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Jan Mulder "Jam" (Lowestoft, UK)

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Stan Lee's Lucky Man series 2 [DVD] [2017]
Stan Lee's Lucky Man series 2 [DVD] [2017]
Dvd ~ James Nesbitt
Price: £12.00

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A disappointing second season, 29 April 2017
When I heard that Lucky Man had been renewed for a second season, I was delighted. I had enjoyed every moment of the first series, and was dying to know the result of the killer cliffhanger at the end of the final episode. But, despite my elation, I was thoroughly disappointed with the second series. With the series having been somewhat 'handed over', with none of the writers from the first series returning for the second, the feel of the show is dramatically changed. Gone are the edgy moments of despair and rather unique cases, replaced with bog-standard run-of-the mill crimes and action scenes that are so predictable and boring that you can guess the ending just minutes into the episode.

Despite most of the cast returning for series two, the introduction of Isabella (Thekla Rauten) somewhat upsets the chemistry and charm of the dynamic. Although integral to the plot of this series, the character brings nothing to the table and simply proves to be downright annoying throughout every episode, to the point where I would consider fast-forwarding scenes in which she features. Another disappointing element of the story was the demise of Golding. Are we really expected to believe that after the crimes he committed in the first series, which included kidnapping, torture, murder, gun crime & fraud, that he is simply defeated by being beaten up and arrested? Further to that, he receives no further mention throughout the remainder of the series.

The only character who managed to grab my attention this series was Darren Boyd's DC Orwell. Having been demoted following his attempt to frame Harry in the first series, Orwell is now finding it hard to cope with Harry being his superior: but, struggles to escape the 'Better the Devil You Know' syndrome by rebuffing his original request of a transfer. Even Clayton seems flat this time; a clear example of why you should never mess with a winning formula. Possibly the best moment of all was Stan Lee's cameo in Episode 4, which says alot.

I'm not sure whether I would be interested to see a third series. The initial idea was exciting, unique to television and proved to be a success; but like too many films and TV series; the sequel proved to be nothing like the original.


The Brokenwood Mysteries - Season 1 (2DVD)
The Brokenwood Mysteries - Season 1 (2DVD)
Offered by SmokeCDs
Price: £16.99

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastically warm, cosy, entertaining murder-mystery drama, 8 April 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having recently discovered 'The Brokenwood Mysteries' on Drama, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I genuinely enjoyed it. Billed as New Zealand's answer to Midsomer Murders, each two-hour case features the amazing detective team of DSS Mike Shepherd (Neill Rea) and DC Kristin Sims (Fern Sutherland) as they investigate a highly complex and sometimes comical murder in the rural farming town of Brokenwood.

Neill Rea is fantastic as Shepherd. It's been a long time since I've grown to love a character so quickly, but his quirky yet dry performance makes Shepherd such a lovable character. With his love of country music and inability to stay married longer than five minutes, Shepherd is somewhat of a loner, who gets by with the help of his colleagues and close circle of friends. Fern Sutherland also does a great job as DC Sims. Sims is the exact opposite of Shepherd, so much so that some could describe them as lock and key. Despite having very little in common, and having known each other for all of five minutes, they seem to fit together so well.

There's a great little ensemble cast too - Shepherd's neighbour Jared, who always somehow manages to wind up getting involved in his investigations; DC Sam Breen, a junior detective who ends up being the butt of everyone's jokes; and Gina, a weird eccentric Russian pathologist who appears to have the hots for Shepherd. Combine these superb characters together, and you have a fantastically warm, cosy, entertaining murder-mystery drama.

In this series, Shepherd and Sims deal with the murder of a farmer; investigate when a wine critic is found dead in a fermenting vat; take on the case of a golf club owner who has been poisoned; and try to identify which member of a stag party ended up shooting the groom. Sadly the series isn't available on Region 2 DVD (yet), but if you do happen to get the chance to catch the series, I wholeheartedly recommend that you do. You will not be disappointed.


The Kettering Incident [DVD]
The Kettering Incident [DVD]
Dvd ~ Elizabeth Debicki
Price: £18.44

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Marmite of TV Drama, 8 April 2017
This review is from: The Kettering Incident [DVD] (DVD)
'The Kettering Incident' could be described as the Marmite of TV drama. You either love it, or you hate it. There is nowhere in-between. I however, have to say, that it has been one of my favourite TV dramas of the year so far.

