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80 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sophisticated Show Aimed Squarely at Smart Women
"The Helen West Casebook," a British mystery suspense television series, was produced in 2001 by Arrowhead Productions for the United Kingdom's ITV (Independent - i.e., commercial, stations). A police procedural/thriller, it is now released as a box set consisting of three feature-length crime dramas, totaling approximately 289 minutes. The set features biographies of...
Published on 20 May 2010 by Stephanie De Pue

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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing show
I am disappointed to say that I would not recommend this although I have enjoyed her previous shows Silent Witness & Commander etc - Not really sure why she signed up for this as her role is not that important to the actual stories- Buy with caution!
Published on 14 Aug 2010 by J. MOORE


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80 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sophisticated Show Aimed Squarely at Smart Women, 20 May 2010
By 
Stephanie De Pue (Carolina Beach, NC USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Helen West Case Book - The Complete Collection [DVD] (DVD)
"The Helen West Casebook," a British mystery suspense television series, was produced in 2001 by Arrowhead Productions for the United Kingdom's ITV (Independent - i.e., commercial, stations). A police procedural/thriller, it is now released as a box set consisting of three feature-length crime dramas, totaling approximately 289 minutes. The set features biographies of star, award-winning actress Amanda Burton; and author of the best-selling thrillers on which the series is based, the award-winning Frances Fyfield (A Helen West Omnibus). Unfortunately, the set does not come equipped with subtitles, and it could use them, as the actors are seemingly following the current protocol in accents: use whatever you think best, and let the audience struggle.

Burton, who plays the title character, Helen West, a crown prosecutor, has won three National Television Awards for most popular actress in the U.K. She also stars in The Commander Set 1 [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]; and Silent Witness : Complete BBC Series 1 [1996] [DVD]. (I absolutely loved Burton as "Sam Ryan" in "Silent Witness," which she co-produced.) (Burton also played "Elly van Roekel" in one episode of the 1990's series Van Der Valk - Series 1 Box Set [DVD] [1972]. For years, I thought that Burton was the daughter of famed Welsh actor Richard Burton, but the Northern Ireland-born actress evidently is not.

Author Fyfield based her stories on her own experience as a crown prosecutor. She has made her character here, Helen West, also a dedicated prosecutor, who deals in gruesome crimes - murder, domestic abuse, sexual assault -- and has an abiding commitment to truth and justice. But West's personal life is messy: she can't quite seem to rationalize a troubled relationship with Geoffrey Bailey, (Conor Mullen, Reckless [DVD] [2007]), the handsome policeman with whom she works. Other series regulars, both of whom turn in excellent jobs, include Anthony Howell (Foyle's War: Series 1-5 - From Dunkirk to VE-Day [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]); and Nicholas Woodeson (Rome: Complete HBO Seasons 1 And 2 [DVD] [2005]). The series, which is uniformly well-acted, also showcases Dermot Crowley (Bleak House - BBC (3 Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [2005]); Rita Tushingham (The Knack And How To Get It [DVD] [1965]; Doctor Zhivago [1965] [DVD]) and Martin Freeman ("The Office - Complete Series One & Two and The Christmas Specials"). The episodes are:

Deep Sleep. The wife of a respected pharmacist dies in her sleep. West smells a rat; everyone urges her to move on.

Shadow Play. Lowlife street sweeper Lycett is often seen in court, suspected of child abuse. He claims his long-lost daughter is the only reason he seems so inappropriately interested in other people's children.

A Clear Conscience. West's new house cleaner/painter comes trailing suspicion in the high-profile death of her brother, a champion boxer.

