The Scarlet Pimpernel, Series 1 by Richard Carpenter (BBC, 1999) Three feature-length episodes starring Richard E. Grant as the foppish Lord Percy and his dashing alter ego, and Martin Shaw as his amoral foe Paul Chauvelin. The BBC has long excelled at period drama. This one is fun if a little dated.
The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien (Allen & Unwin, 1977); audiobook read by Martin Shaw (HarperCollins, 2015) A posthumously compiled addendum to Tolkien’s Middle-earth stories, demonstrating the epic imagination that underpinned these works but none of their narrative pull. In essence: a vast and proclamatory, untethered bore, which not even Martin Shaw’s sonorous narration can make worth persisting with.…
George Gently, Series 1 (BBC, 2007-2008) A serious police drama in three feature-length episodes, notable for its 1960s North-East English setting as much as the criminal investigations depicted. Martin Shaw and Lee Ingleby strike up an immediate and singular dynamic as the eponymous Inspector and his impetuous DS.
The Professionals, Dossier 4 [Seasons 4 (partial) & 5] (ITV, 1980-1983) For all its featuring of shootouts, fights and car chases, this CI5 action-drama never became formulaic, hooking its viewers instead on the intrigue of original (if sometimes nonplussing) plots, strong acting and the often witty character dynamic struck between its three principals.