"Homicide: Life on the Street" (Jan, 1993 - May, 1999)
As far as I'm concerned, the aforementioned "Law and Order" crossover episodes (see below) not having been included doesn't bother me at all. To me, that series with its rather mundane script and dialogue is a par below "Homicide" anyway. Having said that, I concur that the omission of "H: The Movie", the great roundup of all the detectives and other characters that ever appeared in the seven-years-course of the series AND a worthy coda for this invaluable piece of recent TV history is indeed deplorable. So you'd better compare the prices of the US and the UK edition and decide for yourself.
In hindsight, a decade after watching the finale and having inevitably missed several (but not many) episodes, I can see the full scope of the series and its huge, if not always appreciated or even perceived by the general public, impact on contemporary TV entertainment. It's been called realistic, gritty, engrossing, moving, exciting. It's also as truthful as it gets, not only to the book, i.e. the first two seasons, but as a depiction of life in an American city and actual, non-glossy, yet intriguing police work in particular. In terms of realism, I'd rank it above "The Wire" (which IS excellent), the cast is terrific AND utterly believable, as the actors were either native Baltimoreans or rather unfamiliar faces, at least they were when the series originally aired, ideally suited to the characters they played. The idea of interspersing amateur actors, true originals from Baltimore, was indeed ingenious and adds considerably to the flavor, no phony accents and mimicking of street lingo here, it's the real McCoy, not to speak of the insightful script that makes this motley crew come to life so convincingly.
IMO, the first three seasons were the best, though the following three up to the weak and largely forgettable 7th season were excellent in their own right. I could have done without the guest appearances, as they more often than not rather detracted from the magnetic pull the regular "no-name" cast generated, yet many of them were undoubtedly great fun, so no complaint about that. Watching "Homicide" now on DVD after all these years, it's also astonishing to spot so many then unknown or unnoticed people, many of whom have become household names in the meantime. Just take the creators/writers. David Simon, creator of "The Wire", Tom Fontana ("Oz") or Paul Attanasio, who wrote the screenplay to "Donnie Brasco", one of the very best and -again - REALISTIC mob dramas ever. Anja Epstein has just recently joined the current "In Treatment"-series as executive producer, and Clark Johnson directed several episodes of "The Shield". The cross references seem almost infinite, they lay proof to the fact that "Homicide" is indeed the motherlode, the source from which the various direct or indirect offsprings have benefited.
Clark Johnson as Det. Meldrick Lewis
Richard Belzer as Sgt John Munch
Yaphet Kotto as Lt. Al Giardello
Kyle Secor as Det. Tim Bayliss
Andre Braugher as Det. Frank Pembleton
Michael Ahl as Officer Phatt
Melissa Leo as Sgt. Kay Howard
Reed Diamond as Det. Mike Kellerman
Ned Beatty as Det. Stanley 'The Big Man' Bolander (seasons 1 - 3)
Daniel Baldwin as Det. Beau Felton (seasons 1 - 3)
Jon Polito as Det. Steve Crosetti (seasons 1 - 2)
1. Gone for Goode - 2. A Ghost of a Chance - 3. Son of a Gun - 4. A Shot in the Dark - 5. Three Men and Adena - 6. Dog and Pony Show - 7. And the Rockets' Dead Glare - 8. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes - 9. The Night of the Dead Living
10. Bop Gun - 11. See No Evil - 12. Black and Blue - 13. A Many Splendored Thing
14. Nearer My God to Thee - 15. Fits Like a Glove - 16. Extreme Unction - 17. A Model Citizen - 18. Happy to Be Here - 19. Crosetti - 20. The Last of the Watermen - 21. All Through the House - 22. Every Mother's Son - 23. Cradle to Grave - 24. Partners - 25. The City That Bleeds - 26. Dead End - 27. End Game - 28. Law and Disorder - 29. The Old and the Dead - 30. In Search of Crimes Past - 31. Nothing Personal - 32. Colors - 33. The Gas Man
34. Fire: Part 1 - 35. Fire: Part 2 - 36. Autofocus - 37. Thrill of the Kill - 38. Hate Crimes - 39. A Doll's Eyes - 40. Heartbeat - 41. Sniper: Part 1 - 42. Sniper: Part 2 - 43. The Hat - 44. I've Got a Secret - 45. For God and Country - 46. Justice: Part 1 - 47. Justice: Part 2 - 48. Stakeout - 49. Requiem for Adena - 50. Full Moon - 51. Scene of the Crime - 52. Map of the Heart - 53. The Damage Done - 54. The Wedding - 55. Work Related
56. Hostage: Part 1 - 57. Hostage: Part 2 - 58. Prison Riot - 59. Bad Medicine - 60. M.E., Myself and I - 61. White Lies - 62. The Heart of a Saturday Night - 63. The True Test - 64. Control - 65. Blood Wedding - 66. The Documentary - 67. Betrayal - 68. Have a Conscience -
69. Diener - 70. Wu's on First? - 71. Valentine's Day - 72. Kaddish - 73. Double Blind - 74. Deception - 75. Narcissus - 76. Partners and Other Strangers - 77. Strangers and Other Partners
78. Blood Ties: Part 1 - 79. Blood Ties: Part 2 - 80. Blood Ties: Part 3 - 81. Birthday - 82. Baby, It's You: Part 2 - 83. Saigon Rose - 84. Subway - 85. All Is Bright - 86. Closet Cases - 87. Sins of the Father - 88. Shaggy Dog, City Goat - 89. Something Sacred: Part 1 - 90. Something Sacred: Part 2 - 91. Lies and Other Truths - 92. Pit Bull Sessions - 93. Mercy - 94. Abduction - 95. Full Court Press - 96. Strangled, Not Stirred - 97. Secrets - 98. Finnegan's Wake - 99. Fallen Heroes: Part 1 - 100. Fallen Heroes: Part 2
101. La Famiglia - 102. Brotherly Love - 103. Just an Old Fashioned Love Song - 104. The Twenty Percent Solution - 105. Red, Red Wine - 106. Wanted Dead or Alive: Part 1 - 107. Wanted Dead or Alive: Part 2 - 108. Kellerman, P.I.: Part 1 - 109. Kellerman, P.I.: Part 2 -
110. Shades of Gray - 111. Bones of Contention - 112. The Same Coin - 113. Homicide.com -
114. A Case of Do or Die - 115. Sideshow: Part 2 - 116. Truth Will Out - 117. Zen and the Art of Murder - 118. Self Defense - 119. Identity Crisis - 120. Lines of Fire - 121. The Why Chromosome - 122. Forgive Us Our Trespasses
NOT included (the tie-in episodes)
"Law & Order"
Charm City (Season 6, Episode 13)
Baby, It's You (Season 8, Episode 6)
Sideshow (Season 9, Episode 14)
Homicide: The Movie (2000) (aka "Another Homicide"), which aired 9 (!) months after the series finale.
Essential viewing for the discerning adult, definitely affordable price, good packaging of discs. The US box-set (35 discs) is even more recommendable, as it contains all the crossover episodes and the "Another Homicide" special. However, the missing material is no big deal, and fans of Lt. Giardello might want to skip the special anyway ;-).
Unconditionally recommended to anyone who liked "Hill Street Blues" or "The Wire" or is planning to watch these series on DVD.
33 DVDs (122 episodes)
Subtitles: English HoH
Run Time: 5694 minutes