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|Index||14 reviews in total|
Another great new British detective mystery series. Isaacs is an
excellent lead figure - though it took me awhile to realise that he was
Lucius Malfoy.It's not the type of series that explains every detail in
case you missed it but lures you into guessing what will happen next.
The story lines so far have been gripping and interestingly human - usually running two or three over the two hour programme. The characters have depth and the interweaving is clever. Maybe the childhood flashback is shown a little too often.
The scenery is stunning.
Hope it continues the way it started.
Jason Isaacs says he hates detective series, and yet he has proved in this BBC mini-series that he is one of the best detectives ever cast in a film. He has all the human qualities that so many of them lack, and his well-rounded portrayal is a triumph, in lifting detective stories onto a higher plane. It is impossible to praise Isaacs highly enough for his superb realisation of this sympathetic character who just happens, as a disgraced ex-policeman, to have taken up work as a detective. The setting is the beautiful city of Edinburgh, exploited visually to the full. Edinburgh is above all the British city with the most magnificent vistas of them all, surpassing even Bath in that respect. The mini-series is based on some novels by a prize-winning Edinburgh-based writer named Kate Atkinson. This explains the fantastically complex and interweaving plots of the films, which go far beyond the normal intricacies of even the most elaborate scripts. The rich tapestry which is thus woven is satisfying in a way that so much of television is not. This mini-series is thus an exemplar of what those of us concerned with quality should all hope for. Three different directors (Marc Jobst, Bill Anderson, and Dan Zeff) helm the three double-episodes, and are uniformly excellent. The series was 'devised for television by Ashley Pharoah', who although he seemingly can't spell 'pharaoh' properly, is a well-known figure in British and American television. The supporting performances in these tangled tales are all excellent. Two of the most charming are by the child actress Millie Innes, who is as winsome as they come and plays the daughter of Isaacs, and the teenager Gwyneth Keyworth, who plays a fascinating waif in the final story. Fenella Woolgar is, as usual, compulsively watchable in a harrowing character role, and Natasha Little as her glamorous sister manages to add extra twinkle and sparkle to a character who might have been flat in the script but got proper three dimensions in her portrayal. Amanda Abbington is excellent as the police woman with a love/hate relationship with Isaacs, and once again a part which might have been hackneyed comes alive as a rounded individual at her hands.
This is a beyond good series. I had not read her books, but will now. The stories are edge of the seat as well as being sad and funny. The settings are beautiful or interesting and the characters are complex. I don't agree with any of the criticism,my husband and I were mesmerized. We turned on the closed captioning so as not to miss a word of dialogue. I am now motivated to see the Harry Potter movies, just for Jason Isaacs. I never fail to be amazed at the over the top talent of the British ,it is so refreshing to watch actors that are not Hollywood, and look like real people. This is as good as Luther. Seriously.
In a word:fabulous. Compelling, not to miss a word of dialog. The story line evolves from a loosely woven beginning to a tight ending. Enticed one wonders where it will go in the end. The acting brings you into the heart and soul of the characters, who have lives and emotions that inter connect and create a richness not found in the usual mystery genre. If you are pining for a who done it go to Sherlock or Perot. Jackson Brodie is superbly acted, a romantic,wounded hero who knows life has its price and he is not afraid of it. He rescues and restores justice for his clients,he is an admirable, and often suffering hero. Suffering humanizes him and we all can identify with his pain. The theme of father figure and the need to protect are strong motivations for the character. Sophisticated and refreshing for this genre. I want more. This is the new school, old school mystery is predictable and tiresome. We want sexy guys, with real life stories, love and lust thrown in the mix, the Victorian thing is over.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As I enjoy crime dramas and think Jason Isaacs is a pretty good actor I
had to check this series out. Sadly it wasn't as good as I'd hoped;
that isn't to say it was terrible; just rather average
think it improved as the series progressed. Jason Isaacs did a good job
as ex-cop private investigator Jackson Brodie who, as well as solving
cases, has to deal with the fact that his ex-wife is about to emigrate
to New Zealand with their daughter Marlee. This was rather unfortunate
as it provided an unnecessary distraction and the scenes with Jackson
and Marlee in the opening story were some of the most entertaining;
every time he took her out he ended up doing something to do with his
case which Marlee enjoyed but her mother did not approve of. Each story
started with him investigating fairly trivial crimes such as looking
for a missing cat or trying to find out if a man's wife was unfaithful
but ended up with him investigating murders. He was always at just the
wrong place; nobody can be as unlucky as Jackson; he goes for a jog by
the sea and finds a body in the water; he breaks down and while walking
along the road in nearly hit by an old woman who then crashes onto a
railway line only to by hit by a train which puts him in hospital!
