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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Than Morse By A Mile!! Atmosphere By The Bucket!!!
Wycliffe was one of the best TV detective shows of the nineties and well overdue for a DVD release!
This show had a unique and sometimes eerie atmosphere, mainly in thanks to the haunting Cornish locales, the equally mysterious characters at times and the slow burn approach ala Wallander. Certain episodes would remind me of the atmosphere that you would find in a...
Published on 7 Feb 2010 by Adam Jackson

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars SKULDUGGERY AMIDST GLORIOUS SCENERY
Cornwall. Jack Shepherd the dour Det. Supt. investigating such deaths as an old lady in a freezer, a prostitute at a church altar, a fisherman blown up.

An eighty minute 1993 pilot, alterations made before the 1994 six part series - the signature tune revised, two major changes in the cast (Helen Masters, Jimmy Yuill), the pace less sedate.

The...
Published on 14 Jan 2012 by Mr. D. L. Rees


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Than Morse By A Mile!! Atmosphere By The Bucket!!!, 7 Feb 2010
By 
Adam Jackson "Symphonic Metal Fan" (Stoke On Trent , England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Wycliffe - Series 1 [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
Wycliffe was one of the best TV detective shows of the nineties and well overdue for a DVD release!
This show had a unique and sometimes eerie atmosphere, mainly in thanks to the haunting Cornish locales, the equally mysterious characters at times and the slow burn approach ala Wallander. Certain episodes would remind me of the atmosphere that you would find in a Hound Of The Baskervilles adaptation!
A great opening theme too with wonderful Celtic style melodies.
Just a fantastic series that never quite got the credit it so richly deserved.

Shame on the one star review.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Cornish murder rate is soaring, 30 Mar 2011
By 
LXIX (scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wycliffe - Series 1 [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
I completely missed Wycliffe when it was on TV first time round in the mid-1990s. Maybe it's because I was a bit too young for the introspective, frowning, middle-aged Cornish detective's target audience when the first series was broadcast in 1994, or maybe I was generally otherwise occupied on all those Sunday evenings. In fact, until I paid some attention to a couple of re-runs in later years, I couldn't even pronounce his name properly (thinking it was `Y-Cliff' instead of the proper `Wik-Lif'). Either way, the benefit of getting the DVD box set is that you can now catch up on the whole lot later on and at your own leisurely pace.

Wycliffe could be described as a very traditional English detective series. It has rather minimalist production values (except, for example, for the occasional search helicopter thrown into the mix). Watching programmes like this will make you want to visit Cornwall. The rural scenery and small urban areas have an appeal and the unusual locations are part of what lured me into being a Wycliffe fan. Unfortunately the lack of subtitles was a major hindrance in places throughout these 7 shows and for this reason it loses a star (due to the lack of effort going into making the product). I was also surprised that the DVD producers left in all of the commercial break pauses throughout the episodes (these last for about 25 seconds and there are 2 in each show). Perhaps this is your cue to go for a cup of tea - a very British thing if it is, which is kind of quaint I suppose and traditionalist in a way.

Looking back at 1993/1994 on the small screen, it's amazing to see just how much things have moved on. The cars and office equipment already look so dated - the mobile phones look like bricks, people smoke like chimneys in bars and restaurants, and, of course, the Internet wasn't even in common use then. Ah, the nostalgia of it all.

The 1993 pilot movie broke the ground for the 6 subsequent episodes in 1994's Series 1 - each of which are about 51 minutes in duration. All of the episodes are broadly speaking of comparable quality (although episodes 5 and 6 are probably the best) and the common threads are family squabbles and clandestine sexual liaisons. After this occurs throughout 7 consecutive shows, it rather makes the plots seem a bit one-dimensional.

These Wycliffe episodes are all fairly low budget, but that's fine, and they show what can done in the made-for-television detective genre within the constraints of a comparatively small outlay. Regardless of the spend, each show in this set of 'whodunnits' will keep you guessing until the end.

