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Visit the Nick Sharman Web Site - Updated

Sharman (ITV, 8.30pm) If a computer could chum out popular television drama, using proven ing- redients, it might come up with this. Sharman (Clive Owen) is a tough private detective who deals in south London lowlife. His past includes a failed marriage and a failed police career due to drug addiction. He loves his young daughter (a more accept- able vulnerability), and women love him. He is EastEnders' David Wicks with a gun and a brilliant name (sounds like "charming", looks like "shaman"). All of which, plus Samantha Janus and London's Bum- ing-style explosions, suggest a hit.

The above info thanks to Grace

Pictures from Sharman thanks to Genevieve

Sharman - The Times 1995

Remember Kavanagh QC and how we groaned? Same old courtroom plots, same old characters straight out of central casting, same old glossy production values. That's the one hugely popular and a critical success to boot. Well, for Kavanagh QC read The Turnaround (ITV). Same old private detective storylines, same familiar cast and, just like Kavanagh, same old problems with the 9pm watershed if the producers continue to cram 90 minutes of adult drama into the pre-News at Ten slot. And if it doesn't also turn out to be hugely popular and a critical success to boot, I'll eat my video tapes.

TX_TX From its gripping start to its Tarantino-like climax, The Turnaround was very good indeed. Beautifully made, nicely acted and with more than enough plot to fill an hour and a half, last night's pilot episode should have no difficulty convincing the network controller that a few more might be in order. But not too many, mind after all, we wouldn't want to spoil a good thing.

Success arrived despite familiarity of truly towering proportions, providing further proof that if you rework an old formula well enough, it really doesn't matter. A series about a moody private detective with problems at home and problems at work now there's original. Nick Sharman (Clive Owen) matched the Identikit exactly. A man with an ex-wife and an ex-police career, he now scrapes a living as a private detective, assisted by a beaten-up BMW, a secretary with a shoplifting habit and a very fat cat. Oh, did I mention that he has a very beautiful girlfriend (Rowena King)? Sorry, but you'd probably guessed that.

As Sharman, Owen combined male magnetism with brute insensitivity in sufficiently equal measures to attract a following among both sexes. His pursuit of the missing money, stashed away by a crooked and now dead financial adviser, was aided and abetted by a strong cast, including a bearded Bill Paterson as the menacing but moribund client and John Salthouse as Sharman's obligingly bent police chum, the improbably monikered DI Robber.

Also excellent was Rowena King, although she spent so much time establishing what Fiona wasn't (she wasn't a policewoman, a strippagram or a private detective) that when she eventually turned round to announce that she also wasn't our hero's girlfriend any more, I wasn't a bit surprised. While The Turnaround looked and sounded great, the plot did occasionally move along at alarming speed. "They were obviously looking for the money Kellerman stole from his investors," said Sharman, after, ooh, all of three minutes' investigative work. "Do you know that?" said a worried-looking Paterson. It came as a bit of a surprise to me too. But never mind, I'm already looking forward to more. (Thanks, Erica)

Four images above thanks to Erica