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56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty, pithy, pathetic, gripping, satisfying, sloppy but riveting
After watching all but the last four double-episodes of this immense work, this viewer is still mesmerised. Trevor Eve stars as Peter Boyd, the deeply troubled boss of a unit assigned to solve long-closed murders. His foil is Grace, a contracted psychological profiler whose portrayal by Sue Johnston is seamless, a wonder to observe.

Wil Johnson plays the tough...
Published on 10 Jan. 2012 by jasonhad

versus
1 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Waking the dead
The Waking the dead serie`s arrived with box damaged,some cases were broken and dvd`s scratched.But i was able to watch every episode ,while having to miss the end of some due to scratches
Published on 17 Feb. 2013 by mark cattell


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56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty, pithy, pathetic, gripping, satisfying, sloppy but riveting, 10 Jan. 2012
By 
jasonhad (Brussels - Oregon) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Waking the Dead Series 1-9 Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
After watching all but the last four double-episodes of this immense work, this viewer is still mesmerised. Trevor Eve stars as Peter Boyd, the deeply troubled boss of a unit assigned to solve long-closed murders. His foil is Grace, a contracted psychological profiler whose portrayal by Sue Johnston is seamless, a wonder to observe.

Wil Johnson plays the tough guy with a soft center, somehow chained by loyalty to Boyd, quite possibly the ultimate boss from Hades. This is not the token black guy in the team, but a strong character that provides continuity, balance and muscle - all the other characters are women - strong in their own right, but they can't out-run a fleeing suspect and tackle him on a stairwell.

Boyd is generally unfeeling, driven, angry at God and all His creations, frequently erupting into the kind of illegal behavior that leads people to call the police animals with snouts and curly tails. He is haunted by the loss of his son to the streets, to drugs and the filth of what the son must do to support his lifestyle - never truly accepting that it is almost certainly from Boyd the boy fled, terrorized by the rage of the man just beneath the surface of the skin.

And yet - Boyd is occasionally tender, supportive, even kind, and you wonder if there is the possibility of redemption, maybe in the next episode he will mellow, will see the Light, the error of his ways.

But no, half-way into the next episode, he resorts yet again to violent, criminal psychological torture of a suspect, or even to rage and physical abuse, despite warnings from his cohorts that what he is about to do is wrong, illegal, immoral, whatever. All in the effort to solve the latest mind-twisting murder from the past, which sometimes leads to more murder in the present by malevolent characters whose ruthlessness is frightening.

This is not the sweet delicacy of Poirot's little grey cells unwinding Agatha's creations, or Morse's endeavors to expose the guilty whilst sipping fine bitter and trying to seduce his fellow denizens of Oxford, all to the strains of Mozart and Puccini et al. Little old ladies will require their smelling salts to get through some of the dialogue, some of the grue, many of the interrogations, and a lot of the forensic evidence of the bodies, which have the disadvantage of having decayed, dessicated, disintegrated, been disembowled, dismembered, dissolved, or otherwise rendered truly horrific. All, of course, lovingly photographed with all the gore, grease, guts and grit that the brilliant make-up artists can create. Skeletons are more common than rats, and seeing a pathologist plunge her hand into the gore of a body to see how many generations of maggots have dined is not for the faint of heart.

Dialogue is tense, terse and true in tone, and the actors deliver their lines with almost uncanny precision and inflection - the directors (and there are many - I suspect each episode is so draining that a new steed is needed regularly until the director recovers enough to do another) wring stellar performances from some of the finest British actors (and a few interlopers) whose roles are often far more demanding than those they have played with Frost, Foyle, Barnaby, Allen, Morse or Lewis. How Trevor Eve and his fellow team-mates can keep up the level of performance to such a high standard without a breakdown is a question one might well ask. There are a few drop-outs along the way - one literally.

The Achilles' Heel of the series is the implausibility of some of the plots. the team of five does all the investigating, the site visits, interviews, the arrests, everything. Villains somehow manage to accomplish deeds that mere mortals could not, like the slight woman managing to hoist hundreds of pounds of medical equipment five floors up in a warehouse just hours after escaping from a top-security prison for the criminally insane, or some such, and little anachronisms are rife - but this is, after all, fiction - thank the stars! If this were a true story, we'd just watch a bunch of cops pouring over documents and computer files and never getting out of the office because that's a real policeman's job . . .

Also, it seems like half the episodes end up with more loose ends than Mama Mia's spaghetti, and the following episode of course never addresses them. Boyd is investigated for unprofessional conduct that would see a real-life copper either in the dock the next day or the slammer tomorrow, but the investigation seems to evaporate between episodes. Can't have the star behind bars, can we? And what about that time that Boyd and his team knowingly permitted - nay, encouraged - a murder? What's that you say? Ethics? Brutality? Complicity? You'll have to judge for yourself.

