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  For any news/information relating to the return of Cracker in 2006, click HERE 

JULY 2006


Cracker is set to be re-released as a new Region 2 DVD box set on 16th October 2006, complete with the new one-off special. Each story will also be available to buy individually.


Viewers in America will be pleased to know that BBC America have obtained the rights to screen the new one-off Cracker special, along with Jimmy McGovern's BBC drama series 'The Street'. No exact air dates have been mentioned however. WorldScreen.com recently reported the following: 

BBC America has picked up two dramas from award-winning writer Jimmy McGovern—'The Street' and 'Cracker'—from Granada International. 'The Street'  is set in Northern England, with each episode focusing on a different house on the block. It is a Granada production for the BBC. The cable channel has also taken a new feature-length episode of the crime drama 'Cracker', with Robbie Coltrane starring as criminal psychologist Dr. Edward 'Fitz' Fitzgerald. The channel’s GM, Kathryn Mitchell, notes, "We're thrilled to present two new works from one of the most important writers in modern U.K. television drama. From the emotionally powerful stories about the relationships of ordinary people in a small blue collar community in The Street to his exploration of international relations in the exciting new Cracker story, these shows demonstrate the incredible range of Jimmy's talents."

MAY 2006


Good news for viewers in the UK - Cracker will be getting another repeat on ITV3 beginning this month. Episodes will be shown on Thursday nights at 11.30pm and begin on Thursday 18th May 2006 with the first episode of the 'The Mad Woman In The Attic' (times may vary from week to week).  ITV3 will most likely be repeating Series 1, 2 and 3 and possibly 'White Ghost' in what would be a run-up to the screening of the forthcoming 'Nine Eleven' special in the autumn on ITV1.

APRIL 2006

> 4TH SERIES OF CRACKER IN 2007? (Posted 11/04/06)

There have been a few reports recently indicating that Cracker may be returning for a 4th series in 2007 after the 'Nine Eleven' one-off special is screened later this year, with creator Jimmy McGovern once again on script duties. It remains to be seen how completely true these reports are, but it's certainly surprising news given both Robbie Coltrane and Jimmy McGovern's reluctance in the past to commit to another full series. Another special in 2007 maybe seems more of a realistic possibility. According to the reports, an ITV insider was quoted as saying "Jimmy always fancied bringing Cracker back, but it’s been difficult to get Robbie to commit because he’s so busy. Luckily, everyone’s enjoyed doing the one-off so much they’ve agreed a series.”


> ITV's '50 Greatest Shows' - The Results (Posted 14/09/05)

ITV screened the countdown of it's Top 50 TV shows on Saturday 10th September 2005 (results based on votes by the public), in which Cracker came 12th - a little disappointing given some of the dubious entries that made the final top 10 - but respectable all the same. Christopher Eccleston was interviewed about the series in which he spoke about "Jimmy McGovern's scripts" and the programme's ability to be unpredictable (citing the early killing off of his character DCI Bilborough as an example) as to why the series was so good. Jimmy McGovern's "Hillsborough" docu-drama also came in the top 50, charting at No.24.

To view the full top 50 click HERE

MAY 2005


> ITV's '50 Greatest Shows' - Vote (Posted 11/05/05)


ITV, the channel on which Cracker was originally aired back in 1993 in the UK, celebrates it's 50th anniversary this year with a countdown of it's '50 Greatest Shows' and Cracker is, quite rightfully, one of the shows nominated. Viewers will be able to vote for their favourites and see the results in a three hour long final countdown to be shown on ITV in September.


For more information about how to vote for Cracker in ITV's '50 Greatest Shows' click HERE 




> ITV3 Screening Cracker - The Entire Series (Posted 07/01/05)


Fans in the UK will be pleased to know that ITV3 is now screening the entire series. Episodes will be screened every Wednesday night at 10.00pm and begin on Wednesday 5th January 2005 with the first episode of "The Mad Woman In The Attic".


MARCH 2004


> Cracker Is Coming Back! (Posted 30/03/04)


After a lengthy eight year absence, Cracker is finally making it's way back to our television screens. Robbie Coltrane will be reprising his role as Dr.Edward "Fitz" Fitzgerald in a planned 2005 special one-off episode with series creator Jimmy McGovern writing the script!  


For more details on the return of Cracker click here




> Region 1 DVD Release


Those outside of the UK and Europe will now be pleased to know that the 1st Series of Cracker was released in Region 1 format on October 14th 2003, with the 2nd Series due out on February 24th 2004. No news as yet of a release date for the 3rd Series but I am sure it can't be that far off now. Still, like the Region 2 format, there are sadly no extra's or deleted scenes etc. 


