Eye For Film >> Movies >> Minder - Series 10 (1994) Film Review
Cast your mind back to the time of Mrs Thatcher and her government of flying monkeys. Dennis Waterman and George Cole starred in ITV's most popular comedy drama Minder, but it was Cole's comedy creation Arthur Daley that overshadowed his co-star. Arthur, along with Del Boy from Only Fools And Horses, were Eighties archetypes. They personified the wheeler-dealer, upwardly aspiring, dodgy Cockney geezer and defined an era.
By the Nineties, it was all over. Waterman had wisely decided to quit while the show was still on top, but Thames TV decided to carry on without him and for the last two seasons Arthur's minder was his nephew Ray, played by Gary Webster.
Surprisingly, this new chemistry worked rather well. Waterman, who had come to the series from cop drama The Sweeney, had a tough guy image to maintain and on his departure the writers had an opportunity to discard the obligatory fisticuffs in every episode and to focus more on the personalities, which had always been the most interesting aspect of the show anyway.
This DVD comprises the entire final series and sees Arthur and Ray getting into various scrapes, including accidentally running a brothel, doing community service and attempting to sell a car to a nun. Other regulars also return, including the ever-reliable Glynn Edwards, as Dave the barman, who features in the episode, Another Case Of The Van Blank, wherein he, Ray and Arthur attempt to bring over cheap booze from the continent.
Die-hard fans will be delighted that the final series is now available in a box set and even those who are not familiar with Arthur's world can discover for themselves that this is still a top character-driven British drama.
Minder was a series that maintained its quality to the very last. It's a shame that it passed its sell-by date before they flogged the century as damaged goods.Reviewed on: 13 Apr 2005