Blackpool (TV Mini-Series 2004) Poster

(2004)

User Reviews

Review this title
21 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
10/10
Superb Blackpool Is great
evolvedsky27 October 2005
I was flicking through the channels on TV slightly bored had not a lot to do until i came across a program that was just starting. I didn't know what it was about but it was called Blackpool. It seemed pretty good nothing more than you normal melodrama and about five minutes in they burst into You Can Get It If You Really Want (Jimmy Cliff) and to my amazement i found it hugely captivating.

The musical choruses are great through out the series ranging from Gabrielle to The Clash i think that you don't have to be into musicals to appreciate the bursts of songs as they almost fall into a category of music video within the program having there own dance routines even little fantasies they help a great deal to build the plot.

Apart from the music the program takes very sinister turns that make very significant changes to the plot throughout and as the truth gradually seeps out you will begin to see darker secrets and darker changes in the characters Which after every episode had me eager for more. From watching the casino owner Ripley opening his brand new casino to have his whole world fall apart in 6 episodes will bring out many emotions but inevitably entertain you throughout.

The cast is brilliant The chemistry between David Morrisey (Ripley Holden) and David Tennant (D.I. Carlisle) they have a great passion to hate each other although will stop at nothing to get one over on the other one. Tennant however falls in love with Sarah parish (natalie Holden) and the romance between them is great along with the music you can really feel a great passion between them which on screen is captured so well the rest of the cast really pull the whole thing together and ensure a great performance on the whole.

This program is well worth a watch to anyone who enjoys being entertained. The blend of music great characters and a superb and captivating story all set on the back drop of the sunny seaside resort of Blackpool will have you wanting more.

This program gets my vote i hope it gets yours.
39 out of 42 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Wonderful, Quirky Murder Mystery
kenj-311 January 2006
I did not expect this to be anywhere as good as it turned out to be. I mean, who wants to see a murder mystery where the main characters break out into song every 30 minutes or so? Yes, they actually do sing in their own voices over recordings you will recognize.

The songs are a perfect fit to the story, moving it along and providing a lot of context. My personal favorite was the head to head between David Morrissey and David Tennant, both singing "These Boots Are Made For Walking."

Sarah Parish has always been a personal favorite, starting with "Cutting It" and doing a killer job as a lawyer in the short lived series "Trust". David Morrissey did a fantastic job. You'd swear he is a total sleaze in the beginning of the series, but by the end, your opinion will probably change. Likewise, David Tennant (the new Dr Who) seems to be the perfect cop, but is he really?

PS - If you saw this on BBC America, you missed about 10 minutes out of every episode. Several songs were cut, as were a lot of key scenes that made the story much easier to follow, and also developed some of the the characters much further. Especially Hallworth, the character played by David Bradley who was protesting the conversion of the arcade into a casino.

Do yourself a favor - get a multi-region DVD player, and order the DVD from the UK.
17 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Brilliant Outstanding Awesome
fredsawy1 December 2005
I have to say when I first heard about "Viva Blackpool" I was very curious to see it. I missed the first episode and was upset but thank goodness BBC America showed a repeat of it a few days later the night before episode 2 so I taped both and watched the first two episodes back to back.

I'll admit that when I first started watching it I was thinking "Ok maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all." But somewhere between that thought and the first 20 minutes of the show I got drawn in and found I couldn't wait to get to the second episode on the tape.

It's slow moving at the start but once it kicks in it grabs hold of you and won't let go. I couldn't wait for the next week's episode and once it came I was never disappointed.

Each episode ends with a brilliant cliffhanger done with a brilliantly done stage and well chosen song that fits the situation and mood. "These Boots Are Made for Walking", "Knock, Knock Who's there" just to name a few. Also the way all the songs through out the show are all staged you see how the lyrics really fits each and every character with what's not only going on with them, but all the small sub plots of the show as well. All perform them with great emotion and bring the lyrics to life and you can feel their pain, anger, joy , fright and love.

