By the end of the initial episode, I was impressed. By the end of the second, I was depressed. You see, while lots of exciting things were going on at its periphery, at its heart the programme had degenerated into another soap, which should have carried the subtitle Officers & Their Wives. It had turned into middle-class military mush.
Stuff rankled. The only token Scotsman was a loud, overweight, heavy-drinking, angst-ridden NCO. Talk about stereo-fucking-typing!
But the clincher for me was when the surgeon, who had been called upon to save the life of the wife of a fellow-Officer, declared: “Her husband and I were at Sandhurst together.”
Oh, fuck, BBC, we don’t want this pish. We want more honest, working-class, believable dramas like Broken. Bring back Jimmy McGovern!
(By the way, Beeb, A Scottish Soldier was written in the 1960’s by Andy Stewart, who made his fortune from the stereotypical kilted Scottie image. It’s highly unlikely that a veteran of the First World War, dementia-suffering or not, would call it one of the “old” songs and ask his son – the aforementioned overweight NCO – to sing it to him down the telephone line. Just sayin’.)