The story follows Carl Galton, an ambitious leader of an outlaw gang, who wants to expand his criminal empire.
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1988  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Iain Glen ...  Carl Galton 5 episodes, 1988
Susannah Harker ...  Linda 5 episodes, 1988
Jesse Birdsall ...  Marty 5 episodes, 1988
Anthony Valentine ...  Tony Slater 5 episodes, 1988
Jerome Flynn ...  Freddie 5 episodes, 1988
Fergus Brazier Fergus Brazier ...  Nicky 5 episodes, 1988
Mario Kalli Mario Kalli ...  Mario 5 episodes, 1988
Denis Lill Denis Lill ...  George Klein 5 episodes, 1988
Stephen Persaud Stephen Persaud ...  Russell 5 episodes, 1988
Ruth Seager Ruth Seager ...  Karen 5 episodes, 1988
Sam Smart Sam Smart ...  Jo-Jo / ... 5 episodes, 1988
Adrian Dunbar ...  Con 4 episodes, 1988
Karen Frawley Karen Frawley ...  Kathy 4 episodes, 1988
Ben Howard Ben Howard ...  Bill 4 episodes, 1988
Linda Marlowe ...  Pat Klein 4 episodes, 1988
Simon Templeman ...  Chris 4 episodes, 1988
Claudette Barnard Claudette Barnard ...  Glo 2 episodes, 1988
Jon Cartwright Jon Cartwright ...  Alan 2 episodes, 1988
Helen Gemmell Helen Gemmell ...  Connie 2 episodes, 1988
Prentis Hancock ...  Broderick 2 episodes, 1988
Leslie Lyon Leslie Lyon ...  Dot Fleming 2 episodes, 1988
Phyllis MacMahon ...  Bridie 2 episodes, 1988
Patrick Marley Patrick Marley ...  Stan 2 episodes, 1988
Willie Ross Willie Ross ...  Motty 2 episodes, 1988
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Storyline

The story follows Carl Galton, an ambitious leader of an outlaw gang, who wants to expand his criminal empire.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 February 1988 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Pelon valtiaat 2 See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Euston Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(5 episodes)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Iain Glen (Carl Galton) and Jerome Flynn (Freddie) both later starred in Game of Thrones (2011), portraying Jorah Mormont and Bronn. See more »

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User Reviews

In a word: Superb.
9 September 2010 | by trpuk1968See all my reviews

I remembered this vividly from when it was on British television in 1988 and was very curious to see how well it holds up today (2010) when I watched the DVD set recently. It's even better than I remembered, but then its from the Euston Films stable who brought us canonical cop show The Sweeney as well as Trevor Preston's OUT, a moody gangland drama - thriller from 1978 so you'd expect quality.

The Fear follows Armani clad thug Carl Galton (played by Iain Glen) as he tries to increase his criminal empire in North London. Following a bar brawl, his younger brother dies, an older gangster is out of his way and Galton attempts to muscle in on two older gangsters, now respectable businessmen. These are Slater (Anthony Valentine, superb) and Klein (Dennis Lill). A sub plot involves a love triangle with Klein's wife Pat (Linda Marlowe). Another support actor with a long pedigree in British television is Jesse Birdsall as Marty, Carl's best friend. There's another great little subplot involving tensions underlying Carl and Marty's relationship...

Superb cinematography makes full use of a North London yet to become completely gentrified. Lots of moody shots of clubs, streets, canals, railway bridges, recognisable locations such as Islington's Upper Street, a pre Eurostar Kings Cross and The Grand Union Canal. To use venues like the London Apprentice or Jims's Piano bar, well known haunts of London's gay scene of the eighties, was a stroke of genius.

It captures the joyless mood of the Thatcher years so well. Galton's pretentious aspirations exemplified as he sits in an empty office waiting for the bailiffs to arrive. The red Porsche is parked outside but there's no money in the bank as his cheques bounce. Running on empty appearance is all that matters. What the eighties was so about...style and vacuity over any real substance or values.

For a crime drama, most of the violence is all the more effective by being, for the most part, implied. Glen's performance is spot on as an emotionally manipulative, twisted little psychopath tormenting his wife with mind games. Violence comes suddenly making it all the more shocking and unnerving when it does. Narcissism is alluded to throughout with numerous shots of Galton looking at himself in mirrors, or fastidiously adjusting his expensive designer clothes.

Casting Anthony Valentine as Slater, the Mr. Big, is a real treat, he is just superb and completely right for the part. His pretensions to being Lord of the Manor with a Roller parked on the drive of his mansion always and forever betrayed by his working class London accent.

The series is incredibly bold in its scope, with an epic quality to the climax taking place against the backdrop of a midsummer pagan festival. Through the shots of countryside, the interweaving of an industrial unrest subplot and themes of aspiration it becomes as much a meditation upon the nature of Englishness and the decline or otherwise of the English working classes. The Fear pulls together a noir style and sensibility with English shades of Jacobean tragedy to be one of the best British gangster series ever, one which is inexplicably and criminally under rated.


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