The six episode series was made up of three two part stories with ongoing flashbacks concerning the death of his sister that occurred when he was a child, I thought that this would be the major mystery solved in the final episode but it turned out not to be the case. As well as the good performance from Jason Isaacs; Amanda Abbingdon was good as his friend and former colleague DCI Louise Monroe and Millie Innes was delightful as his daughter Marlee. While the stories had an almost old fashioned feel to them with lots of coincidence helping our hero there were quite a few shocking moments too; I won't go into details but the final episode was shocking and wince-inducing at the same time near the end! The stories weren't the best I've seen but I'd recommend it to fans of crime fiction and will continue watching if further episodes get commissioned; by the time it ended I was rather hooked.
Jason Isaacs stars as detective Jackson Brodie in "Case Histories,"
which is a miniseries filmed in Edinburgh. Brodie works on several
cases at once. This episode concerned a child who disappeared 30 years
earlier, a young woman who was murdered years earlier, a woman engaged
to be married attempting to find her niece, plus he's helping a
paranoid old woman who never pays him. And her nephew is after him to
stop. Divorced, Brodie often takes his daughter on cases when he has
visitations, and she's quick to tell her mother, "Dad beat up a man,"
and things of that nature when she gets home.
The series is based on books by Kate Allison. The stories are dark and brooding amidst the glorious scenery of Edinburgh - absolutely spectacular cinematography. The stories intertwine and have more than a few twists. In short, "Case Histories" makes for very absorbing viewing.
Jackson Brodie is a likable character in the hands of Jason Isaacs - he's handsome, adventurous, and really tries to help his clients. He has sadness, too -- his brother was killed, and the case has never been solved. Everyone has secrets on "Case Histories." The acting is very good, but Millie Innes who plays Brodie's daughter is irresistible, a beautiful child as well as a good actress. What sets Brodie apart a bit from some other detectives is the human touch. He's a man of great humanity, and he brings this to his cases. Highly recommended.
I have just finished watching Case Histories on DVD and I can't fault it. It's just superb television. I have read all the Kate Atkinson books and Jason Isaacs is perfect to play Jackson Brodie, and all the other actors and characterisations are offbeat without being too wacky - i.e. they have real depth to them. It's amazing that the series portrays so much violence and bleakness and yet you still love it and cheer on the good guys. And the good guys aren't perfect. I might have known that Ashley Pharoah was the screenwriter: Life on Mars which he co-created is one of my all time favourite TV series. Edinburgh and rural Scotland makes for a fantastic backdrop, and Atkinson's intricate plots are executed with superb clarity and yet not losing their great heart. Congratulations to everyone behind the series: bring on season 2!
Jason Brodie is a private investigator whose goal in life is to bring
closure to lives on hold. His own sad past is the springboard from
which he throws himself - sometimes reluctantly - into the problem of
Like many heroes of modern literature, Brodie is a flawed character whose personal failings never cease to amaze him: a failed marriage from which came a child he adores; an ambiguous friendship with a feisty female police inspector that could be going somewhere or nowhere;and a private detective business groaning under the weight of his inability to take on lucrative jobs rather than exercises in humanitarian kindness where the paycheck isn't always bankable and his carping secretary is only too willing to let him know.
It's ingenious the way Kate Atkinson's narrative sees apparently disconnected stories seamlessly interweave and overlap. Jason Isaacs is just right as the tough, selfless, good-hearted Brodie and each of the six episodes is filled with excellent acting and direction. 9/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There is a bit of realism about bureaucracies and police work which
comes through loud and clear. The real why Jackson Brodie is a "good
copper" is because he cares about people and cares about his work. At
the same time, he has a deep underlying motivation based on a tragedy
in his own life as he was growing up. It is analogous to what motivates
some psychologists in going into psychology in the first place. Thus,
there is a relevant dose of human nature and human motivation that is
lacking in many crime dramas from the standpoint of what pushes the
As to production values, the Brodie's secretary is a real trip with the correct mix of efficiency, humor and acerbic wit. Zawe Ashton plays the secretary and is an accomplished actress. Likewise Jason Issacs who played the memorable villain Col. Tavington in "The Patriot" does more than yeoman's work as the troubled ex-copper Jackson who bucks the system even for the dead. With the occasional twist and turn as you would expect in a British mystery, this offering is better than 95 % of the crime dramas on American TV.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Enjoyed the first 3 episodes aired on US Television...but do not recall
the insipid 'all female singers of folk and slow tunes' that drolls
over an otherwise successful revival of a good show. Don't know if I'll
continue watching because of this one very annoying plague. While I
enjoy ALL types of music/genres/artists...it is glaringly apparent that
the person designating this repetitive and soapy soundtrack does not. I
am a fan of many of the musical artists. I own recordings by the likes
of Mary Gautier , Lucinda Williams and Lori McKenna! But to have them
lined up in such a fashion does not lend to atmosphere, plot
advancement or motif...rather it detracts in the way elevator music
works, only worse.
Please switch it up! There are thousands of great songs out there.
And as an aside to the writers: I also recall that the character of Jackson was not quite as daft as it's being written in the new shows. There is little need to have him making so many errors in judgement in order to build suspense or conflict. There are other devices.
If someone reading this could pass my remarks along...perhaps we can improve a few future episodes.
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