And to make matters worse poor Morrissey has a marathon-addicted wife who is also suffering from amnesia (she forgets their wedding anniversary). And there’s more. His teenage daughter is in the grip of hormone hell and is pestering taxi-driver dad for…driving lessons.
Enter Ian Hart or is that Paul Whitehouse? The resemblance is uncanny. Hart plays an old pal just out of the nick after a six-stretch and someone who you just know is going to lead poor Morrissey astray.
Hart’s also got domestics of his own. While in the nick his identical twin has moved in with his bird and got her up the duff! Are those the opening strains of Coronation Street I hear striking up..?
Yes The Driver is jam-packed full of clichés and stereotypes. To add to the hard-grafting hero with dysfunctional family and dodgy pal we also have the mysterious villain ‘The Orse’ – or The Horse to those of a southern persuasion – a man so named because of his striking resemblance to Shergar…don’t worry you’re not the only one struggling with that one.
Said ‘Orse offers our cabbie the chance to drive for him, but hey there’s more strings attached to this little caper than a parachute. On paper it looks like Morrissey has struck gold: his mission should he choose to accept it (which he does, reluctantly of course, very reluctantly) is to drive the ‘Orse around the suburbs of Manchester for which he receives a grubby bundle of £20 notes. Bingo!
Ah, but there’s a catch. The ‘Orse is obviously up to no good. And the first episode ended with Morrissey catching a quick glimpse of a trigger poking out of the holdall in his boot – part of his latest consignment.
Moments later and the police – for reasons best known to themselves – are pulling Morrissey over to a layby as he ferries said shooter to the ‘Orse. Instinct takes over and our hero speeds away, in the grip of fear and then rather bizarrely, elation.
And that was the end of episode one. All rather predictable and tame: ultimately a plodding tale of average Joe straying from the straight and narrow.
If you manage to stay the course, The Driver might just get into second gear, but on the evidence of this first episode I wouldn’t put my shirt on it.