TV Review – JACK TAYLOR Series 3 (2016)

jack-taylor-series-3JACK TAYLOR: SERIES 3 (2016, Ireland/Germany, Colour, 3 x 90m)

Iain Glen as Jack Taylor
Siobhán O’Kelly as Garda Kate Noonan
Paraic Breathnach as Father Malachy
Jack Monaghan as Darragh Noonan

Based on Ken Bruen’s crime novels. Jack Taylor is an Irish ex-cop, on the wrong side of forty who has become a finder with a sharp tongue and a soft heart. He takes on the cases the police won’t touch, no matter how hopeless. He’s pig stubborn. He defends the lost and the broken. He’s good because he looks where no one else looks, talks to the people no one else talks to. Moreover, he knows every back street in his hometown, Galway, knows the seed and breed of everyone in it. But small towns have big memories, and like Jack they are quick to anger and slow to forgive.

Iain Glen returns for a third series of Jack Taylor and his character has been mellowed. Gone too are Nora-Jane Noone as Kate Noonan (replaced here by Siobhan O’Kelly) and Killian Scott whose character is replaced by Jack Monaghan as Noonan’s nephew. The episodes are adapted from Ken Bruen’s novels with varying degrees of success, but this still remains an entertaining series with Glen compelling in the lead.

Cross (17 November 2016) ∗∗∗  d. Stuart Orme; w. Marteinn Thorisson. Guest Cast: Erin Gilgen, Alan McKee, Ross McKinney, Shane Robinson, Lalor Roddy, Killian Scott, Elva Trill, Sinead Watters.  Misplaced passions come to the fore when a young man is found crucified. Joined by eager new assistant Darragh, Jack learns that the victim’s brother had been implicated in the death of a woman, and now her family are out for revenge on a biblical scale. Effective episode is more conventional in its thrills and mystery, But Glen is excellent as a slightly mellowed Jack Taylor. Traces of humour as well as the macabre. [15]

Headstone (24 November 2016) ∗∗∗½  d. Stuart Orme; w. Marteinn Thorisson. Guest Cast: Christopher Fulford, Ian Beattie, Fiona Bell, Diarmuid Noyse, Roisin O’Neill, Peter Campion, Simon Boyle. Jack is asked to locate a former nemesis of his who has been kidnapped and is being held for ransom, while also supporting Kate as she prepares for a major operation of her own. Grim and violent, but laced with dark humour. The plot is standard fare. [15]

Purgatory (1 December 2016) ∗∗∗  d. Charlie McCarthy; w. Marteinn Thorisson.  Guest Cast: Laura Aikman, Rory Fleck Byrne, Christopher Fulford, Eva-Jane Gaffney, Sarah Jane Seymour. While still dealing with the fallout from the previous episode’s events, both Jack and Kate become involved with investigating the murder of a young intern who worked at the Irish branch of a large American game software company. This is probably the least effective of the three episodes in this series – the only one in all the series not directed by Stuart Orme. There is resolution to a number of arc threads that have been spread across these three movies. [15]