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92 of 95 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This IS the version to get
Check which DVD you are buying! Many of the other reviews here are about the "old" 2001 DVD from Meridian Entertainment. The BBC Worldwide version from 2003 (which we are meant to be discussing) is much, much better, so do yourself a favour and ignore the comments that were made before this DVD was actually released - for some reason Amazon had managed to get some...
Published on 11 Jun 2003 by D J Haddock

versus
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars great tv, poor dvd
I watched this when it was first on tv in the mid-eighties and it had always stuck in my mind as one of the seminal dramas of that decade. I then recently stumbled across the BBC DVD here on amazon and for a few quid it seemed worth revisiting. Shame that the video quality of this DVD is worse than a CAM of the latest and greatest Hollywood blockbuster. The series was...
Published on 7 Mar 2011 by dynamohum


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92 of 95 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This IS the version to get, 11 Jun 2003
This review is from: Edge Of Darkness - The Complete Series [1985] [DVD] (DVD)
Check which DVD you are buying! Many of the other reviews here are about the "old" 2001 DVD from Meridian Entertainment. The BBC Worldwide version from 2003 (which we are meant to be discussing) is much, much better, so do yourself a favour and ignore the comments that were made before this DVD was actually released - for some reason Amazon had managed to get some reviews of the other version mixed up in here.
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272 of 284 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must-watch TV becomes Must-own DVD, 21 Sep 2005
By 
This review is from: Edge Of Darkness - The Complete Series [1985] [DVD] (DVD)
Time has not been desperately kind to this classic from the days when the BBC was not afraid of political controversy and was able to commission serious drama for an audience whose attention span could run for fifty minutes a time over six weeks. It is ironic that the thing that made it so compelling at the time - its cutting edge, up-to-the-moment topicality - now lends it a slight air of antiquity. Having said that, this thriller (and the term is used accurately here) has a cast that could have graced any Academy Awards Ceremony (Bob Peck, Joanne Whalley, Jo Don Baker, Tim McInnery and a cast of other actors who have since become familiar BBC stalwarts) and their skills are utilised to the full by the slow-burn, screw-turning script of Troy Kennedy-Martin, brilliantly interpreted and paced by director Martin Campbell and underpinned by Kamens' and Clapton's haunting, iconic soundtrack.
The action is often deliberately slow-paced, but the shocking start hooks you in to events and watching the jigsaw pieces fit slowly into place to join past, present and future is compulsive. Bob Peck's performance is spellbinding, Joanne Whalley is captivating and Jo Don Baker's larger than life Texan, Jedburg, steals every scene. This series contends with "The Forsythe Saga" and "I, Claudius" as the best drama the BBC ever produced; it undoubtedly remains the best thriller. At last we have edge-of-the-seat, must-watch TV converted (third time lucky) into must-own DVD.
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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended!, 23 Nov 2003
By 
Mr. N. Morgan "Green Knight" (High Wycombe, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Edge Of Darkness - The Complete Series [1985] [DVD] (DVD)
I only saw the fifth part when it was first screened in 1985 (where Craven & Jedburgh entered the Northmoor mine) and I sat on the edge of my seat the whole time. I'm delighted that THIS DVD version has been done PROPERLY and the sound & video quality are well up to standard.
For those who don't know about this political mini-series, the plot concerns a police detective who is drawn into a web of political mire by the murder of his daughter Emma who was a member of an anti-nuclear lobby (GAIA) and stumbles on the clandestine manufacture and storage of weapons-grade plutonium in an abandoned mine in Northmoor, and has to endure the subsequent political "fall-out" that results.
I only have one small criticsm: and that is that to begin with, the viewer feels very much an intruder into a very private death and subsequent period of grief. But stick with it, because underneath the plot simmers menacingly for a long time (rather like milk heating up in a saucepan on the stove) and then suddenly boils up... and does so with a-vengeance! As I hinted at earlier, the section where Craven & Jedburgh enter the mine and locate the plutonium is just gripping! And the music provided by Eric Clapton & Michael Kamen (now sadly passed away) very much enhances the sinister atmosphere.
There are some worthwhile extras on the two DVDs which have been adequately covered in other reviews. The six episodes have been transcribed just as they were broadcast - complete with beginning & ending titles.
If you like political thrillers, just buy this - you won't regret it! I'd give it more than five stars, but that's all we're allowed in an Amazon review!!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this is the one, 18 Nov 2003
This review is from: Edge Of Darkness - The Complete Series [1985] [DVD] (DVD)
one of the best dramas ever shown on the BBC. I have been longing to possess a decent copy of this, even more so when I discovered my ancient taped copy had mouldered in a damp cupboard and was unplayable. I held back when the reviews of the first DVD edition seemed less than positive. Now, problem solved, this is the one to have. The extras are a bonus.
That music has haunted me down the years and takes me immediately back to how I felt watching the series the first time, settling down for each mesmeric episode. It was definitely "do not disturb" TV. I seem to recall it made such an impact at the time that it was repeated on TV with uncustomary speed and with longer, or more frequent episodes. It has lost none of its power or relevance.
Brilliant, memorable drama, not faded over time. If it is new to you, lock the doors, switch off the phone, and enjoy.
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48 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last!, 20 Jun 2003
By 
J. O'Connell (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Edge Of Darkness - The Complete Series [1985] [DVD] (DVD)
