Traffik – tape 852

I know Traffik was an award winning drama masterpiece, adapted into a big Hollywood movie and everything, and it’s got two actors I really like in it, but I have to say, I find it rather unengaging.

The first episode opens with some German drug squad police busting a drug import.


Bill Paterson plays a UK politician visiting Pakistan to see how aid to farmers is helping fight the opium trade. Answer – not very well.

Lindsay Duncan plays a woman whose German husband is arrested by police as a suspected drug trafficker. She strenuously denies it, of course.

In episode two, Paterson’s daughter is arrested at a party where there’s lots of drug taking and someone dies. His wife tells him that she’s a heroin addict, so he locks her in the house and pompously reads out articles about withdrawal that likens it to a bout of flu, while she’s retching and sweating.

Meanwhile in Pakistan, after his poppy fields were burned by the authorities, farmer Fazal goes to Karachi looking for work.

Helen (Lindsay Duncan) learns that she has no money, as most of her husband’s apparent businesses were empty shell companies. So she does the only thing she can, and starts looking at how to get hold of the shipment of heroin that is already in the country.

This doesn’t seem like a chilling warning to me. “Don’t mess with my friend, he’s a university graduate.”

Paterson is still looking after his daughter, but seems to be in denial about how big her problem is. He brings her her books, but she didn’t want them for reading.

I didn’t recognise his daughter until the credits – she’s played by Julia Ormond.

In the next episode, Helen is trying to raise money any way she can, even trying to sell the family’s paintings.

Fazal gets a job with Tariq Butt, the head of the biggest Heroin supplier in Karachi.

This episode is truncated, because (according to the filename of the rip) the tape broke during it.


  • Once Upon a Time
  • Bird’s Eye Healthy Options
  • Last Exit to Brooklyn in cinemas
  • Phileas Fogg
  • Panasonic
  • Zodiac
  • trail: 4 Play: Valentine Falls
  • Royal Caribbean Cruises
  • Harrods Sale
  • Nicobrevin
  • Vauxhall Astra
  • Napolina
  • BET
  • Bird’s Eye Healthy Options – Michael Fenton Stevens
  • Frish
  • Direct Line
  • trail: American Football
  • Allied Dunbar
  • Australia – Paul Hogan
  • Persil Automatic
  • Ever Ready
  • Look after your Heart
  • trail: Passion Play
  • National Savings
  • Florida Pink Grapefruit
  • The Naked Gun on Video
  • Phileas Fogg
  • Nescafe – Paul Eddington
  • TSB
  • trail: Women of Valour
  • Zodiac
  • Gold Blend
  • London Boat Show
  • RIbena
  • Cookie/Deepstar Six on video
  • Bird’s Eye Captain’s Table
  • Sinutab
  • Woolwich
  • Evening Standard
  • trail: Irony Curtain
  • Choices Pension
  • Ovaltine Light
  • TV Licensing
  • London Underground
  • Panadol Extra
  • Airplane
  • Australia – Paul Hogan
  • Bupa
  • The Sunday Correspondent
  • Thomas Cook


  1. That’s a pity you’re not enjoying Traffik, I didn’t see the original broadcast but did see a repeat after the fuss had died down, and I thought it was great. Much better than the Steven Soderbergh film, too.

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