|Genre:||TV series, Thriller|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 540 Min.|
|FSK:||From 16 years|
|Anzahl der Disc:||6|
|Sprachen:||German (Dolby Digital 5.1)|
Contents: For Gardo officer Jack Taylor (Iain Glen) there is nothing more important than justice. It is more important to him than his regulations and it also does not stop at high animals. But this attitude becomes Taylor's downfall when he clashes with the Irish Minister of the Interior at a traffic check and gives him one. He is immediately released from the police service. From now on, the hard-drinking Taylor earns his living as a private detective and continues to make the streets in and around Galway a little safer.
This is the starting point of the "Jack Taylor" series of 10 novels by the Irish writer Ken Bruen. Located in his native town of Galway, Bruen not only tries to use classical noir elements in his novels, but also to portray as real a picture as possible of the social and political situation in Ireland. Iain Glen, known from "Game of Thrones" or "Downton Abbey", could be won for the title role for the film adaptation. And the striking bulkhead looks really good as a rough-and-ready loner. The film was shot at original locations in the city of Galway and other locations in the county of the same name. In keeping with the tone of the novels, the makers did not rely on the typical postcard romanticism with which Ireland's picturesque landscapes were sold, but rather on dreariness and gloomy realism. They succeeded in doing the trick that the series nevertheless often has a fascinatingly beautiful and intensive visual language that fits perfectly to the atmosphere of the stories.
The cases Taylor has to solve are sometimes very dark and of enormous emotional heaviness. The very discreet, but effective use of dry humor makes the whole thing a bit more relaxed, which significantly increases the entertainment value of the series. Nevertheless, "Jack Taylor" is not a light crime food that you can just watch on the side. The first six movies are stirring and at times also very complex, so that you as a viewer are quite challenged. In terms of dramaturgy, the series has a rather ordinary structure and clearly follows the typical crime thriller rules. And even if this lacks one or the other element of surprise, the six films are never really boring or too constructed. "Jack Taylor" is solid tension TV with a great main actor and a very engaging atmosphere and therefore absolutely worth seeing. And that's what the first six cases of the private detective are about:
DVD 1: The ex-bull
Jack Taylor (Iain Glen) is an excellent investigator, a great cop. If he didn't drink so much and interfere in everything, nothing would stand in the way of a career. But Jack can't help but brutally slap a bribing minister in the face during a traffic check. There are consequences: Jack is immediately fired and thus goes down in Galway's history, as the Irish police are considered so corrupt that you can't actually be fired. Jack is now investigating as a private investigator. A rather dubious profession in Ireland, too close to the "informer", to the Irish terrorist scene. He opens his office in the back room of his favourite pub. Anne Hennessy (Tara Breathnach), an attractive woman who worries about her missing teenage daughter, finds him there. When he asks her why she has asked a drunkard like him to find the girl, the answer is that he has nothing to lose. It arouses Jack's curiosity, and not just about the case. He starts researching. The seemingly private job soon puts Jack on the trail of a monstrous crime: a total of four teenage girls have died in the raging river Corribh in recent months and have always been washed up in the same place. Jack finds clear evidence of murder, which his former police colleagues obviously deliberately did not want to pursue. With the help of the young policewoman Kate Noonan (Nora Jane Noone), who recognizes that things have been swept under the carpet on her territory, Jack finds the former employer of the girls, Planter, a highly respected patron of the arts. They learn that Planter also financially supports Sutton (Ralph Brown), Jack's boozing companion. Although Sutton is a brilliant painter, he is also unpredictable because he served as a lone warrior and paratrooper in the Kosovo war and is familiar with the craft of killing. While Jack falls hopelessly in love with Anne Hennessy, Sutton on his own puts the supposed murderer of the girls. He drapes his corpse in his studio as a kind of art installation. For Jack, who is now himself under suspicion of murder, this means that a limit has been crossed. He's confronting Sutton. Jack is also disappointed when it comes to his attractive client Anne Hennessy. As Jack slowly realizes how the cards are shuffled in this case and what he's getting himself into, it's almost too late. Because now not only his reputation as a private detective is at stake, but also his life. (Text: ZDF)
DVD 2: Eye for an eye
