The Jack Taylor TV series, featuring Ireland’s favorite film noir PI, is finally back. The good news is, Jack is the same as he ever was, world weary and worn around the edges, but game for taking on new cases – when it suits him. The bad news is there are no big surprises as well as lots of small things it’s best not to think too much about. If you set that aside, and you like Jack, you’ll enjoy this new set of three episodes.
Iain Glen wears the Jack Taylor role easily. He’s also still wearing his old Garda overcoat and looks as haggard as ever. (Perhaps, it’s all the work defending Daenerys in Game of Thrones.) The one-liners are as snappy as ever. The voiceovers are gone though, and this set of episodes feels slightly more modern than the earlier six episodes. It has been a full three years (and they were one of our first reviews on this site). The stories are still based on Ken Bruen’s novels.
When the first episode, Cross, opens, Jack is moving into a new, modern apartment. His friend Kate (now played by Siobhan O’Kelly) from the Garda (police) stops by to lure Jack into investigating a murder she thinks the police are not equipped to handle. With Jack’s former sidekick, Cody, about to move to Boston, he needs a new helper.
Fortunately, Kate’s cousin Darragh is new in town and intrigued by danger. Darragh provides some humor and a breath of fresh air. He drinks carrot juice and practices Tai Chi, a sharp contrast to Jack’s habits. There is a hint of supernatural in this episode and a good twist at the end.
Headstone is second in this set. It’s not as solid as Cross, but that may be the excitement of the new series wearing off. As we noted in our original review, a little space between each episode – not binge watching – is the best way to enjoy the Jack Taylor TV series. Jack competes with another PI in this episode, which brings back a character from Shot Down, the last episode of the earlier series.
Purgatory is the final episode in the series. Other than demonstrating why British actors should not try southern accents, it’s an entertaining episode with an interesting twist. It also digs just a little deeper into Jack Taylor, the man. At this point, viewers will have some questions about the direction of his personal life. By the end, we get a good idea where it’s headed.
This third set of Jack Taylor brings back directors and writers from the earlier episodes. The consistency is good.
Will we see more of Jack? Ken Bruen published his 12th Jack Taylor novel in 2016, but each set of three TV episodes has aired about three years apart. Don’t look for more of the Jack Taylor TV series anytime soon. In the meantime, all nine episodes, each about 90 minutes, are available on Acorn TV. And, though they arrived with less fanfare, the new Jack Taylor episodes are also on Netflix.