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Quirke [DVD]


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Quirke [DVD] + Shetland - Series 1-2 [DVD] + Hinterland (Y Gwyll) [DVD] [2013]
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Product details

  • Actors: Gabriel Byrne, Michael Gambon, Geraldine Somerville, Nick Dunning, Aisling Franciosi
  • Directors: John Alexander, Diarmuid Lawrence, Jim O'Hanlon
  • Writers: Andrew Davies, Conor McPherson
  • Producers: Lisa Osborne
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 9 Jun. 2014
  • Run Time: 254 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00CX3FT3K
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,528 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Gabriel Byrne plays the eponymous Irish pathologist-cum-sleuth in this three-part BBC adaptation based on the novels by John Banville. While fulfilling his duties as chief pathologist at the Dublin City Morgue during the 1950s, the insular and surly Quirke (Byrne) ploughs a lonely course, managing his depression by haunting Dublin's dank alleyways and bars. But when he begins to notice inconsistencies during routine examinations, Quirke's natural inquisitiveness to find out the truth soon leads him on a tour of Dublin's less salubrious areas, where he faces unresolved issues from his own past that would be better left undisturbed. The episodes are: 'Christine Falls', 'The Silver Swan' and 'Elegy for April'.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By still searching TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Jun. 2014
Format: DVD
That forms the title of this slow burning but ultimately fulfilling mini-series, based on the books by Benjamin Black (aka John Banville). The eponymous Quirke lives up to his name, as played by Gabriel Byrne: haunted and troubled by the kind of early life experiences only at first hinted at but gradually, as the series progresses, revealed in all their sordid glory.

Quirke, the errant prodigal son of a prominent Dublin judge, (Michael Gambon) is a pathologist who becomes a little too interested in the erstwhile lives of his horizontal clients. His delving into areas that, ostensibly, are not his concern, soon brings him into conflict with powerful interests that are closer to home than he could possibly have imagined.

This is a dark, brooding but evocative trip to fifties Dublin and the murky world of the Catholic Church where secrets unearthed bring to light the full truth of its suffocating, corrosive, stultifying and all pervasive influence on the lives of its captives.

The look is appropriately (n)oirish, the characters outlandish and Byrne brings to Quirke's tormented soul an oddly impish quality that offsets, what might otherwise be considered, the somewhat hackneyed traits of the alcoholic, which adds to the character's allure.

For me it doesn't quite hit the Nordic Noir spot - but it's not far off!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Hamish Adam TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 18 Aug. 2014
Format: DVD
Is Quirke drunk? Or is it another Dublin-damp misty hangover day? Is the Catholic Church a pox on the face of humanity. Or not?

Don't expect any easy answers from this superb drama which is as much uncomfortably ambiguous social history, as gripping yarn.

It's always raining in Quirke's noir parish. And, fittingly, almost always black and white, but with none of the facile narrative hand-holding which that simple color palette might imply.

And it is not only 'film noir', but 'slow noir' with it. In 50's Dublin there was presumably always time to take a second look, to stare for a while, to ponder something. Quirke's pacing perfectly captures it. Rather than the weakness which another reviewer experienced, I saw this as an artistic strength.

This is not pretty story-telling. But it tells it like it probably was. Foyle's War for the Guinness classes. Top stuff.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alan Jones TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 20 July 2014
Format: DVD
Gabriel Byrne is excellent as Quirke, a deeply flawed and disturbed medical professional. He is a functioning alcoholic with an inner sense of justice. 1950s Dublin is a dull, damp, austere place where lies, deceit and hypocrisy underlie the respectable society presented. Quirke haunts this world, shuffling and stumbling, smoking and drinking, full of regret and tragedy, accepting his place in this world but uneasy about its underbelly. Family relationships are significantly intense, betraying a troubled past. Nick Dunning is impressive as Quirke’s brother. The pace of the narrative is deliberate and slow. Norms, morals and actions are explored and challenged. It may be that the past is a foreign country where they do things differently, but the issues examined here are disturbingly familiar. The denouement in the third programme is truly shocking. This is not a conventional crime drama, but an exploration of the human condition at a certain time and a certain place. It is an impressive piece of work which deserves to be viewed and reflected upon.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By miss marple on 24 Jun. 2014
Format: DVD
This is a first class drama set in the fifties.Gabriel Byrne is excellent in the roll of Quirke the pathologist ,who when he suspects things are amiss ,has to investigate,and like a dog with a bone does not give up no matter who stands in his way.He also has a troubled past which he tries to overcome with the help of alcohol.The era is captured well and the sets are good,an all round enjoyable treat.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mr. S. Kerfoot on 8 July 2014
Format: DVD
I'm a big fan of the actors in this series. Gabriel Byrne has been in some of my favourite films, particularly Miller's Crossing, and is faultless. Michael Gambon is a master at making fine acting look easy. I've also enjoyed the books which this series was based on, so naturally I was looking forward to sitting back and simply letting myself enjoy what should have been some of the best television of the year.

Unfortunately, in spite of having fine actors, gripping stories to base it on, characters which leap off the page in the novels and a situation which should make for great television drama, and of course the backing of the BBC, this series failed to live up to expectations. The pacing was slow, hesitant even, every point seemed laboured, and the subtlety of the books was lost. The acting was sound, but with a lack of adequate direction it all seemed rather lacking.

It's clear that whoever produced and directed the series had seen the recent American hits such as Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men or True Detective, and camera work, pacing, fine detailing and design were all clearly influenced by them. However, while those series are masterclasses, this wasn't. It's one thing to read a book, it's another to write one yourself. I'm sure everyone worked hard at making this series, it really did have a quality feel, but the style didn't have the substance which was needed to back it up.

Brilliant actors deserve better, and so do viewers. If any more are made, I doubt I'll watch them. Probably better to stick to the books, which I'd recommend highly. This was okay at best, but rather a missed opportunity.
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