- Blackpool (TV serial)
Infobox British television
show_name = Blackpool
caption = The UK DVD Cover
runtime = 60 mins each (360 mins total)
creator = Peter Bowker
David Morrissey David Tennant Sarah Parish
directors = Coky Giedroyc
Julie Anne Robinson
November 11 2004
December 16 2004
num_episodes = 6
country = UK
related = Viva Blackpool
"Blackpool" is a British television musical drama serial, produced in-house by the
BBC. It was screened on BBC Oneas six one-hour episodes on Thursday nights at 9pm from November 11to December 16 2004. When retransmitted by BBC Americain 2005, it was renamed "Viva Blackpool", and went on to win a Peabody Awardfor BBC Worldwide, the commercial overseas distribution subsidiary of the BBC. [cite press release|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/bbcworldwide/worldwidestories/pressreleases/2006/04_april/bbcamerica_peabody_award.shtml|title=BBC Worldwide triumphs at the 65th Annual Peabody Awards|publisher=BBC|date= 6 April 2006|accessdate=2008-02-02] A sequel was produced, also called "Viva Blackpool" in the UK.
Ripley Holden (
David Morrissey) is a small-time entrepreneur desperate to make it big with his new state-of-the-art amusement arcade. The opening extravaganza is overshadowed by the find of a dead body on the premises. DI Carlisle ( David Tennant) is called in and quickly finds he has more on his mind than murder, when he falls in love with Ripley's long-suffering wife, Natalie ( Sarah Parish).
As the murder investigation deepens, Carlisle closes down the arcade for investigation and calls in Ripley's son, Danny (
Thomas Morrison) for questioning. Carlisle suspects that Danny is hiding something, possibly covering for his dad - as evidence is found at the arcade linking Ripley with the victim. Adding to Ripley's worries is a huge tax bill, his planning permission denied and the discovery that his daughter Shyanne ( Georgia Taylor) is having a relationship with a man his age.
Danny goes on to confess to the murder but Carlisle doesn't believe him. When Natalie finds out he is a detective she tells him to stay away from her family. This gives Carlisle a renewed impetus to nail Ripley, his love rival. However, events take a startling turn when Danny attempts suicide.
The series comes to a finale with the wedding of Shyanne and Steve. Ripley gives Natalie and Carlisle his blessing and in return all charges are dropped. Danny confesses that he is gay. Ripley hands over the arcade to Danny, who is now in the clear and publicly out of the closet. Finally, Ripley discovers from a prostitute that Danny had committed the murder to save her.
David Morrissey, Sarah Parishand David Tennant, the serial was written by Peter Bowker (who had previously written for BBC One's modern adaptation of " The Canterbury Tales" (2003) and BBC Two's " Flesh and Blood" (2002)) and directed by Coky Giedroyc and Julie Anne Robinson, it was filmed on location in Blackpoolitself and Brentford. It was renamed "Viva Blackpool" for transmission on BBC Americain 2005. Also in the cast were John Thomsonand Steve Pemberton.
The series is particularly notable for its comic touches and the employment of pop music in the course of the narrative - although the originals are played, they are sung along with and accompanied by slightly surreal dance routines acted out by the characters. This latter device is strongly reminiscent of the style of television playwright
Dennis Potter, who used it in several of his famous productions such as "Pennies from Heaven" (1978) and " The Singing Detective" (1986).
A sequel one-off, "Viva Blackpool", starring David Morrissey reprising his role as Ripley Holden, and Georgia Taylor reprising her role as his daughter Shyanne was shown on the BBC on Saturday
June 10, 2006.
