The Rack Pack. Image shows from L to R: Steve Davis (Will Merrick), Alex Higgins (Luke Treadaway), Jimmy White (James Bailey). Copyright: Zeppotron.

The Rack Pack

BBC iPlayer comedy drama about snooker stars Steve Davis and Alex Higgins. 1 episode in 2016. Stars Luke Treadaway, Will Merrick, Kevin Bishop, Nichola Burley and James Bailey.

Press Clippings

Comedy-drama about the rise of snooker and the fall of Alex "Hurricane" Higgins, who ignited during the power cut-ridden 70s, a symbol of the reckless flamboyance of the decade. He is undone by Steve Davis, protege of Barry Hearn. It's a story frequently told in one-liners - "Flair player? That just means you miss." However, Luke Treadaway brilliantly conveys Higgins' auto-destructiveness, while Will Merrick eventually gets beyond Davis's cultivated robo-nerd image.

David Stubbs, The Guardian, 30th April 2016

iPlayer snooker film The Rack Pack to be shown on BBC Two

The Rack Pack, BBC iPlayer's first ever comedy drama feature film, is to be broadcast on BBC Two following its success online.

British Comedy Guide, 20th April 2016

The Rack Pack: Did it score a maximum break?

Unveiled on the evening of the Masters Final (and the iPlayer team offer their huge gratitude to Ronnie O'Sullivan for winning so quickly everyone could watch both), the film has generated a huge response on social media.

Steve Williams, BBC Blogs, 5th February 2016

The Rack Pack: BBC iPlayer review

The Rack Pack is presented as a comedy-drama and whilst full of witty one liners, it is also a tear-jerker.

Flo McMullen, The Student Newspaper, 28th January 2016

The Rack Pack: why we all loved snooker

The arrival of new drama The Rack Pack on the iPlayer prompted much discussion at Standard Issue. It turns out, everyone used to love a bit of Golden Age snooker. No really.

Sophie Scott, Sally-Anne Hayward, Ruth Bratt & Mickey Noonan, Standard Issue, 21st January 2016

Retro 80s nostalgia delivered in a distinctly modern format: The Rack Pack, a comedy-drama reliving snooker's heyday, debuted this week as an iPlayer-only film. "I think snooker is going to be big - bigger even than wrestling," a geezerish Barry Hearn (Kevin Bishop) told a meek Steve "interesting" Davis (Will Merrick) as he signed him up and unleashed his plans for a baize of glory, taking the sport from smoke-filled snooker halls to, er, smoke-filled tournament halls and massive TV-ratings success. Opposite the milk-loving Davis, Luke Treadaway sunk his teeth into the Alex "Hurricane" Higgins story, bringing just enough warmth and pathos to nudge the film past a cartoon portrait of the hard-living People's Champion. "I'm a snooker player - in the end, you're always on your own," he admitted.

Richard Vine, The Guardian, 19th January 2016

The Rack Pack: is the BBC trying to snooker Netflix?

By screening this comedy drama exclusively on iPlayer, the BBC puts itself up against rival streaming sites such as Netflix. But what's the motivation for this off-piste transmission?

Mark Lawson, The Guardian, 18th January 2016

The picaresque world of 70s and 80s snooker was so obviously ripe for retrofitted TV drama that the only surprise is that this feature-length tragicomedy is an iPlayer-only affair. Luke Treadaway and Will Merrick enjoy themselves as broad, even scurrilous, caricatures of Alex Higgins and Steve Davis, respectively. Higgins is cast as snooker's darkly irresistible demon who self-destructs even as Davis, in cahoots with ruthless promoter Barry Hearn, is taking the game into every living room. This narrative thrust is a slight over-simplification but does make for high drama.

Phil Harrison, The Guardian, 18th January 2016

The Rack Pack brilliantly brings alive 1980s snooker

"Snooker," thunders Kevin Bishop's fabulously mouthy snooker promoter Barry Hearn in new BBC film The Rack Pack, is going to be so popular it "could even be bigger than wrestling."

Ben Dowell, Radio Times, 17th January 2016

The Rack Pack, BBC iPlayer, review

The rivalry between Alex Higgins and Steve Davis was so tense, it is difficult to imagine snooker ever creating such drama again, says Rachel Ward.

Rachel Ward, The Telegraph, 17th January 2016