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'Dalziel and Pascoe' is one of the greatest television programmes of all time. Based on the books by Reginald Hill, the show follows the work of Superintendent Andy Dalziel (Warren Clarke) and DI Peter Pascoe(Colin Buchanan), as they investigate and solve murders. Despite their obvious differences in personality and outlook, Dalziel and Pascoe soon become an effective partnership, and good friends. The show has certainly evolved over the many years it's been on our screens, with most of the early episodes being close adaptations of the books, whereas recently the writers have thought up original, and often superior story lines for the show. What really sets this series apart from other modern detective dramas is its gritty realism and complex plotting. With every episode of 'Dalziel and Pascoe' you are guaranteed an unpredictable and intelligent mystery, played out by excellent actors in atmospheric and realistic locations.
This is easily one of my favourite UK Police series. Although it is called Dalziel & Pascoe, Superintendent Andy Dalziel, played effortlessly by the experienced Warren Clarke is easily the star of the show. He may not be real, but he is how senior Detectives should be. Hard drinking, perhaps a bit uncouth/crude, but also clever and someone who really does care. He is also a bit of a comedian, who has an habit of calling his staff by well known Nicknames. DC Harris is Bomber, DS Milligan is Spike, DC Novello is Ivor and WPC Jackson is Janet. The programme is set is Yorshire but because it is produced by the Birmingham studios a lot a scenes are shot in the West Midlands. There are now over 30 episodes and the early episodes also chronicle the progress of DS Pascoe's ( Later Detectective Inspector) family. An other regular, who has been absent for the past few episodes is DS Edgar Wield. The rugged Sergeant Wield is gay, but this is only occasionally referred to.
We are in the middle of season 7 at the moment in Sweden, and I've been watching it since season 4. And I must say that I've liked what I've seen so far. Every summer they show Midsomer Murders on Swedish television, and I USED to enjoy that show until I found this masterpiece. Here the characters and environments are more realistic, the plots are more complex and interesting, and the endings are not alway crystal clear, which, for the thriller-interested viewer, is quite satisfying. The ongoing Dalziel-Pascoe relationship is probably the best in its genre, and Dalziel's one-liners sometimes make you laugh your head off! I hope they will continue to show Dalziel and Pascoe in Sweden, although I don't think it's well known here. It's as good as Frost, and much better than the latest seasons of Midsomer Murders. UK can certainly make my evenings a lot more fun.
This used to be a great TV series, until the 'reformers' got their PC focus group mits on it. Regular viewers will know what I'm talking about: when they changed the excellent original theme music (moody saxophone solo from the pen of Barrington Pheloung) and that accompanied a change in line-up. Out went the brilliantly under-played character of DS Edgar 'Wieldy' Wield (played by the excellent David Royle) and in came the 'I can't act for toffee and I've even got an annoyingly grating accent' Jennifer James in the role of WPC Kim Spicer and the inconsequential Wayne Perrey as DC Parvez Lateef. The show started out broodingly edgy and is now a faint shadow of its former self with the team now seeming more like the Scooby Gang than the hard-bitten original version. So come on BBC - less of the Kim Scrappy-Doo Spicer and let's get back to the original idea I used to love. The old show would get an 8 from me, but this incarnation struggles to get a 4.
I am an avid fan of Reginald Hill's Dalziel and Pascoe series (I own all the books, most in hardback; I even know the correct way -- Andy's way, at least -- of pronouncing Dalziel..."Dee-al") and have been able to view a few -- a VERY few -- episodes of the British series here in the USA. But certainly not 12 seasons' worth -- even if they had only 2 or 3 episodes per season. And I can understand -- from comments made by contributors to IMDb -- that once they ran out of Hill's stories the writing very well may have suffered. But does anyone know if more ever will be broadcast in the USA; and whether the DVDs (in appropriate formatting for the USA) ever will be offered for sale here? Please...someone help me. I need a "DalzielandPascoe" fix!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Superintendent Andy Dalziel (Warren Clarke) and Inspector Peter
Pascoe(Colin Buchanan) investigate gruesome killings,thefts and
adultery all the while developing a bond of friendship despite
differences in taste and temperament.
