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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TV Copland's Finest Hour
"You're the one who needs the psychologist," a murder suspect tells Fitz (Robbie Coltrane) in the first ever episode of Cracker. As things transpire, it's a painfully accurate description. Fitz is a wreck, hopelessly hooked on cigarettes, booze and gambling, in denial over his ailing marriage while liaising with the Manchester police as a psychological profiler. He's a...
Published on 22 May 2003 by isurfer

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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed!
I've been waiting to be able to afford this box set for a long time. Having bought it, I was so disappointed because the picture quality is grainy and poor. My advice is to tape the ITV3 version! Obviously the content is beyond criticism, but sadly the DVD isn't.
Published on 4 Mar. 2005 by Mike 'the dean' of Helston


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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TV Copland's Finest Hour, 22 May 2003
This review is from: Cracker - The Complete Collection [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
"You're the one who needs the psychologist," a murder suspect tells Fitz (Robbie Coltrane) in the first ever episode of Cracker. As things transpire, it's a painfully accurate description. Fitz is a wreck, hopelessly hooked on cigarettes, booze and gambling, in denial over his ailing marriage while liaising with the Manchester police as a psychological profiler. He's a doomed figure, and as played by Coltrane he burns a hole in the small screen. It's an epic performance, built on a series of brave, no-holds-barred scripts from writer Jimmy McGovern. If Fitz is McGovern's most memorable creation he's also (to date) Coltrane's finest hour. You get the feeling Coltrane truly understands Fitz's dark vision of the world, a vision that allows him to unlock the minds of killers.
The Cracker stories really work best if watched in sequence. Beginning with 'The Mad Woman In The Attic' through 'To Say I Love You' and 'One Day A Lemming Will Fly' you get a feeling of slow descent towards tragedy.
McGovern doesn't pull any punches. It's shocking to see characters we've come to know and love being slowly torn apart by the job. If there's a turning point in the series - a point where we suddenly realize this is only going to grow darker and darker - it's somewhere between parts four and six, 'To Be A Somebody' (Robert Carlyle is on fire as a bereaved soccer supporter taking revenge on the police for Hillsborough) and 'Men Should Weep', an unflinching examination of rape. The treatment of sexual violence caused a minor storm at the time, and there are moments here and especially in 'Brotherly Love' which some viewers will find hard to watch. 'Brotherly Love' was McGovern's last word on the subject and truly overpowering. Later episodes, written by Paul Abbott, were less explosive, but it would've been hard to top what had gone before.
The only downside to this DVD set is the 4:3 aspect ratio; but assuming that's how it was originally framed it's hard to nitpick. If you can live with that, you'll get TV drama at its absolute best, a landmark series that deserves every one of its accolades.
With a fabulous supporting cast including: Geraldine Somerville (D.S. Jane Penhaligan), Lorcan Cranitch (D.S. Jimmy Beck), Christopher Eccleston (D.C.I. David Bilborough).
Highly recommended.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Welcome addition to DVD, 4 Jun. 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Cracker - The Complete Collection [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
It is not very often that a series is crying out to be put on DVD. The big three I would choose would be Coldfeet, Inspector Morse and Cracker. Now Cracker is out, my collection is complete. I recently purchased this boxset before boarding a long flight, the onboard movies did not even get a look in for the whole journey. This series is just as exciting as it was when it was first broadcast. Christopher Eccleston and Robbie Coltrane are perfect together on screen. When Eccleston left the series it was difficult to see if the series would be as good without him. No need to worry as Ricky Tomlinson was a perfect replacement. If I had to choose one single episode as a personal favorite it would have to be "To be a somebody" which featured Robert Carlyle. The only thing missing from this set is a commentary from the writer Jimmy McGovern. Despite this small blemish, it is an excellent buy!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Drama, 29 May 2003
By 
Chris Wroblewski (Roxby Downs, SA Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cracker - The Complete Collection [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
I don't think anyone makes crime dramas as well as the Brits because the focus always seems to be on interesting characters rather than gun fights, etc. If a better crime series has been made than this, then I haven't seen it. The superb "To Be Somebody" (Disk 4) has totally unexpected events, but make sure you watch the stories in order: each story is self-contained, but the background continuity of the relationships is important.
The DVD quality, like that of most British TV series, is best described as just passable. The surround sound is good, but there is not so much joy with the picture. The feature is presented in a very strange aspect ratio, possibly 1.5 : 1, which I assume shows the complete unmatted film picture, but the credits are 1.33 : 1. There is not a single extra, and even the DVD slip case tells virtually nothing about the contents: there's more info in the Amazon review!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best TV series!!!, 9 Nov. 2003
This review is from: Cracker - The Complete Collection [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
"CRACKER" is an outstanding series with a brilliant script and some great performances. Technically, the DVD presentation is good,
but the complete absence of any extra material and/or some subtitles is a bit of a drawback for this definitive presentation.
