Review: Cracker – Nine Eleven


In the UK: Sunday, ITV1, 1st October 2006

In the US: Airing as “Cracker: A New Terror”, October 30th, BBC America

Yes, I know it was on Sunday, but I only watched it last night.

I wasn’t much of a fan of Cracker. It all seemed a bit too forced and unlikely. But I was actually really impressed by Sunday’s one-off special. Maybe that’s because Fitz didn’t have much to do and other characters got more of a look-in.

Read no further Americans, unless you want to spoil yourself.

Certainly, the focus – the wars in Iraq and Aghanisation ?��Ǩ��� was something that far more of the audience could relate to than previous outings, which had mainly looked at serial killers, Catholicism, stuttering, Bonnie and Clyde, Hillsborough and potentially gay PE teachers.

You couldn’t help but sympathise will the ex-soldier turned policeman who had seen his friends gunned down in Northern Ireland by IRA bullets and explosives bought with American money, who had then seen his experiences diminished by the US’s experiences with terrorism. That’s what made his crimes all the more ghastly – a blanket attack on Americans he encountered.

Jimmy McGovern turned in a fantastic script that could have been a one-sided diatribe but was actually quite measured; the direction by Antonia Bird was first-rate, doing a magnificent job of showing off Manchester’s rejuvenation. Danny Cunningham (I think that was him. I’m rubbish with names) gave a Robert Carlyle-worthy performance as the traumatised squaddie.

Catch it on the countless re-runs that are inevitable or buy it on DVD. Pity the titles were such Se7en knock-offs.


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; 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. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.

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