Martina Cole’s The Take Review: Has More To Give

June 15, 2009 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews

THE TAKE, Wednesday 17th June, Sky 1, 9.00pm ALERT ME

I had high hopes for this show.

Granted they were based on the giant posters in the underground but they are pretty stylish.

For starters The Take is set in the eighties, a decade being made interesting again thanks to programmes such as Ashes to Ashes and Nick Love’s film The Business. There’s a lot to be said for the styles and attitudes of the eighties which, while a very recent memory for a lot of people, are a world away from the Britain of today.

Tragically, if the first episode of The Take is anything to go by this angle has been mostly overlooked by the show’s makers.

Secondly, Tom Hardy is an intense and exciting young actor and I was intrigued to see if he could carry off the lead role in this new drama series.

That answer to that is it’s too early to tell.

What we do get, by the Cortina-full, is a pacey if somewhat clichéd romp through the Kray-esque, all ‘abaat the faamily’, East End geezer, shoot ‘em up, loveable Cockney rogue, criminal underbelly of eighties London. Which, the more of I see, the more I’m convinced probably never existed.

Hardy plays Freddy. Freddy’s just got out of prison so first things first he’s going home to do the missus doggy-style, then he’s got a bit of business to sort out with an ex-business associate. You see what I’m saying?

So far, so seen it all before. But Freddy’s got big aspirations and he’s not happy to be playing new boy to crime boss Sidney. So it’s only a matter of time before something snaps. And snap it does.

My biggest gripe with this show is the aforementioned transparency. Nothing happened that I didn’t expect to happen. Unfortunately, because the majority of the characters – Freddie, Sidney, Mickey, Jimmy  (stock East End geezer names) are all slightly cliché it doesn’t make any difference how much time you spend filming them brooding. They’re not going to surprise you.

On the plus side, Tom Hardy has something of the ‘mental’ about him and he does what he does very well, with a large does of magnetism. He’s exciting to watch and he plays Freddie with a swagger that makes Liam Gallagher look like Chaplin.

There’s definitely room for maneuver with The Take and it will be interesting to see how things develop in Geezerville.

Jack McKay


Ah, the cockneys. Don’t you just love ‘em? Check our our run-down of Cinema’s Worst Cockney Accents. And while you were watching The Take you may have missed out on Tears, Tiaras and Transsexuals. Apparently one of the most heart-warming, life-enriching bits of telly for a while….

chris brown says:

watched this all episodes back to back and hated it.

unimaginative drool, dont know why i even watched the second part.

the rape scene was disgusting and did nothing for the production.

just another exaple od really bad writing we could all do without.

John Sage says:

Your review is full of basic grammatical/spelling errors. Here are four about which you should be embarrassed. Buy yourself a dictionary.

‘Which, the more of I see, the more I’m convinced probably never existed.’

‘because the majority of the characters … are all slightly cliché’

‘Tom Hardy has something of the mental about him’

‘There’s definitely room for maneuver’

Fin says:

Best thing to be on the goggle since The Firm (Gary Oldman). Pony review btw from Jack the div, dunno what you get your kicks from on the goggle but if the take doesnt do it for yeah, i’d send your licence back. Top top programme.

Rich says:

Would hardly say that the over looking of the eightie’s angle was ‘tragic’. The source material spans from the mid-eighties to the mid-nineties, which places the opening part of the drama in the eighties purely so the story can develop over that time, it’s not a gimmick.
I found the fact that it wasn’t too heavy on the shell suits refreshing. Ashes To Ashes plays so hard on the retro card because it (and Life On Mars before it) cannot sustain drama on its own merit, as the terrible BBC campaign for its new series is testament to.
Good to see something that might compete with HBO-weight drama rather than the poor cousins we usually peddle out in this country.