The ending of the story is very well done I think and brought a few feeling good type of tears to my eyes as I sat and watched the show ended set to Burt Bacharach's beautifully done "Alway's something there to remind me." I've kept each episode on tape till it comes out on DVD here in the states. Which I hope will be very soon.
20 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Amazing
Cazanya18 January 2006
This is absolutely brilliant!!! Only UK would do this kind of show and go all the way :-) I love Sarah Parish and she's just amazing in this. Oh and those who complain about the fact that it isn't dancers and singers that does the characters thank god for that! I think the point is that it isn't perfect, it makes it more real and what joy would it be watching perfect dancers who can't act!? No they did the right thing casting actors for it... Anyway this is funny,touching,dark and a bit disturbing aka everything you can possibly want in a TV program and I can just pray it's true they are planning a sequel.... UK are brilliant at making TV that stays with you long after it airs unlike US...
15 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Amazing!
WesJones8729 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This show was one of the best things i have EVER seen (and coming from me, thats saying something). The cast was an inspired choice, the script and dialogue was excellent and the songs were amazing! David Morrissey is an excellent choice to play Ripley Holden, he fits the role perfectly as the mysterious arcade owner who believes in luck - LOTS of luck. Before Blackpool, I was no fan of Sarah Parish, but her acting in this is great, she is believable as Ripleys wife/Carlisle's lover. Speaking of Carlisle, David Tennant MADE that role his own, playing it to perfection.

All the cast are multi-talented because not only did they act IMPRESSIVELY, they actually sang the songs featured in the series, and performed their dance routines. This gives me a new-found respect for all the performers because it must be hard to do what they did on a daily basis.