Ludicrously, this is the third time Edge of Darkness has been released on DVD. The first release was, as many reviews here noted, a complete joke - one of the worst DVD transfers ever. The second was fractionally better, with improved sound and picture quality and some extras, including an enlightening Troy Kennedy Martin essay which (if I'm remembering this right) first saw the light as the introduction to the long-since-deleted Faber edition of the screenplay. It's fantastic that the BBC has finally put out an unedited, decently mastered version, but it leaves those of us who shelled out £PRICE for the previous versions in a bit of a quandary: to buy again, or not? On a broader note, perhaps this is evidence that the Beeb is starting to rethink its barbaric practice of licensing out classic archive material to companies for whom quality of finished product is very much not a priority. About bloody time.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best TV drama ever....., 3 Oct 2011
By 
This review is from: Edge Of Darkness - The Complete Series [1985] [DVD] (DVD)
What can you possibly say.....this is an absolute must see. I remember watching it from start to finish 25 years ago. Wonderful!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tensioned like a guitar string..., 17 Aug 2000
By A Customer
It has been more than ten years that I have seen the video! When I saw the title "Edge of Darkness" while I search through amazon, I got exited! The story is still new and well built. Mystery, crime and surprises make the viewer sit down long tensioned like a guitar string... You probably will know why I have choosen the word "guitar string" when you see -and listen- the video...
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grab it Now, 27 May 2003
By 
T. Randall (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Edge Of Darkness - The Complete Series [1985] [DVD] (DVD)
Don't make the mistake of confusing this new BBC release with the older Meridian entertainment DVD. This is broadcast quality, as good as as watching a live TV broadcast.
There are also many features included. Pebble mill and breakfast TV interviews with peck from when this incredible peice of TV first hit our screens. On disc 2 there is a 2003 documentary called "Magnox" (the original title Troy kennedy Martin gave Edge of darkness) which features contributions from the producer, Troy kennedy martin himself, and various actors such as Joe Don Baker, Charles Kay, Ian Mc Niece, and composer Michael Kamen.
The usual scene of episode choice is on the menus. But the best one for me personally was the option to play the series with just the Haunting sountrack on. As far as I know, the original soundtrack is not avalible I've only ever seen one track called Nuclear Train on a Micheal karmen selection CD and that wasnt the original. Here you can pick you favourite scene and listen to just the music with no other sound effects or dialogue.
No point commenting on the actual series, but just to say if you've never seen it Grab it now it was landmark T.V. of outstanding quality, the kind that only comes along once in a decade.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Into the labyrinth, 25 Nov 2012
By 
GlynLuke (York UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Edge Of Darkness - The Complete Series [1985] [DVD] (DVD)
I ordered this because I remember being glued to the TV for six weeks back in the mid-eighties, along with half the nation, and wanted to see it again, and see if it still stands up as gripping, credible drama, as well as good TV. It succeeds on all counts.
The cast is a beauty. Bob Peck is near-faultless in the central role of a police officer whose environmental activist daughter - a radiant, excellent Joanne Whalley - is shot to death in his arms, and who gets caught up in very dubious practices centred around the nuclear waste industry in the UK. He`s aided and abetted in his investigations by an American official played to glorious perfection by Joe Don Baker. They form a droll double-act, a kind of conspiratorial Laurel & Hardy.
The late Bob Peck`s acting style, deadpan yet affable, reminds me of Alan Bates at his most beguiling, while other aparts are taken by actors of the calibre of the terminally underrated Charles Kay, brilliant as Pendleton, a cheerfully shady government official, louche, portly Ian McNeice in an early role as his sidekick (another double-act), solid, bluff John Woodvine as Peck`s boss, and Zoe Wanamaker as the enigmatic Clemmie. (I`d watch Zoe W in anything; a wonderful actress.)
Eric Clapton and Michael Kamen`s music is just perfect, all nerve-jangling guitar and moody synths.
The Thatcher years, almost by definition, produced quite a few TV series and films of this kind - remember Defence of the Realm, Dead Head, King of the Ghetto? But Edge of Darkness was one of the very best, a cliffhanging drama with enough twists and suspicious characters to engross the most jaded viewer.
This two-disc set has some valuable Extras, including interviews with several of the cast, Peck being one of them. Everyone concerned sounds like they were proud of their invlovement in one of the finest TV series of that tortured, paranoid decade.
So they should be.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish they still made them like this..., 21 Oct 2011
By 
David P (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Edge Of Darkness - The Complete Series [1985] [DVD] (DVD)
It isn't until you go back and watch something like this again that you realise that it isn't just rose tinted specs, people of my age (IE: who were of an age to see this first time around) really did grow up in a golden age of television. They just don't make 'em like this any more. This really stood out even in its time, but it was by no means the only bit of quality in a sea of drab repetitive unimaginative dross such as the one we have on our screens now.

It is simply an excellent gripping piece of drama, although I am not sure it quite earns the title "best tv drama ever". It does have the odd rocky moment. Obviously it is slightly dated, but you just have to live with that. But watching the first episode brought back vivid memories of watching it the first time, sat at home with my father. There is one particularly bizarre and cringe-worthy moment where, when Bob Peck's character is looking through his daughter's belongings in her bedroom, he stumbles across a, a-hem, "personal item". He picks it up, stares forlornly at it, and then adorns it with a loving kiss. This had my toes curling at the time, wondering if my father even knew what it was, and the effect watching it again now was not diminished one bit! Why would anyone do that??? :-)

Then towards the end, it does go slightly weird, and having read articles which say that the author wanted it to end with Bob Peck's character turning in to a tree but this was vetoed by the entire cast and crew, you can see that it was a bit of a struggle to hold it back just on the sane side of really weird.

But it remains a classic, and it deserves to be viewed again. It is not a "cult" programme, in that it isn't something that everyone raves about but which in reality is rather dire - it REALLY IS good. A great piece of TV, a great thriller.

Update - profuse apologies to Eric, I forgot to mention the music, which is just brilliant.
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