You won't like Boyd - he's an s.o.b. most of the time - but you won't be able to lock him out. You may get disgusted after one particular episode and say "no more" - but it won't be long before you're taking out another disc to watch because it's so much better than the insipid crap on telly tonight, and you just can't get Waking the Dead out of your mind.

So, gentle reader, I advise you not to plonk down your hard-earned lunch money for this set. Unless you have a very strong stomach, know that not all the characters are warm and cuddly, have an appreciation of the crafts of acting and directing, and accept that the series does, indeed, come to an end.

If buy it you do, despite all the warnings, prepare yourself for being mesmerized.

And then, before you know it, you'd be just like me - anticipating with dread the end of the series, just a few discs left, wondering how you're ever going to find another incredible series that grabs your attention, immerses you in plots and characters that make your heart pound and your mind race with the action, keeps your curiosity level up ("now just how did he do that?"), have you imagining the solutions to one or another sub-plot that wasn't completely resolved, dreading what will come in the next scene.

Sigh.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best series ever!!!, 28 Jun. 2011
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This review is from: Waking the Dead Series 1-9 Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
Wow. A great summer holiday would be to watch all nine seasons of this great series non-stop and for the first time. All other crime dramas pale in comparison. It is what Cold Case and the CSI series want to be when they grow up, get better writing, less commercials, etc. I started watching this series way back when it showed in the States on BBC America. Unfortunately it only showed for a couple seasons but was available for rental. Then--unfortunately again--the more recent series (after 2005) never seemed to be available and so it wasn't until 2007 and I was forced to buy a region free DVD player to watch another British drama series (Bad Girls) that I finally ordered the series from Amazon. Every year I'd eagerly await the arrival of the new season and every year I buy it and try to "ration" my viewing so that I didn't see all of the episodes over one night. Very tough to do.
The writing, acting and interplay between all of the cast members are exemplary. The story and plot lines are both fascinating and compelling. Even as cast members left (Amelia and the first forensic scientist Frankie) and were replaced by new members the level of acting and the plots remained superb.
The interplay between the Trevor Eve and Sue Johnstone characters alone was far superior to most of the inane banter between characters on other shows. If you haven't seen this series or only have seen a couple of the episodes get it and watch them. You won't be sorry!!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best ever, 30 Oct. 2011
By 
AJ (South Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Waking the Dead Series 1-9 Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
I remembered to review this because I was asked recently which was my favourite ever TV Programme.
I love crime drama, so it had to be in that genre. There's a lot to choose from. But the storylines of Waking the Dead are far more engaging than anything I've seen on television before and the characters are far more detailed. Boyd for example is complex and enigmatic with a powerful back-story and the way he and Grace interplay, they could be an 'old married couple.' The attention to detail is engaging and for all this to be sustained at such a high standard over 9 series is unprecedented. I don't think we'll ever see anything as good as this again. So buy it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best ever, 6 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Waking the Dead Series 1-9 Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
This is simply the best british crime drama series ever made, and that also automatically makes it the best crime drama series ever...period!

Missing out from this series is a major mistake. If you haven't seen it order the complete box-set now! If you have seen it you have probably already ordered or bought the box-set.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best shows of all time..., 21 April 2013
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This review is from: Waking the Dead Series 1-9 Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
After having now watched all nine seasons of this powerful, ground-breaking series, I can honestly say that with no doubt in my heart that this is the finest piece of television that has ever been screened. I am still mesmerized, can't believe it's all over. Trevor Eve stars as Detective Superintendent Peter Boyd, the leader of a team of crack squad of police investigators who reopen unsolved murder cases, using new technology to re-examine evidence that will hopefully lead to the killer. The team tackle everything you can think of: Murder, abduction, blackmail, assault, suspicious accidents that were proven not to be, and many manifestations of crime, it's all there.

Peter Boyd is a deeply troubled person, being the boss of an extremely fragile and time consuming full on hell job must mean he is good at what he does. And he is - he is the best. He knows what he is doing does the guy, its either his way or no way. He is a fully blown brick wall and if anything stands in his way, he'll be sure to take them down - not literally, or maybe just that! He knows what he is doing, he just has strange ways of going about things, which can result in quite unorthodox and sometimes illegal behaviour. He has a temper on him, he is driven and motivated and can at time erupt like a volcano. He is unfeeling towards suspects, really towards everyone and has a tendency to intimidate people. He is angry at everything nearly all the time, and this in my opinion is due to the loss of his son to the streets, haunted by it all the time. Every time someone makes a certain quote that refers to children or whatever it may be, he occasionally gives us the look to indicate it is his son he is thinking about. He directs the anger at almost anything and finds hard to accept that almost certainly it was himself from which the boy fled. The rage of the past always ate away at Boyd and he put that rotten away decay on his world, his surroundings, and his existence.

