DON’T FORGET THE DRIVER REVIEW

Don't forget this week to watch DON'T FORGET THE DRIVER. This is because going off this somewhat quirky first episode, this new dark-comedy has bags of promise and potential.

Co-written by and starring the excellent Toby Jones as beleaguered coach driver Peter Green, it is set in the seaside town of Bognor Regis.

DON'T FORGET THE DRIVER BBC2

Very early on we discovered that Peter had a strained relationship with his daughter Kayla (Erin Kellyman).  She is a bit of a layabout, but there was something instantly likeable about her and the free-spirited performance that Erin gave us.

We also learned that Peter's mum Joy (Marcia Warren), had dementia.  I loved the writing here because it brought some humour out of this often taboo and very distressing topic.  It certainly did not mock dementia let me make this clear.  However, I loved the way the writing made me smile.  I'm thinking here of the scene where Kayla discovered that her gran had decapitated all the garden gnomes.

The star character for me though was fellow coach driver Squeaky Dave (Danny Kirrane).  Dave being extremely uncouth, sex mad, but who was immensely likeable and amusing with it.  He had some great lines and is another great acting talent in this great show.

The continual juxtaposition to the humour was the impact on Peter, of him discovering a dead body on the beach.  This is what made this comedy so appealing because it was not just a splatter-gun of endless cheap jokes.  There was depth to this show underneath all the amusing dialogue and action.  Dementia, illegal immigrants and the mundanity of life in Brexit Britain were all touched upon.

This episode featured Peter and Squeaky Dave, drive a coachful of old-age-pensioners to War Graves in Dunkirk.  It was believable, touching, but most of all funny.  The comedy highlight coming when one old boy tried blowing on his bugle, only for him to deliver a rather pitiful attempt of the Last Post.

In an overcrowded genre, this programme stood out in a good way because it was just that bit different to the norm.  Accompanying the accomplished storytelling, was the highly stylised and mighty impressive mise-en-scene.  I am thinking here of the stunning scene at the end where the lighting of the pier matching the lighting of a sky lantern.

Overall, a great first episode to a dark-comedy that is more than worthy of us watching the second instalment.

- Watched on BBC Two. 09/04/2019

Andy Lloyd

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