All in all, an excellent show. If you haven't seen it, WHY?!?
13 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Unusual drama
hesketh2721 November 2004
Blackpool is an unusual drama (with touches of comedy) which tells the story of an amusement arcade owner who finds himself and his family at the centre of a murder investigation when a body is found in his arcade. From time to time the actors burst into song (a la Singing Detective) & are transported into fantasy sequences which work quite well as an integral part of the plot. The actors' faces are well known to UK TV audiences from their regular appearances in supporting roles in other TV vehicles. As in all BBC productions, the performances are uniformly good. The real star of the show however is Blackpool itself. The wonderfully seedy holiday resort is well used as the backdrop and well known places/landmarks appear in most scenes. An enjoyable serial. (The soundtrack's pretty good too!)
28 out of 34 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Excellent series
galadrial10 February 2007
I just bought the DVD of this series, as I have recently become a huge fan of David Tennant. I was planning to watch it in 6 installments, but by the end of the first episode, I was intrigued by the story and ended up watching it all in one session. The writing is excellent, with fine performances, and the use of popular songs as part of the narrative works well. David Morrissey plays the central character of Ripley Holden, who is essentially quite hard to like because of his attitudes and practices, but he manages to create sympathy for him by the end. David Tennant shows his fine acting skills (and his lovely Scottish accent), and is particularly winning in his scenes with Julie Parish. All in all, a very fine production.
7 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
An enjoyable and entertaining drama!
brookton8 January 2006
Blackpool is a comedy/drama. It was great acting by the whole cast and every episode ended on a cliffhanger which left you wanting to watch the next episode straight away! The way the songs were done was brilliant and the chemistry between David Morrisey and Sarah Parish was good. There are a lot of twists in the whole story which make it even more fun to watch because it is unpredictable. The music, the dancing and the singing make this drama a part comedy because however serious the song is it still manages to make you laugh. I really liked the way the director used the songs and put them into the mood of the scenes as well, it helped you to understand what the characters were thinking and feeling with out them telling you. Overall I think this is one of the best dramas the BBC has produced in years!
11 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Blackpool
Elise12020 January 2006
Blackpool (released as Viva Blackpool in the US) is absolutely the best mini-series I've ever seen. It was unique, well written, directed and acted. Although both David Tennant and David Morrissey are wonderful actors, I felt that David Morrissey really stood out in his role of Ripley Holden. If anyone's seen any of his other work, they would see what an incredible actor he is!! And outrageously attractive as well. The musical numbers are well done. What a brilliant idea to have the actors sing along with the original artists, sort of like Karaoke. I was also impressed with new actor Tommy Morrisson, who played Danny Holden. I expect to see him in other films..he's very talented. Sarah Parrish is lovely and talented as always, and I'm looking forward to seeing David Tennant as Dr. Who. In conclusion, I highly recommend this series. I only wish that BBC would release the DVD for Region 1 soon, as my home VHS recording is getting worn from repeated viewings.
7 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Carlisle is The Man!
cassandra200625 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention when this was aired in Australia, in the second half of 2005. Silly me, because, after a rather circuitous route, via this and "Casanova", leading to All Things Tennant, I have now watched the DVD of "Blackpool" many, many times and am absolutely smitten not only with David Tennant's portrayal of DI Peter Carlisle but with the style and plot of the entire series. What an innovative way to turn the over-used genre of TV crime-fic on its head! Yes, there is more than a nod in the direction of the genius, Dennis Potter, in the way musical numbers are interpolated into the screenplay, but even apart from this, "Blackpool" has such heart and soul that it surely is a delight for jaded TV viewers. I like that we have two male leads who are emotionally and ethically flawed; I like how the Woman is also morally compromised, not some unapproachable madonna figure. I like how the kids are decent enough in so many ways but have their own demons. And don't start me on the support characters! That poor woman and her perpetually upset stomach will haunt me for a long time! I found the sub plot involving the Holden daughter and her older lover tedious and, frankly, I fast-forwarded through many of their scenes, in my quest for more and still more Carlisle moments. But Danny, the Holden son, was a great character, full of paradoxes that were not all resolved, which makes for a nice change, in my opinion. All in all, this is one of my top most favourite TV series of all times. I adore it. I play my favourite scenes often. The leads are all splendid; most of the minor characters have an authentic credibility; the direction is sharp; and the script is wonderful. I love "Blackpool" unreservedly. Well, apart from the daughter and her bloke, both of whom I could easily dispense with. David Tennant is magnificent as Carlisle. He is such a thorough and clever interpreter of a character. Comparing him as Carlisle and as Casanova and as The Doctor, it is so clear that he is 'different' in mannerisms, style and persona in each role. Carlisle is slower or more weary in movement; he's a bit scruffy; he's been burned by life's experiences and it shows. Yet his keen intelligence also shows through, and his propensity for the subtle yet sarcastic comment, often at Ripley Holden's expense, is a delight. Holden's wife, and Carlisle's love-interest, is played by Sarah Parish. She is a skillful actor with a good range and I found her chemistry with both her on-screen husband and her lover to be excellent. She managed to convey the internal conflict of her character very affectingly, while losing none of her essential pragmatism and humour. The moral compromises that all the characters make are real and credible ones, given the plot, and there are no guarantees as to outcome. I liked that.

