From There to Here creator Peter Bowker says of the drama “I wanted to write a love letter to Manchester – warts ‘n all” which is one of the worst things you can say about any show, any time. As we begin the Blown Roses play as protagonist Daniel Cotton (Philip Glenister) voice-overs “There are three battles that shape our lives. Nature versus nurture, free will versus destiny…. and City versus United.” If you didn’t want to bomb Manchester before this you will now. Regionalist pride is the worst. The Irish Republican Army make a terrible error by not killing Daniel and his nausey family during their feeble 1996 attempt at improving the Arndale Centre. He was enjoying a drink with sweet factory magnate pops Samuel (Bernard Hill) and shitbird druggie brother Robbo (Steven Mackintosh) when the blast popped a few windows and columns in the bar they were drinking in. Apart from a couple of cuts and bruises the guys are fine. It’s a simple matter now of praising the Lord, dusting themselves down and getting back for England vs Scotland in Euro 96 or the 1996 European Championships as grown-ups called it.
If you didn’t want to bomb Manchester before this you will now.
But wait, who’s that falling through the structurally compromised ceiling with a scream and a thud? It’s single mom and metaphor for Daniel’s midlife crisis Joanne (Liz White) “Nice of you to drop-in, Bolly knickers” Daniel quips. “Fuck off” she responds. After she’s had the once over from some seriously bored medics he takes her home and bugger us all if she isn’t from the same Lancashire shitpit Daniel’s father adopted him out of when he was five years old. Daniel and Joanne bond. He tells her he’s not married. His wife Claire (Saskia Reeves) might have something to say about that. “You’re not now, fuckhead” quite possibly a candidate.
The nightclub Robbo runs is experiencing some financial difficulties. He owes money to some “proper naughty” geezers and after betting £10,000 Daniel lent him on England to win five games in a row he decides to bomb his own club, blame the Micks and collect the compo. There are more holes in this plan than there are in a girlfriend of Oscar Pistorius who has just said “I find black guys really sexy, baba, wotufink?” but it’s OK because, as so often before, Daniel is there to bail him out.
I say “bail him out” what he actually does is sit with the bomb on his lap until it goes off. He’s thick that way.
Yeah, I’m not crazy about this.
The verdict: Stuck in fucking chicken town.
Marks out of 10: 6