Jean Blake is drawn into the investigation of several bizarre murders whose only connection seems to be a series of articles recently published in The Courier about Ballarat's most infamous... See full summary »
A British inspector is transferred to Saint-Marie's police department, but he hates the sun, sea and sand. The series follow his investigations into murders on the island. Later series see another British DI head the investigative team.
Set in the 1960s, the show follows Endeavour Morse in his early years as a police constable. Working alongside his senior partner DI Fred Thursday, Morse engages in a number of investigations around Oxford.
In March 2017, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation announced that they were canceling The Doctor Blake Mysteries and the fifth season would be its last. This was despite the fact that it was consistently their highest-rated Australian-made program. Star Craig McLachlan (Dr Lucien Blake) said in an interview with Australian reporters Prue Bentley and Tony Allan that the network never told him the reasoning behind their decision: "The biggest disappointment was trying to find the logic in it. I'm not blowing smoke up the show's derriere when I say that when the numbers are crunched, it is the most popular global drama on Australian television. The decision didn't make sense. When you're on a good thing, stick to it. The current regime at the ABC, they had their reasons [but] I don't understand them and it's never been articulated to me what their thinking is." See more »
The Doctor Blake Mysteries may not quite be among my favourite shows of all time, but it's a riveting series that keeps getting better and one of the better detective drama shows in recent years. Unfortunately, it's buried within BBC's daytime television scheduling and aired at a time where most people will be at school or work, and the show deserves better than that.
The post-war period is beautifully evoked in the sumptuous but also atmospheric settings and scenery and charming costumes and period detail. The series is beautifully shot and atmospherically lit, the dark grey-ish tinge being very appropriate and adding much to the overall feel of the series. The episodes are scored sensitively and the haunting theme tune gets embedded in the brain, while the direction is suitably restrained but the crimes and solutions sometimes have a genuine eeriness.
Writing is consistently good, with great thought-provoking dialogue that always makes the mystery elements interesting but the atmosphere doesn't ever feel too grim. The story lines, apart from moments of slow pacing in the first season, are so riveting, with suspensefully written cases that you care about getting solved, that one can't wait for the next episode. The solutions are never too obvious either, nor are they too complicated. The characters are well-written and are more than just stereotypes (although it took me a while to get used to Munro, who is the complete opposite of Lawson in a not-so-good way), Lucien is a fascinating title character.
Craig McLachlan is superb in the role as well, quite possibly his best role and certainly the best acting he's ever done. He seemed an unlikely choice at first, but the characters suits him perfectly. All the acting is very good actually, and seldom if ever any less.
All in all, a riveting series that deserves better treatment scheduling-wise. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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