Why I’m loving Mad Dogs – Thursdays, 9pm, Sky 1

Whilst this season has seen the launch of new channel Sky Atlantic, with amazing shows such as Boardwalk Empire and Treme, it has also launched new profiles for current channels such as Sky Living HD and Sky One HD, with new and exciting shows.

Mad Dogs made it’s debut a few weeks ago, and I am ashamed to say that whilst I set my sky plus to record, I , like most of the nation, prioritised it way behind the likes of Boardwalk Empire and Bedlam, in our ‘to watch’ category

Mad Dogs is based on 4 childhood friends, Baxter (John Simm), Rick (Marc Warren), Woody (Max Beesley)and Quinn (Philip Glenister),who, having now all grown up and separate from each other, all go to visit their other friend, Alvo (Ben Chaplin) in his Spanish Villa.

Alvo has arranged and funded the trip, and from the moment they arrive, it is quite apparent that he is not the same person they remember. His actions border on eccentric and his motives for getting them out there seems to change from re-kindling their friendship, to rubbing their noses in his fortune.

It seems that he is quite resentful of his friends for not being there for him and believing them to be better than him. After a night out he,one by one, in turn alienates each of them from him, in a backfired attempt to belittle them and turn them against each other.

After a series of seemingly frantic phone calls regarding his business deals, it becomes clear that he has not acquired his fortune and success in the traditional or conventional way, and that he is involved with some dodgy deeds with dodgy people.

The evening ends when a masked gunman enters the villa and shoots Alvo dead in front of his friends.
Knowing that Alvo must have more to hide, and the fact that they were all present at the murder, the other four realise they look more than suspicious and set to cover up his death. The beginning of the first episode sees them all making an emotional appeal to their loved ones on a video camera, which was also used to promote the show as a teaser trailer.

Mad Dogs was commissioned as a four-part series by Sky1’s head of drama Elaine Pyke, announced in May 2010. Cris Cole wrote the episodes. The series sees the return of John Simm and Philip Glenister, who previously worked together on the BBC One series Life On Mars.

This drama is refreshingly different and imaginative, offering a real darkness and insight into troubled minds. The production and filming capture the ambience and feel of it, and from the moment you press play you are gripped. The best type of show is one that keeps you guessing and changing your opinions constantly, and Mad Dogs ticks every box.