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Ultimate Force
is one of my longest-standing fandoms (I say fandom - there's just me, I think) and I feel it needs more love! A lot of the guys in it went on to become pretty well known, so you'll recognise some of the faces.

Ultimate Force ran from 2002 to 2006 on ITV in the UK, and it's about the SAS in the present day. It started off well, with reasonable accuracy, but jumped the shark early in series two, before picking up again in series 4. Still, the first 8 episodes are excellent and there are standout moments later on, so I feel I should give the boys a signal boost!

If you're not convinced yet, it's canon that at least one of the guys plays a game called "Gay Before Bed". And if you're still not convinced:

Cpl Jamie Dow
played by Jamie Draven
Series 1 - 2

Although it's not made very clear anywhere, Jamie is supposed to be the main character in the first two series. He's from a broken home with an abusive stepfather, but he's an excellent soldier and passes SAS selection first time. Most of the time he's moody and serious, but he's not beyond the occasional cheeky comment. He sets his eye on Caroline pretty early on, much to the disappointment of Alex, Jem and Henno.

SSgt Henry "Henno" Garvie
played by Ross Kemp
Series 1 - 4

Henno swears a lot. He likes to scare the boys who're on selection. He doesn't much care for officers, especially new ones. He's usually the one leading the men into combat (except in #1.6 where Dotsy takes the lead) and he's full of shrapnel after fifteen years in the regiment. Also has designs on Caroline.

Cpl Louis Hoffman
played by Christopher Fox
Series 1 - 4

Louis rarely shuts up for any length of time. He's small, cheeky and not above lying to get women into bed. He's friendly and a good team player, but he will not share his Lion bar with you no matter how much you whine about it *cough*Mick*cough*. Oh, and his name's actually Clive.

Cpl Jem Poynton
played by Elliot Cowan
Series 1 - 2

Jem was probably the poster boy of Red Troop until Jamie arrived, but now he's always relegated to some other duty while Jamie gets all the best jobs. He's a bit theatrical if he isn't getting his own way, too. In series 2, he explains his game "Gay Before Bed" - two guys come onto each other and the last one to pull away wins. After demonstrating on Louis, he declares that he always wins. When he isn't groping his fellow soldiers or firing a huge rocket launcher, he's staring longingly at Caroline.

Lt (later Capt) Dotsy Doheny
played by Jamie Bamber
Series 1 - 2

Dotsy has only been with the regiment six months when he's promoted to Captain. He seems gentle and mild-mannered and you almost wonder how he got this far, but he does get a chance to prove his worth. Most likely to be found pissing off the others by taking Caroline to officers' parties. Also, if you listen very carefully, you'll hear Dempsey call him Dennis (though this was never confirmed anywhere).

Col Aidan Dempsey
played by Miles Anderson
Series 1 - 4

For the most part, he seems to exist solely to give Henno into trouble, but he can also be found making plans. Yeah, he doesn't do much else.

Cpl Ricky Mann
played by Danny Sapani
Series 1 - 2

Ricky has a massive wife who we never see, and seems to be a bit homophobic. He cooks for everyone and knocks sense into those who're dithering.

Sgt Pete Twamley
played by Tony Curran
Series 1 - 2

Pete is the explosives expert for Red Troop and is sometimes asked to blow himself up if necessary to get the job done. He tends to agree to this despite not wanting to leave his "adorable wee family". He's only 18 months away from the end of his time in the SAS. His family live with him just off the base, meaning Mrs Twamley appears more than some of the soldiers!

Cpl Mick Sharp
played by Laurence Fox
Series 1

Despite Henno not wanting him in the regiment because he's "too tall. I hate people who stand out", Mick passes selection. He can't really swim - he only passed the swimming test because he was tall enough to walk most of the way. He gets given the fiddly technical/gadget-y jobs and he seems resourceful, so we can only assume the daft things he comes out with are down to naivety rather than a lack of intelligence.

Capt Caroline Walshe
played by Alex Reid
Series 1 - 2

She's not technically in the SAS in the sense that she isn't allowed to take part in any of the fighting or missions and didn't have to pass selection, but that doesn't seem to stop her hanging around being the most-fancied woman ever. At various points, she is lusted after by Henno, Alex, Jem and Jamie and attends an officers' do with Dotsy. Occasionally, they let her go undercover with one of the guys, but that's rare.

Cpl Alex Leonard
played by Sendhil Ramamurthy
Series 1

He's pretty moody before the events of the mission in #1.1, then he just turns into a complete wanker. His interests only extend as far fancying Caroline and being a dick to Jamie, though he does manage to get flu at one point... I'm sure there's more to say about him but I dislike him so much I tend to talk over him, telling him to bugger off!

Cpl Sam Leonard
played by Anthony Howell
Series 1

Sam's family adopted Alex when he was a baby, hence their complete lack of resemblance. Sam is never seen without his warm, cheeky smile and he works the collar (for communication) rather well - it looks rather kinky on Sam.

Mrs Twamley
played by Jackie Morrison
Series 1 - 2

Pete's wife. She can give as good as she gets and she's always welcome at the pub for the warm-down with the lads.

Capt Ian Macalwain
played by Richard Armitage
Series 2

Oh dear, oh dear. There isn't a single positive word to be said about this man and nothing negative can be said without major spoilers, so I'll just leave it that he's a prick.

Series 2 was shown in 2003 and then there was a break. When they wanted to bring the show back in 2005, they couldn't get some of the cast back, so they brought Henno & Louis forwards as the leads and brought in some new people.

Cpl Becca Gallagher
played by Heather Peace
Series 3 - 4

The first woman to pass selection for the SAS. She's such a jump-the-shark moment for most people but if you can get past that, she's just as badass as any of the guys. She even showers with them, leading to more than one scene of men staring.

Cpl Dave Woolston
played by Louis DeCosta Johnson
Series 3 - 4

Another "token black guy", but we get to know him a bit better and he's a good guy. His expertise lies in explosives, though he does get called upon to do some heavy lifting.

Cpl Ed Dwyer
played by Liam Garrigan
Series 3

He's young and enthusiastic, with a bit of a crush on Becca - if she has a plan, he'll be off behind her like a puppy.

Capt Patrick Fleming
played by Sam Callis
Series 4

He doesn't make a great impression when he arrives, but when he proves himself in the field, the guys warm to him. He's fair and knows when he's at fault so he can apologise. A good leader. He's accepted into the group when they decide not to call him "The Rupert" any more.

Cpl Finn Younger
played by Jamie Michie
Series 4

The only one of the guys who is actively religious. He's got his eye on Becca and he's got a dirty trick up his sleeve to get her.

So, the major selling points:
  • Lots of action
  • Interesting missions
  • Lots of lovely men
  • Naked men
  • Naked women
  • Great guest characters
  • No real gore aside from gunshot wounds, if you're squeamish
  • The guys have lots of down-time offscreen so they can get into all sorts of trouble and shag a lot
So what do you do if you want to watch it? There are torrents around, though not many people seeding. DVD-wise, it's only on region 2 but the boxset is available from both the UK (£14.79) and US ($49.61) Amazon sites. I'll also look for whether there's anywhere online you can watch it.

To finish, a few more pictures of the guys:

And last but not least, Elliot Cowan's bum (left). Having seen this guy only half-dressed in person, I am in awe of his body. Unfortunately, this is the only part he shows us in UF.

Did I mention that the title of this blog (and the text of my tattoo) came from this show? It's not a direct quote but it's about Dotsy (and to an extent, Fleming, I suppose).


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April 2012

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