Arthur Daley, a small-time conman, hires former boxer Terry McCann to be his 'minder', so Terry can protect him (Arthur) from other, small-time, crooks. While Terry is trying his hardest to... See full summary »
The series focused on various murders in the fictional suburban English town of Middleford. The crimes are solved by two female police detectives, Inspector Kate Ashurst and Sergeant Emma Scribbins, aka "Ash and Scribbs".
As WW2 rages around the world, DCS Foyle fights his own war on the home-front as he investigates crimes on the south coast of England. Later series sees the retired detective working as an MI5 agent operating in the aftermath of the war.
As a big fan of all things mystery, I was interested in the DVD release of this rather forgotten TV show as soon as it was announced earlier this year. Unfortunately, it turned out to be an almost total disappointment.
To start on a positive note, Patricia Hodge has an unconventional but magnetic beauty, and she is a winning lead as TV presenter / aspiring writer / amateur sleuth Jemima Shore. The theme music is absolutely terrific, especially the final notes over the closing credits. And there are some nice shots of the less-glamorous side of London, circa 1983.
That's about it for the good stuff. The bad stuff begin with the decision of the company who released the Region 2 DVD not to include (at least) English subtitles. The sound is generally poor, and combined with often strange accents (if everyone had Patricia Hodge's clear diction there wouldn't be any problem, but that is definitely not the case), roughly 30% of the dialogue in any given episode is hard, or even impossible, to understand. Then there is the major problem for a mystery series: the mysteries themselves are not very engaging. There is little of the necessary "what-will-happen-next?" feeling. In fact, the episodes are pretty hard to watch in one sitting, even though they are only about 50 minutes long. Some of them barely even qualify as mysteries. The direction is usually flat, and the show looks as if it could have been made at least a decade earlier. And then there is the fact that, in the very first episode, Jemima Shore gets manhandled and slapped by a truly repulsive character (in fact, a recurring theme of the series seems to be Jemima's lousy taste in men). I understand that not every TV heroine has to be physically strong, but to have your main lead demeaned like that in the pilot of the show is just plain wrong. Patricia Hodge deserved better.
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