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The Bill - Volume 7 [DVD]
The Bill - Volume 7 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Eric Richard
Price: £34.59

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sun Hill rides again thanks to Network, 30 April 2013
This review is from: The Bill - Volume 7 [DVD] (DVD)
After a long wait we finally get another bumper crop of classic Sun Hill life. This like the previous volume 6 DVD contains 48 episodes of the vintage 25 minute episodes that were aired originally on ITV between mid-August 1989 and the end of January 1990. Again its impossible to name any individual episodes but during this run of the series we see the arrival of three long term characters to the show - PC Norika Datta, cockney wide boy Dave Quinnan (the closest we get to filling the void left by Pete Ramsey!) and the humourless no-nonscence Inspector Andy Munroe (played by the late Colin Tarrant who died last year). Of course we lose other characters this season - Sun Hill original PC Taffy Edwards leaves the Met to return to his roots in Wales, Insp Christine Frazer bows out at the same time after a clash with Brownlow over her promotion and PCs Malcolm Hayes and pretty Claire Brind make their final appearances too during this run of episodes.
Comment Comments (13) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 26, 2015 2:05 PM BST

The Bill - Volume 6 [DVD]
The Bill - Volume 6 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Eric Richard
Offered by NextDayEntertainment
Price: £19.04

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bumper helping of Sun Hill!, 5 Aug. 2012
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This review is from: The Bill - Volume 6 [DVD] (DVD)
After 12 months waiting for Network to churn out the next batch of half hour episodes from the vintage era of The Bill we finally get volume 6.

The biggest and most welcome surprise here is that Network have really done us proud and given us a bumper helping of 48 episodes contained on six discs, rather than the modest 13 episode packages they have given us in volumes one - five.

These are all episodes of Sun Hill life shown here in their original order of transmission from 1989. There are too many great episodes to specifically name any, but this set sees the introduction of new characters PC George Garfield and PC Cathy Marshall (both of whom would become long term characters) but sadly we see the final appearances of Yorkie Smith and the snide Pete Ramsey (who really should have stayed longer in the series!).

Although I doubt we'll see any extras, the price seems quite competative for this set considering we are getting 20 hours of solid Sun Hill viewing!
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 24, 2013 11:40 AM BST

Benidorm - Series 5 [DVD] [2012]
Benidorm - Series 5 [DVD] [2012]
Dvd ~ Steve Pemberton
Price: £5.98

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More fun, sun & Solana mischief!, 25 April 2012
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After a big shake-up in series 4, thankfully life at the Solana has settled down somewhat for the fifth series of episodes.

Most of the usual faces are back for the standard fun in the sun antics we've come to expect in previous years. The Garvey family continue to lead the cast with their on going dilemas and squabbles. Actor Steve Pemberton is absent in episode one & most of episode two (owing to his filming commitments in Whitechapel) and this is nicely blemished into the story to present the family with a 'cliffhanger' at the end of the series.

Donald and Jacqueline continue their sexual antics with the usual charm. Sadly the characters of Gavin and Doreen appear to be what I would describe as 'loose end redundant' characters who don't have anything to do and it's as if the writers have run out of mileage for their characters particularly as their holiday 'partners' are absent. Its a shame as the actors are still making the most of their parts with little to use.

Father and son team, Les & Liam seem more at home this series than the year before and Mateo continues to get some brilliant scenes (not least the dance off in episode two with guest star Matthew Kelly). The over-weight Sam who arrived in series four has a new holiday companion this time round in the form of firey red haired Liverpool lass Trudy - a 30/40 year old something who spends most of the series snarling (and headbutting!) at the men and pretending she is a teenager in the sun!

Probably the two strongest characters this year are Tony Maudsley's Kenneth - who really comes into his own after spending the previous year as Gavin's new holiday companion and the other new star character is played by actress Sherrie Hewson who shakes up the Solana as the hotel's new no-nonsence manager Joyce Temple-Savage (who may as well be a reprisal of the receptionist Hewson played in the revamped Crossroads ten years ago!).

The show seems to plod along at a steady pace with the usual enjoyable scripts.

Whether a sixth series will grace us is yet to be seen, but having watched this series recently I cannot see why the Solana should close it's doors just yet!

Wasting More Police Time
Wasting More Police Time
by David Copperfield
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What over 90% of police officers feel about their job!, 10 April 2012
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Following on from the 2006 publication 'Wasting Police Time', this second book put together by Stuart Davidson (i.e. David Copperfield) is really just a compilation of extracts and views from serving police officers around the UK. The original book was more or less a journal of Davidson's (then) day to day role as a uniformed response officer on the streets of a small industrial town in Staffordshire. 'Wasting More Police Time' differs from it's parent book in that this shows Davidson was not alone in his views and opinions in that the 21st century police service is really in a crisis of bureaucracy and political white wash and a criminal justice system that is in a state of complete farce. The theme of the stories varies throughout the book and the topics range from road traffic collisions, court punishments, stop & search legislation to last year's riots and student protests. The views of the officers are sometimes witty and light hearted to more dramatic experiences in the job such as one serving police sergeant recalling the day his 25-year-old son (also a serving PC) was killed on his motorbike on his way to work. Another powerful tale is of a response officer attending a serious traffic collision and watching a trapped driver burn to death in a car as he was unable to free him while waiting for the fire brigade to arrive. A very good book that more than 90% of the British police service (whether still serving or retired) can relate to.

