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Truckers

Thu Oct 10, 9-10pm, BBC1

Truckers
By Adam Lee Davies |
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Episode one
On the strength of the opening fifteen minutes of the BBC’s new comedy-drama charting the trials and tribulations of a crew of Nottingham-based truckers you could be forgiven for dismissing this as a thinly-scripted, pathos-free ‘Saxondale’ rip off. Stephen Tompkinson not only appropriates Tommy Saxondale’s accent, mid-life collywobbles and love of the open road, he also seems to have nicked his greying fright-wig – although he’s had the good sense to give it a bit of a comb through.

But as it proceeds, ‘Truckers’ improves immensely, largely thanks ‘Made in Dagenham’/‘Common As Muck’ writer William Ivory’s ear for salty dialogue and a raft of uniformly excellent, restrained performances that never let the broader strokes of the stock characters – tough bottle-blonde, weedy young middle-manager obsessed with stats, thick young mimbo – get too broad.

It might be a little too genitally-obsessed for some to take the building drama of Tompkinson’s spiralling breakdown entirely seriously, and it can be a little aimless at times, but for what it is, this is superior stuff.

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