Friday 15 December 2017

Loving Better Call Saul? Here are some other spin offs we could do with

The set of Better Call Saul
The set of Better Call Saul
Tom Vaughan Lawlor
Cathy (Aisling O'Sullivan) and Dan (Dominic Mafham) in The Clinic
Amilia Clarke Stewart
The cast of Tolka Row
Vogue Williams, Louise Johnston, Cici Cavanagh and Danielle Robinson of Fade STreet fame

“Spin-off! Is there any word more thrilling to the human soul?” No, Troy McClure, there really isn’t.

This is proven by the frenzied reaction to Better Call Saul, the Breaking Bad spin-off now running on AMC in the US and Netflix over here. Fans of the original are fit to pee their pants with excitement overload; even those of us who were left cold by Breaking Bad are intrigued to see where this prequel will go.

Saul’s one of our own really, given that he was actually born with the spud-munching name of Jimmy McGill, and has the classic non-style hairstyle of a shifty local councillor. Which has made us imagine some of our Dublin-based TV spin-offs…



God gives the late, lamented Nidge a chance to redeem himself for his life of crimes against society – and sartorial/tonsorial fashion – by returning to earth as an angel who helps the needy. A heart-warming, Highway to Heaven-type schmaltz-fest, the show opens with Nidge threatening a wannabe suicide that he’ll “break his bleedin’ legs an anyways” if he jumps off that bridge.


The Clinic

The leafy D4 equivalent of Love/Hate’s “inner siddee”, The Clinic was well-upholstered, albeit sometimes dreary, television. We like the notion of Dan, the dapper Englishman, moving to LA where he becomes plastic surgeon to the stars in a comic spin-off. You’ll laugh so much, your face will hurt!


Dublin: a Personal View

Éamonn MacThomáis’ seminal documentary series about rare oul’ durty Dubbalin gets a complete reboot with this fast-paced crime drama. Ha’penny and Bridge are mismatched cops who somehow always get the job done – but they’re up against their biggest challenge yet, sinister gang-lord The Waxie Dargle…


Fair City

After disappearing under shadowy circumstances in 2006, Harry Molloy has been living under an assumed name in Mexico, working as a fry-cook and staying incognito…only surfacing to periodically help people in trouble, Equaliser-style. The grateful villagers know him as Los Sideburns del Muerte.


Tolka Row

Okay, so it ended in 1968, but Harper Lee has made the extremely lengthy lead-in cool for sequels. So let’s return to that famous terraced street and check in on the cars, vans and delivery trucks which now pass through the gigantic shopping-centre car-park that replaced those houses when they were bulldozed in 1998.



Roddy Doyle is roped in to script a spin-off of this spectacularly depressing horror-show from 1994. When last we saw son John Paul, he was staring into the abyss of a bleak, hopeless future. Eh, he still is.


Fade Street

Airheaded wannabes made famous in the 2011 Reality TV thingie discover that they’re just computer constructs inside a giant simulation, in this dreamy, unsettling sci-fi. Oddly, it doesn’t feel any less authentic than the actual Fade Street.

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