The following is a brief synopsis of each offering from this DVD set:

Pilot movie: Wycliffe and the Cycle of Death (79 mins). First aired in August 1993.
A Penzance bookshop owner is bludgeoned and strangled to death in his office late one rainy Saturday evening. While investigating, Wycliffe uncovers a dysfunctional family beneath a veneer of local respectability. The pilot episode is much longer than the others, has a different Lucy Lane and slightly different production values e.g. some swearing and odd bursts of music at times. I was surprised and somewhat disappointed that some of the dialogue was out of sync with the picture in the pilot show. You'd expect this from a martial arts B movie and not a HTV episode of Wycliffe.

Episode 1: The Four Jacks: In July 1994 the first Wycliffe series began its proper television run. This was an improvement on the longer pilot episode. Wycliffe has a much better car now (an Audi), a catchier Celtic-esque different theme tune and is now joined by the new `Lucy Lane' (Helen Masters). As for the plot, a young female archaeology student is wounded in a shooting and is discovered in the bed of a cottage owned by a famous philandering novelist. A dog walker is then executed while exercising his dog on a beach. The challenge for Wycliffe and co is to find a pattern in the two shootings and to predict who may be next.

Episode 2: The Dead Flautist : A country estate worker is found dead in his cabin in what appears to be a standard shotgun suicide. However, Wycliffe is unconvinced. Meanwhile, another worker from the estate is also currently missing and so the team investigate the unusual arrangements of the aristocratic landowners and a local solicitor with a seedy photography hobby.

Episode 3: The Scapegoat: A local undertaker has gone missing and some people think his body may have been conveniently dumped into the sea during an old, local, paganistic, type of ritual. Wycliffe and his team get involved and uncover a tale of extramarital activity and yet another dysfunctional Cornish family with irregular financial practices. Interesting ending - which is rather offbeat compared to the other production values.

Episode 4: The Tangled Web: An elderly lady is found dead in a fridge freezer in a cottage and a 17 year old girl who claims to be pregnant also goes missing. Wycliffe and his team investigate and uncover yet another dysfunctional Cornish family and in particular their estate arrangements and keen eye for fine art. Again, sexual liaisons and intra-family financial squabbling are never far away from the plot mix.

Episode 5: The Last Rites: A woman is found murdered on the floor of a parish church (incidentally, she is clearly breathing while lying there!). Wycliffe and his team quickly establish that she has a rather promiscuous reputation which the locals do not approve of. Further investigations reveal yet another clandestine sexual liaison against the backdrop of collective Puritanism. This is one of the the best episodes in series 1. It has an interesting plot, and shows another side to Wycliffe's modus operandi i.e. a propensity to strike out on his own and leave everyone else behind in his wake.

Episode 6: The Pea Green Boat: A small crab fishing boat is blown to smithereens shortly after leaving port. Wycliffe and his team review a number of suspects including a wayward son, an unscrupulous business partner and an opportunist property developer and his enforcer. The producers obviously managed to use up the end-of-series budget here as this episode has a bigger spend by way of impressive explosions, helicopters, fast cars, speedboats, coastguard searches and even a racing track scene. Again, along with episode 5, it's one of the better episodes, and it also features much more of the great outdoors and fabulous Cornish coastline.

There are no extras beyond a picture gallery on the first dvd.

