The Power of Parker – The DVDfever Review – BBC comedy – Conleth Hill, Sian Gibson

The Power Of Parker

The Power of Parker is set in Stockport, 1990, beginning with one of titular character’s terrible-looking TVs adverts for his electrical store, to mimic those of the era.

As things begin, thankfully, it’s only a few days before Thatcher is about to be kicked out of power (and not a moment too soon), and our lead, played by Conleth Hill (Holding) is selling ‘televideos’. I remember those. A combination of TV and VCR, just as they sound. However, television sales are down, but he doesn’t want to cut down on any costs and even uses loan sharks to get by. He has about as much business acumen as Gerald Ratner.

His girlfriend, sex-mad Kath (Sian GibsonInside No.9: Bernie Clifton’s Dressing Room), works as a hairdresser in a pensioners care home, where resident Gladys (Sheila ReidInside No.9: The Lost Weekend) lives, and other chracters include Diane (Rosie CavalieroFunny Woman) and her gross Dad, Dougie (George CostiganMaryland).

Despite the 1990 setting, most of the songs are from the early 80s, apart from a bit of The Stone Roses, but I Was glad to see the local setting. Of course, I could nit-pick and say that for Stockport’s Market Hall – even though these days, at least, you can’t park right outside it, unless you’re a trader on an event like Foodie Friday.

Plus, for other filming locations, Kath’s flat is on Park Street, just off the market; and in episode 2, Parker drives across the bridge over the Underbanks (now impossible, because it’s pedestrianised, unless you need access, of course), and this drive somehow joins up with Turner Street, leading to Vernon Street: this is a stone’s throw from Park Street, but sees him rejoining the market, when he just left it directly across the other side. Maybe someone has a Portal gun handy?

Over these two episodes, I had a couple of minor smiles at the care home’s bingo caller, “69 – Meal for two”, and the reference about such technological advancements as “What did we do before faxes?”

However, for a comedy, I’m still waiting to laugh. Unlike Tesco’s adverts, Parker has not got the power, and I’ve unplugged him.

The Power of Parker begins tomorrow on BBC1 at 9.30pm, and is available to pre-order on DVD, ahead of the release date of September 4th. On day one, I expect the whole series will be on the BBC iPlayer.

The Power Of Parker – Official Trailer – BBC

Director: Andrew Chaplin
Producer: Gill Isles
Creators/Writers: Sian Gibson, Paul Coleman

Martin: Conleth Hill
Kath: Sian Gibson
Diane: Rosie Cavaliero
Liam: Ryan Nolan
Neil: Theo Spofforth
Tom: Dominic Holmes
Julie: Abby Vicky-Russell
Zara: Tara Ahmed
Saleem: Moey Hassan
Gladys: Sheila Reid
Betty: Judith Barker
Alison: Lani Heywood
Mr Scott: David Mumeni
Bev: Rhiannon Clements
Dougie: George Costigan
Sandy: Steve Pemberton
Gary: Jonathon Carley