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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Mystery! has done it again with this series, which is quite different
than most of what's gone before. And that helps to make this one
I'm a long-time fan of the Mystery! series and a particular fan of Inspector Morse. Anyone familiar with that series knows the high quality product that long-running series consistently put out. So I'm not an easy audience, given my perspective.
But Robert Lindsay has made DI Michael Jericho his own. He IS Jericho. In the same way that the late great John Thaw made Morse his own character, Lindsay has grabbed Jericho by the throat and taken his identity from him. I haven't read any of the books, so I don't know how the character comes across there, but Lindsay's interpretation is "spot on" from a television perspective.
I'm currently in the midst of re-watching this first episode on DVD (thanks for that) after having caught at least 2 of the original airings last Fall (this episode and Johnny Swan). I was hooked from the start; and like Morse, Jericho holds up well on repeated re-watchings. So even after you know who done it, you're nevertheless caught up in the drama.
The musical score and overall style of this series do indeed make it unique. It's all a bit "X-Files-esq," but I find both quite enjoyable and fitting, and, in my humble opinion, they help make the series stand out.
Like Morse, Jericho has a solid side-kick who compliments his character perfectly. It seems they have an endless supply of fine "character actors" over there in the UK, and I'm thankful I get to see them when I can. Even the "bit parts" get solid treatment from fine British actors. One of my favs in this episode is Shorty. He's a hoot -- and he's not even around all that long.
Lindsay is currently also on my TV in his "My Family" series, but I refuse to watch him in that. I'm sure he's good (and I have seen some of it) but I don't want to lose that Jericho edge that I'm currently working on with him.
I've given this one a 10, which is not to say it's an equal to Morse. But 10 to me means it's a standout with little or nothing to criticize. Beyond that, it's simply a matter of taste. I only hope they keep this series going for quite a long time.
Thanks Gawd for Mystery! and all the rest of the great Brit shows. And, of course, also PBS. And thanks Gawd also for DVD so's I can have something to watch (and re-watch) when the mood moves me and PBS is into something else less enjoyable to me. Because if I had to live with only American TV, I'd give the medium up completely.
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