Ultimate Force, ITV1
What’s it all about?
An SAS squad led by Henno Garvey shoot foreigners.
What to say if you liked it
A thrilling, visceral insight into the brutal world of the SAS.
What to say if you didn’t like it
A drama brimming over with an intoxicating mix of ultraviolence, sexism and appalling dialogue – liquidized emotion through a straw for the terminally insensitive.
What was good about it?
• The storming of the hijacked aircraft was well-handled and exciting.
• The highly immoral way in which the terrorists were neutralised with a burst of machine gun fire to the head, even if they were prone and no longer a threat added a dose of realism – like the Spooks, but without the associated guilt.
What was bad about it?
• Ingenuity worthy of a porn film to concoct plotlines that would coerce attractive new recruit Becca into scenes of undress – from being stripped by the commanding officer during a fake interrogation to showering with the “lads” after the completion of the successful mission.
• The utter rejection of feeling and expression from these professional soldiers, where Henno Garvey denotes emotion through a raised eyebrow.
• The terrorists were campaigning over China’s occupation of Tibet – so why did they hijack a Chinese airlines plane in Britain, and murder a British security officer?
• The abysmal dialogue. “That’s a big ‘but’.” “It’s a Jennifer Lopez, mate.”
• Becca’s overly staged sub-Matrix slow motion shooting of a terrorist.
• On the TV broadcasts covering the hijack, the screen wasn’t plastered with self-promotional banners.
• The stupidity of the terrorists, who had prepared so diligently they were oblivious that no non-suicide hijackers have been successful in over 25 years.
• The Home Secretary, with guide dog, was lamentably out of date.
• The incredibly predictable plot – if life were this straightforward Russell Grant would be out of a job. The worst examples were:
1. The Air Marshal who molested the female terrorist as she stashed the guns on the plane signed his own death warrant as he would be the obvious choice of the first passenger to execute, and as he was already shown to be a deviant the audience weren’t too disturbed by the brutality of his killing.
2. The happy, newly engaged happy couple sitting in the departure lounge would suffer – he got a whack over the head with a rifle butt.
3. That new recruit Becca would play a crucial role in the raid – she was called upon when the terrorists demanded women pilots to fly the plane foolishly believing this guaranteed it wouldn’t be an undercover soldier.