> Channel 4 - The '100' Greatest Scariest Moments


Another Top 100 list was screened on Channel 4 recently, this time the "100 Greatest Scary Moments" of film and television, and to even my surprise Cracker made it onto the list at No.87th. The scene in question was the confrontation between Fitz and Albie in 'To Be A Somebody' when Fitz returns into the interview room carrying the bomb Albie had addressed to Jimmy Beck. Scary? I'm not sure about that, but definitely suspenseful. This is what Channel 4 had to say about the selected scene that made the Top 100:


"No.87 - Granada's Cracker starred Robbie Coltrane as Fitz, the maverick wise-cracking, hard-drinking, gambling forensic psychologist. To Be A Somebody sowed the seeds for writer Jimmy McGovern's unforgettable dramatisation of the Hillsborough tragedy. Robert Carlyle played a terrifying Scouse psychopath, Albie, who snaps after the death of his father. He exacts revenge for the Hillsborough disaster in his own twisted way, killing both a shopkeeper and police officer Christopher Eccleston, in one of the most shocking scenes shown on UK television. But the scene with real nail-biting tension had Albie face to face with Cracker, who is holding the unexploded parcel bomb that Albie sent to the police. The building is cleared until it's just the two of them. Tick tock, tick tock.." 


MARCH 2003


> Coltrane admits he would play Fitz again


The following brief article made it's way onto the internet recently, taken from a recent Teletext interview with Coltrane:


Robbie Coltrane has confirmed he wants to make a one-off special of Cracker. He turned down a fourth series of the criminal psychology show in the mid 90's, for which he won a Bafta, but the actor says he would consider reprising his role of Dr Edward "Fitz" FItzgerald if the script was written by Jimmy McGovern. Coltrane is spending the next six months filming Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, before starting work on the fourth Potter film. He told Teletext "What we wanted to do was a film, that's what we all agreed at the last cast party. But a one-off would be great. My career has always been by chance and I have been terribly lucky, especially when you see the list of people who were up to play Fitz. I didn't have a game plan".


That actually sounds pretty promising from Coltrane, but as usual it all comes down to one sole factor - Jimmy McGovern. Unless he writes the script then sadly I can't see it happening.


> Cracker is released on DVD


Yes the full series is finally going to be available to buy - release date 12th May 2003 - Region 2 Only. For more information click here




In a recent web chat on 29/01/02 with 'Virgin' Robbie Coltrane finally had something to say about the possibility of there ever being another Cracker story.  At least there is now the possibility, however small, that a new story could still happen. You can read the full transcript of this interview at Virgin Chat.


"Cracker was three years and that was that. I always said we would do a one-off if we got a really wonderful storyline, one that was in keeping with the psychology of Cracker. If somebody came up with a fantastic story that was completely convincing as a Cracker story I think we'd always be happy to do one more. But not for economic reasons." 




> DVD Release Of Cracker? 


After receiving several e-mails over the last few months asking me if I know of a DVD release for Cracker I decided recently to contact Granada Media to see if they had any plans to release the full series on DVD. I was told that there was no plans at present but it was something they were planning to look at in the future, and to contact them towards the end of the year for any further news - which I shall be doing, as I like the many other people who have contacted me, would love it to finally be released on DVD. As soon as I find out anything I will be sure to post it here.


> Is Fitz Really Harder Than Tony Soprano? 


Well, according to Channel 4's recent Top Ten TV Hardmen of all time he is! Fitz was voted in at 9th place, just ahead of Tony Soprano. I was suprised that Fitz was included in a top 10 that also featured the likes of The Equalizer, The Professionals and erm, BA Baracus from the A-Team! I suppose as hard men go Fitz is mentally tough - but he's never been known as physically hard (except maybe when he head-butted Jimmy Beck). But it was fun to see him in the list all the same, and it was backed up by comments from producer Gub Neal, Barbara Flynn, Geraldine Somerville and Coltrane himself.


MAY 2001


> The 36th Greatest TV Character of All Time


Channel 4 recently screened it's Top 100 TV Characters and Robbie Coltrane's Fitz was in at No.36, as voted by the british public. Of course, I am completely biased and personally felt he should have been a lot higher - but 36 was good enough! The show showed some brief clips (mainly from 'To Say I Love You') complete with comments from the shows producer Gub Neal and TV writer Russell T Davies. For the full top 100 visit the Channel 4 Top 100 Website




> The 39th Greatest British TV Show


The British Film Institute recently published their Top 100 British TV Shows of all time, in which Cracker came in at 39th place, respectable when you consider the list featured all genres of TV and from the list it appeared to be the highest placed crime series. It was also voted as the 9th best british drama series/serial made. Further information is available about the list at the BFI Website but this is what they had to say about the show:


"Exploiting the critical distance offered by a non-police hero, McGovern's furious writing railed at religion, the media, mob mentality and the police force itself. In the hard-drinking, compulsive gambling, bitterly cynical, chronically reckless but nevertheless brilliant psychologist Fitz, McGovern took the archetype of the flawed hero to new extremes. Particularly impressive were two stories dealing respectively with a child murder, and a psychopath (a terrifying Carlyle) exacting revenge for the Hillsborough disaster, which contained the germ for McGovern's later single drama on the subject."



The Unofficial Guide To Cracker 1999-2006