I was also a bit sad, that in "To Say I Love You", one of the best films in the series, the Cocteau Twins-Song "Pandora" was missing
(which was included when broadcast on TV), perhaps too expensive for Granada.
But apart from that : Great to have the complete series in one set!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely collection......... BUT NO EXTRAS!, 13 Nov. 2003
This review is from: Cracker - The Complete Collection [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
We have some outstanding movies in this great box, but there are just no extras included, not even any subtitles, it's just pointless.
Any way lets just move onto the good points, Robbie coltrane is amazing, very funny and talented and we have a very strong and scary performance with Robert carlyle in the best one "To be a somebody". The story, Fitz (Robbie coltrane) is a criminal psychologist but he has a dark side-a side on a cocktail of alcahol and gambling. He profiles suspects for the Manchester police force.
You might think that you are wasting your money on this collection, just buy them individually.
The best ones are, The mad woman in the attic, To say I love you, To be a somebody, Men should weep, Brotherly love and best boys.
I think that they are all quite good but there the best ones.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Manchester to Hong Kong... Jimmy does it again, 8 Mar. 2004
This review is from: Cracker - The Complete Collection [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
If you are like me then you grew up with Robbie C in the Young Ones and the Comic Strip - right? Could you ever have imagined him less than a decade later playing a tough but compromised psychologist drawn into Manchester's crime world through results and building reputation?
No of course not.
This is what Robbie Coltrane does so well; building the character (possibly with Jimmy Mc's help of course) into the story line and seeing strong development as the series progressed. His character acting is simply inspired.
Stories are typical Mr McGovern, strong, powerful and ever-so-slightly unbelievable with characters to match.
Very powerful, excellent British crime drama. Do they write like this anymore? Probably not. Turn off your reality TV stuff and plug into this. When you are done with all ten hours, go get Prime Suspect and do the same again; More strong stories, charatcers and early 90's fashions/cars/mobile phones.
....If, on the other hand you know Robbie Coltrane best as a huge bearded school caretaker with a passion for owls and spiders... well you are either too young to watch Fitz or you are old enough to have kids of your own... :)
Highly, highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderfully Brutal Masterpiece, 2 Jun. 2003
By 
This review is from: Cracker - The Complete Collection [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
Its difficult to describe how good Cracker is. The intelligence behind the script, character development and acting have created something that can at times be perfect. The scenes of interview room confrontation have a power that is rarely caught on film. The care taken with the characters in showing who they really are, and what makes them tick, makes Cracker at its best like watching good friends going through the most traumatic days of their lives. This box set is powerful, intelligent, and utterly, utterly brilliant.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ten Of The Best Detective Films Ever, together, 5 Sept. 2003
This review is from: Cracker - The Complete Collection [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
Ok except maybe the tacked on "special " White Ghost episode, which I havent even watched on the dvd yet, because I remember it being a bit poor....in comparison to what had gone before. The first episode is very good, but understandably, needs to introduce the main characters, then the series builds reaching amazingly high points with the Robert Carlisle story...when I first saw those episodes I felt I had been taken somewhere never before by TV drama, very disturbing, thought provoking stuff. It was really memory of this story that made me want to get the box set, and I must say the whole package is as good as I remember........Oh and in a aside I hope Fitz himself would appreciate, isnt that Gareth Gates in the second story "To Say I love You"...........(the stuttering karaoke singer)............Also for folk from Manchester I recommend it for the city looks very cinematic.........And watch it in order, as the back ground story is triffic. BUT NO DVD EXTRAS AT ALL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.....I really wanted a Carlisle/McGovern commentry on "To Be A Somebody", if you create one of the most amazing characters/nutters ever its only polite to comment on it
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed!, 4 Mar. 2005
By 
Mike 'the dean' of Helston (helston, cornwall United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cracker - The Complete Collection [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
I've been waiting to be able to afford this box set for a long time. Having bought it, I was so disappointed because the picture quality is grainy and poor. My advice is to tape the ITV3 version! Obviously the content is beyond criticism, but sadly the DVD isn't.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who's the Daddy?? - Robbie Coltrane is - Brilliant!, 6 Mar. 2004
This review is from: Cracker - The Complete Collection [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
Quite simply, 'Cracker' is the best series of it's ilk. There hasn't been another show even remotely connected to this genre that has come close since......and there have been quite a lot of them!
Robbie Coltrane is THE DADDY of this type of character & I really wish they'd get together & make some more!
This is the show 'Wire in the Blood' is trying to be, but failing miserably, So don't bother with the Cracker wannabe's.....this dvd set is all you need!
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Cracker - The Complete Collection [DVD] [1993]
Cracker - The Complete Collection [DVD] [1993] by Simon Cellan Jones (DVD - 2003)
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