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  • Cracker - The Complete Collection [DVD] [1993]
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Cracker - The Complete Collection [DVD] [1993]

Price: £49.98 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Robbie Coltrane, Geraldine Somerville, Kieran O'Brien, Barbara Flynn, Lorcan Cranitch
  • Directors: Charles McDougall, Jean Stewart, Michael Winterbottom, Richard Standeven, Simon Cellan Jones
  • Writers: Jimmy McGovern
  • Format: Box set, PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Cinema Club
  • DVD Release Date: 12 May 2003
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008YNE6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 84,901 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

All eleven episodes from the popular drama series starring Robbie Coltrane as the larger-than-life, hard-drinking criminal psychologist. In 'The Mad Woman in the Attic', after a student of Fitz's (Coltrane) is butchered on a train, the police believe it to be the work of a serial slasher. At the scene of the crime is an unconscious, blood-stained man (Adrian Dunbar) who is soon accused of the murders. Fitz is brought in to use his talents to reach into the soul of the man (who is claiming amnesia) to reveal the truth. In 'To Say I Love You', Fitz is called in by the police to have a look at a young man brought in for joyriding. He advises that the boy is kept for a psychological evaluation, but the powers-that-be ignore him. When the young man begins a spree of crime with his girlfriend, Fitz's theories are proved correct. In 'One Day a Lemming Will Fly', a young boy is found hanging from a tree, and Fitz is brought in to find out what led to his death. A pathologist's report indicates that the boy was murdered before he was hanged, putting the boy's suicidal English teacher and two mean school bullies on the top of the suspect list. In 'To Be a Somebody', Albie (Robert Carlyle) is a young man, psychologically disturbed by the events of Hillsborough and the death of his father, who attacks and kills an Asian newsagent. The police believe it to be a racist attack but draw a blank in their investigations into right-wing groups, and so call in Fitz to help with their enquiries. However, every minute is vital, as Albie is planning a spree of mass killing that must be halted before he strikes close to home. In 'The Big Crunch', Fitz is called in to investigate the sinister operations of a religious cult, which perversely punishes its young acolytes for the sins of its leaders. In 'Men Should Weep', Fitz attempts to fit a spate of rapes to the profile of a number of known sexual offenders. The investigation has personal repercussions when his colleague and occasional lover, DS Penhaligon (Geraldine Somerville), is raped, whilst the return of his estranged wife Judith (Barbara Flynn) only complicates matters further. In 'Brotherly Love', Fitz is called in when a father of four is arrested for the murder of a prostitute, only for an identical killing to take place while the man is still in custody. Meanwhile, Jimmy Beck (Lorcan Cranitch) returns to the force following DS Penhaligon's accusation of rape against him. In 'Best Boys', Fitz faces more problems on the home and professional fronts, as the shadow of Jimmy Beck's suicide continues to loom over his relationship with Penhaligon. Meanwhile, Judith wonders how the imminent arrival of her baby will affect her already tumultuous marriage. In 'True Romance', while Judith turns to Fitz's brother Danny (Clive Russell) for support, Penhaligon also needs someone to talk to. Fitz receives letters from an anonymous female admirer, only to discover that she could be a murderer. Dropped from the investigation due to his personal involvement, Fitz cannot help but become involved when his son Mark (Kieran O'Brien) is used as bait. In 'White Ghost', Fitz is on a lecture tour in Hong Kong when the local police call him in to help with a murder case. It soon transpires that a serial killer is at work. Fitz asks for his Manchester colleague Penhaligon, but instead it is DCI Wise (Ricky Tomlinson) who arrives from England to help him investigate the killings. Finally, in 'Nine Eleven', Fitz returns to Manchester after spending ten years living in Australia with his wife and youngest son. He is soon drawn into the investigation of a British soldier who may have been traumatised by his years serving in Northern Ireland.


First screened in 1993, Jimmy McGovern's Cracker was at once a variation on a familiar theme and a daring new departure from the run-of-the-mill cop show. Robbie Coltrane's Fitz is an independent criminal psychologist called in by the police to help them crack intractable cases, usually involving grisly serial murders. But like its Granada TV stablemate Prime Suspect, Cracker also delves deep into the main characters' personal lives, revealing a chaos of emotional entanglements that become increasingly inseparable from their professional duties.

Robbie Coltrane's charismatic presence dominates: the contrast between Fitz's professionalism and his complete inability to diagnose his own psychological failings provides much of the show's dramatic impetus. His frequent interrogations of murder suspects are tour de force demonstrations of coolly analytical method shot through with biting humour. But his drunken, intemperate behaviour towards his wife and everyone else is a telling contrast of extremes, and one that creates dangerous resentment among his colleagues. Coltrane is supported by a strong cast that includes Barbara Flynn, Geraldine Somerville, Lorcan Cranitch (as the terrifyingly unstable DS Jimmy Beck), Christopher Eccleston, and a pre-Royle Family Ricky Tomlinson. McGovern's screenplays balance gritty, Manchester-based realism with splendidly mordant wit, making Cracker simply riveting viewing.

