Click here to return to the main site.

DVD Review

DVD cover



Starring: Martin Clunes, Lisa Millett, Tim Preston and Oscar Morgan
Distributor: Acorn Media International
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 13 May 2019

This original six part comedy drama centres around Warren Thompson, who suddenly finds himself in his mid-50s, forced to up sticks from the south to Preston when his partner Anne’s father falls ill. Not blessed with patience, empathy, or any kind of paternal instinct whatsoever, cantankerous, blunt and grumpy, he just about tolerates his students, not to mention the two teenage stepsons he never wanted...

From Men Behaving Badly to Doc Martin Martin Clunes has always portrayed characters that have faults, but underneath they are genuinely good people. In Warren.... well, not so much.

We all know someone who has many of Warren's character traits, but here it's so over the top that it stretches believability to breaking point. Over the course of these six episodes there's not a single act that he undertakes where he's not thinking of what he can get out of the situation. Unfortunately this two-dimensional characterisation spills out to the rest of the show.

Anne (Lisa Millett) is so flat a character that I was struggling to see why she was even included. It could just have easily have been Warren bringing up her kids after she's left him or died. In the first episode I wasn't at first sure if they were a couple, friends or relatives so bizarre was their onscreen chemistry.

This is a shame because there are some actors here who do manage to turn in great performances. Oscar Morgan as Danny, Anne's youngest son is believable, as are David Hargreaves and Judith Barker as Anne's parents. But I think, hands down, the most likeable character is Colin (Aaron Neil), Anne's sister's husband. He's neurotic, but a good guy at heart.

While the ideas and storylines are promising (particularly the episode where they go on a static caravan holiday), Warren swearing and being difficult with everyone he meets soon starts to get a bit thin, especially when - because it's Martin Clunes - you're rooting for him.

It's not overly surprising that the BBC decided not to renew the show for a second series. While it's fun to watch once, it's not the sort of show you'll get anything from by rewatching the episodes. A shallow, mildly amusing series that could have been so much more. In fact, if it wasn't for Clunes, it would probably have never made it to broadcast in the first place.


Darren Rea

Buy this item online

Each of the store links below opens in a new window, allowing you to compare the price of this product from various online stores.

Amazon Video