Tag Archives: Ballykissangel

DCI Banks: A New ‘Tec On The Block.

Stephen Tompkinson plays DCI Alan Banks. (Image: onenationmagazine.com)

It’s another new season on TV. The summer detritus has blown away like gas from a fibre diet. With the exception of Sherlock, there was nothing on TV worth investing valuable time. Even the World Cup wasn’t all it should have been.

So what is there to look forward to, now that the autumn schedule is almost in full swing? For sci-fi geeks like me, the return of Fringe and Stargate Universe has pride of place. For more down-to-earth entertainment, crime fans, like me, have two new series to look forward to. Mark Billingham’s creation Tom Thorne comes to Sky next month. I’m especially looking forward to this because I’ve read all of Billingham’s novels, and the casting of David Morrissey (he of The Next Doctor) is inspired.

Image: inspectorbanks.com

Stephen Tompkinson plays DCI Alan Banks in a new two-part story for ITV called Aftermath. It’s based on the twelfth book of author Peter Robinson’s series featuring Banks. I’ve read the first book only, so I’m not familiar with him as I would be with Thorne. But it’s a solid enough start. Banks, like most TV detectives nowadays, comes with his own quirks and demons. He’s a divorced father of two (his ex-wife is pregnant by her new husband), he’s a devoted fan of Jazz music, and he sees his victims watching him as he searches for justice.

This is a twisted story, with enough going on to make come back and watch the second part next Monday. Tompkinson is a good actor; he has that drawn and haunted look that served him well when he played a conflicted Catholic parish priest in Ballykissangel. Provided it gets good reviews and the network are satisfied with the finished product, I can see DCI Banks becoming a regular fixture on our schedules.

To be honest, though, ever since John Thaw and Inspector Morse solved their final case and retired to the Great Police Station Up In The Sky, there has been a dearth of quality TV detective shows. I’m hoping that Banks and Thorne can address this.

Mick Lally 1945-2010 R.I.P.

The late Mick Lally

One of Ireland’s most beloved character actors died today. Mick Lally, known to many of us as Miley in the long-running soap Glenroe, passed away peacefully in hospital this morning. He was 64.

Lally began his career as a teacher and secured a part in the premiere of Brian Friel’s play Translations in 1980 while a member of the Field Day Theatre. Company.

His work on television in the RTÉ series Bracken and later his role as Miley in Glenroe made him a household name.

He also starred in the BBC television series, Ballykissangel, and in the award-winning Ballroom of Romance.

Lally’s versatility as an actor extended to the cinema where he appeared in Irish language films. He was a fluent Irish speaker and an advocate of the language.

Lally also starred in Hollywood-funded films including Alexander, directed by Oliver Stone, and provided the voice in the animated film The Secret of Kells.

He is survived by his wife Peggy and their three children.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen has said he is ‘shocked and saddened’ by Mick Lally’s death. Mr Cowen added: “He was one of the most loved actors of his generation and will be dearly missed by the public and his colleagues in theatre and television.”

Minister for Culture Mary Hanafin has paid tribute, saying his contribution to the theatrical world had been immense. “His wonderful ability to communicate with his audiences whether in the intimate setting in the early days of Druid, on stage in the National Theatre or in the sitting rooms of homes every Sunday for over 10 years playing the character of ‘Miley’ in Glenroe, Mick Lally was an integral part of the world of acting and, by extension, our society.”

Additional reporting from RTE.ie