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DVD Review

DVD cover

Moving On


Starring: Sheila Hancock, Lesley Sharpe, Richard Armitage, Dervla Kirwan and Ian Hart
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 12
Available 22 June 2009

BAFTA and Emmy award winner Jimmy McGovern, the force behind the BBC's critically-acclaimed ensemble piece, The Street and multi-award winning writer of Cracker oversees this ambitious five part drama series...

Moving On consists of five stand-alone stories, written by a mix of experienced and up-and-coming talents. The unifying theme of the dramas lies in the characters' choice, desire or inability to 'move on'; resulting in a major turning point in their lives.

The five stories include

'The Rain Has Stopped' by Karen Brown: After a holiday in Devon Liz, a retired widow, arrives back home with Damar, the man she plans to marry. Damar is a retired gurkha who doesn't have a permit to work in the UK. While Damar makes Liz happy, Liz's family and friends soon start to show their true feelings about her involvement with a foreigner.

"Bully" by Marc Pye: Following a holiday together two families start to fall out when their kids have a disagreement. The two families are also neighbours - with the two fathers having been friends since school and even work together for the same company. When one of the kids vanishes the father of the other family becomes a suspect.

"Drowning Not Waving" by Sarah Deane: When Ellie gets herself into serious debt, she decides to put her house on the market in order to get her finances straight. When John turns up to view her house Ellie recognises him from way back when they were at school together. Back then Ellie was one of the brightest pupils, while John used to be a bit of a loser. It seems that their roles are now reversed. But is John keeping a secret from Ellie?

'Dress To Impress' by Arthur Ellison. Teenager Daniel is keeping a secret from his parents. When he's alone in the house he likes to dress as a woman. But when his dad finds Daniel's lingerie he suspects his wife of having an affair.

'Butterfly Effect' by Esther Wilson. Sylvie works in the canteen in a young offenders hostel. One night she does her boss a favour and looks after the front desk. One of the young offenders buzzes to be let in and Sylvie hesitates. He's been chased by a gang of youths and waves a gun to show Sylvie he means business. When she complains no one really takes her seriously, and Sylvie stands her ground in order to ensure the young lad is brought to justice.

While this series was almost universally praised when it was originally broadcast personally I found it a little dull. It's not that the stories are bad tales, just that there is nothing here that really surprised me. I also found the majority of the characters to be a little too cliched and the situations uninspiring. For instance, it would have been interesting if in 'The Rain Has Stopped' we had discovered that Damar was actually after UK citizenship - maybe that he was married and was attempting to bring his family over. But no, nothing even slightly controversial or interesting actually happens. And the secret in 'Dress To Impress' is simply a reworking of an early generations tale in which the secret is that the son is gay.

Each episode is only 40 minutes in length, so I suppose a certain amount of stereotypes have to creep in for the stories to progress. But bullying fathers; macho, football loving, beer swilling men; and misunderstood foreigners are hardly original central characters.

While entertaining enough, it's hardly the sort of series that you'll really want to watch more than once.

There are no extras.


Darren Rea

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