Despite all of this, Boyd can be warm, very supportive and a genuinely kind person. You see the battle that is constantly being fought, and Boyd must constantly deal with his inner demons because it is he himself that he is most ashamed of. Not the godless world he sees before him or the sick drunken guy with a blood stained knife, but it is himself he is not happy with. At times he so angry with suspects, releasing the rage and other times the feelings are contained. You hope that at some point Boyd will realise what the past had made him, that he will see the darkness of his ways. That the way he handles things sometimes is wrong. But no, in the following episode he will again agree with his old methods and do it "The Peter Boyd" way which includes violent outbursts of anger and rage, psychological terrorisation, and maybe even physical misconduct, sometimes to the extent of alienating his team despite their warnings. It is mostly morally wrong, illegal and unprofessional and can tell from his face and continuous habits and attitudes when he is going to go off on one. Sometimes the suspects deserve it and Boyd tends to think they are only puppets on a stage so who cares if I pull one of their strings? He does this all in the effort to solve the latest mind-bending, twisted murder from years before which usually leads to more murders in the present, starting the cycle of "I want everything done right and I want it done now" all over again. In the later series he does calm down as in the earlier episodes, he was his worst - a growing root. You will not like Boyd, he is a crazy animal most of the time but there is no way on this earth that you can shut the door on him. After a certain episode you may say "He's gone too far this time", but not before long you will be pulling out another disc and inserting it into your DVD player because Waking the dead floods your thoughts and you can't wait to see the next one. Above all this, Boyd is really funny, with his mannerisms and antics, so funny. In one episode a suspect was going on about god and how that influenced his actions or something and Boyd said "This isn't about FAIRY-TALE CREATIONISM, this is about you!", ha ha.
Sue Johnston is Doctor Grace Foley, Boyd's right arm, a determined psychological profiler who is often very calm and can use her special skills to get things out of suspects the way that "The Peter Boyd" way couldn't. Her intelligence and point of view on things can give the team a different direction on which to follow the evidence or track the killer, she is also a very likeable character. The chemistry between her and Boyd is perfect, it is a very trustworthy and respectful relationship which you can see has developed over time. Sue's portrayal of Grace is textbook, wondrous and gratifyingly a joy to watch.
Will Johnston plays the strong and direct character of Spencer Jordan, the toughest in the team. He can take many people down who run away, no one can outrun him. When a suspect tries to tackle him, whether it be on a staircase, rooftop or mountain edge, they will be sure to lose. He balances the team out, with his motivated mind and will always go by the book and standby his officers and friends, particularly chaining a loyal attachment to Boyd. He may have the muscle, strength and all, but Spence does have a heart. He also provides a something of an order, a continuation.

This series is nothing like Morse or Frost or Midsomer, not saying they are bad, but they are light-hearted. But the Waking the dead is proper crime/thriller drama, you will not see no ridiculous characters or sloppy plots that do not justify the viewer into believing it is actually happening, most of the time WTD will blow your mind. The actors in this show are absolutely fantastic and you will recognise many of the occurring faces as the series progresses, with not one crappy actor. Put it this way, it is nothing like what you see on the soaps! Quite often you forget they are actually acting, not to mention the clear picture quality of these DVD's to accompany it. This show is proper high-budget stuff and you can clearly see that the BBC has really put in time and effort to produce this one of a kind show which can never be reproduced by anything else, being a TV legend. You will see many interrogations that at times can be quite tense to watch, because this is what this show is - tense. The suspense in this show is unmatched by anything I have ever seen before and there is a sense of realism that the actors bring to the screen with their superb scripts and excellent writing. You may also see bodies are frequent on this show (meaning dead bodies) that have been chopped, decayed, desiccated, dissolved, been dismembered or have been mutilated so badly that the viewer is psychologically disturbed, not to mention some of the victims had their fingers cut off. Many of them are also skeletons that outnumber the number of times Boyd shouts at a suspect, which is saying something! The gore, guts and all made by the make-up artists is top-notch stuff, making the show even more enthralling.
The dialogue in this show makes it what it is, with the actors delivering their lines perfectly, really accurate. It is true and what they say makes an impact. The directors, producers and writers have really worked there socks to produce this one of a kind masterpiece, each episode is well thought through and with high production values, they must have stayed up all night, draining themselves to get it right. It has also has some of the best British actors included, besides the main cast, performing brilliantly. There is no bad actor in sight; we often forget that because the show has a reputation for living up to all expectations. Throughout the entire series, the main cast deliver constantly and without break-down or lack, such high standard performances, that is ridiculously good. The team go straight in their cases episode after episode and do what they do best, not all is good though. Not all the faces shown on screen don't make it - one was snatched right out of a blink of an eye. But you can't help but admire this show, this entity, that is WTD.

Many say that WTD can be implausible, in terms of plots, and sometimes they can be. But without that, how is there going to be any fun? Out of all nine seasons and ninety two episodes, there was only one I didn't like, it wasn't bearable after the first half an hour. It was about a religious cult, the episode named "Deus Ex Machina" in series six. Besides this, every episode is just as good as those movies you see in the theatres. In fact, these would have done great to be shown on the big screen. The implausibility - its fiction! Lots of the episodes have more loose ends that pot noodles but you learn to accept this and go with it, because it is crime drama at its finest. Sometimes the team encouraged events to try and help catch the killer or entailed unorthodox methods of investigation, or in Boyd's case, took matters into his own hands, literally. Is it morally wrong? Has it got to do with ethics or the overwhelming urge for discovery? I didn't make the series; you will have to find out for yourself.

This set is a lot of money and I do advise you not buy it unless you are a fan of this type of drama, and have a hard stomach. Some of the scenes in this series are not for the light-hearted fans of the Simpsons or Midsomer, prepare to see a head decapitated or fingers severed beyond repair, yes - that's how serious the show is. It's not cheap old crap that no one likes, its firm and solid, without decay. The series does, unfortunately end, like everything that ever existed, so when you do admire it, don't take your eyes off the TV. Become a part of it, cherish every moment, this show will be like nothing you have ever seen before. Appreciate it, love it, connect with it. While feeling sorry for the victims, it is hard not to feel upset for the lead star who was affected by his past, to which you will form a bond over the ninety two episodes and when he smiles at you for the last time, tears will shed. If you do not buy this box, then what you are watching now must surely not be like this, how could anything match it?

When you notice that there are only a few stories to go, you will start to get worried. Worried that you might not find a series ever again so unforgettable and incredible, so brilliant with heart-stopping plots and engaging characters and even a spot of tragedy. The sub-plots are just as amazing as the resolutions which you would, about twenty minutes before the end, be forming a picture and opinion on the outcome. But it's hard to keep up sometimes with the in-depth storylines that are a wonder to behold and observe. Waking the dead has a unique ability to make you think of the next event, your expectations of dread and fear reaching the limit of endurance. How will a show like this ever be found again? That is a question one might well ask...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super series and superb value, 25 Sept. 2013
By 
MAJ2014 (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Waking the Dead Series 1-9 Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
Over the years BBC have produced some excellent crime drama and the entire series is well worth buying if you watched it when on TV. Trevor Eve and Sue Johnston are outstanding actors. Didn't realise just how 'shouty' the character of Boyd is throughout the series - but explained by loss of his son after drug overdose.

Credit should also go to the range of gruesome state of many of the bodies in the PM room.

Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waking the Dead Series 1-9 Box Set [DVD], 4 Aug. 2012
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This review is from: Waking the Dead Series 1-9 Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
On the face of it appears expensive,but for what you get(46 disk)is good valve for money.excellent acting, episodes vary with different actors some will be familiar to views.one of my best buys ,go for it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WAKING THE DEAD - ALL SERIES, 1 Mar. 2012
This review is from: Waking the Dead Series 1-9 Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
Just wanted to reinforce the 5* ratings already awarded by other WTD addicts. I got this box set for Christmas from my husband and have to say that it is one of the best presents I have ever had. I had probably watched only a handful of episodes (prior to receiving this) which I caught whenever I could, but since watching the pilot I have managed to cram in 28 of the 46 episodes around my young family and full time job. Love the relationship between Boyd and Grace - so well written and acted that I couldn't imagine one character without the other. Twists and turns, atmosphere and suspense all underpinned by a great cast - what more could you ask of a great crime drama!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waking The Dad, 12 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Waking the Dead Series 1-9 Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
A great drama series with interesting characters portrayed within roles . High tension moments throughout even , in team discussion
and crime scene settings . It almost makes you feel as though your involved in the action. Great acting by Boyd ( Richard Eve) so much so that if you were working with him in a real life scenario there would be multiple punch ups and staff rebellions . Hope the series continues .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the money, 9 May 2012
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This review is from: Waking the Dead Series 1-9 Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
I missed the original series on the BBC and my familly and freinds said how good it was. I must admit I think it is one of the Best Programmes I have ever seen. The plots are original and exciting and the acting is superb and believable. With each disc having two feature length episodes this Box set is brilliant value for money
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Waking the Dead Series 1-9 Box Set [DVD]
Waking the Dead Series 1-9 Box Set [DVD] by Edward Bennett (DVD - 2011)
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