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Intense Gripping Crime Show
Shoestring was a unique series, a ratings winner for the BBC it was perhaps the most popular thing around at the time and spurned a fashion for loud pyjama style shirts! At the core of the show was Trevor Eve, a superb actor who played Eddie Shoestring with power and frightening intensity. Always on edge, you never knew how Eddie, the former mental patient turned Private Eye would react, and you kind of guessed another breakdown was always on the cards (none more so than in Mocking Bird). There wasnt a bad episode in this show, and Eve quit after two series leaving us with a show whose legacy was untarnished, giving a good lesson to other series that carry on long past their time. The show gave us some superb cameos too. Toyah Wilcox turns up as a wannabe pop star long before she was one and Christopher Biggins, Peter Dean, Michael Elphick, Eric Richard, Sean Arnold not forgetting Bert Kwouk
(better knowk as Peter Seller's sidekick Cato) all turn up in this series. The last episode The Dangerous Game is like a roll call of the future stars of The Bill, Boon, Dear John and I am sure many others besides. Eddie went out on a high and there are rumours that the eagle may fly again, Trevor Eve's wife dropping a less than subtle hint in a recent interview. I must mention Michael Medwin & Liz Crowther as the radio station stalwarts and of course Erica Bayliss, Eddie's long suffering girlfriend without whom this series would have missed something. Despite this, the glory of this show beloged to one man, Trevor Eve.
Vastly underrated series!
Dangerfield was a classic series, one of the old school of TV series that relies on a strong story and cast rather than a crash bang wallop of special effects. As well as launching the careers of two of British TV's sexiest soap doctors (Namely Lisa Faulkner - Dr Vitoria Merrick - Holby City and Tamzin Malleson - Dr Kate Brady - A&E) Dangerfield brought us the life of a Police surgeon Paul Dangerfield. His wife had been killed in a car crash and he was struggling to cope with the task of dealing with two teenagers Marty & Al (played initially by Sean Maguire & Lisa Faulkner). Everyone could relate to someone in this and the first series saw Al's boyfriend die in a tragic hiking accident and Marty struggle to find himself - and a job!
At the end of series one both Maguire and Faulkner quit leaving the producers the unenviable task of finding replacements! Faulkner's raw sex appeal had made her a favourite with male audiences and most male teenagers had every reason to relate to Maguires inspired portrayal of the sensitive and intense Marty. The casting of Tamzin Malleson as Al was inspired, in a complete contrast to Faulkner, Malleson had the beauty of the classic English rose, and a totally different style, so the charactor changed out of all recognition coping with being a single mother trying to strike out on her own. Maguire proved more difficult to replace the producers turning to former BluePeter presenter Tim Vincent who though had the looks lacked Maguire's charismatic style and in comparison was perhaps a little wooden, but still managed to turn in a credible performance. Nigel Le Vaillant quit in 1997 leaving the show in the capable hands of Nigel Havers. His charactor didnt have the teenage children or the emotional problems of his predecessor making the show dependant on its Police storylines rather than its previously disfunctional family orientated plots! Havers did a great job, but something was missing - namely Al and Marty who for this viewer made the series so memorable.