Gangsters (TV series)


Gangsters (TV series)

"Gangsters" is a British television series made by the BBC and shown from 1975 to 1978.

Created by Philip Martin, and produced at BBC Birmingham's Pebble Mill studios by David Rose, "Gangsters" began televisual life as an edition of "Play for Today" in 1975, followed by two series transmitted in 1976 and 1978. The series, set in the multi-cultural criminal community of Birmingham, has remained a cult favourite, memorable for its strong violence, multi-ethnic cast and highly stylised, postmodern approach to storytelling.

"Gangsters" featured references to film noir, gangster films, westerns, Bollywood and kung fu movies, as well as increasingly surreal end-of-episode cliffhangers and a bizarre final scene where the characters not only “break the fourth wall” but walk off the set.

The two series had quite different tones. The first was a gritty thriller whilst the second was more surreal, with more emphasis on the post-modern elements.

The theme music was an instrumental performed by Greenslade; in the last series it was adapted into a version sung by Chris Farlowe.

Cast

John Kline (Maurice Colbourne) – a tough, shady former SAS officer recently released from prison who becomes embroiled in the intrigues of the local underworld while attempting to go straight.

Khan (Ahmed Khalil) – Pakistani police detective who uses Kline as a pawn in his bid to nail the organised crime syndicates of Birmingham.

Anne Darracott (Elizabeth Cassidy) – a young woman and former heroin addict who becomes Kline's live-in lover.

Aslam Rafiq (Saeed Jaffrey) – the charismatic boss of a racket trafficking illegal immigrants.

Sarah Gant (Alibe Parsons) – glamorous undercover CIA agent out to nail the drug trade in the city, with a private mission to avenge the murder of her sister.

Kuldip (Paul Satvendar) – Rafiq's murderous henchman.

Malleson (Paul Barber) – a former thug who takes over his boss’ underworld empire after he is killed and proves to be a formidable adversary of Kline and Khan.

Shen Tang (Robert Lee) – the leader of a local Chinese Triad gang.

Lily Li Tang (Chai Lee) – the daughter of Shen Tang, who assists her father in the running of the Triad.

Rolf Day (Rolf Day) - The racist night club comedian who appears in the Rum Runner night club

DVD release

The complete series of "Gangsters" was released on DVD (Region 2, UK) through 2 Entertain/Cinema Club in April 2006.

External links

*
* [http://www.action-tv.org.uk/guides/gangsters.htm Action TV]
* [http://www.mjnewton.demon.co.uk/tv/gangmain.htm Newton's Laws Of Television: Gangsters]
* [http://www.screenonline.org.uk/tv/id/534642/index.html British Film Institute Screen Online]


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