Critical reaction and awards
Critical reaction to the serial was generally positive, although there were some poor reviews as well. Its audience figures were not spectacular, falling between four and five million viewers. In 2005, it was nominated in the Best Drama Serial category at the
British Academy Television Awards, eventually losing out on the Award to Channel 4's " Sex Traffic". It did, however, win the "Best Miniseries" and Grand Prize accolades at Canada's Banff Television Festival. In December 2005, it was announced that it had been nominated (under its American title "Viva Blackpool") in the category at the 2006 Golden Globe Awards. [cite web|url=http://www.hfpa.org/news/id/13|date= December 13, 2005|title=63rd Golden Globe Awards Nominations]
In October 2007, American network
CBSaired a series adapted by Bob Lowry and the creator of Blackpool, Peter Bowker, and based on the same premise, coproduced by BBC Worldwide, CBS Paramount Network Television, Sony Pictures Televisionand Seed Productionscalled " Viva Laughlin"; the series was cancelled after two episodes, due to low ratings.
The serial has been shown abroad in several countries, including:
Television New Zealand's TV One
United States cable televisionstation BBC Americaunder the alternative title, "Viva Blackpool"
Canadian specialty channel BBC Canada
Australia's ABC from November 30, 2005.
Finland's YLE(The Finnish Broadcasting Corporation).
The Netherlands' VPRO.
It has also been released on
DVDin the UKand Australia.
*Ripley Holden —
*DI Carlisle —
*Natalie Holden —
*Shyanne Holden —
*Danny Holden —
*Adrian Marr —
A list of the songs used as musical numbers throughout the show.
*"Viva Las Vegas" by
You Can Get It If You Really Want" by Jimmy Cliff
She's Not You" by Elvis Presley
These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" by Nancy Sinatra
Brilliant Mistake" by Elvis Costello
Skweeze Me Pleeze Me" by Slade
The Boy With The Thorn In His Side" by The Smiths
The Secrets That You Keep" by Mud
A soundtrack was also released to accompany the TV series, in which a six-page booklet explained why each song used was included in the series.
"Viva Blackpool" (the sequel)
Following the events of Blackpool and the implosion of his life and his dreams, Ripley headed to the bright lights and casinos of Vegas. Once there he discovered... God.
Now a Reverend, of sorts, Ripley has returned to his spiritual home and established Blackpool's first Vegas-style Chapel of Love. With daughter Shyanne as his assistant, Ripley performs weddings themed on anything from Elvis to
Hogwarts. He's happy enough, living in a caravan in the Chapel car park. But then he meets American sexpot Kitty De-Luxe when she's jilted at his altar, and falls hopelessly in love.
At the same time he's courting Kitty, he's being courted himself. He's been left a collection of football memorabilia by his friend Patrick, including the genuine Jules Rimet World Cup trophy, and two rival bidders are determined to get their hands on it.
Totally smitten with a woman who's more than a match for him, is Ripley letting himself be played for a fool? Or will he pull an ace from his sleeve, and succeed in his new dream of opening a chain of cheerful, cheesy Chapels of Love across Britain?
Songs that appeared in the sequel included:
Crazy Little Thing Called Love" by Queen
*"I'm on My Way" by
I Only Want To Be With You" by Dusty Springfield
*"Ring of Fire" by
It's Not Unusual" by Tom Jones
*"Dream A Little Dream" by
The Beautiful South
*cite journal |first= John|last= Mundy|year= 2006|title= Singing Detected: Blackpool and the Strange Case of the Missing Television Musical Dramas|journal= Journal of British Cinema and Television|publisher= Edinburgh University Press|url= |volume= 3|issue= 1|pages= 59–71|doi= 10.3366/JBCTV.2006.3.1.59
*cite web|last=Cawley|first=CM|year=2005|title=David Tennant & Awards News|url=http://www.kasterborous.com/news.asp?id=519|accessdate=2007-04-20
*cite web|url=http://www.georgiataylor.co.uk/whatsnew.html|publisher=Georgiataylor.co.uk|title=What's New Page|accessdate=2007-04-20
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/drama/blackpool/ Official "Blackpool" site] at
* [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0408375/ "Blackpool"] at the
Internet Movie Database
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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