On the DVD: This complete Cracker 10-disc box set contains all three series that ran from 1993-95. The feature-length episodes are: "The Mad Woman in the Attic", "Say I Love You", "One Day a Lemming Will Fly" (Series 1); "Be a Somebody", "The Big Crunch", "Men Should Weep" (Series 2); "Brotherly Love", "Best Boys", "True Romance" (Series 3); "White Ghost" (1996 special). --Mark Walker

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By "isurfer" on 22 May 2003
Format: DVD
"You're the one who needs the psychologist," a murder suspect tells Fitz (Robbie Coltrane) in the first ever episode of Cracker. As things transpire, it's a painfully accurate description. Fitz is a wreck, hopelessly hooked on cigarettes, booze and gambling, in denial over his ailing marriage while liaising with the Manchester police as a psychological profiler. He's a doomed figure, and as played by Coltrane he burns a hole in the small screen. It's an epic performance, built on a series of brave, no-holds-barred scripts from writer Jimmy McGovern. If Fitz is McGovern's most memorable creation he's also (to date) Coltrane's finest hour. You get the feeling Coltrane truly understands Fitz's dark vision of the world, a vision that allows him to unlock the minds of killers.
The Cracker stories really work best if watched in sequence. Beginning with 'The Mad Woman In The Attic' through 'To Say I Love You' and 'One Day A Lemming Will Fly' you get a feeling of slow descent towards tragedy.
McGovern doesn't pull any punches. It's shocking to see characters we've come to know and love being slowly torn apart by the job. If there's a turning point in the series - a point where we suddenly realize this is only going to grow darker and darker - it's somewhere between parts four and six, 'To Be A Somebody' (Robert Carlyle is on fire as a bereaved soccer supporter taking revenge on the police for Hillsborough) and 'Men Should Weep', an unflinching examination of rape. The treatment of sexual violence caused a minor storm at the time, and there are moments here and especially in 'Brotherly Love' which some viewers will find hard to watch. 'Brotherly Love' was McGovern's last word on the subject and truly overpowering.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Jun. 2003
Format: DVD
It is not very often that a series is crying out to be put on DVD. The big three I would choose would be Coldfeet, Inspector Morse and Cracker. Now Cracker is out, my collection is complete. I recently purchased this boxset before boarding a long flight, the onboard movies did not even get a look in for the whole journey. This series is just as exciting as it was when it was first broadcast. Christopher Eccleston and Robbie Coltrane are perfect together on screen. When Eccleston left the series it was difficult to see if the series would be as good without him. No need to worry as Ricky Tomlinson was a perfect replacement. If I had to choose one single episode as a personal favorite it would have to be "To be a somebody" which featured Robert Carlyle. The only thing missing from this set is a commentary from the writer Jimmy McGovern. Despite this small blemish, it is an excellent buy!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Chris Wroblewski on 29 May 2003
Format: DVD
I don't think anyone makes crime dramas as well as the Brits because the focus always seems to be on interesting characters rather than gun fights, etc. If a better crime series has been made than this, then I haven't seen it. The superb "To Be Somebody" (Disk 4) has totally unexpected events, but make sure you watch the stories in order: each story is self-contained, but the background continuity of the relationships is important.
The DVD quality, like that of most British TV series, is best described as just passable. The surround sound is good, but there is not so much joy with the picture. The feature is presented in a very strange aspect ratio, possibly 1.5 : 1, which I assume shows the complete unmatted film picture, but the credits are 1.33 : 1. There is not a single extra, and even the DVD slip case tells virtually nothing about the contents: there's more info in the Amazon review!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By windowlicker2000 on 9 Nov. 2003
Format: DVD
"CRACKER" is an outstanding series with a brilliant script and some great performances. Technically, the DVD presentation is good,
but the complete absence of any extra material and/or some subtitles is a bit of a drawback for this definitive presentation.
I was also a bit sad, that in "To Say I Love You", one of the best films in the series, the Cocteau Twins-Song "Pandora" was missing
(which was included when broadcast on TV), perhaps too expensive for Granada.
But apart from that : Great to have the complete series in one set!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "pwoods49" on 13 Nov. 2003
Format: DVD
We have some outstanding movies in this great box, but there are just no extras included, not even any subtitles, it's just pointless.
Any way lets just move onto the good points, Robbie coltrane is amazing, very funny and talented and we have a very strong and scary performance with Robert carlyle in the best one "To be a somebody". The story, Fitz (Robbie coltrane) is a criminal psychologist but he has a dark side-a side on a cocktail of alcahol and gambling. He profiles suspects for the Manchester police force.
You might think that you are wasting your money on this collection, just buy them individually.
The best ones are, The mad woman in the attic, To say I love you, To be a somebody, Men should weep, Brotherly love and best boys.
I think that they are all quite good but there the best ones.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Shawade on 8 Mar. 2004
Format: DVD
If you are like me then you grew up with Robbie C in the Young Ones and the Comic Strip - right? Could you ever have imagined him less than a decade later playing a tough but compromised psychologist drawn into Manchester's crime world through results and building reputation?
No of course not.
This is what Robbie Coltrane does so well; building the character (possibly with Jimmy Mc's help of course) into the story line and seeing strong development as the series progressed. His character acting is simply inspired.
Stories are typical Mr McGovern, strong, powerful and ever-so-slightly unbelievable with characters to match.
Very powerful, excellent British crime drama. Do they write like this anymore? Probably not. Turn off your reality TV stuff and plug into this. When you are done with all ten hours, go get Prime Suspect and do the same again; More strong stories, charatcers and early 90's fashions/cars/mobile phones.
....If, on the other hand you know Robbie Coltrane best as a huge bearded school caretaker with a passion for owls and spiders... well you are either too young to watch Fitz or you are old enough to have kids of your own... :)
Highly, highly recommended.
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