Highly recommended.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Absolutely brilliant!!
tigerbaby_1984-112 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
WOW!! I didn't watch this mini-series when it was originally broadcast on BBC 1, but i have recently bought the DVD and cannot even begin to describe the sheer excellence of it. The writing it wonderful - it can make you laugh like you've never laughed before and then make you cry with a flick of the tongue. It's funny, it's quick, it's light-hearted, it's emotional, it's dark, it's sinister, it's touching, it's heart-wrenching, it's sharp and it's modern. Everything a drama can be, and more. I should also comment on the acting, which is absolutely astounding! Throughout the drama, the characters frequently burst into song. Now i'm not a lover of anything which even touches on being a musical, but the way the music in this series works is phenomenal. The songs are used to tell the story, to keep the action flowing, to reveal more about the characters. The fact that none of the actors are singers only adds to the feeling of reality - this is not some overly glamorous musical stage show. David Morrissey plays "an absolute blinder" as the lead role, and Sarah Parish is truly amazing as his wife. David Tennant is also utterly incomparable as the dark, mysterious, and very, very sexy detective. If you ever get the chance, watch this series...i promise you'll not regret it. Oh, and have those tissues ready for the final episode.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
A drama set to the background of a Blackpool amusement arcade. Three sublimely played roles make this a movie which I shall remember for a long long time to come .....
christian-20524 December 2007
No warning. Just zapping through Dutch and Belgian TV channels when I stopped by chance at 'Blackpool'. I don't know what held me - perhaps the sublime acting in the three main roles. David Morrissey plays the the cheap shallow amusement arcade owner - or so he seems at first! His protagonist is a sharp police detective played so convincingly by David Tennant. Detective inspectors don't usually fall in love with the wives of their chief suspects but David is the exception. He falls completely for Sarah Parish who plays the wife of Ripley Holden, the arcade owner. Of course David has to fall in love with Sarah. After all, she plays an intelligent emotionally honest woman with depth of character to such perfection that it is almost impossible to distinguish between the actress and the role she depicts. Three incredibly good actors develop through six episodes of a gripping story with moments frozen in brilliantly selected popular song. How could Natalie Holden ever have fallen for the the sleaze boss Ripley? You begin to understand when you realize that Ripley is also a human being with ambition, depth,intelligence and charm. The characters scintillate through the episodes first of all showing one side and then another. My only criticism was that it was impossible for the sixth episode to meet the expectations built up during the previous shows. It very nearly succeeded however. There is a fine balancing line between drama and soap. Although all the ingredients for soap were there in the story line, this movie never once strayed over the line. My congratulations to the writer and the actors - a fantastic production which I shall remember for a very long time.....
6 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
A Nice Surprise
slapchar21 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I'm a fan of David Tennant, and I recently had the chance to watch Blackpool. I was a bit hesitant in watching this mini series, because I hate musicals (or people breaking into song in the middle of a sentence). But I was really surprised at how wonderful this show actually is. All of the characters have a strong presence and personality. I was really impressed with David Morrissey-his brash and overly confident interpretation of Ripley Holden could have gone overboard, but he manages to bring compassion and depth to his character-especially in scenes involving Ripley's children. Sarah Parish is understated and intense, but she lights up the screen when she shares scenes with both of the leading actors. David Tennant reaffirms my belief in his abilities as an actor with his conflicted portrayal of Detective Peter Carlisle, the man who compromises his reputation and investigation because he falls in love with Parish's Natlie Holden. While I honestly could have done without the musical numbers in the series, the inclusion of these musical acts makes Blackpool original and unique. I highly suggest watching this great BBC program.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Are there any other British TV shows similar?
jamn619 October 2006
I was pleasantly surprised by this TV show, after purchasing the DVD we could not stop watching the complete series. From the first minute with the family singing viva las Vegas, we were in there and away.

Brilliant acting from all especially the great David Morrissey,David Tennant and Sarah Parish What a wonderful near on 6 hours of laughter and suspense we had.

My question is can any one name any other shows similar to Blackpool?

I have just purchased Sex Chips and Rock and Roll along with Funland, are we in the right direction and any others?

The Singing Detective with Michael Gambon was in a similar genre.