After one year in London Jack Taylor (Iain Glen) returns to Galway, recovered and surprisingly sober. He has renounced the boozing and dirty detective work that had dragged him into a dark maelstrom of death and violence. But he is put to a hard test when the father of a childhood friend asks him for help. His son Niall died under mysterious circumstances. The police assume suicide, but the father doubts and speaks of murder. Jack's taking the case. Every street in Galway has memories for Jack, he also meets his great love Anne (Tara Breathnach) again. She still fascinates him, but is now associated with Tim Caffrey (Stuart Graham), a successful and dubious building contractor. Jack discovers that Anne is beaten by Caffrey and takes on his rival. At a party in Caffrey's noble house, Jack threatens the landlord to ambush him at an unexpected moment. For this quite clear announcement there are many witnesses, among them Superintendent Clancy (Frank O'Sullivan). Jack is pursued by a somewhat pushy young man named Cody (Killian Scott), who has long revered Jack as an idol. Cody wants to join the detective agency as a partner, but Jack doesn't take him seriously. But Cody doesn't let up and doesn't clumsily interfere in the investigation. Jack finds out about a vigilante group that is apparently exercising vigilante justice in response to the rapidly rising crime rate in Galway. There's a lot to suggest that Niall may have been her victim too. Its members call themselves "Pikemen" and refer to peasant freedom fighters from times of British rule. From the fighting peasants they have taken not only the name, but also the special weapon, the Pikes, a kind of spear. The "Pikemen" have nothing against Jack, they see him as an independent fighter for law and order who defies justice and stands up for a safe Galway. Jack gratefully rejects membership. Then Tim Caffrey is found slain on one of his construction sites. Jack's a prime suspect and is being arrested by Superintendent Clancy. Nobody believes in Jack's innocence anymore, not even his best friend, the policewoman Kate (Nora Jane Noone). Jack manages to escape from prison and finds a single, faithful ally: Cody. It's a fight against time, they have to find the real killer before Jack gets caught. And again Jack stands on the precipice. He understands that the right track leads over the "Pikemen". Apparently, he's getting into a life-threatening deal. (Text: ZDF)
DVD 3: Fallen girls
Jack Taylor (Iain Glen) is commissioned by the daughter of a former inmate of the dubious Magdalene laundries to find out the identity of a former nun. Everybody called her "Lucifer" then. Jack receives the diary of the deceased mother of his client and begins to search for the mysterious and cruel Lucifer. Until well into the second half of the 20th century, Magdalene laundries were homes for "fallen girls". The young women were stigmatized as sinners, had to repent under the strict guidance of Catholic nuns and work in the laundry without pay. The Magdalene Homes were also the scene of the worst abuse and humiliation by the nuns. Lucifer is said to have been the worst nun of all and tortured the girls in a sadistic way. In his diary Jack reads about brutal grievances and humiliations. As soon as Jack has begun his investigation, Bill Cassell (Liam Carney), Galway's underworld boss, unmistakably warns him: He should lay down the case, hand over the diary - or he dies. Cassell is serious and plays Russian roulette with Jack. He barely escapes death. Meanwhile, Cody secretly sneaks into the church archives and finds out that any documents that might indicate Lucifer's identity have disappeared. Everything looks like a deliberate cover-up in which Father Malachy (Paraic Breathnach), the closest confidante of Jack's mother, is significantly involved. And then Jack makes a discovery in the old diary that worries him more than anything. Apparently, his own mother, to whom he has always had a rather tense relationship, also counted among the "fallen girls" as a home inmate. Jack's research unintentionally turns into a journey into the past of one's own family. What began as a seemingly simple search for persons develops into a bloody series of murders, without any initial connection being established. Two young men were executed in cold blood on the street. They were brothers. A third brother is now under police protection. When Jack kills a henchman of Bill Cassel, who wants to steal his diary, in self-defense, the situation gets worse. Jack suspects that the two murders of the young men are connected to the diary and the mysterious Lucifer. And he also suspects that there could be at least one more dead if he doesn't manage to get behind Lucifer's secret soon. (Text: ZDF)
DVD 4: Queen of Pain
Jack Taylor has been dry and in good condition for weeks. He takes care of his sick mother, who lives in a nursing home, marked by a stroke. Jack reads books while his young colleague Cody is seriously worried about the economic existence of the investigator duo. One night the student Sarah Bradley falls from the roof of the university and dies. Dressed in a theatre costume, a ring of paper on her hand and a line of text from the synge play "Deirdre, Queen of Pain" on it. In the blood of the young woman drugs are found, therefore the case is clear for the police: accident or suicide. In any case, there is no need for action. Professor of literature Gorman, however, assumes a murder and commissions Jack to investigate the case. Meanwhile, Cody, disguised as a student, enters the university's literature courses. There he quickly learns about the dark secrets of the university scene, drug escapades and affairs. Again and again a name appears: Professor Doyle, who seems to maintain quite close relations with his students. Jack takes him to his chest. Kate Noonan, Jack's closest confidante and police friend, is under pressure. Her new supervisor Griffin makes it unmistakably clear to her that she must break off all relationships with Jack Taylor if she is ever to be promoted. Griffin is secretly in love with Kate, so Jack becomes even more of a persona non grata. Then another student dies, again in a costume from the play by the Irish playwright Synge, but Inspector Griffin holds fast to the suicide theory. Cody discovers old videotapes of synge performances in Galway in the archive. As the "Queen of Pain" in the play, the young wife of the gray Professor Gorman was a star. Jack's shocked when he sees the old movies. Many years ago, he himself had a brief affair with Gorman's wife, who has since died of cancer. She had also turned other men's heads. She inflicted mental pain on her lovers because she kept returning to the professor, Jack recognizes parallels to Deirdre at Synge. Kate takes Griffin's advice and stays away from Jack. But she's investigating on her own. She is targeted by the murderer, who obviously plays a fatal game - under her own dramaturgy. Who's pulling the strings? And who might not survive the last act? (Text: ZDF)
