(1993 TV Movie)

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The vivacious Imogen Stubbs in a TV pilot
blanche-210 November 2011
"Headcase" was the pilot for the British mystery TV series "Anna Lee," which was picked up but didn't run very long. It's a shame because I really liked it, everything from its theme song (Sister, Sister), the beautiful Imogen Stubbs as Anna, the London setting, and the mysteries themselves.

Anna Lee is an ex-cop who joins a detective agency where her disorganization, outfits, and failure to follow directions are frowned upon, but her intelligence and ability to solve cases are valued. In the pilot, Anna is asked first to find a young girl, Thea (Kate Beckinsale who looks like she's about 16 here; she's 21). She doesn't have any luck, but Thea is found in a mental hospital, and Anna is asked to bring her home. Soon, Anna is involved in a murder case, a Norman Bates motel, infidelity, sexual abuse, and the fragile minds of several young people.

A very intriguing story with a good cast. Stubbs is extremely likable, funny, quirky, and warm, talking to her cat, and living in an apartment which has an open door policy. She's ably supported by Alan Howard, who plays Thea's father, Michael Bryant as her boss (who tells her not to keep calling him sir; when she asks what she should call him, he says, "Commander"), and Barbara Leigh-Hunt as the strict secretary at the detective agency. Leigh-Hunt did not do the series.

Highly recommended if you can get your hands on any of the "Anna Lee" series. They are available, I believe, on ioffer.com.
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7/10
Sassy young detective heroine in an era of dried old sticks
OldBob2 November 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This was a very nice pilot to a series which went on to disappoint. In an era of TV detectives from the dotty old dears stable or Columbo on his last legs it was a treat to be offered a sassy, peppy and quite gorgeous heroine in the shape of Imogen Stubbs. Anna Lee is a rather disorganised but determined London girl in search of a glamorous life as a private detective only to find herself in the employ of a stuffy old boss (Michael Bryant: brilliant) and working with a gang of has-beens on a routinely dull missing person's case. Needless to say Colin Bucksey takes the Liza Cody novel and quickly brings the story to life and engages the characters and plot at a spirited pace with both humour and charm from Miss Stubbs et al. When the missing girl Thea, (played by a remarkably young Kate Beckinsale) shows up without too much trouble the detective work really begins: leading us on a darkening trail of seduction, abuse and murder.
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