Channel Hopper: Men Behaving Badly
The late Frank Deasy had a knack of writing about the frailties of men and the long-term effects of the bad things blokes do even when they try to make amends for their past indiscretions. It’s there in 90s drug drama Looking After Jo Jo, and in his later films about working class racism (England Expects) and institutionalised child abuse (Real Men). And it’s writ large all over his final work, the four-part Father and Son (ITV1, Tue 8 Jun, 9pm).
Dougray Scott plays Michael O’Connor, a Manchester gangster trying to go straight and settling down with a new wife in County Wicklow after his last spouse was gunned down during the turf wars which led to O’Connor fleeing to Ireland. With a baby on the way, the last thing he wants is to be dragged back to his past life; inevitable, then, that he gets a call in the middle of the night to inform him that his teenage son Sean is in custody having been caught by the fuzz with a shooter in his hand and a dying hoodie at his feet.
A powerful drama about the cycle of violence that entraps generation after generation, the only thing that distracts attention from the sheer quality of the work are the Manc accents wielded by Scouser Ian Hart (whose ironic first words are to exalt a frenzied throng to ‘calm down’) and Scot Scott, whose vocal research appears to have stretched to hearing interviews with Liam Gallagher.