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Dr Edward "Fitz" Fitzgerald (Played by Robbie Coltrane)



I think it's fair to say, that Coltrane's Fitz still remains one of the best TV characters ever brought to screen. A character who manages to fatally flawed, but likeable at the same time. Fitz - otherwise named Edward Fitzgerald - when we first meet him is a 44 year old university lecturer who becomes involved with the Anson Road officers after one of his students, Jacqui Appleton, is murdered in 'Mad Woman In The Attic'. He is, at the time, married to Judith with two children Mark and Katie, and living in Manchester. But even at this time the marriage is in decline, mainly due to Fitz's gambling and drinking. As the first series progresses, Judith leaves Fitz - not for the first time, and he further drowns his sorrows - whilst flirting heavily with Penhaligon. Whilst he triumphs as far as the police work goes, his personal life is as chaotic as ever as he deals with Judith's admission that she slept with her therapist Graham, Mark goes into hospital briefly, and he agrees to go on holiday with Penhaligon only to stand her up at the airport by the end of 'One Day A Lemming Will Fly'. 


The second series sees, arguably, the most changes in Fitz's life. After a brief time away from working with the police, he is bought back into working with them after Albie's Hillsborough mission. By this time, after a brief reconciliation, he and Judith are separated again and his ever rocky relationship with Penhaligon soons turns into an affair by the time of 'The Big Crunch'. Somehow, Fitz still manages to hold everything together during 'Men Should Weep' when his life dissolves into chaos. Penhaligon is raped and Judith returns again this time five months pregnant. But even after the birth of their third child in 'Brotherly Love' (the start of the third series), Fitz and Judith's marriage can barely be saved and by 'True Romance' they are completely at odds as Judith finds affection with Fitz's brother Danny and Fitz tries for some sort of reconciliation with Penhaligon.


There are so many reasons why Fitz is so great to watch - he's funny, often oddly touching in the way he approaches both the criminals and victims of the crime, as flawed as anyone else and capable of being selfish, arrogant and sometimes, insensitive. And despite his knack of being able to get into the minds of killers he's never always right either - he is more to blame than anyone for the persecution of the innocent Cassidy in 'One Day A Lemming Will Fly' and partly to blame for Floyd's first murder of one of his rape victims in 'Men Should Weep'. Yet despite his faults, and despite all the mistakes he does make, he is still undeniably a decent man. Apart from his immediate family of Judith, Mark and Katie we also meet during series three his brother Danny, following the death of their mother. Its understood Fitz's father died many years before.  Fitz is renound for being a lapsed catholic and resentful towards the church. But as Robbie Coltrane said of his character once, Fitz is merely a "bruised romantic" with a genuine wish for the world to be a better place....


The Unofficial Guide To Cracker 1999-2006