you're going to write you should write the truth as you see it.
I write is not everybody's cup of tea, but it's my truth.
know about racism, for example, because I've been there, I've felt
it in the past.
if I've felt some of those things, then millions of people have.
try to write about people, warts and all." - Jimmy McGovern
McGovern is without doubt one of the most important TV and film
screenwriters to have emerged from the UK over the past 20 years.
Cracker is still probably one of the most accomplished pieces of work
that he has done when you consider the scale of the series, the
depth of characters and the influence it has since had on the
crime/police drama genre. However, it obviously pales into insignificance
when compared to his more important projects - which included his
1996 dramatisation of the devastating Hillsborough
disaster which was simply
titled 'Hillsborough' (and which was also the basis for the
Cracker story 'To Be A Somebody) and 'Sunday' which dealt
with the bloody sunday massacre. His most recent work though was 'Gunpowder,
Treason & Plot' which was screened on british television in 2004
(and starred Robert Carlyle) and dealt with the saga of
Mary Queen of Scots, James I and the gunpowder plot. His other
works include several years writing for the Channel 4 soap 'Brookside',
'The Lakes', 'Hearts & Minds' (which also featured
Christopher Eccleston in the lead role), 'Dockers', 'Priest', and the feature films
'Heart' and 'Liam'.
decision to stop writing Cracker after Jimmy Beck's death in
'Brotherly Love', like it did me, probably puzzled many fans of the
series. It would have been great if he had finished the third
series off, but news that he is now writing the script for a new-one
off special due in 2005 is indeed very welcome and more than makes
up for that. Often when Cracker isn't written by McGovern it tends
to lose it's edge a little, but the character's are also his
creations, so therefore Fitz really is never quite the same unless
he's speaking McGovern's words. In interviews last year Robbie
Coltrane stressed that despite wanting to resume the role of Fitz,
he would only do it if McGovern was behind the script.
certainly always know when you are watching something penned by
McGovern, due to his very particular way of writing and he is of
course one of the few television writers brave enough to tackle such
issues as racism, rape and the Hillsborough disaster. He somehow
manages to make everything he writes both thought-provoking and
challenging, and there certainly isn't enough of that - particularly
as far as British television is concerned nowadays. You can learn
more about Jimmy McGovern in the Interviews
& Articles section. He
certainly makes interesting reading with whatever he has to say,
whether he's talking about Cracker, his other work or his political
those interested, there are novelisations available through 'Virgin'
for each Cracker story within the series based on Jimmy McGovern's
original scripts (and of course those stories penned by Ted
Whitehead and Paul Abbott). In particular, Jimmy McGovern's 'Mad
Woman In The Attic', 'Men Should Weep' and 'Brotherly Love' are
considerably different to the final televised versions, and feature
many scenes that presumably either got changed or cut from the final
scripts. The novels are well worth a read if you are able to get
hold of them.
Unofficial Guide To Cracker 1999-2006