Monday, June 13, 2016


Owen McDonnell as Jack Driscoll.
Premise: Jack Driscoll, formerly of the Dublin police, moves back to his home in a remote area of western Ireland and replaces his father as the Garda (police) Sergeant. Jack (Owen McDonnell) learns that his father was a corrupt cop and that his mother turned a blind eye to her husband's vices. Jack is pretty much on his own; his only subordinate, Finbarr Colvin, is incompetent and in debt to the crooked local pub owner. Jack investigates crimes involving murder, drug-trafficking, and arson.

Running Time:  60 minutes (13 episodes).

Status:  There were four seasons broadcast between 2007-2010. They're available on DVD in the U.S.

Production Notes: Singe-Handed was nominated for Best Drama Series at the 2008 Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTA), but lost to The Tudors. At the 2010 IFTAs, Owen McDonnell was nominated as Best Actor in Television and Ruth McCabe, who played his mother on Single-Handed, won as Best Supporting Actress in Television. Most of the series was filmed in County Galway in western Ireland.

Our Review:  Single-Handed is a solid detective series that integrates the mysteries with subplots involving Jack, his family, and friends. We eventually learn the reason for Jack's abrupt resignation from the Dublin police. In the fourth season, a long-lost cousin appears and lays claim to part of the family's estate. The series offers a unique portrait of local law enforcement corruption and its aftermath. McDonnell is an effectively moody protagonist and the Irish landscapes are spectacular.

Grade:  B.

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