Gideon's Way - The Complete Series [Repackaged] [DVD] [1965]
Gideon's Way - The Complete Series [Repackaged] [DVD] [1965]
Dvd ~ John Gregson
Price: £29.50

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking slice of 60s crime fighting, 7 Mar. 2012
Back in the 1960s, British television was still developing and many legendary TV shows hadn't even been created. Roger Moore's The Saint arrived on our screens in 1962 and offered the viewer a hero who tackles villainy and saves the day without so much as breaking out in a sweat. This was just the sort of tongue in the cheek escapism that ITC opted for with further shows of the era following suite such as The Baron, The Champions, Department S and Randall & Hopkirk.

The nearset the public got to watching a modern day bobby fighting crime was Jack Warner's George Dixon who graced our screen with a warm smile and a final line to say the streets were safe once more after dealing with an episode of crime fighting. Dixon of Dock Green was a good show in it's own right for the time, however a new series arrived on the scene in 1965 called Gideons Way.

Gideons Way was a raw British police series at it's very best that got under the fingernails of crime fighting. This was a very much a 'darker' series in that unlike many other ITC shows, people died brutal deaths (including innocent victims), people actually bleed on screen and sometimes even the bad guy gets away with the crime! Gideons Way was made a decade before the Sweeney and had very similar qualities. The series was shot on location around the grimey, sooty, slum ridden streets of 1960s London (still when the city was recovering from the destruction of the war twenty years before!). This was long before the days of modern redevelopment, posh office blocks and designer shops.

The location filming was unique for the time in that many shows of this era where shot in a studio or on a sound stage (The Saint for one!). The characters didn't lead lavish lifestyles and didn't always go home to a happy ending either. This was true to life as possible for life in 60s London.

The late John Gregson (who died suddenly in 1975 at the young age of 55) leads this show through 26 enjoyable episodes as the warm but stern Commander George Gideon. His reliable number two is Chief Inspector David Keen (played by Alexander Davion) a young up & coming detective with an eye for the ladies.

The show tackles some strong stories for the era including murder, blackmail, armed robbery, arson, domestic & child abuse to name but a few, which was quite gripping for 60s television. I purchased this box set blind a few years ago and have to say that it is one of the most enjoyable shows I have seen.

The black & white film adds to the atmosphere of the programme and the show is awash with many well known actors making guest appearances some who have gone on to big things (a young John Hurt appears as an escaped prisoner in the first episode). I would say that anyone who is a fan of the Sweeney should invest time to watch Gideons Way as this is solid television from a different era of time when modern life was a daily struggle and the villains where true blaggers and robbers.

Well worth the money!

Shameless Series 8 [DVD]
Shameless Series 8 [DVD]
Dvd ~ David Threlfall
Price: £11.00

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Shameless - a shadow of it's former self!, 7 Mar. 2012
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This review is from: Shameless Series 8 [DVD] (DVD)
I have been an avid fan of Shameless since the series was launched in 2004. Paul Abbott's creation of life amongst the underbelly of our English society told with lots of sarcasm and humour was enjoyable from episode to episode.

I bought this DVD of series eight in January as the shifts I work make it difficult to watch the show regularly when it is actually broacast on TV.

Having found series seven a little disappointing in parts after several enjoyable years beforehand, I got to series eight and was left pretty disillusioned. I now actually believe that Shameless is on a downward slope and the powers that be at Channel Four should really consider the show's future.

Firstly, the production team made the bold move of extending the show to 22 episodes this time round which I only believes adds to diluting the stories and dragging them out even more.

Secondly, Shameless has lost far too many decent characters each year. The last series saw the departure of key characters Paddy Maguire and Ian Gallagher along with popular regulars Maxine and the nasty Joel. Even during this series we lose Liam Gallagher in episode two and the brillant Libby Croker (who was a welcome edition to series seven) who bows out in episode thirteen. The existing/remaining characters carry the series along at a steady pace but sadly they seem to just go through the motions and even the once hilarious Frank Gallagher has lost some of his edge. Newcomers this series are the Powell family who unfortunately don't seem to fill the void left by departed characters.

The stories during this series also let the show down. Mimi Maguire's relationship with the underage Billy is difficult to accept, the Maguire boys fued and their murderous activies do stretch the boundaries of the series too far, as does Alice Barry's brothel antics and the suicide of one of the girls.

However there are a few highlights this year. The show celebrates it's 100 episode which is an extended story featuring the welcome return of Kev Ball (Dean Lennox Kelly) who last appeared briefly in series four. Marty Fisher (Jack Deam) also returns later in the series after a five year absence.

