TOUGH LOVE. Granada TV, UK, May 2000. 2 x 90min, less adverts. Ray Winstone, Adrian Dunbar. Written by Edward Canfor-Dumas. Director: David Drury.


   Tough Love was a two-parter about the possible corruption of a tough zero-tolerance detective chief inspector who happened to be called Love.

   The programme starts with Love, played by Adrian Dunbar (on the left), picking up an award from the mayor of his northern city for the way in which his methods had cut the crime figures drastically. Intercut with this was the gangland style killing of a clearly lowlife thug.

   Soon after, Love’s longtime sidekick, the hard-bitten career policeman Detective Constable Lenny Milton (the lead role played by Ray Winstone), is approached by someone from the police corruption agency who says that the murdered man had evidence that Love is corrupt. Milton is forced to cooperate but believes that doing so will clear his friend from the charges.

   Of course it’s not as simple as that and soon he is investigating a murder in The Big Clock style, not knowing if he can count on the corruption officers to help him.

   There is much talk about the nature of corruption and the philosophy of a smaller evil being useful to counter bigger evils. This was a superior production though possibly falling just lower than top-notch.

   [Incidentally there is a real life northern Detective Superintendent over here who has cut crime figures in his area by a policy of zero tolerance. He has recently been cleared of corruption charges but remains suspended, something like three years after the initial inquiry. Clearly this has been the impetus for this fictional production.]

— Reprinted from Caddish Thoughts #87, November 2000.