The Irish R.M. - The Complete Series 1-3 [DVD]
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Complete collection of episodes of the comedy drama which follows Major Sinclair Yeates (Peter Bowles), a Resident Magistrate struggling to maintain law and order in pre-independence Ireland. Series 1 episodes are: 'Great Uncle McCarthy', 'Trinket's Colt', 'A Misdeal', 'The Boat's Share', 'Occasional Licences' and 'O Love! O Fire!'. Series 2 episodes are: 'A Horse! A Horse!', 'The Dispensary Doctor', 'Holy Island', 'Oweneen the Sprat', 'A Royal Command' and 'The Aussolas Martin Cat'. Series 3 episodes are: 'The Muse in Skebawn', 'Apollo Riggs', 'The Friend of Her Youth', 'In the Curranhilty County', 'Lisheen Races' and 'The Devil You Know'.
Now, more than ever, when reality television dominates prime time, it is a pleasure to escape to Skebawn and make oneself at home amongst the colorful characters who so confound and brighten the life of Major Sinclair Yeates (Rumpole of the Bailey's Peter Bowles), the transplanted "fine gentleman from England," who serves as the Irish county town's Resident Magistrate at the turn of the 20th century. This very welcome three-volume set contains all three series which are based on the stories by Somerville and Ross. Charmed as the surroundings may be, "things are different in Ireland," as the very proper Yeates learns over the course of these 18 episodes, in which he finds himself presiding over "improbable" cases, or getting caught up in the lives of the eccentric villagers, most notably, his Puckish landlord Flurry (Bryan Murray), a misfit entrepreneurial spirit. Another formidable presence is his none too deferential housekeeper, Mrs. Cadogan (Anna Manahan). His wife, Philippa (Doran Godwin), and, later on, his sister, Babs (Sarah Badel), show incredible tolerance to what the late Alistair Cooke best described as "amiable chaos". In one episode, Yeates is locked in his room by an actor whose illegal production Yeates means to close. In another, a temporary "job cook" proves indeed too good to be true when she gets drunk on the occasion of a welcome home dinner for Flurry and his bride, Sally (Lise-Ann McLaughlin) and the dread mother-in-law, Lady Knox. (Faith Brook). Another memorable episode finds Yeates and company shipwrecked and spending the night in the home of a very odd doctor and his menacing cockatoo. The final episode is a richly satisfying conclusion to the series, as Yeates uses the possibility of a job transfer to at long last "get the better of them just this once". --Donald Liebenson
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I came to the Irish RM first through the Channel Four series, and it was clear that only a genius could have scripted it, and since there were few genuises around in TV at that time (and none today) I found my way to the books. I can only envy someone coming to these delights for the first time.
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