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Zodiac - The Complete Series [DVD]
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Astrology is strictly for the birds. That's the emphatic view of David Gradley, a work-shy ex-Harrovian who has drifted into the police force. Then he meets a pretty young astrologer called Esther Jones - and his ideas get knocked for six!
Created by Roger Marshall (The Avengers, Public Eye, The Sweeney), this light-hearted thriller series became a cult piece of escapism for viewers during its six-week stay on British television and has become a much sought-after series by collectors - largely due to its novel premise of the groovy '70s culture clash between the Thin Blue Line and the Age of Aquarius!
Anouska Hempel (UFO) stars as Esther, opposite Anton Rodgers (Fresh Fields, The Prisoner) as the coolly methodical Detective Inspector Gradley. Michael Gambon, Peter Egan, Joanna David, Ian Ogilvy, Robert Powell and Peter Vaughan are among a host of guest stars also appearing in this popular and memorably quirky series from Thames, originally screened in 1974.
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I wasn't expecting too much and was ready to be very disappointed the way I often am when I re-view something I liked when I was child, decades later.
But Zodiac is actually surprisingly enjoyable. Anouska, who plays the lead, still looks incredibly beautiful. She has a great chemistry with Anton Rodgers and in spite of her beauty was also a very good actress. She had great timing and shows great skill in handling the wordy script. Anton Rodgers also gives a good performance as the blundering detective and Anouska's pal. The theme of the zodiac works quite well and gives each episode a sort of mystical flavour. It's a shame the series was discontinued after just 6 episodes, as it probably could have, given the chance, developed into a minor classic.
It's slightly disappointing that the whole series was shot in the studio. Absolutely no locations. Just painted backdrops. Considering this, the fact that the series holds its own, says a lot about the energy of the performances and the fact that Anouska really comes across as a genuine budding star. It's surprising, in retrospect, that this series didn't take her on to better things in the acting world, though she did find her success elsewhere.
Anyway, the point of this review is to tell you that Zodiac is very enjoyable, not just as a nostalgic vehicle, but as light entertainment. The sort that is so lacking in British television today. If you enjoy sitting down to watch old TV series from this era, this one comes highly recommended.
Anton Rodgers and Anouska Hempel have good chemistry and the stories are interesting. This is a gentle series, not full of 'in your face' violence. There is a lot of humour between the two main characters. Anton Rodgers twinkles and Anouska Hempel is stunningly pretty.
The premise is that an astrologer and a police officer meet whilst the officer is investigating a murder. The astrologer offers the police officer the benefit of her intuition and astrological knowledge to point him in the direction of the culprit. The two become friends and she continues to assist him through five other cases.
It is not necessary to believe in astrology to enjoy this series.
I am puzzled as to why the series consisted of only six episodes. It would have been nice if there had been an episode for each star sign. However, I am grateful for the six that are available.
I remember watching it when it was first broadcast in 1974. A second series was never made which is most unfortunate as it only ran for six episodes. This is a great shame as it is such an original idea and the main characters worked together really well.
Whether reading your horoscope is your cup of tea or not (yes, there's a bit of leaf reading in it) I'm sure you'll find this a refreshing bit of nostalgia.
I would recommend these DVDs to anyone who liked simplicity snd their programmes without too much explicit sex and violence
Most recent customer reviews
Great stories,superb acting and great chemistry between the 2 leads.
I was sad when it ended.Read more