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3.7 out of 5 stars12
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 21 March 2008
Terrible. If you buy or watch this dvd do not allow it put you off the series which followed six years later. There is no comparison - in fact there is no need to see this at all, as it is a separate entity from the series - save your money for much better things
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Hetty Wainthropp is a popular television sleuth played by Patricia Routledge as a practical, no-nonsense woman with a sense of humor. She got in the sleuthing game when her husband retired and she decided she could solve a mystery as well as the next person and make a little extra money doing it. The series started in 1996. This is the pilot. It was made in 1990 and wasn't picked up. It took six years before people figured out how to make the show work. This pilot demonstrates why the powers passed the first time.

Hetty is reluctantly asked to find the lost son of her best friend's husband. He'd been married once before. She does so by being smart and persistent, but then she's asked by the son to find his son, a 16-year old who has gone missing. Eventually she does, but only after some adventures.

Unfortunately, the mystery is much less a mystery than a family drama. Much time is spent on the characters' past. A good deal of time at the end is spent with Hetty trying to bring back some spirit to her best friend after the husband dies of a stroke. By the end of the program the grandson is going to work with Hetty on more cases and Hetty's husband is starting to complain about all the frozen meals she leaves him while she's out sleuthing.

Patricia Routledge is great in breathing character and interest into Hetty. It's the story itself that just doesn't have a lot of energy. Still, it was fun to see how Hetty got her start and to compare the changes that were made between this pilot and, six years later, the series.
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on 21 February 2006
I was very impressed with the first series of Hetty, which I bought via Amazon, and cannot wait for the release of the second. However, I was skeptical that this feature length pilot episode would not be worth the fairly steep selling price (conversely, I wouldn't buy from the seller intending to make some money from a newspaper freebie!)
Luckily for me, after catching the episode on television last night, it seems that I was right to trust my insticts. I agree with the previous review that the latter half seemed isnignificant, and I began to lose interest. However, as a pilot episode, it's perhaps a little unrealistic to expect the same quality drama that the subsequent television series' contains. It is also quite amusing in parts, such as the totally inaccurate reconstruction on a chat show; while it is interesting to see how the Geoffrey and Robert we know have clearly evolved for the better.
Overall, the episode has some interesting and humorous insights, but is not worth the asking price (unless it's been lowered by the time you read this). Unless you're a huge fan, save your money for the release of series 2 in March!
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on 14 January 2011
I couldn't disagree more with the other reviewers. Having watched and enjoyed most of the Hetty Wainthropp series, my wife and I were expecting a 'pilot' for the gentle and lighthearted episodes we knew and loved. What we found was a superb and moving dramatization of the original book. Excellent acting throughout - the scenes between Jimmy Jewel and Gary Waldhorn were superbly underplayed, two men who could not communicate slowly coming to terms with each other; the, perhaps slightly too long, scene between Patricia and the wonderful Jean Heywood was a wonderful depiction of grief and how to cope with it. All this and Jean Kent too! Not five stars because the flashbacks were not clear and the disappearance of the two girls was a bit confusing but definitely worth watching.

No, it wasn't a pilot for the BBC series, it was a brilliant drama in its own right.
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on 16 June 2016
I love the Hetty Wainthropp series (the later work), and despite the sometimes negative reviews given by others, I was looking forward to this pilot episode.

I found the dialogue less polished, and Hetty's character less well formed in this pilot, but taken on its merits, it was still an enjoyable watch. Don't come to this expecting the maturity of the later productions, as it isn't quite the same. This Hetty is a little too enthusiastic, a little too much the interfering busybody. But the root of the later gems can be found here, and if you suspend the association in your mind (not easy given that Patricia Routledge plays both versions of the heroine), then in its own right, it does tell a good story.
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on 31 January 2006
The pilot couldn’t be further removed from the series nor could it be more depressing and irritating
Hetty is shown here as being over the top, boorish and overbearing. The acting is lamentable with even well known actors putting in substandard performances. The later part of the pilot is incredibly depressing and dark with no real storyline. Quite simply the worst television in a long time.
Even the normally faultess Patricia Routledge comes across badly in this.
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on 17 February 2014
Have watched every episode a number of time. Patricia Routledge is a great actress. She caught the essence of, what is in effect, a rather clever busy-body.
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on 28 August 2015
Very enjoyable series. It seems a little dated now (it is interesting to see how quickly the world changes), but good performances and nice scenery.
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on 13 December 2012
This DVD is excellent it put the series into perspective I am a fan of Hetty and was pleased to find it
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on 12 January 2015
wonderful, love her, thanks
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