Sadly as series nine is underway on TV at present, Carl Gallagher and Mickey Maguire have also departed the series which does leave me wondering how long Channel Four intend to run with the show.

A poor series of a once legendary show!

Boon - The Complete Series 7 [DVD]
Boon - The Complete Series 7 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael Elphick
Price: £38.82

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The end of the road for the Texas Ranger, 7 Mar. 2012
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After seven years and over 90 episodes in the can, the trials and tribulations of Ken Boon and his friends Harry Crawford and Rocky Cassidy finally came to an end in 1992.

This final series of Boon continues the trend and quality of the previous years. Actors Michael Elphick, David Daker and Neil Morrisey all continue to give top notch performances as the central characters. Another sad aspect of this series (apart from it being the last one!) is that Elizabeth Carling is no longer around as the lovely Laura Marsh. Instead, the sexy Saskia Wickham joins the cast for the final year as Crawford & Boon Security's new secretary and potential love interest for Ken. One major influence in the show's success was the raport between Ken and Harry and their long lasting friendship of ups and downs. Although it is nearly twenty years since I last watched this series I think there is an air of closure to the show as Ken and Harry seem to take stock of their lives during this year and reflect of past mistakes and look ahead to future plans.

Although it has yet to be confirmed I would assume Network have included the episode 'Thieves Like Us' - a 'lost' episode of Boon which was not actually broadcast on ITV until 1995, some two & a half years after the show ended.

A greatly missed show and of course an even greater missed Michael Elphick. This farewell series of Boon is a must to watch.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 9, 2012 12:09 PM GMT

Boon - The Complete Series 6 [DVD]
Boon - The Complete Series 6 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael Elphick
Offered by A2ZSupplies
Price: £22.27

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Boon magic continues, 7 Mar. 2012
By 1991, Boon returned for it's sixth series but showed no signs of lagging in quality. Instead we get another 13 top weight episodes along with a 90 minute Christmas special (which is dedicated to the show's creator Bill Stair who passed away earlier that same year). Again all the cast are back - Ken, Harry, Rocky and Laura steer us through some really gripping sometimes action orientated episodes this time round. The guest stars are still lining up this year and the famous faces gracing us during this series are Bill Nighly, Christopher Eccleston, Don Henderson, Dennis Waterman, Peter Vaughan, James Nesbitt and Jill Gasgoine to name but a few. Like series four, this is another one of my favourite series of Boon. Well worth the money.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 12, 2016 11:54 PM BST

Boon - The Complete Fifth Series[DVD]
Boon - The Complete Fifth Series[DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael Elphick
Offered by A2ZSupplies
Price: £21.93

5.0 out of 5 stars Another quality series, 7 Mar. 2012
After an excellent fourth series which saw Boon relocate to a sunny Nottingham, the show returned for a fifth series in 1990. Again all the episodes here seem to gel pretty well and the cast - Michael Elphick, David Daker, Neil Morrisey and Elizabeth Carling are on fine form as ever. This series saw Ken and Harry form the Crawford Boon business partnership where Harry goes into the security business and Ken continues his private investigations. Like in previous years, there are nice collection of stories made all the more enjoyable by the various guest stars playing either clients or the intended targets. A great DVD package.

Bobby on the Run
Bobby on the Run
by Winston Bugle
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true insight into the world of the police internal affairs!, 7 Mar. 2012
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This review is from: Bobby on the Run (Paperback)
As someone from a strong police background I am always interested in books that offer an 'alternative' view of the British Police Service. David Copperfield's 'Wasting Police Time' is probably one of the best books I've read that give an accurate insight into the day to day role of a serving police constable. Another favourite book of mine is Michael Bunting's 'A Fair Cop' - the true story of a young police officer finding himself in jail just through doing his job.

Anyone who is a fan of these two titles should check out this particular book titled 'Bobby on the Run'. Very much similar in principle to 'A Fair Cop' although the story in this is ficticious with a tongue in cheek view. This book again was written by a once serving officer and his main purpose in this story is to expose the sometimes robust and unorthodox methods used by the Professional Standards Department/Branch. The PSD (or Internal Affairs) operate in every police force in the country and are a team of officers (normally highly skilled detectives from a CID background) who investigate other officers (the police policing themselves basically!). Many internal investigations arise as a result of complaints generated from members of the public or police officers themselves or high profile incidents where an need for impartiality is required (i.e. where someone has lost their life).

I have personally experienced the PSD and can relate very well to this book. They seem to operate with an approach that ALL officers ARE GUILTY until proven otherwise and the PSD will do whatever they can to prove it. The other ironic thing is that some PSD officers are themselves 'bad apples' with a shakey police background who seem to have overiden their own investigations in the past.

Sadly, I have seen many fine officers left broken and bitter by their experiences of the PSD. Many have left the job for other (better) forms of employment elsewhere. This book, even though a ficticious story with a escapism feel of a action adventure story has a strong message that the lives of any good spirited well meaning bobby can change forever after being subject to a complaint/investigation.

I would personally recommend this book to any serving or retired police officers as it is a brilliant read.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 1, 2013 8:52 AM BST

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