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Murder Most English [DVD]

60 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Anton Rodgers, Christopher Timothy, John Comer, Moray Watson, Brenda Bruce
  • Directors: Ronald Wilson
  • Producers: Martin Lisemore
  • Format: PAL, Closed-captioned
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: 11 May 2009
  • Run Time: 350 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0010VEDAG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 34,642 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

All seven episodes of the 1970s detective series based on the Flaxborough novels by Colin Watson. Starring Anton Rodgers as Detective Inspector Purbright and Christopher Timothy as Detective Sergeant Love, the series pays tribute to a long-gone England of heavy tweed jackets, dial telephones, typewriter ribbons and good old-fashioned investigation and deduction.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A. J. Sturgess TOP 500 REVIEWER on 19 Dec. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'd never heard of this series but came across it via one of those useful sideways-links that Amazon often suggests as part of the search process. I didn't know what to expect but the reviews made it sound interesting - and it certainly is. The whole style is refreshingly simple and old-fashioned but with wonderfully accomplished subtle performances by every member of the cast. It's as if every incidental character in the series is in some way strange, eccentric or slightly deranged - but always in a lighthearted and enjoyable way. Murders and other crimes don't follow the current trend towards being gruesome but are almost appealing in their naivety. (The idea of old men being 'revived' by a herbal remedy which leads them to chase young women and for one to launch an assault in a shop 'behind the Shredded Wheat' is a case in point.) The endings of many stories are fairly easy to predict, but others suddenly twist - or events and characters recur in later episodes.

Perhaps the best word to describe this strange little series is 'whimsical' - so don't expect chases, blood, gore or even great tension, but do expect a truly enjoyable and fun experience.
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121 of 124 people found the following review helpful By Martin Tyler on 19 May 2009
Format: DVD
After what seems an eternity waiting for someone to release this series on DVD I was delighted to receive my copy of Murder Most English and even more pleased to find that it lived up completely to my memory of this excellent BBC series. Thank you Acorn. Anton Rodgers as Inspector Purbright and a young Christopher Timothy as the curiously named DS Love delve into a series of investigations including murder, betrayal, consiracy and intriguing disappearances. Originally broadcast in 1977 this series harks back to a time before forensics when crime was solved by good old fashioned detective work.
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65 of 67 people found the following review helpful By N. Rose on 4 Jun. 2009
Format: DVD
I'm just old enough to remember this series from the seventies from the much underatted pen of Colin Watson, adapted by Richard (Outside Edge)Harris . This really is a joy. Complex mysteries, very well acted.

The stories are setin the fictional Lincolnshire town of Flaxborough - there are several scenes filmed at Spalding railway station and bowls club in Lonely Heart 4122.

It's a shame that they didn't film the rest of Watson's excellent novels
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Recycled Rabbit TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Jun. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Ahh nostalgia. Not 100% what it used to be, but the adaptation of 4 of Colin Watson's early novels from the 50s and early 60s: Hopjoy Was Here, Lonelyheart 4122, The Flaxborough Crab and Coffin Scarcely Used still weave a little of their magic. Unlike most fictional policemen, the heroic detectives Inspector Purbright and DS Sid Love are just normal people with healthy relationships- no flawed loners like Morse, Frost or Rebus. The situations they investigate are broad farce: missing spooks, murderers preying on introduction agencies, naughty old men and mysterious ads for antique furniture in the newspaper.

The transfer to DVD is reasonable- the colours fairly accurate, with only occasional moments of sparkling from scratches on the original tapes. What is problematic with the series in hindsight is that the production took a little while to crank up to full speed- Hopjoy was Here sounds incredibly like a stage play, with far too much earnest verbal exposition. By the time we get to the Flaxborough Crab the actors have built up a tremendous rapport- especially Anton Rodgers (with hair!) and Christopher Timothy as the worthy lawmen. And for some reason the cast are playing a sight gag with a Swiss Cheese Plant. It's just that the lovely Miss Teatime just isn't quite as risque as she was in 1977. I think it's time for a readaptation....
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 23 Jun. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
always a sucker for a good murder mystery, I found Murder Most English a true delight. Anton Rodgers and Christopher Timothy are wonderful! set in the days before mobiles and laptops and high tech gadgets of any sort, it's all stripped down to just bare bones detective work. an added bonus is being able to titter over the horrendous 70s fashion and home decor!
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By The Dark Librarian on 25 May 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Hooray! It's about time that this series from the 1970's was released on DVD. I cannot comment on the quality of this DVD as it has not yet been released, but I can comment on the TV programmes as I was lucky enough to see this series in the late 1970's when it was first televised.

The programmes are based on 'the Flaxborough Chronicles' written by Colin Watson, and are located in the fictional small English town of Flaxborough. The stories are full of black humour.

As I recall Anton Rodgers was Inspector Purbright, Christopher Timothy was Sgt Love, Brenda Bruce was Miss Lucilla Teatime, and the delightful Caroline Blakiston was Mrs Carobleat.

A real treat for lovers of gentle vintage English crime
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By C. JONES on 10 July 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This series had a very short run in 1977, and would have stood another outing. "Most English" it definitely was, with the central, understated performance of Anton Rodgers as Inspector Purbright, and a pre-"All Creatures" Christopher Timothy looking as fresh-faced as if he had just left college.

The stories can be quite involved and require concentration - so turn off the laptop and stop texting! Like many TV dramas of its era, background music is sparely used, rather to the benefit of the action in this case.

It has been compared to a stage-play, and that's not a bad approximation. The sets tend to be a bit gloomy and the small-town world of Flaxborough rather claustrophobic, but this all adds to the atmospheric period charm.
(The series aired in 77 but the Flaxborough novels date from the late 50's onwards.)

The title sequence is oddly charming too - a tea caddy decorated with a map of the town, the lid being opened to reveal a huddle of darkened figures peering out.

"Murder Most English" certainly deserves preservation as a curio of analogue-age TV, and remains very watchable in DVD format.
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