The shows are unique, sophisticated, suspenseful, intriguing and well-written, told from a feminine perspective. Plotting is intelligent and tight: the mysteries let us in on clues as they go. Production values are high: Location filming in some of London's darker and dirtier streets is satisfyingly atmospheric. These are stories squarely aimed at the intelligent woman, who will enjoy them.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Series From a Woman's Point of View, 9 Jun 2011
By 
Diane Byrnes - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Helen West Case Book - The Complete Collection [DVD] (DVD)
Having read a couple of the Helen West books I was very
keen to have this series and I was not disappointed (much).
There are only 3 episodes but they definately feature a
woman's angle from all sides.
1. "Deep Sleep" - Starts with Helen recovering from an
operation and things are fine on the romantic front but
Helen is not convinced about the death of a chemist's wife
that has been called "death by misadventure". Creepy is the
only word to describe the chemist (Dermot Crowley) - most of
the customers think he is a saint but he has lustful
fantasies about his assistant and her young son doesn't like
him (some children have a sixth sense about things)!! This
episode is by far the best.
2. "Shadow Play" was extremely slow to get started but after
the first 45 minutes pieces started slotting into the jigsaw.
There was a bit too much of Helen West's relations with
Barney and not enough plot. The general story was of a man
completely destroyed by his wife's disappearance with their
daughter. He then starts following children around - but is
he as innocent as he appears??
3. "A Clear Conscience" deals with domestic violence - in a
chilling tale of a sadistic boxer, a psychotic brother and a
young woman caught up with it all who just happens to work as
a domestic cleaner and the terrible price people pay.
Amanda Burton does a terrific job as Helen West. The first
episode was far and away the best. The other two were both
slow to get going and the romantic entanglements of Helen
and Bailey got in the way a lot of the time.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Helen West Casebook DVD, 26 Nov 2010
By 
Dr. H. A. Jones "Howard Jones" (Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Helen West Case Book - The Complete Collection [DVD] (DVD)
This package contains three 90-min thrillers: Deep sleep, Shadow play and A clear conscience, stories written by Frances Fyfield. Crown Prosecutor Helen West is portrayed by Amanda Burton (Silent Witness, The Commander). She has a somewhat chaotic personal life that includes a relationship with a policeman, Chief Superintendent Bailey (played by Conor Mullen and known to regular viewers from Rough Diamond and Holby City). These are gripping psychological thrillers that cannot fail to entertain those who enjoy the genre.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fab, 14 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Helen West Case Book - The Complete Collection [DVD] (DVD)
I love the episodes. So great to see Burton play a Barrister. Her boyfriend in the show is utterly gorgeous - a major bonus.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than I remembered, 6 Sep 2010
By 
Aremess "AremessUK" (Littlehampton, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Helen West Case Book - The Complete Collection [DVD] (DVD)
Although the main character is typical Amanda Burton, with the same facial expressions, tone of voice etc as all her other series, I found this to be one of her better ones, much better than I remembered to series when it was first broadcast. Worth buying
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing show, 14 Aug 2010
By 
J. MOORE (Tokyo, Japan) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Helen West Case Book - The Complete Collection [DVD] (DVD)
I am disappointed to say that I would not recommend this although I have enjoyed her previous shows Silent Witness & Commander etc - Not really sure why she signed up for this as her role is not that important to the actual stories- Buy with caution!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, 3 April 2014
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This review is from: The Helen West Case Book - The Complete Collection [DVD] (DVD)
It is interesting seeing Amanda Burton in a different role to her usual.It is an enjoyable box set although there could have been a few more episodes for my liking.
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5.0 out of 5 stars FUNNY AS REAL LIFE, 16 Feb 2014
By 
noah "t watkins" (Calabasas, California United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Helen West Case Book - The Complete Collection [DVD] (DVD)
FOREIGN TV ROCKS BIG TIME... DON'T PASS ON ANY OF THEM ESPECIALLY THE SUBTITLE ONES. I HAVE A TON OF THESE MOVIES. I LOVE THEM ALL. I WATCH THEM ALL AT NIGHT WHEN MY TWINS ARE IN BED.
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5.0 out of 5 stars very glad I ordered this. Amanda Burton once again at her best., 1 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Helen West Case Book - The Complete Collection [DVD] (DVD)
Brilliant storylines and acting. Excellent cast. This DVD is definitely worth purchasing and is a great addition to any collection.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, 13 Dec 2013
By 
JOHN-MICHAEL KEATING "mikeodad" (Orléans, France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Helen West Case Book - The Complete Collection [DVD] (DVD)
Pretty good - but doesn't stay in my memory. I don't know what else to say - Amanda Burton is her usual self.
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