More Nightshift-BBC4 &Why did it Finish so soon? Saturday 21 May 2011 7:57pm G.M.T

Yes, Boo hoo, what happened to Nightshift? The last two episodes i cannot claim to be able to relate fully since a mate came round and i became caught up as is my wont at explaining who all the characters were and the previous action..Oh and going on generally about how brilliant it is/was!

I so enjoyed the Icelandic season on BBC4, lapping up every detail of Iceland, a far away, fascinating and completely unknown land to me. Jar City preceded Nightshift which i can also thoroughly recommend and will write about separately although some funny dialogue i would wish to relate would be a spoiler..Jar City has to have the coolest Detective you could ever wish to meet..

Anyway i digress, back to Nightshift. It is essentially a play set in a Petrol Station. It could be anywhere since we don’t see the countryside or anywhere else, only the Petrol Station, the people who come there and their cars. Oh and the people who work there.

Well we do see some people sitting in chairs at the singing X-Factor audition that the poor benighted Olafur gets called away from with only “three more people ahead of me” by the ever evil and indefatigable Gregor..

There are only a few characters in NIghtshift, the main ones being Gregor, the boss of the petrol station. Think every and any nit-picking, bullying, controlling and worrisomely insane boss you have ever had. That Is Gregor. Obsessive to the point of madness and all the while focussed on the standards of service whilst dreaming of going away “to Sweden” with the proceeds of the ‘holiday fund’.

A ‘fund’ which he has involuntarily enforced upon poor long suffering Olafur. Each and every transgression Olafur makes in Gregor’s eyes result in a docking of Olafur’s pay towards the ever swelling fund. Olafur is a joy to watch, unusual in appearance, he has a shock of black hair, a sturdy forehead and dark an ever suffering eyes.

I say suffering since at first it is just Olafur and Gregor in the petrol station and Gregor demands the very highest standard of everything to be carried out ‘by the book’ and he has a big imposing folder so we believe that is indeed ‘the book’ . However on top of this Gregor bullies Olafur quite dreadfully at every spare minute and second of Olafur’s working day.

Olafur dreams of being an ‘agent’ to his band. A band you half believe is a fantasy however as with many claims that Olafur makes events transpire to surprise us..
At one point Olafur gets himself a mobile and headset and lolls secretly in his various hiding places away from Gregor and talks importantly on the phone, trying to book his band.

Olafur is downcast to discover that his band has to pay to play at a venue. I must confess i was surprised too? Olafur’s favourite place of escape from Gregor is his beloved old van, which he parks in the service centre inside the garage and sits in, smoking and plotting and fuming in hurt and silent rage..

Gregor is big, tall and has ginger hair, with a big shiny bald patch on top. He has a long pointy tufty bush of a beard. In appearance, especially when he is shouting which he does a lot, he resemble some ancient enraged and unorthodox monk without robes. Or some equally ancient and mythical figure from an Icelandic saga perhaps, an irascible village Elder, quick to his temper, & loud of voice…

nb. My mate, seeing Nightshift and the infamous Gregor for the first time, shouted “that’s not a real bald-spot, he’s shaved that to look old”! Lo and behold i read a review of Nightshift saying that the actor who plays Gregor is actually the current Mayor of Reyjkavik and used to be the lead singer in a Punk band!

More about Nightshift at another post, off to see Wallander BBC4, which Wallander will it be?..

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