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31 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

Not credible and uninteresting to watch

3/10
Author: MrTroy from Netherlands
9 July 2006

Usually I like Amanda Burton's acting, honestly. But accepting this role was a complete mistake.

The Commander in this series does everything a good cop wouldn't do. She garbles evidence and sleeps with suspects. On top of that, she has a huge ego. Now, ordinarily this wouldn't kill a series - it would maybe even be an interesting touch.

The problem, however, is: this is about all the series has to offer. Obviously the title "The Commander" wasn't a misnomer for this one; the commander is all the series is about. No interesting crime or mystery, just this commander being a disgrace for the whole British police. It's not credible that a person like this would ever become a commander and moreover, it's not interesting to watch.

As an alternative title I suggest "The Clare Blake show".

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22 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

Refreshing, excellent British crime drama

10/10
Author: tony-harrison33 from United Kingdom
2 June 2007

After reading the negative comments left I wasn't sure if I would enjoy this. However, I'm so pleased I gave it a go, I found it to be a perfect blend of entertainment,suspense and mystery. It kept me guessing right till the end, when it reached a thrilling climax. I think that it was showing that no matter how high people reach in the ranks,everyone is human and no one is infallible. I think Amanda Burton played the part as The Commander extremely well, she appeared confident and assertive in her role yet you could still feel her vulnerability and loneliness which led her to misjudge the real killer. I actually enjoyed this as much as Prime Suspect, I am only disappointed there were not more Series made.

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17 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

From police procedural to Harlequin romance

1/10
Author: Mephisto-24 from Perth, Australia
20 June 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

What might have been an excellent detective thriller turns to unwatchable slush halfway through because of an utterly ludicrous romance plot.

Burton plays Clare Blake, a policewoman promoted to the top of her profession, despite being so lacking in judgment and self-control that she risks destroying her own career by jumping into bed with a convicted killer who is under investigation for another two murders, then conducting an affair with him in full view of her colleagues, the press, and the public. When a junior officer remarks "I can't believe she'd be so stupid!", my wife and I could only nod our heads in agreement.

The villain, by contrast, is shown as so brilliantly adept at manipulating people that we could only wonder how the prosecutors ever found a jury that would convict him.

We kept watching this farce lurch from plot hole to plot hole while Burton did her best to lend it some undeserved dignity, but by the end we would have needed a forklift to keep suspending our disbelief. Unless you desperately need to see Amanda Burton in her underwear, avoid this one at all costs.

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16 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

intensely suspenseful melodrama, finely written and well-acted

8/10
Author: BOOKMAN3 from Stanford, California
29 August 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Yes, it was a lapse of good judgment for Commander Blake to become romantically involved with a paroled murderer whom she had helped to convict 12 years earlier, but her decision is NOT inexplicable. She really has no time in her life to look for a suitable romantic partner -- her sister is dying of cancer and is dependent on her; her chief subordinate, whom she mistrusts (and he, in turn, hates her) is under suspicion for the apparent assassination of a suspect; and there are constant demands on her time and energies. So she yields to temptation-- drawn to the smooth talking, handsome parolee (played by Hugh Bonneville), unaware that her activities are being monitored and photographed by those who want to see her disgraced and demoted. Nonetheless, her complex character actually enhances a suspenseful tale, similar to the Helen Mirren (Prime Suspect) series, also written by the prolific and ingenious Lynda LaPlante. I warmly recommend this drama (3 parts, actually: Entrapment, Virus and Blackdog, though only part one has been available in America.) If you own a DVD player that can handle the PAL (Zone 2) format, order the 3-DVD set from England -- and savor this intricate and intense police procedural. Matter of fact, consider acquiring a second Lynda LaPlante series, the 8-DVD set, Trial and Retribution, available only in the PAL format. I am about to order another LaPlante series, The Governor (with Janet McTeer)-- about a new prison warden struggling the win the respect of the inmates and guards alike--because I can't think of another mystery writer whose work I find as consistently high-quality.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Great start lousy denouement.

6/10
Author: ikanboy from United States
31 August 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As with far too many British shows it starts out solidly and shows promise. Then someone forgets to vet the plot and the writing and it all unravels into drivel. Which is too bad because I like La Plante's work, and I like Burton. With the ending I can only hope that LaPlante is creating a show about a powerful woman who is riddled with the same hubris as her male counterparts, and that we are not to see her as a role model. As I said I can hope. Next up series 2.

