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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on 12 September 2004
Maintaining the incredibly high standards of the first two series, Tenko 3 is completely unmissable, and comes with the remarkable Tenko Reunion as an added extra.
While series 1 and 2 tell of the war's progress, and its effects on internees in the Japanese camps, series 3 jumps ahead to 1945 and tells of the end of the war, the liberation of the camps, and the survivors' returning to real life.
Beginning with a shot of the camp's graveyard, and a few shocks among the names on the ramshackle grave markers, Tenko 3 is as full of surprises as its predecessors. It's here that I am able to lay the one-and-only criticism at Tenko's door. As time has moved on since the last series, new characters have joined the group. In previous series, Tenko took great pains to provide carefulintroductions and backgrounds to all its characters. Tenko 3 gives us Maggie and Alice, two women who have obviously been imprisoned with "our group" for some time. As the audience is not given a proper introduction to these two, they spring forward into the story with no chance for us to get to know them. Consequently, they are less interesting and less sympathetic than they could have been. This is not a reflection on the acting of either Elizabeth Mickery or Cindy Shelley, but is the only single criticism I am able to lay against the series' producers. To make things worse, Maggie is obviously intended to replace one of Tenko's most memorable characters, given a different name and accent. These two women stick out among the other survivors, and feel rather disposable.
That said, Tenko 3 is no easy ride. Returned to Singapore, our heroines are forced to face all manner of demons. Those who turned to prostitution with the guards in order to get food in the camps are now seen as collaborators. Husbands expect their wives to abandon their friends and forget their experiences, to return to a peaceful life of middle-class domestication. Some of the characters are shocked to find their loved ones have died; others are shocked to find those they wished dead have survived. All are forced to relive the horrors they experienced in order to bring supposed "war criminals" to justice but, as we know from seeing their struggles in internment, such black-and-white definitions are not always easy. Gradually, some of the women begin to realise that their experience in the camps was the only taste of freedom they have ever had.
There's a real lump in the throat as our heroines go their separate ways in the final, emotion-packed, episode. Tenko Reunion sees a return to Singapore in 1950, and ties up all the loose ends perfectly. Tenko reminds us all of how good TV should be! To catch up with this group of friends again, and to see whether their hopes and dreams really did pay off, is a joy. Back in Singapore, they find themselves caught up in an adventure as dangerous as any they faced behind the wire. In typical Tenko style, no-one is left whiter than white, and no-one has it easy, with a sting in the tale and a bitter taste in the mouth.
Please buy these DVDs. Tenko is unforgettable, and reveals so much about human nature in stories of genuine emotional impact. Full of heart-and-soul, and bursting with subtle messages about gender, race, class and society, everyone should see this. Remarkable performances from a great ensemble cast, and beautifully written scripts that allow every character chance to develop and thrive. No easy answers and no cheesy happy endings, this is quite simply the most challenging and powerful television drama ever made.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 15 September 2011
This is an excellent series of a well known English TV show. Well acted & well written. A lot of us had forgotten about this show but as we watched the series unfold it all came back and how much we had enjoyed it years ago when it was shown. It reminded us of what some people went through in the last World War. I would recommend the full series.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 9 October 2004
This series is the final series of Tenko PLUS the feature length Tenko Reunion, so is really good value for money. It kicks off 3 years after Series 2 finished and the prisoners have been moved to another camp, minus a couple of the regulars who have since died in captivity. It takes us through the end of the war and eventually to freedom for the women, some of whom find it hard to come to terms with after years in captivity.
The Reunion takes place 5 years after the end of the war, and towards the end we get a startling revelation about one of the characters. Do not want to spoil it for viewers, so that is all I shall say. This is drama at it's very best, gripping, moving and above all very well put together. Brilliant!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 June 2011
Having missed out on the Tenko series when it was first shown, I have thoroughly enjoyed catching up wih all 3 series. The final one, as with them all, has been excellent. It should serve as a reminder to all of us about the consequences of war and the clash of ideologies and cultures which leads to such dreadful cruelty. I purchased a secondhand set which was in good conditon and expreienced no problems.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 October 2011
Brilliant series well worth watching. Lovely to be able to own a series I followed avidly when i was televised
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on 28 January 2013
Nothing to dislike, wonderful story. Get parts one & two first though, After series one I was hooked and wished I had bought all three at once.
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on 27 January 2013
Had forgotten what a great cast in this...absolutely riveting and the reunion was terrific. Makes you wish they did another reunion...
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on 15 June 2014
One hundred per cent perfect , i have watched them over and over again since getting them , a fab addition to my dvd collection ,
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 April 2010
received dvd but they are in PAL format and could not play here in Canada..where can I return it? Thank you for your attention to this
Susan Wild
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