I am getting a bit confused by how Channel 5 is treating the TV series of The Transporter. It is a TV show based on the films of the same name, Luc Besson is involved in the production, and it is a fairly high-budget show, about $40m for the first 12 episodes – high enough for location shooting in several different countries and for helicopters to feature sometimes. Also there are lots of expensive cars in it, though I suspect Audi may contribute quite a lot because the whole thing looks like an extended Audi advert sometimes.
The show is about three years old but has never been on UK TV before. What I don’t understand is why Channel 5 show it at 3 or 4 in the morning. That is the sort of timeslot for repeating a show, not for its only transmission. Of course, if you are recording on Tivo and watching at your convenience it makes no difference what time it is actually broadcast, but it just seems strange.
I’m not going to claim that Transporter is high art, but it is probably the only thing on Channel 5 I would want to watch. It is typical Luc Besson – very stylish and full of car chases and punch ups, but with fewer explosions and gunfights than his films have. The Frank Martin part is played by Chris Vance who plays it like he is in an extended audition for the part of James Bond. The only familiar face is Inspector Tarconi and introduction of his assistant, Carla, and mechanic, Dieter, either give it a bit of background detail or give it a slight soap opera feeling. For what it is, it is not bad.
On top of the transmission time, it is broadcast without any adverts in it. I’m pretty sure last week had no breaks at all, and this week it had breaks but only for trailers for other shows. There were no actual adverts. Channel 5 is a commercial channel that makes its money from advertising. Presumably this glossy series cost them something to buy the rights for it so what do they get out of broadcasting it in the small hours with no adverts?