Thanks for your help from Australia
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Forget the Dennis Potter Comparisons
bombelliott10 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Very,very good. Forget the Dennis Potter comparisons as this is very different. Hard to believe when people suddenly start singing and dancing, but "Blackpool" feels very real to me. Potter is art,this is entertainment. No-one in this show is perfect and that just makes it better (and certainly more surprising). Ripley Holden is a violent bully who treats his wife like dirt BUT he is incredibly funny. DI Carlisle starts off as the typical scruffy copper who will eventually get his man but he starts to compromise more and more. And Natalie is the perfect wife, mother and charity worker who has an affair. I love 'Blackpool' for it's music, humour, and its complex relationships. The only flaw seems to be that Danny is shown as a suicidal drug dealer who almost beats his future brother-in-law to death (with a brick!) and is the murderer BUT inherits the arcade and goes unpunished. But perhaps that is the point. Like father, like son.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Absolutely brilliant
tonyvfob11 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
When Blackpool first aired over here, I never had the chance to see it. When the BBC released it on DVD, I quickly ordered it. One of the best decisions I ever made for sure. David Morrisey and David Tennant, two of my favourite actors, both preformed brilliantly and brought their characters to life well. Personally, I find many of the characters very believable - I myself can partly relate to Peter(Carisle) and Danny. The drama and writing were simply superb, especially the relationship between Peter and Natalie, and her eventual discovering he is the DI trying to imprison her husband. The character of Danny however, has to be the best of them all. A boy whom strives so hard to earn his father's respect he even tries to kill himself, in the same way his father attempted to at his age.

As for Blackpool itself...I am a Scouser, and proud of that fact. When I was but a small child, my parents would take me and my friends out to Blackpool on a cold winters night to see Blackpool Lights. This mini series brought back many fond memories for me, and I suspect it will for a few others also.

Blackpool's musical score is fabulous also. With the cast singing along, albeit somewhat poorly, and dancing, it is surprising only one of the songs jumps in at an inappropriate time - the scene with the plain clothes officer arresting catching Danny supplying drugs. I highly recommend this drama to any whom are fans of Morrisey, Tennant, Parrish, drama or musicals. Indeed - I recommend it to everyone.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
A fun little diversion
Amanda Reno9 November 2005
I have to admit that I've only seen the first half of this miniseries on BBC America, but I'm looking forward to finishing it. The musical numbers are a little cheesy at times and it's painfully evident that the cast are not professional singers and dancers. However, so far, the solution to the murder has not been obvious and the character development has been very good. In particular I liked Thomas Morrison who manages to show Danny's desperate need for his dad's approval without becoming a caricature, and David Tennant, who I thought looked like a complete dork in pictures for the latest "Doctor Who" series, but here manages to come across as so charming in his pursuit of Danny's married mom that I'm now hopelessly in love with him. This miniseries isn't perfect, but I'd applaud the BBC for taking a risk on a very nontraditional kind of program; I would take it over "CSI" any day.
4 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Brilliant!
s401249120 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This series is so different, so interesting, so well put together and above all so well executed, that it is impossible to fault.

The Series is a musical - crime drama.

After a man is found dead in Ripley Holdens casino, he finds himself under investigation by the clever D.I. Carlisle.

Knowing himself to be innocent doesn't help him in the difficult task of keeping the D.I. off his back.

...and there is also the little fact that his wife is sleeping with Carlisle...

Perfect acting Perfect direction Perfect writing

Perfect!
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Great Story, Great Characters
giligara3049226 September 2015
As a huge fan of David Tennant, I had watched clips of "Blackpool" before. Mostly the musical bits. I had just never gotten around to watching the whole thing before. And here's my verdict. I absolutely loved it. The story itself was very well written. Half-way through, though, you realise that it's more about the growth of the characters and about the changes in their relationships, than about the unsolved murder or Ripley's money troubles.