DVD 5: Day of Retribution
Under the altar of a church one finds the decapitated corpse of the old priest Father Royce (John Kavanagh). Of all people Jack Taylor's (Iain Glen) eternal adversary Father Malachy (Paraic Breathnach) asks him for help. He fears for his life because he guards a dark secret: Many years ago Malachy had had to watch how Father Royce got lost with altar boys. Royce was then transferred abroad, the crime covered up by the church. The boys, two twelve-year-olds, were left to their own devices. And now Father Royce, shortly after his late return from the USA, has been cruelly murdered. Jack and Cody (Killian Scott) go on a search for the two victims of that time, Michael Clare (Ronan Leahy) and Tom Reed (Aaron Monaghan). Both never left Galway. Michael Clare is a caring family man and highly successful businessman. Tom Reed, sentenced ten years ago for the rape of underage Christian Treacy (Gavin Drea), is now a drug-addicted little dealer in a dilapidated apartment, where he lives a sad life. Jack and Cody dig into the dark past of Michael Clares and find evidence that it wasn't Reed who was past the boy, but Clare. Reed had taken the action in exchange for a lavish settlement so that the other could continue his promising career. Again and again the investigations are thwarted by Nuala (Valerie O'Connor), the opaque, attractive sister of Michael Clares. She works as a journalist and it is under this cover that she turns to Cody and Jack. She first flirts with one and then gets the other under the blanket. Then the drug-addicted Reed is found dead in his dosshouse, dying of an overdose. For the police, the case is closed, the priest killer is dead. Only Jack and Cody have doubts about this theory and continue to stir in the swamp of the church past. And now events are happening. Father Malachy survives an assassination attempt by a hair's breadth. And there is much to suggest that the day of retribution is far from over. (Text: ZDF)
DVD 6: The Silent Child
Jack Taylor left Galway and went to Dublin to get over the shock of being shot at his young assistant Cody. Cody's been in a coma ever since, and nobody can tell if he'll ever wake up from it again. Jack hires himself out as a private detective, shadows unfaithful wives and drinks heavily again. He practically lives on the street. In the night a blood-drenched, eleven-year-old girl, Rosie, runs out of a piece of forest towards him and collapses in his arms. The child lives with her Traveller family in a caravan park. Apparently Rosie witnessed her mother Sinead being murdered in a ruin. The police in Ireland are full of prejudices when it comes to Travellers. The prevailing opinion is that the different clans kill each other. Jack, who's also a Traveller, is taking the case. He convinces Sweeper Manganese, the chief of the clan and brother-in-law of the murdered, that he will find the murderer. Rosie's father Eddie Mangan, suspected of murder and connected to the drug and underworld scene, is against Jack's interference. Jack sees a deep gulf between the brothers: Eddie's convinced Sweeper had an affair with his wife Sinead. The only way to solve this case is through Rosie. But the girl is traumatized, says nothing. She feels guilty about her mother's death. Jack, also full of guilt about Cody, gradually finds access to her. They both profit from this in their grief. But then another disaster happens: Rosies father's caravan goes up in flames. Eddie burns, Rosie escapes. Sweeper gets arrested, only Jack believes he's innocent. But what if the hit wasn't about Eddie? Then Rosie's life would be in danger. Did the killer want to kill her? Did she see him and possibly recognize him? What's Rosie hiding? Rosie's mother came from a different clan. Her death resurrects the old blood feud between the Kelly and Manganese families. With the help of policewoman Kate, Jack's good friend, they take Rosie to safety. But Jack still doesn't suspect that he trusted the wrong people and that Rosie is in acute danger even in her seemingly safe hiding place. (Text: ZDF)
Picture + sound: There is nothing to criticize about the technical implementation. The picture is very clean, the sharpness is also on a good level for such a TV production and the small flaws, which become visible in the darker moments, hardly have a negative impact. The colour scheme is harmonious and looks very atmospheric, especially for outdoor shots. The sound is only available as a German Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. The dialogues are very powerful, but also a bit too frontally mixed. However, sound effects, ambient noise and music then ensure that the surround channels are also used audibly from time to time. Good!
Extras: As a bonus the DVDs have short interviews with the scriptwriters, among others.
Result: "Jack Taylor" is an entertaining and thrilling crime series, which doesn't reinvent the genre, but offers really good entertainment thanks to thrillingly told stories, a little rough humor and a pithy leading actor. The box contains the first six films, all of which are of good quality. The technical implementation also leaves a good impression and short interviews also give a worthwhile insight into the making of the film adaptations and Ken Bruen's popular novel series. Those who like solid crime thriller entertainment can confidently access it here. Recommended]
Quelle: Sebastian Betzold, contents: ZDF