Stingers: articles

Phelps and Sweet

BAD cop, bad cop… Peter Phelps, left, and Gary Sweet in Stingers

Limp television

PETER Phelps has a problem and it's all to do with his pencil for, sadly, like most petrol it's unleaded.

Peter's pencil is a lead-free zone. Peter, in fact, has no lead in his pencil, not that it's a real pencil and not that his pencil, this being a euphemism for what Barbara Cartland would have described as his "manhood", is really leadless.

Peter, whose character in Stingers is called Peter to save him the trouble of memorising a new name, actually has an abundance of lead.

He is merely pretending to lack lead to buy the drug sextasy which is explained as being a combination of Viagra and ecstasy.

I remain unclear as to what effect this medley of drugs produces, but I presume that not only does it make you potent but it also makes you ecstatically happy about being so, not that you'd think that would be a problem. Some people, perhaps, are really difficult to please.

Gary Sweet, who has forgotten to take his ecstasy, continues to walk zombie-like through his role as Inspector Harris in a suit several sizes too large for him and which appears to have been discarded by Kim Beazley, while Peter Phelps offers his usual blokey-bloke performance, the result being as clumsy as it is unconvincing.

The action in Stingers turns on a swingers' club and there is a scene involving one of the lesser characters in the club which is almost funny. The dramatic elements, however, remain dreary and predictable.

Now that they have designed a drug that not only makes you an ecstatically rampant stud, perhaps it's time that designer drug chemists focused their energies on producing one that makes dull, unimaginative television appear to sparkle with originality and vitality.

If anyone knows of such a substance, put me down for a truckload.

• Stingers, Nine, Tuesday, 9.30pm;

By Mike O'Connor
May 08, 2003
The Courier Mail