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Cribb - Vol. 1 - Swing, Swing Together [1980] [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Alan Dobie, William Simons, David Waller, Alfie Curtis, Geoffrey Larder
  • Producers: Peter Eckersley
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Acorn
  • DVD Release Date: 14 Jun 2004
  • Run Time: 252 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00023JDL2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 126,314 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

The opening five episodes from the first season of the classic series written by award-winning crime writer Peter Lovesey, starring Alan Dobie as Victorian Detective Sergeant Cribb. Known for his wry sense of humour, Cribb is the backbone of Scotland Yard's newly formed Criminal Investigation Department aided, and sometimes hindered, by the faithful Constable Thackeray (William Simons). In 'Swing Swing Together', Cribb and Thackeray are called in to investigate when students out for a midnight swim witness a body being dumped in the river. In 'Abracadaver', the sleuths are trying to trace the saboteur of a music hall show. 'The Detective Wore Silk Drawers' sees the detectives uncovering the world of bare-knuckle fighting after a headless corpse is discovered in the river. In 'The Horizontal Witness', the discovery of a body in a brothel leads to the investigation of the murder of a London crime lord. In 'Wobble to Death', Cribb and Thackeray are on the case of a murdered participant in the world Pedestrian championships.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Roger Shallot on 12 Sep 2004
Format: DVD
Cribb was one of the quirkiest and most imaginative detective series that British television has ever managed to produce. Concerning the investigations of a Detective Sergeant (excellently played by Alan Dobie), it managed to conjure up the seediness and atmosphere of Victorian London, soon after the formation of the C.I.D. There are many fascinating plotlines here, centred around activities such as bare knuckle prize fighting and long distance indoor walking competitions ("wobbles"). The class ridden attitudes of the time are in full view as well...there's no Jack Regan sledgehammer insubordination here, and Cribb has to be on his toes to catch the criminals and stay on the right side of his superiors. The budget obviously affected the production values at times but the stories are so gripping and the array of talent so rich that this can only be regarded as a minor flaw. It's up there with "Raffles" when it comes to period detective drama and only loses a star because the pilot episode, "Waxwork", is irritatingly absent. A few decent extras would've been nice (an interview or two for instance) but alas not too many of these T.V releases score too well in that department.If you like a decent mystery, presented with plenty of atmosphere and flair, then I recommend you give this one a try.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Prof TBun on 27 Mar 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In book form I prefer Sherlock to Cribb. But this is most definitely the best TV detective series I have ever seen.

I have to disagree with the previous reviewer, in that Sergeant Cribb is neither stylish nor dour. Cribb elevates sarcasm to a high art form throughout, and bullies his companion Constable Thackary mercilessly.

The series itself is stylish however. The lavish sets and costumes and well crafted music are a joy. All the plots, writing and performances are first rate.

It is undoubtably an expensive purchase, but I recommend that you at least put it in your wish list or considerer a second hand copy.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By S. Johnson on 22 Mar 2008
Format: DVD
I managed to see some of the original runs of the series on TV when it was first screened in 1979/1980 and even though I was young, I was quite into it thanks to the great acting talents of Alan Dobie playing a very witty humourous role along side William Simons. The visuals for the Victorian period were excellent captivating all the atmosphere of that time. Yes, not very action packed compared with todays equivalent police series dramas but however, this is a very enjoyable series and you'll want to watch a few episodes at a time; there's something in it like the Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes series which gets you hooked in. I would justify the current listed price especially if this is what you are after.
I would highly recommend this trip down memory lane.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Friendlycard VINE VOICE on 11 Aug 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I approached this DVD set cautiously, for three reasons. First, I am a great admirer of Peter Lovesey's books and have sometimes, in the past, been disappointed by screen reproductions of favourite books. Second, I read the Victorian period for my doctorate, so am attuned to historical inaccuracies. Third, I had heard that this was a comparatively low budget production.

Never fear - the series far exceeded my expectations, and can be recommended strongly. The series is remarkably true to the books, not least because Alan Dobie is spot on as Sergeant Cribb, whilst William Simons is equally well cast as Thackeray. The adaptations capture the clever plotting and the wry humour of the original books.

Peter Lovesey began his writing career with 'Wobble to Death', a remarkably original novel set against a bizarre but authentic sporting background, and went on to write seven more books featuring Sergeant Cribb. Of these, 'Swing Swing Together' is my personal favourite, whilst the last book in the series, 'Waxwork', won particular critical acclaim.

Before filming the series, 'Waxwork' was produced as a pilot - the main shortcoming of this box set is that this programme is missing. For the series proper, this left a canon of seven books for adaptation, to which Granada added a further six stories specially written by Peter and Jacqueline Lovesey.

My favourite episodes here are 'Swing Swing Together' and 'Wobble to Death'. In the former, Cribb and Thackeray seek 'three men in a boat' in the very summer when Jerome K Jerome's newly-published classic was being emulated en masse along the Thames. The result is an engagingly charming story, beautifully portrayed here.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. JONES on 25 Sep 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
My affection for this wonderful old series is no doubt coloured by the fact that I met Alan Dobie as a student in the mid 80's and had quite a few drinks with him (consequently my memories are a bit blurred!)
But I digress - if you crave a gentler pace, good stories and period charm, this is for you. Dobie's performance is very contained, and there is a dry wit and a pleasant chemistry between Cribb, Jowett and Thackeray that makes the series very watchable. Like meeting up with an old friend after many years.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By NEO on 25 July 2006
Format: DVD
I did not catch the original airing of this series back in the early 1980's. And I have only seen some of the run on ITV3 , however this is a brilliant series starring Alan Dobie as the dour northern Detective sargeant Cribb. This series though only 13 episodes long which is a great shame though not full of action. Is very watchable and seems to stick to the victorian era just as much as Sherlock Holmes. And it is that fact that gives this otherwise standard format an edge. Of the Dvd the picture quality is poor and the sound isn't that good. There are no special features to mention pluss the pilot episode is missing. And at a cost of £45 it's also very expensive for so few episodes which will put many buyers off.
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