Saturday, November 27, 2021

Robson Green

If you don't watch PBS or have lived in the United Kingdom you probably never heard of Robson Green.  That is a pity and good reason to check out PBS who offer lots of high quality entertainment. 

He was born in Newcastle-on-Tyne and has remained a loyal football fan for the local team.  He was an apprentice draughtsman for Swan Hunter Shipyard for 4 1/2 years, quitting in 1986.  In his career he was in bands that made the hit charts.  With Jerome Flynn  he sang "Unchained Melody" which sold 1.89 million copies in the United Kingdom.  He met his second wife, Valerie who worked for the record producer, Simon Cowell.  Robson and Jerome had two other #1 hits. 

His film career has been entirely with television, mini series, but also made for tv movies. turning down non television parts offered by the British and American productions.  Because of his commitment to British television, not all his films were accessible, however between PBS and the local library I saw enough to be fascinated.

Reckless (1997) was the first of his films to be shown in America.  Not the first for me, but revealed a different character.  Cocky and confident, after all, he seduced his doctor boss's wife. My first view of Michael Kitchen who later became the lead for "Foyle'sWar" (2002-2015) series.


Reckless, the Sequel (1998) with a film series started in between.  Again Robson battles against Michael Kitchen who wants his wife back.  Michal Kitchen is another favorite from watching "Foyle's War."

Touching Evil,  (1997- 1999) one of the early ones for me, but only saw several episodes , but not the whole series.  He played a policeman who very often bent the rules.  Nicola Walker played the role of a restrainer and have learned to to appreciate her over several roles


Me & Mrs. Jones (2002) A few years older and more mature from the two Reckless movies he more  mature liasoning with the Prime Minister.   He sang the title song during credits.




Rocket Man (2005) sounded very interesting with a man trying to develop a home rocket to put his wife's ashes into outer space.  Saw on a snippet of two episodes.

 Christmas Lights (2004) supposed to be a one shot deal but was so popular extended to a another two series and a movie.  Robson played close friends with a brother in law Mark Benton.  Robson was the smart, more irresponsible, partner while Mark played the more serious.  Married to sisters they did lots as a foursome 

Northern Lights-- (2006) the two carry on

City Lights  (2007) fighting, jealousy, adultery, lots of human foibles   although humorous more dramatic.   The two men were witness to a murder and ended up in witness protection program which led to drama.  As part of the protection program it was learned the Robson character had lied to his wife about a previous marriage and this led to tension.  More seriously his friend's wife could not handle being cooped up , made a brief escape that led to a confession she didn't love her husband.  A daughter was very upset about being separated from her boyfriend.   One scene is memorable with Robson doing a male striptease for his wife, but was interrupted by their young son

Clash of the Santas (2008)  The weakest of the series.  Although the two main characters supported each other there was definitely jealousy as the Mark character, newly divorced is chosen to play Santa Claus in an international competition while Robson is reduced to being an elf.

Robson co-founded Coastal Productions with Sandra Jobling who was an executive producer for many of the films    "Wire in the Blood" (2002-2009) was filmed in Newcastle, Northumberland.   It was gory and deals with serial killers often with sexual elements.  The Robson character sees the killers as victims and talks to himself a lot when trying to unravel complicated crimes "To catch a killer you must think like one" is a phrase to promote the series.   To get inside the head of a killer Tony takes everything he knows about a killer and projects the decision making process.  Eventually he can anticipate actions of the killer and intercede.   He is disliked by many, some because he proves them wrong, others because he talks out loud putting himself into the mindset of a killer/rapist.  The two main female leads are fascinated by him, after initially being disgusted, but except for children he is very poor at most human relations.

Grantchester  (2014-2021) sees Robson as a cop working with a clergy.  Robson played the cop while James Norton and Tom Brittney took turns as the clergy.  It sounds strange, but the hard nosed cop and the educated clergy toss ideas back and forth and nail the culprit.  Aside from one episode murder mysteries the show delved into some social concerns such as racism and homophobia.  Robson plays his age and is often cranky, but still helps solve the mystery.  The last episode of the sixth season shows a very different Robson as a broken man with guilty feelings and with a very upset wife.

Robson helped open up the door for a lot of the British television.  British television is different that American with less emphasis on sensationalism and I   am grateful.

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