Andy is very in your face and chain smokes, Peter is quieter and and is a young husband and father whereas Dalziel is single.He is in many ways like a father to Peter and reminds him of how to be a good detective the story lines are great.
There's a stellar guest cast of British talent and superb stories making this a must see police series.
I love Reginald Hill's novels upon which these shows were based and having read the lot, I have to agree with others in saying that the cast is less than accurate, though Warren Clarke and David Royle come closer in spirit to their book counterparts, if not physically. Colin Buchanan is too insubstantial to make Pascoe as strong as he is in the books and Susannah Corbett, while getting Ellie's smug self-satisfied know-it-allness down pat, looks and acts too hard - she fails to relay the bits of vulnerable sweetness of the book Ellie that makes it clear why Pascoe adores her. That being said, the stories remain fairly true to the novels, if far less bawdy and they retain much of the dark Northern humor that makes the books so enjoyable. With Clarke lacking the sheer bulk and crudity of the book Fat Andy, the scenes demonstrating his brilliance as a detective and perspicacity about the human condition are far less surprising than when they emerge in the novels. Even after you've read several of the stories, Hill makes Dalziel so obnoxious and primitive, you can visualize the scrapes on his knuckles from dragging them on the ground, when his genius and sensitivity lead to the truth - and that is what Dalziel is all about, getting to the truth - it still startles. However, judging the TV versions without considering the novel versions, the series is a cut above the standard fare in the UK, let alone the US, and is literate, funny, intriguing and thoroughly enjoyable. The acting, direction, pacing and scenery are completely credible and it is a treat to suspend reality to watch this - and the other UK coppers like Barnaby, Frost, Morse, et al.
I love detective shows and have done for as long as I can remember. Dalziel and Pascoe is no exception. I agree to some extent it is not quite as good as it was, with the introduction with the somewhat bland Kim Spicer, but on the whole it is well acted and well written, and while it has lost its edge a bit it is quite intense still. The photography and locations are excellent and the music is haunting(courtesy of genius Barrington Pheloung), while the writing is both humorous and intelligent and the stories and episode ideas gritty, edgy, complex and incredibly engrossing. The characters in general are likable and interesting, with Dalziel unorthodox but clever and quite funny sometimes and Pascoe loyal but sticks to the book. The acting is great, with Warren Clarke easily stealing the show, then again I don't know about you but Dalziel is for me the better character of the two but they're both great. Overall, great show. 9/10 Bethany Cox
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A great series. Warren Clarke is great as DS Andy Dalziel (literally
DL);his character is tough, hard as nails, earthy, and brilliant. He is
the show. Obviously a self-made detective who without an "education"
has been promoted up the ranks to superintendent and somehow missed the
refinements he might have been expected to pick up. He is paired with
Colin Buchanan as DI Peter Pascoe, a well educated college man who I
find a bit of a prat and a snob who believes he is better than his
boss. He is paired with a wife, Susannah Corbett, who really dislikes
Dalziel. To be honest, I hoped her character would be murdered at some
point during the series as I find her totally obnoxious which might be
a tribute to her acting.
The stories are well written and you really have to be on form to get to the murderer before Dalziel does. It is a shame that at this time only the first three series are available on DVD.
It's impossible to recreate the blithely crude humor of Reginald Hill's
Dalziel on television, but Warren Clarke (who played one of the
"droogs" in A Clockwork Orange nearly 40 years ago) comes as close as
possible, and the contrast with the educated, more by-the-book Pascoe
is well played.
I remembered this series from when it was broadcast on A&E ca. 2000-2001, and a year or two ago, I found an old VHS tape where I had recorded one of the programs for later viewing. It held up extremely well, and I was reminded what a fine series it was, featuring intriguing plots, witty dialogue, and interesting characters.
I became interested in finding it among the dozens of BBC series that are sold in the U.S., but to no avail. It simply wasn't available, and even more surprisingly, it wasn't even out on DVD in the UK.
By now, the first two series have been released on DVD in the UK and the third in continental Europe. In either case, you need a region-free DVD player, after which you can order from anywhere in the world.
I'm not sure what's holding things up, seeing that practically every other TV series ever made has been released on DVD, but at least those of us who have region-free players and can order from Amazon UK are in good shape.
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