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The Beiderbecke Trilogy (21st Anniversary Edition) [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: James Bolam, Barbara Flynn, Beryl Reid, Dudley Sutton, Dominic Jephcott
  • Directors: David Reynolds, Brian Parker, Alan Bell, Frank W. Smith
  • Producers: Michael Glynn, Ann W. Gibbons
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 27 Nov 2006
  • Run Time: 660 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000ICLHJ8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 70,425 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

The entire comedy drama series from Alan Plater. In 'The Beiderbecke Affair' (1984), woodwork teacher and jazz buff Trevor Chaplin (James Bolam) has always fantasized that a beautiful blonde will enter his life and simultaneously provide him with rare recordings of his hero Bix Beiderbecke. Unlikely as it seems, this is just what happens one evening when Trevor is at home in his flat. It is an encounter which will ultimately involve him and his colleague, independent political campaigner Jill Swinburne (Barbara Flynn), in exploding lawnmowers, political corruption and the strange world of 'black economists' Big Al (Terence Rigby) and Little Norm (Danny Schiller). In 'The Beiderbecke Tapes' (1987) Trevor and Jill find themselves plunged into another jazz-related mystery when the former purchases some Bix Beiderbecke tapes from a pub barman. Jill is intrigued when one of the tapes contains a conversation about the planned dumping of nuclear waste in the Yorkshire Dales, her curiosity being roused still further by the discovery that the barman who sold Trevor the tapes has now gone missing... The intrepid duo soon find themselves up to their necks in trouble once more as their investigation takes them from the relative safety of Yorkshire to the mean streets of Amsterdam and Edinburgh. In the final part of the trilogy, 'The Beiderbecke Connection' (1988), Trevor and Jill are still living together, and they now have a baby boy to look after as well. Their household is increased still further when old friend Big Al asks them to take in a refugee as a favour; Trevor is reluctant until he discovers that his new guest is, like him, an ardent jazz fan. However, this visitor is only the first of many who will involve Trevor and Jill in yet more intrigue and deception.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

108 of 109 people found the following review helpful By Eclectic Music Fan on 30 Aug 2007
Format: DVD
This set contains three great TV comedy dramas: The Beiderbecke Affair (six 50 min episodes); The Beiderbecke Connection (2½ hour one-off) and The Beiderbecke Tapes (four 50 minute episodes), all from the mid/late 1980's.

James Bolam and Barbara Flynn play teachers who find themselves embroiled in adventures which set them against local and national state interests. They are helped and/or hindered by a supporting cast including policemen, councillors, allotment owners, ex-husbands, mysterious Russians and the Popular Liberation Front of West Yorkshire!

Despite the serious message being conveyed what comes across most is the warmth of the quirky humour and it's freshingly leisurely pace. Every character, no matter how minor, is well played; Terence Rigby and Dudley Sutton are particularly good and it's all played out against a great soundtrack of swinging trad Jazz.
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55 of 57 people found the following review helpful By The Ducktor on 10 July 2007
Format: DVD
This is a fine example of gentle, British comedy - or more specifically Northern Humour, set against a backdrop of jazz, education, jazz, intrigue, jazz, the state apparatus and some more jazz. The characters are believable, the humour well grounded and observed and the performances from James Bolam and Barbara Flynn are consummate. Their relationship is nicely off beat and ties in with the skew view of the world from Alan Plater's pen.

This is excellent comedy drama and well worth a try - these DVDs have given me hours of pleasure and the ability to baffle more people with daft quotes. Equally it's a great chance to hear some good jazz - there is even a definition of the three types of jazz...I'll leave you to find out what they are!

Enjoy.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By C. Hatfield TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 July 2007
Format: DVD
Ok, maybe a bit far fetched to make that comparison because Dudley Sutton would make a poor Max and there isn't much 'Moider'.

I fell in love with The Beiderbecke affair, quite literally due to a schoolboy crush on Barbera Flynn (although she had an overtly more sexy role in A Peculiar Practice). I'm over that now, but that means I can appreciate the subtle plot twists and dialogue (yes there is some, honest).

The music is something I've always appreciated as a backdrop to the story. I'm not that much of a jazz fan, but it does match the pace of the plot and the scenery!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By G. Hutchinson on 9 Feb 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I watched this years ago and now I have some money I bought the whole trilogy. It never gets jaded and I watch it every couple of months. repetitive? Not at all! I am still finding little nuances in the acting that bring it all to life. A shame there was not another series based years later but by then - sadly - Alan Plater had passed away. Check out the extras and you will find him a really nice and unassuming guy. This pack comes with the original play and a cd of music from the series. A purchase that, for me, has paid for itself time and time again.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By W. Hutchinson on 10 April 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What a fantastic series of shows. Three shows with James Bolan and one with Alun Armstrong. This is subtle, gentle and educated humour. Each of the shows has a similar theme. I watched them end to end which is probably not a good idea as the jazz music starts to grind on the nerves but this is really well worth the money - 5 discs plus a CD. It was such a pleasure to see a programme without screaming noises in the background. By coincidence, I received the latest the latest `New Tricks' (not released in the UK yet) which has both Armstrong and Bolan in as well. Still a good programme but with the annoying addition of spasmodic and disjointed `music' in every other scene, it shows the difference between the decades in programme production. No idea why the additional `undercurrent' music is there in `New Tricks' - maybe the psychologists tell the BBC it holds our attention. It drives me to the computer to write this - so it does not work with me.
Back to the Beiderbeck Trilogy (actually four separate programmes). This is a classy set of programmes; I do wish they would make them this way today. These concentrate on the story and acting not the annoying peripheral such as sound effects.
Buy it if you want calming entertainment.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By L. Stockton on 18 May 2007
Format: DVD
This quirky comedy was never going to set TV alight but rather it fizzled along nicely.

James Bolam has always been great at comedy and doesn't let the side down with this strange but humerous series.

If anything, it's a great introduction to jazz as the whole series was set to the sounds of Bix Beiderbecke (of course), Duke Ellington and Art Tatum, though primarily it was Bix music that took centre stage.

I HAVE to give it five stars, because at 15 when most people were into 80's pop, this started my interest in Jazz .
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Phil Aypee on 6 Jan 2009
Format: DVD
I have enjoyed the Beiderbecke Trilogy from the first broadcast of Affair to today!

I bought the VHS tapes and now I have this DVD set (which I saw cheap in HMV). It includes the original, Get Lost!, and, though the characters are not as well-rounded as the Trilogy, it is very good.

I think Plater (the genius) wanted to write a screenplay about a mystery with no violence - and fell so in love with the characters that he wrote two sequels. He based it all on a very gentle, almost non-violent, series he'd written - Get Lost!.

The jazz in all I love - but it's not what this is about, it's just part of it. Principally it's the epitome of a sane attitude in an insane world.

Sanity is Plater-shaped!
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