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Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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on 27 December 2014
It's been many years since we first saw the amazing adaptions of the books by one of my favourite authors, the late P.D. James. At that time we loved each and every story and in particular the superb performance of Roy Marsden, the ultimate British detective, who brought such intelligence and brilliance to his character. I recently surprised my husband with this collection and have found that this time around the enjoyment is even more! It is such a pleasure to watch a slowly crafted story presented with a cast of outstanding actors led by Marsden. We are delighted with the DVDs but regret that there is no English language subtitles which are certainly needed in those films where the actors are speaking with local dialects (and I am British by birth!). Apart from that I heartily recommend this collection which is exactly like a good wine - improved with age.

It also reminds me that Roy Marsden is one of the finest British character actors and I'm sorry that we didn't see more of him after he left the series. He created an unforgettable character and I'm sure that P.D. James herself was delighted with his portrayal.
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on 4 August 2017
The original series is superb. The stories by PD James are great, honestly everything should be perfect. The production, direction, casting, acting, what more could one need?

What a tragedy this Dutch import is so terribly produced. The sound is simply awful. The only subtitles are Dutch. Basically, if you don't mind not being able to understand the mumbled sounds of most of the speech, and can read Dutch, then go ahead. Otherwise do not waste your money.

Be sure to read the small print on any version before clicking 'buy'.
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on 19 February 2017
I am enjoying this Adam Dalgliesh collection so much. I'm also loving the 80's cars and fashion. Just wonderful seeing these great thrillers again.
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on 24 June 2017
another favourite from yester year great acting and storylines to watched over and over
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on 25 June 2017
Very bad sound. Music and effects too loud. Conversation too remote. Practically inaudible.
Image so so
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We enjoyed the series very much especially as they were mostly filmed in norfolk.
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on 5 April 2010
Roy Marsden's understated wonderful performance as Adam Dalgleish is breaktaking. Without hardly saying a word he conveyed the nature of this highly complex man. You felt that he was powerful, yet there was an underlying gentleness and kindness to the character. You could believe that he had an inner depth and was a sensitive soul who wrote and appreciated poetry.

I have thoroughly enjoyed revisiting this series which was first broadcast in 1984. Shroud for a Nightingale is superb. I have more to watch and know that once I have finished this box set I shall revisit time and time again.

An excellent value for money set for anyone who enjoys nostalgia and a slower pace of policing.

Highly recommend this to others.
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on 12 July 2010
This is a superb collection that will keep viewer busy for a long time and Roy Marsden put in a brilliant performance in every single one of his scenes. The slower moving early episodes are epics in the way that no other detective series ever was (in point of fact, these were never 'series' in the traditional sense).

My favourite story was the very first, Death of an Expert Witness, on the grounds of the atmosphere it created; that really set the scene for what followed and was always going to be a hard act to follow. However justice was done in the form of the delightfully creepy Shroud for a Nightingale which was probably the best of the lot (not my favourite, but I felt it was actually the best - and there is a difference between the two). Whichever you prefer, both grip the viewer from beginning to end and I be surprised if one or the other doesn't make it to the top of the list for most people who buy this set.

Personally I found that the two subsequent stories, Cover Her Face and The Black Tower, took much too long to get off the ground. However, they are certainly worth persevering as they pick up with pace mid-way through and buy the final episodes build up into very tense finales.

Without giving the game away, A Taste For Death built upon the end of The Black tower in so much as this is where significantly more physical action was infused into the Adam Dalgliesh Chronicles; it was certainly an interesting turning point, if perhaps neither were my favourite examples.

As we move onto Devices and Desires things are back up to standard; other critics have slated this particular dramatisation but I found it recreated some of the earlier atmosphere. It's one to watch out for as although the villain doesn't exactly come as a surprise in the end, the way the conclusion is executed is dramatic and there is a personal side to Dalgliesh that hadn't been seen since Expert Witness.

Moving on, the two standalone episodes, Unnatural Causes and A Mind To Murder, are possibly the lower points. Not bad as such, but both are around 1 hour and 40 minutes and it's not enough time to justice to either storylines or acting; another hour would have made all the difference. However, they demonstrate that times had changed in television production values as from a technical point of view the episodes were very highly polished and had a cinematic feel to them; in the obvious sense this was because there had clearly been a switch from tape to film, but it went much deeper than than that also that direction was very different indeed. One of those things you have to see to appreciate I guess.

I'm pleased to say that this boxed set ends on the high note with which it started and the penultimate Original Sin was well balanced in so many ways (and featured a superb performance by Ian Bannen - possibly in one of his very last roles?). Likewise a Certain Justice, although perhaps not particularly credible (at least as these stories go), was a fine swansong.

There are some short but interesting extras on the discs - the fact that I never tend to bother with such things is possibly worth a mention in it's own right.

The price seems to fluctuate enormously on this boxed set for some reason, but I guarantee that it's worth waiting for the next sale...
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on 5 December 2015
Well written, scripted and acted! Classic detective drama - I really enjoyed the early episodes with the technology and cars in use in the late 70s and early 80s - makes you realise how technology has moved on. Quality drama true to the novels and not reliant on special effects to distract from a poor storyline. Recommended purchase!
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on 17 December 2015
Good quality DVD of the PD James Dalgleish stories that were dramatized with the incomparable Roy Marsden
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