it can't get the advertising to fund them properly so they're not as well made. Have a look at the Hornblower adaptations with Ioan Gruffudd for examples of what happens when you get a good cast and good scripts but bog-all cash.
Or, indeed, take a look at The Fixer. On the one hand, we've seen it all before: convicted criminal bust out of jail by the government to assassinate criminals who are above the law. It's La Femme Nikita, isn't it? Then make him a taciturn, thoughtful guy who has qualms about his job; give him an irritating sidekick and a stern boss who'll have him dumped in a river if he starts misbehaving and you've essentially got Callan for the 21st century: nu-Callan if you will.
But the show really transcended that unoriginal formula to give us a show worth watching. It's been an action show that's far less concerned with action than it has been about character, plot and dialogue. Sure, it was afflicted by Tamzin Outhwaite as an implausible femme fatale. But with Peter Mullan on hand to make even George Cowley of The Professionals seem like a soft Sassenach jessie, fine performances by Andrew Buchan and Jody Latham as the Fixer and his sidekick Callum (hmm...) respectively, and some interesting plotting pyrotechnics, it's been an interesting, gritty show that just needed a bit of a polish. And some budget.