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 episodes 6 (3 series)
Running time 60 mins (inc. adverts)
Production company(s) Zeppotron
Original channel Sky1
Picture format 16:9 (1080i HDTV)
Original run 26 August 2012 (2012-08-26) – present
External links

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.


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)[edit]

Episode 1[edit]

Broadcast on 25 August 2013
The first episode of the second season starts off at a bank, as Todd Carty queues up. A group of four men prepare to rob the bank as the leader gives orders "Straight in, straight out, no messing". The men pull up outside the bank and rush in, threatening people to get on the floor. One of the robbers forces the bank manager to open the safe. Whilst half of the group are taking the money from the safe, one of the robbers confronts Todd Carty. Both threaten each other to drop the gun when Todd recognises the robber to be known as "Twitch" (Ben Bishop) and works for "Macratty". A gunshot is heard which leads to Todd and Twitch shooting each other, and the rest of the group leave the bank with the money, leaving people shocked and terrified.

DC Asap Qureshi leads DC Anne Oldman and DC Des Hairihan to the crime scene as they were obstructed from Hope Goodgirl (Anna Chancellor) protesting to become a future mayor. DC Anne Oldman approached the bank manager to get insight to what happened and get a drawing of a tattoo of one of the suspects. After suspecting the scene, Tom Boss walks into the bank and informs the detectives he want the suspects caught. As Tom Boss leaves the crime scene, he gets hit with questions from reporters outside and gets asked about rumours regarding his leadership, that nobody trusts him because of what he carried out the previous year. Tom Boss apologises for any inconvenience and tried the close the issue as the reporter asks if his apology included Jack Cloth. The detectives reply was Jack Cloth is history, he has quit the force and his name is no longer to be mentioned as DC Anne Oldman runs up and holds up a cloth stating "Contact Jack Cloth".

The next scene is where Jack Cloth is at the cemetery visiting his wife and was approach by DC Anne Oldman asked for help into the investigation and was informed Todd was dead. Both Detectives talk about Michael Macratty (Stephen Dillane) in the restaurant as he is into drugs, guns and other criminal activity. DC Anne Oldman tries to convince Cloth they could catch him but Jack thinks it’s impossible as they don’t know how he looks like and cannot be seen just like a ghost. After a long hard think Jack Cloth re-joins the force and rounds up all detectives in the police station and points Macratty as prime suspect as they find out he was been involved with scrap metal thefts, robbery and murder. Jack Cloth wants the detectives to find out everything about the prime suspect such as who he knows, where he goes, is he taken? How crispy does he like his bacon- as he is eager to know the real Macratty? Cloth bumps into Tom Boss in the police station and offers Jack a handshake for friendship and peace but Jack was not having it as he still does not forgive him for killing his wife Kate but agrees to shake his hand for sake of Todd. Jack, Oldman and Hairihan now go to spy on one of the Macratty's believed scrap yard and approach "Bullock" (Tony Pitts) and questions him where Macratty is. DC Anne Oldman spots the tattoo on his arm which matched the tattoo which the bank manager sketched out.

Back at the police station Jack points Bullock as lead straight to Macratty because of the matching tattoo and decides to go undercover in this investigation. DC Anne Oldman thinks it’s not a good idea as it is a risk for Jack losing his life but Jack disagrees as he has nothing to live for. DC Anne is interrupted from a phone call by Hope (candidate for mayor) and invites Anne for dinner to discuss her future.

Later that night Jack prepares to go undercover to the scrap-yard and asks his fellow detectives for questions they might ask about him. Jack gets into his car (a stolen Ferrari) and drives into the scrap yard. Bullock pulls over Jack and asks his name and replies "Jack Copper" then starts cracking jokes with him. Now the stakes are in, Bullock leads Jack to Macratty where they walk through a night club and meet Macratty himself. Jack happens to get on the wrong side of Macratty then one of Macratty’s hitmen becomes insecure and puts a gun to his head, but then offers merchandise to Macratty. Bullock pulls out a kilogram of heroin from Jack’s trousers and Macratty is happy to work with Jack because the heroin is good.

Back at the police station, Jack shows a picture of Macratty to his fellow detectives and confesses that they need to keep supplying Macratty heroin to earn his trust but Asap objects as it is against all establish rules of narrative.

DC Anne Oldman meets with Hope Goodgirl at the restaurant for dinner as they discuss about rising matters. Hope is hoping to become the new mayor and wants Anne to become the new chief of police replacing Tom Boss but Anne trusts Tom as chief of police.

In this next scene shows Jack undercover in the club with Macratty and offers a big job regarding "Big Man" and lays the foundation if he betrays him there will be consequences. Macratty calls over one of the dancer’s to lead Jack to the back of the club to keep him company. The dancer feels up Jack but Jack didn’t want her to open up his shirt because of cables and radio. The dancer puts her hand in his jacket pocket which had lost connection with the detectives and were worried in case there cover was blown but was just a razor. The dancer convinces Jack to pretend to have sex with her because Macratty will throw her out if she doesn’t satisfy his male customers. As Macratty listens up outside, Jack’s radio comes back on and the detectives listen to them having sex which doubted the detectives which side he was really on.

The worker cries to Jack and says he is different and that Macratty lied to her that he would get her a job as the CEO of Marks & Spencer. The dancer also told Jack that if anyone tried to helped to free her, they would be killed. She asks Jack for help and he agrees to help her.

Episode 2[edit]

Broadcast on 1 September 2013

Series 3 (2014)[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]


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] are scheduled for release in the UK on September 1, 2014.

See also[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]