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  • "Burnside" is a spin-off from famous and long-running U.K. police drama "The Bill", made by the same company and starring possibly that show's most popular character, DCI Frank Burnside (Chris Ellison).

    There the similarities end.

    Part of The Bill's longevity has been its quality scriptwriting, standout acting and fly-on-the-wall documentary style photography, even lacking a music soundtrack. You believe you are there.

    "Burnside" introduces a hip new style, cool soundtrack, sassy characters and gritty plots. Unfortunately it also introduces odd dialogue, stereotypically non-stereotypical police officers (more like NYPD Blue) and stretched-out, convoluted plots.

    The premise that Frank has moved up to the National Crime Squad (cf FBI) is a good one, but his team (DC Sam Philips and DS Dave Summers) are a waste of space. They don't do anything. How did they manage to get promoted up to that level? Sam spends most of her time talking dirty - maybe the character is trying to assert herself in a male world - or maybe it's just moronic scriptwriting. And her mother is an alcoholic? Oooh, gritty. And I'm sure there must be millions of gay, black detectives in the police.

    Burnside as DCI spends a lot of time asking his junior officers what is going on, obviously a device to inform the audience but it makes Frank seem like he isn't doing anything. In the second story (episode 3), he bizarrely dismisses Sam's idea that the photographer is the culprit and then changes his mind, making most of the episode a waste of time. He whines about having "facts" although there weren't many "facts" against the other suspect, either. And Frank was never much of a "facts" man, anyway.

    Why it takes the three of them to solve the crimes they do is a mystery. Reg Hollis could sort them out on his own, between tending Sun Hill's garden to building his model trains.

    Putting Frank Burnside into his own show was an excellent idea but it still needs "Bill"-like scripts and production values. As it is, they seem to have inserted a character called Burnside played by the same guy into a fairly generic, unextraordinary police drama. It's actually a testament to Chris Ellison and the wonderful character he has given life to that this show is worth watching; because despite everything it doesn't occur to you that he's an actor playing a role: Burnside lives and breathes and every nuance conveys volumes.

    Burnside is still one of the great dramatic characters, but "Burnside" could have been so much more.
  • Burnside is a great action-drama with punch, and "The Bills" Christopher (Chris) Ellison puts into a brilliant performance as Frank Burnside.

    This man is looking for revenge against an infamous media personality who killed his partner and great friend years earlier, and like a desperado he would do anything to achieve his objective!

    This series is a classic, and should be enjoyed and looked upon as one of the great modern-day series from Britain for many years to come!
  • Burnside is an old style CID copper made famous in hit crime series such as The Bill. Life on Mars come to mind but this is realism. Now working for the crime investigation squad, Burnside investigates when a gang of drug dealers start gun running. He also investigates a serial killer, again copied in new crime programs. The Russian Mafia also feature, all copied by lesser coppers! When a trial ends in disaster, Burnside and his team find themselves investigating a Gangland murder. When a group of women are killed one by one, Burnside and his team race against the clock to find the killer before he strikes again.

    Watch out for Ronnie "The Razor" Buchan, a former London gangster and Burnside's nemesis.

    Wonderful acting by Ellison as Burnside and good stories.

    Highly recommended good old fashioned crime stories.

    Tough anti hero .
  • I agree, this series was a disappointment. Chris should stick at what we know him best for.

    An attempt to capitalize on Burnside without Burnside... I mean who could have thought of that, an undoubtedly popular character that if returning today (13 years later) would be much like Hilda returning to Corry.

    Burnside needs to get back into "The Bill", after all, he MADE the show.

    After he left it sadly went downhill, not surprising given the strength of his character and charisma (can't believe I said that).

    Was it really 1993?
  • The best type of television cop is the fascist but fair cop . Jack Regan from THE SWEENEY and Frank Burnside from THE BILL are the personification of the fascist but fair cops as seen on British television , yes they beat confessions out of guilty men and occasionally blow away a bad guy but the bad guys were guilty in the first place so that makes it all right.

    THE BILL started to lose its impact after Burnside left the series and the show suffered from much lower ratings because of it , hell Burnside was THE BILL so the producers kept bringing him back every now and again . And being a sometimes avid watcher of THE BILL I was looking forward to seeing this " gritty " spin off show but felt it was a complete waste of time afterwards

    This series is called BURNSIDE but is a complete misnomer . It consists of six episodes of three 2 part stories but if you`re expecting them to revolve around Fascist Frank you will be in for a major disappointment since only the first story centres around him , the other two centre around his colleagues the very attractive Sam Philips who is far too pretty to be a convincing policewoman and Dave Summers who is a gay black policeman . Yup a gay black policeman and never once does Burnside come out with the obvious line " Don``t stand behind me you iron " . Not only that but for both of the latter two stories Burnside is off screen for much of the time , compare this with the amount of BILL episodes where he`s the focus of the story . And despite the post watershed screening time and the very occasional use of the " F " word by the villains there`s nothing memorable about the episodes and could have easily been written for any British television detective show

    Any chance we`ll be seeing Frank back in THE BILL after this debacle ?
  • Warning: Spoilers
    For those of you don't know, Frank Burnside was a detective in the long-running police series "The Bill" and possibly its greatest ever character. Therefore it is a shame that this series, with him at the helm, was such a let-down. Back in the '80s and '90s, The Bill was noted for its fast-paced, realistic and involving story lines. What we have here is the complete opposite - a ridiculously movie-like over-glamorised show with over-length and long-drawn-out story lines. The first, involving a boy who takes revenge on his bullying peers, is admittedly entertaining, and it's a treat to see the return of Burnside with his ever-cynical manner. But overall this series is a might-have-been, has more in common with US cop shows than with the TV series of fond memories.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    It's going to be hard finding enough words about this rubbish to fill 10 lines, but I'll have a go. I understand Christopher Ellison (Burnside) is quite a talented artist & I'm delighted to see he appears to have returned to this profession because the guy cannot act to save his life. His entire 'range' consists of an (unconvincing) aggressive stare. He was awful in "The Bill" but then "The Bill" is trash full stop and I'm delighted to see this ghastly spin-off sank without a trace. Ha Ha. The "plot" to this dreadful series could have come from a particularly bad Australian soap opera and the cast was packed full of ethnic minorities, totally unlike the real Metropolitan Police. That obvious bow to political-correctness spoiled it for me right at the beginning and Ellison's dreadful acting kept it at bargain basement level throughout. Yuch. The only consolation is that this garbage is highly unlikely to ever be screened again.