**********************SPOILER alert*************************** But come on folks any police chief who sleeps with a suspect is out on his/her ear. Any police chief who cannot smell a sociopath from a hundred feet would be out on her/his ear. Any serial killer who kills as soon as he's out of jail is a bad sociopath, and this guy seems to be a good one.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Unbelievable

2/10
Author: markfranh from BC, Canada
28 April 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

All the way through my wife and I were thinking, the plot can't be this stupid. Sadly, it was.

Like many of the other reviewers here, neither of us could believe that a senior police officer could possibly be so incredibly naive that she could believe she could get away with entering into a relationship with a recently released killer. A 20 year old DC? Maybe. A Commander level with years of experience? Not in a million years. And yet that is what La Plante would have us believe.

Worse, we are supposed to believe that the Commander is happy to continue with the relationship and become more deeply involved even after credible suspicions become apparent that he might be responsible for two recent murders? Really?

Question? If our killer was really so worried about being caught out that he needed to construct such a pair of amazingly complex alibis in advance of the killings (as was revealed towards the end), wouldn't it have been a whole lot easier if he'd simply changed his method of killing so he wasn't the obvious suspect as the method was the ONLY thing that connected him to the murders? With someone of our boy's obvious intelligence, you would have thought that might have occurred to him. It obviously never occurred to La Plante though.

I kept hoping for a twist in the plot that would lead us to a credible ending. No such luck. When both of us concluded that there was no possible way Blake could survive being caught in the relationship at the end without being chucked off the force for gross incompetence, that ends up not being the case at all. Instead, the reviewing team comes up with the equivalent of "Who's been a naughty girl then? Shame on you. Don't do it again or there will be trouble next time. Tsk tsk tsk."

What a joke.

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10 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Worked for me (Spoilers within)

10/10
Author: amanda-culley2
14 January 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I read a previous comment left and I ask without prejudice 'did the previous reviewer and myself even watch the same pro gramme'. i guess its a case of different strokes for different folks.

I have to admit I love Amanda Burton I think she is a top actress totally underestimated and underused anyway.

I was totally convinced James Lampton Was being set up by hedges and co. Last scene he and Commander Blake have together was outstanding I was sitting on the edge of my seat man it was brilliant.

In fact folks i loved this so much i have bought the DVD box set and re-watch it occasionally.......... I don't think Amanda Burton can do any wrong every show I've watched that she has been in i have enjoyed so in my opinion she is picky when it comes to her work choosing only what she feels enthusiastic about.

I think the point of the show was to allow the view to see what a mess an error of judgement can make. The think that really impressed me is that the mistake made by Clare Blake wasn't just swept under the carpet in the next episode unlike so many other series's I've watched. no it was dealt with thoroughly she was made to face up to it and I'm vol 3 of Season 1 'Blackdog'is really made to sweat it. anyway I loved it great show Lynda la plante deserves an Oscar and as for Amanda Burton two of them a golden globe, emmy bafta and NFTA.

I am only slightly biased. This is my opinion of the show no disrespect to any other folks reviewing

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... the TV series is well worth looking for

8/10
Author: bjarias from United States
2 November 2014

Search out the TV series... it brings back memories of the Prime Suspect series from 20 years ago. Not as gritty, but almost as overall enjoyable viewing. All prominent actors do commendable work, but as the title indicates, it's truly Amanda Burton's show.. bit.ly/14c7OUX ..and she carries it extremely well. Highly recommended should you enjoy British cop dramas (with a slight mix of Hollywood). Seasons 4 (6 episodes) and 5 (3 episodes) are available for purchase on Amazon (bit costly)... assume they'll eventually make their way to Netflix. PS It was on netflix streaming.. but it's now another great series gets pulled off streaming.. totally annoying!!

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1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

The Commander is a short but neat series.

10/10
Author: drarthurwells from United States
1 March 2013

Amanda Burton is superb as the female head of a homicide bureau, surrounded by male detectives who show a strong anti-feminine bias and who want to get her fired (sacked, canned, terminated, etc.).

This female commander is no pushover though. She plays the male game superbly. She is a complex character, complete with faults, and thus utterly realistic. Also she is totally delightful.

Her superb detective skills, and equally superb ability to outfox and manipulate her fellow workers who have it in for her, keep her ahead of the pack.

My two regrets in watching this series: 1. It is much too short and more episodes would have been great 2. I can not find such a female in my life to fall in love with

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