Review: Blackout

New three-part drama Blackout, the tale of a morally deficient, alcoholic council official turned good guy after a chance act of heroism, started off with a debut episode of sophistication and suspense.

Christopher Eccleston stars as Daniel Demoys, the unsupportive, cheating husband, the absent, disappointing father and the alcoholic drinking spirits on such a large and constant level that the audience can’t help but wince, putting Eccleston in a role that makes a nice change from his usual righteous performances.

Most of us are familiar with the feeling of getting so utterly intoxicated that we wake up the next morning with little recollection of the night before (see Corp nights out) i.e. blackouts.  Blackout takes this common phenomenon to the extreme, with Demoys drunkenly attacking a corrupt politician while they meet to discuss a deal, eventually killing him.  Rapidly Demoys learns he is the culprit and commits himself to retribution, eventually and quite unbelievably landing himself in a position to become Mayor after a publicly misconstrued life saving act.

The series is set in an unknown city of what seems like mostly rain, darkness and skyscrapers.  Could it be London, Manchester, or perhaps even Gotham city?  Who knows, but playing up to the hallmarks of a stereotypically large and corrupt city centring around commonly understood themes of corruption, political apathy and poverty, it doesn’t really matter.  It’s easy to see what Bill Gallagher is getting at.  Demoys takes the role of some kind of Two-Face in reverse, the public hero persuaded to cure a city as sick as him.

The series has set itself up well to be a tangled story of justice and retribution with intersections between the lives of a mix of characters, sure to lead to an interesting unfolding of the plot.  Sure it has its flaws;  Demoys’ arrival at public fame and potential political power lacks grossly on the believability front, alongside what seems like rapid resolution over previous misdemeanours in the Demoys household, but hey, a drama is a drama, not a documentary.  Overall, Blackout is certainly worth following.

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