Okay so Badger isn’t action packed, it’s not scary, it’s not loud, it’s quite simply nice – a change from the far fetched storylines and the loud action of other programmes. The second series which is nearly over now has been switched to a Friday night slot after the news on BBC1 and is well worth watching if you haven’t gone out. It’s set in the most beautiful locations of Northumberland and plenty of research has gone into getting the Geography right. It stars Jerome Flynn (Solider Soldier and a wavering music career) as Tom McCabe a loveable policeman in rural Northumberland. It’s not like the Bill thought, there are no gritty urban crimes, it’s a rural thing and the storylines often revolve around rural issues like hunting and poaching, and of course Tom McCabe’s love for animals. And there is a host of actors who you’ll know of, playing roles related to these issues. Rebecca Lacey is a RSPCA officer. There are plenty of ongoing plots involving Tom’s romance with a local vet and plots exploring his daughter Wilf’s life. If I had to some it up it would be as a nice show. It’s a calm drama, with plenty of quality acting and direction, although I admit it’s not going to appeal to young audiences (generally they go for loud action type shows), however it’s a quality drama, a similar class as Heartbeat (the first series before it started going downhill). Everything is right for Badger and the Northumberland scenery simply adds to it. It’s nice, light and enjoyable entertainment, and the lack of violence, nudity and swearing not only shows a show can be successful without them but also makes for family viewing.
Having been a fan of Jerome Flynn since his days in 'Soldier Soldier' as Paddy Garvey, I was eager to watch 'Badger' when it started last year. Jerome Flynn stars as Tom McCabe, who after leaving the Navy, joined Northumberland Police as a dedicated wildlife officer. The series also stars former 'Casualty' star Rebecca Lacey as an RSPB officer, who often works closely with Tom on wildlife related cases. She also happens to be married to his boss... In the first episode of the first series, we were introduced to Wilf, who turned up on Tom's doorstep, and revealed that she was his 20 year old daughter, born after his brief marriage in his late teens, following his wife leaving but not knowing she was pregnant. We also see quite a lot of Steph, a local vet who runs a wildlife sanctuary, and was romantically involved with Tom, until the return of her estranged husband Ralph, who it now looks like she'll get back together with. He's already told her he wants her and their son back, so will she choose Tom or Ralph? I guess we'll have to wait and see... Badger is a good programme to watch when you don't want to use too much brain power, as it's entertaining, and has some good humorous moments as well as the action type scenes. The countyside scenes are often filmed in particularly beautiful surroundings, and the characters are all likeable, so you do get rather attached to them. In my opinion, one of the best drama series of recent years.
The first series held promise, but the current scripts are trite, and boringly predictable. The characters weak, and plots non-exsistent..Frankly if it were not for the raw beauty of the locality where this 'drama' is shot the BBC would find it impossible to justify production costs..Nor does moving it from Sunday to a prime slot on Friday evening improve matters..It simply adds insult to injury, as the general angst of the actors taking part puts a damper on the weekend..