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The Commander: Part 1 - Vols. 1-3 [DVD] [2003]

Nicholas Jones , Amanda Burton , Charles Beeson , Michael Whyte    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
Price: 11.99
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The Commander: Part 1 - Vols. 1-3 [DVD] [2003] + Lynda La Plante - The Commander: Part 1 - Vols. 1-3 [DVD] + The Helen West Case Book - The Complete Collection [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Nicholas Jones, Amanda Burton, Poppy Miller, Matthew Marsh, Christopher Robbie
  • Directors: Charles Beeson, Michael Whyte
  • Producers: Peter McAleese, Lynda La Plante
  • Format: Box set, PAL, Colour
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Contender
  • DVD Release Date: 14 Feb 2005
  • Run Time: 415 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006ZXN3U
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 55,138 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Amanda Burton stars as Commander Clare Blake of the homicide division in this Lynda La Plante television drama. Included in Blake's team is DCI Hedges (Matthew Marsh) who is against her from the beginning. Blake and her team investigate the shooting of an unarmed civilian that was originally declared lawful, a murderer using his knowledge of computers to blackmail hospital doctors, and the death of a police informant killed by an armed officer. Features 'The Commander', 'The Commander II' and 'The Commander III'.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
79 of 83 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Commander - One of La Plante's Best 30 Jun 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
There wouldn't be an actress worth her socks who would turn down a role in a La Plante written script, and the Commander herself is one of La Plante's usual intriguingly flawed but very human roles.
Commander Claire Blake (for reasons never revealed or explained)
falls for a convicted killer (well played by Hugh Bonneville)
and conducts an affair with him, which quickly becomes public knowledge among her colleagues.
At times her aloofness when dealing with/speaking to her subordinates/colleagues makes one believe there's some polar bear DNA involved somewhere there deep in Claires being !
Despite the obvious shortcomings of the first episode, the standard improves dramatically in the following 2 film length series 2 Black Dog and series 3 Virus.
It's not Lynda La Plante's job as creator to explain why Claire Blake behaves the way she does,but it is encumbent upon her not to stretch the realms of possibility too far. The sister with cancer,wallowing in self pity,is one such example of the over stretching of belief (and just plain over acting) and is one character we could have done without.
DCI Mike Hodges,played by Matthew Marsh and a rival of Claire's was involved in the shooting of a suspect and the doctoring of the security video which captured the whole event. This tale of crime and coverup, runs through the three stories as a sub plot, which in the end comes crashing into Claire's fight to keep her job in the final episode. I don't want to give too much away of the storyline, just suffice to say the Commander as a series does - despite an indifferent start - becomes a riveting series well worth watching.
Amanda Burton and Matthew Marsh are both superb, as is Hugh Bonneville. Give it a try.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsive TV 1 Jan 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Excellent first series which has you gripped throughout and easily on par with any of the US TV dramas that are popular these days. Amanda Burton is a delight and plays this role so well. The real star though is the writer Lynda La Plante who seems to have a midas touch for this type of TV- don't think twice about purchasing it. When is series 2 going to be available?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Which is this episode ... and that ... and that? 17 Dec 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Can anybody help me out? The Information and listing by Amazon of Lynda La Plante Series Commander are a complete shambles. The first issue The Commander: Part 1 - Vols. 1-3 [DVD] [2003] (listed as No 2) DOES in fact contain the famous pilot, Enlightenment, in which Commander Blake (Burton) has an affair with the ex-murderer James Lampton, arrested by Blake herself years ago, convicted, now going straight but possibly murderer of a new victim (played excellently by Hugh Bonneville, btw.). The title is not mentioned here but I found it eventually. Following on in the box set are the two feature length episodes 2. Black Dog and 3. Virus, inexplicably called by customer reviews series 2 and 3. They are not series, sadly. They are episodes. Amazon gives out NO information, but customers reviews overall, were most helpful.

Then comes a new issue (however you will find it at the top of the list).
This one: Lynda La Plante - The Commander: Part 1 - Vols. 1-3 [DVD]. If you blink, you'll miss it as this is exactly the same wording as the first, except this box set was issued in 2008. AND it was a completely new set of three feature length episodes, 1. The Devil You Know 2. Fraudster 3. Windows of the Soul. This time Amazon actually offers this information clear and simple, no mix-ups possible.

However, now it gets really silly. First we have:
The Commander - Complete Series 1 IMPORT. Amazon gives absolutely no information about the DVD, no actors' names, no year of issue. No customer reviews and a whacking price tag of 35.00. It is a Dutch Import (in English but no sub-titles)

Then we have THE COMMANDER - Series 2 [IMPORT]. Amazon tells us it is the story of ...James Lampton, arrested for murder by Commander Blake some years ago but now reformed...
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fails to live up to Lynda's previous standards 25 Nov 2007
By Yorkie
As a very big fan of the Trial and Retribution series I was keen to watch more work by Lynda La Plante. Unfortunately for me the Commander fell way below the standards of Trial and Retribution. It depends what you look for in a crime series of course, but if you are looking for realism forget the commander. For me the fatal flaw was the central character. How on earth a person so flawed and incompetent would be promoted to such a senior position is beyond me, as is how she would somehow fall for a convicted murderer that she herself had investigated. Also very disappointing was the fact that the series seems to centre heavily on this character and her personal life. If that's what you are after then you'll like this but if you are after fantastically scripted crime drama like Trial and Retribution look elsewhere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Commander. 11 April 2008
Excellent piece of TV. Although Amanda Burton can do no wrong. Riveting, I could not stop watching it. Are you making any more? I sincerely hope so. Th rest of the cast are very good.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Series 9 Feb 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A great series. I enjoyed all three episodes. Highly recommend. Top quality performances and plot lines. Would purchase again. Thanks
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sack The Incompetent Cow! 28 April 2011
"How could she be that stupid?" asks a female detective when she learns of the Commander's ill-advised affair with a recently released murderer. The answer is: she really IS that dumb! Useless at her job and possessing appalling people skills, it's easy to see why Clare Blake (Amanda Burton) is so well respected by her colleagues. Lynda La Plante might have hit the goggle box jackpot with Prime Suspect and Trial & Retribution, but her scripts here are insultingly idiotic, with no regard for logic or credibility and full of clunky dialogue. As for Burton- with her trademark aloofness and generally rude demeanour, she's hatefully smug and impossible to side with. Looking like she could swallow hot water and pee ice cubes, it's one of the weirdest and least sympathetic cop characters i've ever seen. There are also bad performances by Poppy Miller as her sycophantic sidekick and the always terrible Saskia Reeves. On the flip side, Matthew Marsh is good value as a corkscrew-bent copper trying to wriggle out of a sticky situation, and gravel-voiced Scottish hardnut David O'Hara is an interesting presence in Episode 3. Another actor to emerge with credit is Hugh Bonneville, playing very effectively against type as an unnerving serial predator. Direction is passable in Episode 1, but embarrassingly juvenile in the other two (all shaky camerawork and amateurish zooms). And with predictable storylines and awful music, the only real mystery here is how such a lame show didn't get canned after one episode.
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