Boat Story is story about a boat… Ooh, you weren’t expect that, were you?
This new drama has a very weird prologue with a voiceover trying to be funny, announcing it as starting “under a damn pylon”, with something I don’t want to reveal, but that comes after the alternate suggestion of “some stories start in a galaxy far, far away”. It’s like he’s trying to sound like the late, great Don La Fontaine, who used to do the deep voice on ALL great movie trailers, but here, the voice is actually coming from Trapped‘s Ólafur Darri Ólafsson.
After a situation at Janet’s (Daisy Haggard – Breeders) industrial factory which will make her wish she had called Claims Direct, and after falling out with various family members lately, she finds her life at a very loose end.
Meanwhile, Samuel (Paterson Joseph – Vigil) has moved house, and his cat has gone AWOL, asking the new owners if they can call him if the feline decides to show its face again.
Elsewhere, there’s a fishing boat to be descended upon and investigated by police, because… it’s full of mackerel! Well, not just that, but a whole – literal – boat-load of cocaine… and here’s where things start to get quite stupid, since at no point is any member of the emergency services meant to put themselves in danger, but this one would happily pick a fight with a the boat owner. It’s just monumentally ridiculous. No job is worth that hassle, but without going into detail about how events transpire, the boat is later free to be discovered by Janet and Samuel, once it runs ashore.
However, the way some scenes play out in this, make me feel like I’m watching a bad comedy, rather than a primetime drama, such as the chapters it gives, like “Janet and the 22-stone F*ckhead” (including the asterisk).
Additionally, we have Kate Dickie (Undergods) as a fortune teller, Tchéky Karyo as a sadistic tailor, known only as… The Tailor, and Craig Fairbrass as Guy, who – unlike his Pat Tate character in Rise of the Footsoldier: Vengeance, is dishing out some very nasty violence, but which is just unpleasant to those who don’t deserve it.
Mixing several characters into one script, I think regular duo (and brothers) Harry Williams and Jack Williams think that, together, they’re Paul Thomas Anderson, writing the script for the incredible Magnolia, bu no. This nonsense is just all over the place, and even though all six episodes are on the Iplayer now, I can’t see myself watching any more of this.
But then the work of the Williams’ brothers is hit and miss, such as the utter sillyness of Liar’s second series.
I watched this programme on BBC iPlayer, as it’s available now.
Series Directors: Daniel Nettheim, Alice Troughton, Harry Williams, Jack Williams
Producer: Matthew Bird
Writers: Sophie Goodhart, Harry Williams, Jack Williams
Music: Dominik Scherrer
Janet: Daisy Haggard
Samuel: Paterson Joseph
Guy: Craig Fairbrass
The Tailor: Tchéky Karyo
Pat Tooh: Joanna Scanlan
Other Samuel: Jason Pennycooke
Ben: Ethan Lawrence
Alan: Oliver Sheridan
Dennis: Rick S Carr
Narrator: Ólafur Darri Ólafsson
Martin: Nathan Hall
Suzie: Danielle Warwick
Bottlehead: John O’Neill
Camilla Wells: Michelle Austin
Passerby: Joanne James
Arthur Lake: Jonas Armstrong
Craig Dodds: Phil Daniels
Vinnie Douglas: Adam Gillen
Owen: Owen Phillips
Peter Farley: Craig Shorrock
PC Jenny Ashton: Mhairi Calvey
Benoit: Charlie Hamblett
Harold: Danny Kirrane
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.