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The Shadow Line 2011

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From the cop with a bullet in his brain, whose amnesia leaves him doubtful of his own moral compass; to the drug-lord driven by a profound personal tragedy, risking it all on one last deal; to the brilliantly lethal puppet-master who gradually emerges from the shadows to bring the story to its shocking climax The Shadow Line explores the morality of these characters as they negotiate the repercussions of drug baron Jay Wratten's death and attempt to navigate the fine line between right and wrong. As the thread around Wratten's operation begins to unravel, the web of intrigue becomes more complex and the question of which side of the line they stand on becomes increasingly blurred. An intelligent and gripping conspiracy thriller that delves to the heart of human morality, The Shadow Line will have audiences enthralled over six taut and thrilling episodes. Faced with similar dilemmas, on which side of the line would you stand?

Starring:
Christopher Eccleston, Martin Delaney
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Shadow Line, The - Disc 1 ages_15_and_over
  • Shadow Line, The - Disc 2 ages_15_and_over
  • Shadow Line, The - Disc 3 ages_15_and_over
Runtime 6 hours 39 minutes
Starring Christopher Eccleston, Martin Delaney, Stephen Rea, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Clare Calbraith, Lesley Sharp, Richard Lintern
Director Hugo Blick
Genres Drama, Thriller
Studio 2 ENTERTAIN
Rental release 4 July 2011
Main languages English
Hearing impaired subtitles English
Discs
  • Shadow Line, The - Blu-ray - Disc 1 ages_15_and_over
  • Shadow Line, The - Blu-ray - Disc 2 ages_15_and_over
Runtime 6 hours 39 minutes
Starring Christopher Eccleston, Martin Delaney, Stephen Rea, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Clare Calbraith, Lesley Sharp, Richard Lintern
Director Hugo Blick
Genres Drama, Thriller
Studio 2 ENTERTAIN
Rental release 4 July 2011
Main languages English
Hearing impaired subtitles English

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
All too often these days on British TV, crime dramas and murder mysteries insist on spoon-feeding the viewer the facts, before arriving at a nicely wrapped-up conclusion, laden with mind-numbing exposition. Thankfully, 'The Shadow Line' is not one of those programmes. Namely, it shows, but doesn't tell. It doesn't insult your intelligence, something that's only too rare.

The lengthy opening scene sets the tone for the rest of the series. Two police officers inspecting a car, one dead body inside. The body is Harvey Wratten's, an infamous underworld drug baron recently released from prison after a mysterious and unexpected royal pardon. It soon becomes clear that this is far more than just a gangland assassination. Investigating is DI Jonah Gabriel, a disillusioned cop just returned to the force, recovering from an attempt on his life that left him with a bullet in his brain and a serious case of amnesia. We follow Gabriel as he delves into Wratten's murder and the drug-trafficking scene, uncovering far more than he would like.

Make no mistake: this is a pitch-dark, almost noir-ish crime drama, about morally compromised characters and the lengths that they will go to to survive. There have been comparisons made to 'The Wire' and 'The Killing', but you'll enjoy it a lot more if you just take it for what it is.

Chiwetel Ejiofor is brilliantly understated as Gabriel, struggling to juggle his personal and professional lives. Praise also for Christopher Eccleston as Bede, essentially the underworld foil for Gabriel, trying to keep a business afloat while watching his wife rapidly succumb to Alzheimer's. Stephen Rea as the enigmatic Gatehouse is mesmerising and utterly chilling to watch.
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Format: DVD
This BBC 7-parter had been sitting around unviewed since way back last year. Finally gave it a spin at the weekend - well that was it, pretty well impossible just to watch one part with the next one sitting there waiting for you! Gripping, each episode leaves you wanting the next one, as I write this it's 5 down, 2 to go. Brilliant performances from everyone, particularly the young Spall (with a great David Walliams impression), Ecclestone and the spooky Mr Not-so-nice guy from Stephen Rea, and Anthony Sher.
Possibly a bit heavy on the violence for some, but a must see - watch this and be thankful we've still got a BBC to produce this sort of quality programme - there's so much more to TV than Midsommer Murders!!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Hard to fault this fine thriller. Excellent acting all round and I was great fan of the Spall role. Good twists and turns and some fine characters created. I feel the story could have run to more episodes rather than having to, at times, quickly explain what was going on. Rather like The Killing it needs 20 or so episodes.This is the sort of drama that must be explored..well thought out, produced and performed.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
One of the least popular yet best BBC series ever made and, to me, one the top tv series of the last years. Many people just found it slow and not too enjoyable, but the great thing is that here, maybe more than in any other series, TV takes a step back and let the dark step in. Yes, because The Shadow Line is a gradual, inevitable and bitter descent to hell. A moral hell, which ends up being a very political, true and unsettling reflection of our System of Power, where there is no justice. Deep black noir series, at the same level as maybe The Wire.
And I also think it is not so little entertaining as they say, because the plot is complex yet understandable, the actors are fantastic (Stephen Rea as you never expect him), a lot of twists (but the right ones, not too many) and mysterious and complex characters.
I honestly did not expect that something so radical could come out of the small screen.
Blu ray is fantastic, with a great hd transfer. I only wished there were some extra explaining the production point of view on the story.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Intricate plotting and outstanding acting. Again, the paranoia over corruption at the highest levels of the UK police. I'd recommend it to anybody. Too bad it's not yet available in NTSC format for wider distribution in Canada.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
BBC has been renowned for its gripping dramas that deal with uncomfortable subjects like corruption, greed, betrayal, and all at high places (not just in the lives of cliched crooks and shady tycoons). This series, which had me glued till the end, is an illustrious addition to that oeuvre. The acting is 5-star, so is the taut handling and the very-very dark & forbidding look at the personal demons that can haunt people: good or bad, dark or fair. However, after the conclusion of the series, I felt that in its attempt to be "realistic" (a loaded word, I am afraid) the finale kept too many people like me feeling cheated, as we found that the two characters whom we had been rooting for all along, would not come up triumphant. Besides, in the finale, the so-called-twists were entirely predictable. From the gun-to-the-mouth to the deviating laser, there was nothing that we had not seen. Jonah Gabriel and Joseph Bede were the two characters that had made many of us see it till the end, and I think that the way they were dealt with was unfair. But life is UNFAIR, isn't it? So, dropping of one star for this feeling of being under-handed, apart from it this is as good as it gets. Recommended.
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