THIS is so wonderfully original and I loved it. It’s a drama, told in verse, about the lives of three men in Manchester who are, because of various misfortunes, forced to live in their cars.

A ghostly Maxine Peake wanders the neon-lit districts of the city and acts as narrator, introducing us to the characters and talking in poetry about their hard life on the damp streets. The three men have all been reduced to their present circumstances by the recession.

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One is a builder who is too ashamed to admit his contracts have fallen through.

He kips in his Transit van, while leaving lonely voicemails for his wife in which he pretends he’s in a Holiday Inn and about to order up some room service.

Another is in debt and has lost his home, with little prospect of things improving on his terrible call centre wage.

The third character is an older guy in a suit who sleeps in his silver Mercedes, his smart clothes and fancy car the only symbols he has left of his previous good lifestyle.


THE soldiers in this new six-part drama have tattoos, speak casually, and sit around “taps aff” in the roasting sun. This is a period drama but it feels strangely modern. The vigorous sex scenes add to the disjointed effect. On the one hand, this is a drama set in the fading days of the British Empire, and on the other it feels utterly new. Even the bra one of the officer’s wives hangs tantalisingly on her balcony, for all the squaddies to see, looks like it’s fresh out of Debenhams.

The story is set in 1960s Aden, among the British Military Police as they face an uprising by the locals.

As the men get to indulge in war games and adventure, the women have less fun.

Jessica Raine, best known from Call The Midwife, plays a bored military wife (she of the Debenhams bra) who conducts a passionate affair with her husband’s colleague while chipping ice from the freezer to dunk in her endless glasses of gin.