The Shadow Line 2011

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From the cop with a bullet in his brain, whose amnesia leaves him doubtful of his own moral compass; to the drug-lord driven by a profound personal tragedy, risking it all on one last deal; to the brilliantly lethal puppet-master who gradually emerges from the shadows to bring the story to its shocking climax The Shadow Line explores the morality of these characters as they negotiate the repercussions of drug baron Jay Wratten's death and attempt to navigate the fine line between right and wrong. As the thread around Wratten's operation begins to unravel, the web of intrigue becomes more complex and the question of which side of the line they stand on becomes increasingly blurred. An intelligent and gripping conspiracy thriller that delves to the heart of human morality, The Shadow Line will have audiences enthralled over six taut and thrilling episodes. Faced with similar dilemmas, on which side of the line would you stand?

Starring:
Lesley Sharp, Christopher Eccleston
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Shadow Line, The - Disc 1 ages_15_and_over
  • Shadow Line, The - Disc 2 ages_15_and_over
  • Shadow Line, The - Disc 3 ages_15_and_over
Starring Lesley Sharp, Christopher Eccleston, Clare Calbraith, Richard Lintern, Stephen Rea, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Martin Delaney
Director Hugo Blick
Genres Drama, Thriller
Studio 2 ENTERTAIN
Rental release 4 July 2011
Main languages English
Discs
  • Shadow Line, The - Blu-ray - Disc 1 ages_15_and_over
  • Shadow Line, The - Blu-ray - Disc 2 ages_15_and_over
Starring Lesley Sharp, Christopher Eccleston, Clare Calbraith, Richard Lintern, Stephen Rea, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Martin Delaney
Director Hugo Blick
Genres Drama, Thriller
Studio 2 ENTERTAIN
Rental release 4 July 2011
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

98 of 105 people found the following review helpful By HomicidalZenBuddhist on 30 May 2011
Format: DVD
All too often these days on British TV, crime dramas and murder mysteries insist on spoon-feeding the viewer the facts, before arriving at a nicely wrapped-up conclusion, laden with mind-numbing exposition. Thankfully, 'The Shadow Line' is not one of those programmes. Namely, it shows, but doesn't tell. It doesn't insult your intelligence, something that's only too rare.

The lengthy opening scene sets the tone for the rest of the series. Two police officers inspecting a car, one dead body inside. The body is Harvey Wratten's, an infamous underworld drug baron recently released from prison after a mysterious and unexpected royal pardon. It soon becomes clear that this is far more than just a gangland assassination. Investigating is DI Jonah Gabriel, a disillusioned cop just returned to the force, recovering from an attempt on his life that left him with a bullet in his brain and a serious case of amnesia. We follow Gabriel as he delves into Wratten's murder and the drug-trafficking scene, uncovering far more than he would like.

Make no mistake: this is a pitch-dark, almost noir-ish crime drama, about morally compromised characters and the lengths that they will go to to survive. There have been comparisons made to 'The Wire' and 'The Killing', but you'll enjoy it a lot more if you just take it for what it is.

Chiwetel Ejiofor is brilliantly understated as Gabriel, struggling to juggle his personal and professional lives. Praise also for Christopher Eccleston as Bede, essentially the underworld foil for Gabriel, trying to keep a business afloat while watching his wife rapidly succumb to Alzheimer's. Stephen Rea as the enigmatic Gatehouse is mesmerising and utterly chilling to watch.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Robin Harewood Lee on 12 Jan 2012
Format: DVD
This BBC 7-parter had been sitting around unviewed since way back last year. Finally gave it a spin at the weekend - well that was it, pretty well impossible just to watch one part with the next one sitting there waiting for you! Gripping, each episode leaves you wanting the next one, as I write this it's 5 down, 2 to go. Brilliant performances from everyone, particularly the young Spall (with a great David Walliams impression), Ecclestone and the spooky Mr Not-so-nice guy from Stephen Rea, and Anthony Sher.
Possibly a bit heavy on the violence for some, but a must see - watch this and be thankful we've still got a BBC to produce this sort of quality programme - there's so much more to TV than Midsommer Murders!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. H. Field on 13 May 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Intricate plotting and outstanding acting. Again, the paranoia over corruption at the highest levels of the UK police. I'd recommend it to anybody. Too bad it's not yet available in NTSC format for wider distribution in Canada.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By nickyb on 30 Oct 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Hard to fault this fine thriller. Excellent acting all round and I was great fan of the Spall role. Good twists and turns and some fine characters created. I feel the story could have run to more episodes rather than having to, at times, quickly explain what was going on. Rather like The Killing it needs 20 or so episodes.This is the sort of drama that must be explored..well thought out, produced and performed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By musicfan on 3 May 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This series was extremely well-acted, packed with suspense, surprises and violence,
but in the end it gave the impression that the surprises and violence were more
orchestrated to shock than to be part of a cleanly-resolved credible mystery.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By David T on 20 Jun 2011
Format: DVD
Just Finished watching the seventh and final part of Hugo Blick's complex thriller again.The ending is both overdone and rushed which is a shame as this was building up nicely and promised to be a one heck of a finish.

Having said that, episodes 2 to 6 were edge of your seat stuff, leaving you impatiently waiting for the next week.

This was an intelligently written thriller with an excellent cast featuring Christopher Eccleston,Rafe Spall,Eve Best and Anthony Sher.

However it is Stephen Rea's brilliant performance as the chilling Gatehouse that makes this one of the best thrillers you are likely to see on TV.

If you missed this first time around, then I would not hesitate in buying the DVD version.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Phil Eccles on 11 Aug 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A dark, complex, cynical conspiracy thriller with a personality all its own, Hugo Blick's 7-hour near-masterpiece should be treasured for its ambition and its amazing cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Christopher Eccleston and Robert Pugh (good), Antony Sher and Sean Gilder (excellent), Rafe Spall and Stephen Rea (unforgettable). There are a host of other telling contributions too - and one key dud one, unfortunately - relishing Blick's stylized, bleakly funny dialogue and nihilistic vision. OK, so it repeats itself in places, leaves loose ends untied and is a bit too clever for its own good; but you'll know by the end of Episode One whether you want to continue - and if you don't, you'll miss at least half a dozen can't-look-away confrontations, some shockingly imaginative executions, that oh-so-British police chase and, in Rea's who-is-he-and-what's-he-up-to Gatehouse, one of the most memorable characters ever to appear on British TV. Flawed, yes, but stunning at its best - if only all TV drama could be as original as this.
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