A Touch of Cloth

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A Touch of Cloth
Genre Comedy/Police procedural
Created by Charlie Brooker
Boris Starling
Written by Charlie Brooker
Daniel Maier
Directed by Jim O'Hanlon
Starring John Hannah
Suranne Jones
Julian Rhind-Tutt
Navin Chowdhry
Adrian Bower
Daisy Beaumont
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 3
No. of episodes 6
Production
Running time 60 minutes (inc. adverts)
Production company(s) Zeppotron
Distributor Endemol UK
Release
Original channel Sky1
Picture format 16:9 (1080i HDTV)
Original release 26 August 2012 (2012-08-26) – present
External links
Website

A Touch of Cloth is a British television comedy police procedural series created and written by Charlie Brooker and Daniel Maier.[1] It is a parody of British detective and crime dramas, and stars John Hannah as title character Jack Cloth, a police detective with personal issues, and Suranne Jones as Anne Oldman, his bisexual colleague. The title is a play on the title of another detective series, A Touch of Frost, as well as the British euphemism "to touch cloth". To date there have been three series.

Plot[edit]

Series 1 (2012)[edit]

Episode 1[edit]

Broadcast on 26 August 2012
A Touch of Cloth is set around the life of former detective inspector Jack Cloth (John Hannah), who quit his profession after his wife was murdered. At the start of the first episode, Jack has been called back in to investigate a new killing and is assigned a new partner, DC Anne Oldman (Suranne Jones). After inspecting the crime scene, they are confronted by their Chief Constable, Tom Boss (Julian Rhind-Tutt), who informs them he wants answers quickly and gives them an unrealistic 2pm deadline. During the ensuing investigation, subsequent murders are discovered, and a link is revealed between all the victims and a witness.

Episode 2[edit]

Broadcast on 27 August 2012
After discovering that the killer has been focusing on the former jurors of an old murder case, Cloth instructs his team to find all the remaining jurors and get them into a safehouse. The show then pokes fun at crime dramas and their use of clear boards to organize evidence;[2] but this does, nonetheless, help the team in pinpointing their prime suspect, Bradstock. Later that evening, while working together in the office,"sexual tension" pops up between Cloth and Oldman, only to be interrupted by a phone call from Oldman’s bisexual partner, Gemma (Jeany Spark).[2] During the ensuing search for Bradstock, Cloth discovers that an ex-officer, DCI Bill Ball (Brian Cox),[3] was involved in framing Bradstock for the murder he was convicted of, back in 1996. Subsequent murders dishearten Cloth, and he is invariably chastised by his boss, Chief Constable Boss, who threatens to suspend him. However, Oldman sees through the masquerade and reveals to Cloth the real identity of the killer.

Series 2 (2013) – Undercover Cloth[edit]

Episode 1[edit]

Broadcast on 25 August 2013
Actor/policeman Todd Carty is fatally shot during a bank robbery, and with his own blood scrawls "Macratty" on the floor, and "Contact Jack Cloth" on a cloth. Cloth has retired from the police force and is working as a taxi driver. His former colleague and lover, DC Anne Oldman, finds him at the cemetery visiting his wife's grave, where she asks for his help. Although he refuses at first, Cloth eventually returns to the force to lead the investigation despite tensions arising from the reinstatement of Assistant Chief Constable Tom Boss (who killed Cloth's wife and several jurors in the previous series—but has apologised, undergone a course and not killed anyone for months), and from his previous relationship with Oldman. Cloth goes undercover as a criminal named Jacques Copper, and eventually gains a meeting with the mysterious "guv'nor" of the bank robbers, Mr Macratty (Stephen Dillane). Cloth gets further in with Macratty's gang when he offers them a kilogram of heroin (which he had previously stolen from the Vice Squad tuck shop), and is offered sexual services with a dancer at Macratty's club, who begs him to help her escape. Meanwhile, Oldman is being seduced in more ways than one by mayoral candidate Hope Goodgirl (Anna Chancellor), who wants her to take Boss' position as chief of police.

Episode 2[edit]

Broadcast on 1 September 2013

Cloth's cover is nearly blown when one of Macratty's henchmen sees him meeting with Oldman in a café, and leaves an answering machine message before Cloth crushes him with a bulldozer. After a further test of Cloth's character, Macratty trusts him enough to reveal that he works for the "Big Man", and that the gang's target is a small museum exhibiting the world's largest collection of gold, diamonds and cocaine—although Cloth is assigned to retrieve a nuclear detonator while the rest of the gang raids the museum. With his cover blown, and driven by Katya's death, Cloth and the team realise the nuclear bomb is intended to destroy the "Help a Blameless Child" telethon, and they rush to the TV studio to confront the mysterious "Big Man".

Series 3 (2014) – Too Cloth for Comfort[edit]

Episode 1[edit]

Broadcast on 9 August 2014

Episode 2[edit]

Broadcast on 10 August 2014

Critical reception[edit]

A Touch of Cloth has generally received mixed to positive reviews. In its review of the first series, The Guardian wrote that the show is "stuffed to the rafters with jokes", noting the variety of both good and bad jokes.[4] Radio Times also commented on the hit-and-miss nature of the show: "while a lot of [the jokes] don’t stick ... when it’s funny, it’s deliriously so."[5]

Series 2 received a similar critical response, with Time Out giving 3 out of 5 stars to the first episode[6] and 2 out of 5 stars to the second episode.[7] Again the show was both criticised and praised for its relentless jokes, with one critic calling the second series "black-hole dense with good gags" but saying he "couldn't wait for the experience to end."[8]

Cast[edit]

Main characters[edit]

Actor Character Series
1 2 3
John Hannah DI Jack Cloth
Suranne Jones DC / DI Anne Oldman
Julian Rhind-Tutt ACC Tom Boss
Navin Chowdhry DC Asap Qureshi
Adrian Bower DC Des Hairihan
Daisy Beaumont Dr. Natasha Sachet
Todd Carty Himself / DC Todd Carty

Guest stars[edit]

DVD release[edit]

A Touch of Cloth - The First Case was released on DVD in the UK on 3 September 2012. DVD release elsewhere has yet to be announced.

Series 2[9] and 3[10] were released in the UK on 1 September 2014.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Plunkett, John (2011-08-26). "Charlie Brooker pens spoof crime drama for Sky1". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-08-26. 
  2. ^ a b "A Touch of Cloth: Charlie Brooker's Top-Cop Show Clichés". 2012-08-26. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  3. ^ "A Touch of Cloth (TV Series)". 2012-08-26. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  4. ^ Wollaston, Sam. "TV review: Bad Sugar; A Touch Of Cloth; C4's 30 Greatest Comedy Shows; Murder: Joint Enterprise". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  5. ^ Seale, Jack. "A Touch of Cloth Series 1 Episode 1". Radio Times. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  6. ^ Harrison, Phil. "A Touch of Cloth". Time Out. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  7. ^ Tate, Gabriel. "A Touch of Cloth review". Time Out. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  8. ^ Jeffries, Stuart. "What Remains; Charlie Brooker's A Touch of Cloth 2; Vera: TV review". Retrieved 12 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "A Touch of Cloth 2 - Undercover Cloth". amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 23 July 2014. 
  10. ^ "A Touch of Cloth 3 - Too Cloth for Comfort". amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 23 July 2014. 

External links[edit]