I loved that the three main characters were nicely complex: they are broken in some ways but very good people in others. That is, Ripley isn't just a gambling bastard out to make a profit, Peter isn't just an officer intent on nailing him and his son because he falls in love with Natalie, and Natalie isn't JUST a bored, unhappy woman. Part of it, of course, is the writing. We see Ripley's adoration of his children, and even his tense relationship with his wife shows that he really loves her. He is also fiercely independent, and seems to care about the economic future of his town. As for Peter, we see how gone he is for Natalie almost at once, but we also see that his moral compromise and his obsessive investigation is something he is pulled towards slowly, not something inherent in him. There is a lot more to him: determination, and copious amounts of charm, cleverness and sarcasm. As for Natalie, she is, besides a wife and mother unhappy in her marriage, an altruistic woman who, despite having fallen in love with Peter, has the strength of character to break it off and decide she won't leave Ripley until Ripley gives her his blessing. The two children were also nuanced. Danny isn't just a troubled teenager who deals drugs and has trouble with the police. He is also very depressed and starving for affection from his father. He's also possibly the bravest of the bunch. And Shyanne isn't a brat marrying an older man to spite her father. She genuinely loves Steve AND adores her father.

The acting was phenomenal. No matter how much I try, I cannot seem to find a bad thing to say about David Tennant's acting. He is wonderfully nimble, enormously charming, endlessly magnetic, and the way he conveys the emotions of his character is beautifully clear. He is quite simply a dream. David Morrissey shined through and through. He was perfect for the part, especially in portraying the contrast in the different sides to Ripley. It wasn't hard to buy what a good father he can be and what a bastard he can be as well. Very well done on his part. Sarah Parish was measured and explosive when she needed to be. She played the moral dilemmas very, very well, but also clearly let us see how her marriage has affected Natalie before she met Peter. Great acting over all from all of the cast.

The music choices were a few times in complete disharmony with the story, but most of the time this served to get further inside the characters' minds. Loved how surreal the sequences were sometimes. My favourites were "Should I Stay or Should I Go," "Cupid," "The Boy with the Thorn In His Side," and "Viva Las Vegas."

I recommend this mini-series to everyone. It is a great story that is a lot of fun to watch, and a refreshing departure from the usual TV crime-fiction.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Enjoyable though not entirely realistic. Well worth the watch.
shannoncallant17 May 2012
Any musical asks you to suspend disbelief to some degree. Blackpool stretches this to the breaking point with some of the musical numbers. Most musicals at least put a sad song in sad places and a peppy song in action sequences. Not so with Blackpool. Usually the lyrics fit the story line very well but the music and choreography do not at all fit the mood. For example when about a dozen police officers come in to arrest a young man, two lift him up on their shoulders while the rest jump and dance in a circle a circle around him singing "A Boy with a Thorn in His Side." The only exception is the duet between David Tennant and Sarah Parish, which is beautifully done and definitely a highlight of the show.

That being said, the songs are quite enjoyable. The choreography is well done and the actors' voices blend reasonably well with the artist recording.

Despite the breaks in mood from the songs, the show is remarkably well acted. David Morrissey and David Tennant give masterful performances and the supporting cast all have their shining moments.

The story itself is very well done. The murder mystery is intriguing but the most compelling part is the development of the characters. You will not find any shining heroes in this story, for nearly every character is shown to have significant faults in their integrity. However, nearly every character also has redeeming qualities that make them impossible to hate.

Overall this is a great show that is well worth watching.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Viva Blackpool Comment-Enjoyable for music lovers!
ohfair14 April 2006
Living in the US, we get BBCA. There are a lot of things that I'm sure are omitted due to the industry laws here. However, I love singing movies from the 'golden era' and have missed musicals. I wouldn't call this mini-series a musical, however I was really pleased that it had music in it. I missed the 1st episode and my 1-year old child loves the opening song of the 2nd episode. I can't find it showing again and it's not available on DVD on anywhere that I've looked. It can be a bit cheesy sometimes, but I don't really care. I love music, all sorts of it. If it makes my baby girl happy, it makes me happy too! David Tennant really carried the show for me. He had to be pointed out to me when he was in Harry Potter's new movie, but he's such a great actor and this show was the first time I ever saw him. Good luck to him and his future career. I'd love to see him and Robson Green in a show together. If it hasn't already happened... Sincerely, Meagan
0 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed