Customer Review

30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great programme, very poor attention to DVD production, 21 Mar 2006
This review is from: Between The Lines : Complete BBC Series 2 [1992] [DVD] (DVD)
Between the Lines was a superlative series- fantastically written, well acted, and making lots of points in an intelligent manner.
The second series is even grimmer than the first, perhaps to a fault. Long-suffering Superintendant Tony Clark (part of the CIB, the police for the police, an organisation replaced a few years ago in real life) has just shopped his own boss (played by the ever brilliant Tony Doyle, and happily not the last we see of him) up for serious malpractice. However, the opening buzz he has gotten for this coup is soon sunk, and his new boos is the person at CIB he hates the most. From there, Clark starts to self-destruct. He can sort out neither his personal nor professional life, and it's a very rare episode that does not end with something having gone wrong with either someone's life or with the case being a total bust.
Between the Lines was a series with a shelf life; there are only so many 'bent cop' stories to do, and this series extends the 'Between the Lines' theme to the security services also. This makes for interesting episodes but you soon get the feeling the writers were shutting down the main concept, as indeed they do by the end of the series. Meanwhile, the episode 'Manslaughter', which having no problems in terms of quality, wasn't really a BTL episode at all. It was something that could have occurred in any police show, like Law and Order. It just so happens the perpetrator was a policeman (they even have to make a plot exiuse in episode as to why CIB is investigating at all, as no police malpratice was involved).
But even as the concept changes, the series remains superb. What is stopping me giving this a fifth star is the appalling attention to detail the makers of the DVD have put in. Not content with accidentally using the second series background with the first series DVD menu and vice-versa, the second series DVD insides have several descriptions of episodes that bear absolutely no resemblance to the episodes themselves at all. It's very odd, because some of the descriptions looked like they may have made interesting BTL plots... they just never happened. I've never actually seen anything like that happen before, and it is a shame that no-one noticed, but obviously it has no bearing on the quality of the programme at all, which is very high.
Highly recommended to all.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Dec 2010 16:54:07 GMT
Black Prince says:
Yes it is truly bizarre that the descriptions on the box of Disk 3 do not bear any resemblance to the video recording. Someone has printed the wrong sleeve and since it has Big Boys Rules in two episodes which I think was with Tony Doyle in his resurrected role as an MI5 cutout running an agency with his old team, I suspect someone has printed Disk 3 Series 2 from Series 3 BTL.
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