Fish (UK TV series)

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Fish
Genre Legal drama
Created by Stephen Tredre
Written by
Directed by
  • Brett Fallis
  • Claire Winyard
Starring
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 6
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s) Miriam Segal
Running time 50 minutes
Production company(s)
  • BBC
  • Principle Pictures
Release
Original network BBC One
Original release 2 May (2000-05-02) – 5 June 2000 (2000-06-05)

Fish is a British television drama series first broadcast on BBC One in 2000. It features Paul McGann as the title character, alongside Jemma Redgrave and Mick Ford. It was created by Stephen Tredre, written by Tredre and Matthew Bardsley, and co-produced by the BBC and Principle Pictures.

Premise[edit]

Jonathan "Fish" Vishnevski (McGann) is an employment lawyer who specialises in industrial tribunals. His wife has left him and gone abroad, leaving him to look after their young son, Simon (Jack Stanley). In court, he often comes up against lawyer Joanna Morgan (Redgrave), who becomes his love interest. His friend Trevor (Ford) is an amateur philosopher who owns a mobile burger bar.

Additional characters include Ivan Vishnevski (Philip Voss), Harold Cornice (Stephen Moore), Sarah Cornice (Jill Baker) and Jess Taylor (Daniela Denby-Ashe).

Creation and production[edit]

The series was inspired by the brother of producer Miriam Segal[1] and conceived by Stephen Tredre in 1994, who took up screenwriting due to illness.[2] After obtaining funding from Principle Pictures, Segal approached ITV and then the BBC with the programme, who both turned it down. It was then offered to the BBC's regional drama department, BBC Birmingham, and the series was commissioned.[2] After reorganisation within the BBC, the series was announced in 1999 by the corporation's drama head, Mal Young.[3]

The first episode was written by Tredre before his death in 1997, with the rest of the series completed by Matthew Bardsley.[4]

The series was filmed in London and cost £3 million.[2]

Redgrave's marriage to lawyer Tim Owen did not put her off taking the role of lawyer Joanna Morgan, telling Rob Driscoll for the Birmingham Post: "I've been dying to play a lawyer for the longest time, precisely because I know that world quite well now. I'm just worried if people spot mistakes, after all this seemingly reliable research!"[5] Also speaking ahead of the first broadcast, McGann described his character as having "depth" and said of the "intelligent" writing: "It will really engage people. They'll find themselves strangely intrigued. This is the sort of television we should be making, television that makes you think."[6]

Episode list[edit]

No. Title Director Writer Original air date
1 "The Sins of the Father" Brett Fallis Stephen Tredre 2 May 2000 (2000-05-02)
2 "Uncharted Waters" Brett Fallis Matthew Bardsley 9 May 2000 (2000-05-09)
3 "Ever Decreasing Circles" Brett Fallis Matthew Bardsley 16 May 2000 (2000-05-16)
4 "Dancing with the Devil" Claire Winyard Matthew Bardsley 23 May 2000 (2000-05-23)
5 "Love's Labour Lost" Claire Winyard Matthew Bardsley 30 May 2000 (2000-05-30)
6 "Another Shade of White" Claire Winyard Matthew Bardsley 6 June 2000 (2000-06-06)

Reception[edit]

In his review for The Herald, David Belcher found the first episode "a bizarre, overly-complex TV hybrid", categorising it as "so-wrong-it's-only-right-to-watch-aghast-and-snicker".[7] Tony Purnell in The Mirror wasn't 'hooked',[8] and Frances Grant in the The New Zealand Herald said that "Fish doesn't yet seem to be an interesting enough character to single-handedly carry a series", with the review concluding with a quote from the series: "You lot in suits – you're very bland."[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ogle, Tina (23 April 2000). "TV lawyer fishes for an audience". The Observer. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Waller, Ed (2 May 2000). "Off the hook". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "Fish heads Young new drama drive". Broadcast. 6 August 1999. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  4. ^ Moreton, Cole (12 September 1999). "Film world acclaims writer's final act". The Independent. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  5. ^ Driscoll, Rob (23 February 2000). "Interview Jemma Redgrave". Birmingham Post. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  6. ^ Fergus, Lindsay (23 April 2000). "Sorrow of actor McGann at drama writer's death". The People. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  7. ^ Belcher, David (6 May 2000). "It's all far too fishy". The Herald. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  8. ^ Purnell, Tony (3 May 2000). "Fish just will not catch on". The Mirror. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  9. ^ Grant, Frances (9 January 2001). "TV: Fish out of water in this limp courtroom drama". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 

External links[edit]