Overall, Wycliffe was a very British offering and a TV series that had something going for it i.e. good old-fashioned murder mysteries against the intriguing backdrop of the Cornish landscape.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wycliffe Series 1, 28 Dec 2010
By 
Robert K. Green Jr. (Dallas, Texas USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wycliffe - Series 1 [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
The stories and acting were excellent. The picture quality takes a little time to get used to after watching HD and not having subtitles was frustrating at times, but we did order Series 2.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wycliffe 1, 4 Nov 2010
By 
A. M. Pardoe (Worcestershire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wycliffe - Series 1 [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
These are well filmed with lovely landscapes. Jack Shepherd and Helen Masters with Jimmy Yuill give excellent portrayals of believable people. The plots were sometimes a bit convoluted to me. Since there were no subtitles I was listening with good quality headphones, but still missed important phrases which would have enabled a clearer understanding. Apart from the first episode which was longer than the others, I found 50 minutes too short to build up the characters of the other parts in each plot. On the whole the photography was beautifully done except for the penultimate episode - Rites of Passage. Much of it was shot into the sun, which is always difficult to get just right, and there was too much flare so that the main subject was swamped with light. All the episodes are treated seriously and Jack Shepherd seems imperturbable most of the time. In Rites of Passage he is not his normal self and the script demands that he is rude to several people with no explanation offered. The Pea Green Boat is very well done with lots of sequences in boats on the sea and very lively, if that's a suitable experession!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars SKULDUGGERY AMIDST GLORIOUS SCENERY, 14 Jan 2012
By 
Mr. D. L. Rees "LEE DAVID" (DORSET) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wycliffe - Series 1 [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
Cornwall. Jack Shepherd the dour Det. Supt. investigating such deaths as an old lady in a freezer, a prostitute at a church altar, a fisherman blown up.

An eighty minute 1993 pilot, alterations made before the 1994 six part series - the signature tune revised, two major changes in the cast (Helen Masters, Jimmy Yuill), the pace less sedate.

The series here has yet to find its feet. Writers and cast seem rather to be going through the motions, everything generally requiring more depth. Some plots creak a bit and reek of contrivance - as with Ep.3's ludicrous Wild West finale. (That very episode, though, contained one of the season's biggest surprises - the killer not even considered for my short list.) At the time such criticisms were acknowledged by the programme's makers, they resolving to introduce more substance and realism into the following season's characters and storylines.

No extras. Some interesting names involved - not least Bill Nighy as a randy novelist. A treat for those who enjoy family feuds, waves pounding on rocks, approach less frenetic than experienced nowadays.

(Curiously advert indents remain, reminder of when an hour's scheduled viewing contained only two breaks. Many will welcome final credits which can actually be read. Some of the names on them may surprise - including Paul Bettany in the final episode.)
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4.0 out of 5 stars a gift, 15 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Wycliffe - Series 1 [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
this was a gift ,and they were over the moon with it so got the whole lot now for her to watch
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4.0 out of 5 stars One fo the better television detective series, 17 Feb 2014
By 
Boustrophedon (West Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wycliffe - Series 1 [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
The attraction of Wycliffe apart from the scenery was the fact that he just gone on with the job without being on an ego trip or constantly at odds with those in authority. The constant banter among his supporting team was another positive feature.
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5.0 out of 5 stars very clear, 16 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Wycliffe - Series 1 [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
my Wycliffe DVD's were delivered on time which I was very pleased wit as I was looking foreward to see them and I was not dissapointed I had seen some of them on TV ages ago but there wer some which I had not seen very enjoyable
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wycliffe series 1, 1 Feb 2014
By 
Malcolm Gregory (Comrie, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wycliffe - Series 1 [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
A really lovely gentle program, and no adverts to have to watch.
Just what it says on the box - Brilliant
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wycliffe is a terrific series..., 24 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Wycliffe - Series 1 [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
Engaging characters, crisp intelligent stories. Supt. Wycliffe and his team have a far ranging territory to command ... and must set up shop and secure temporary lodging with each case. Charlie, Doug, Lucy and the others are as much a family as they are colleagues. Makes for an endearing collaborative effort, although Charlie (Wycliffe) is firmly the head of operations and calls the shots. Episodes are not too long or burdensome. They get right to the crime, throw in a few 'red herrings' ... and get on with it. Love it!
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Wycliffe - Series 1 [DVD] [1993]
Wycliffe - Series 1 [DVD] [1993] by Jack Shepherd (DVD - 2009)
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