Among the many first-rate British television mysteries is the well-written, long-running (14 years or close to it) police procedural Dalziel and Pascoe.
That fine actor with a mug's face, Warren Clarke, plays Detective Superintendent Andy Dalziel (pronounced Dee-ell, if you please).
Dalziel has a Yorkshire accent that at times could use subtitles. He worked his way up and he's smart. He dresses well. He drinks, he smokes, he's overweight, and he yearns to bed most of the good-looking women he meets. He's pugnacious toward everyone, especially the better classes. He is sarcastic most of the time and has an unmatched gift for deliberately being crude. As he says to his young sergeant, played by Colin Buchanan, "I scratch my balls, pick my nose and fart with unneeded force." Morse would wince if he ever met Andy.
Peter Pascoe, a university man, is better educated and almost as smart. He wants to catch criminals just as much as Andy does. Pascoe meets Dalziel in the first episode of Series One when he is assigned to be Dalziel's sergeant. Pascoe is smart enough to find out before they meet how to pronounce Dalziel's name. Dalziel, a tough and impatient teacher, is sardonically impressed. Pascoe is obviously a quick learner.
The three episodes on two discs of Series One are: A Clubbable Woman, where two violent pastimes meet...murder and rugby; An Advancement of Learning, where a worse-for-the-wear body is discovered at some depth below a university statue; and An Autumn Shroud, where Andy discovers that sex and family values can be tricky to sort out.
The DVD transfer is excellent.