Let me set the scene. Kettering, 2000. A young fifteen-year-old girl, Gillian Baxter, disappears whilst playing in the forest with her friend, Anna. Sixteen years later, Anna returns to Kettering to uncover the truth about what happened that night. However, shortly after her arrival, another young girl, Chloe Holloway, disappears in identical circumstances and is later found dead, having been murdered. A spotlight is immediately thrown on Anna's short-lived relationship with Chloe, but in a town plagued with secrets, lies and deception, she finds that she is not the only suspect.

As the series progresses, Anna delves deeper into Kettering's past. Although strange and unexplainable phenomena come thick and fast, and there are plot holes as wide as the Channel Tunnel, it's clear that the whole point of the first series is to create a bridge to the second. Although few questions are answered by the season finale, each episode immediately leaves you wanting more. Early on, you get the feel that 'The Kettering Incident' is a story that could easily be set over multiple seasons.

The series boasts a superb ensemble cast, headed by Elizabeth Debicki (known best for her role as Jed Marshall in 'The Night Manager'). Debicki plays the part of Anna with a haunting air of intrigue and mystery. Ben Oxenbould (The Code, Deep Water) also does a great job as the slimy Craig Grayson. 'The Kettering Incident' could be described as the Australian cousin of 'Fortitude' (UK) or 'Outcast' (US). So if you like a bit of murder mystery mixed with sprinklings of horror and science fiction, then this series is definitely for you. If you like your murder mysteries a little more traditional, then this would perhaps be one to avoid. I, however, cannot wait for the second season.


Prime Suspect 1973 [DVD] [2016]
Prime Suspect 1973 [DVD] [2016]
Dvd ~ Stefanie Martini
Offered by RnR World
Price: £14.99

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New Beginnings?, 29 Mar. 2017
Lynda La Plante is what you could describe as a legend of British writing. Her novels and television series have defined an era of the crime genre. So when it was revealed that she was walking away from this project over "creative differences", we all knew that someone, somewhere along the line had tried to substantially change the fundamental core elements of a La Plante drama. From the original "Prime Suspect" to "Trial and Retribution" and "The Commander", the La Plante genre is defined by hardened, tough, ballsy characters. Don't get me wrong, this is meant to be a prequel, and Tennison's ego would only have grown over time, but is it that plausible to believe that she went from being such a wet weekend, scatty enough to have it off with her boss to being the hard nosed, tough detective that she eventually became? A step too far methinks.

There are two main flaws with PS1973 - that the portrayal of Tennison shows little similarities with her older counterpart, and that the story does not focus entirely on Tennison. In one episode, she appears so little that you could consider her to be a secondary character. The whole point of a prequel of this nature is to show the evolution of the character, and for that character to be the central focus point (most of the time). Saying that, the plot is the overall saving factor of this production. Although the first few episodes were a tad slow, by Episode 4 the tension seems to have grown somewhat, and the final two episodes appear to be a saving grace.

Initially, the plot is also very mismatch. Two cases are investigated across the six-part series: the murder of a prostitute and an armed robbery committed by career criminal Clifford Bentley. Although the two cases appear unconnected, the final episode brings about a satisfying conclusion which ties everything together. Although, this is an area where I believe the show-writers need to tread with caution. The original 'Prime Suspect' worked on a case-by-case basis and did not play out over multiple episodes. The writers & producers need to ensure that future series are a little more 'padded out'. Although I still can't picture Martini as a young Tennison, in it's own right, the series did enough in it's closing stages to satisfy me. So while it's not the worst opening series, it certainly could have been a better. I honestly believe that there is so much more that could be done with this series, and that a second series may give it the chance to really shine.


Broadchurch - Series 3 [DVD]
Broadchurch - Series 3 [DVD]
Dvd ~ David Tennant
Price: £13.00

17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Broadchurch We All Know and Love, 29 Mar. 2017
This review is from: Broadchurch - Series 3 [DVD] (DVD)
Series two was kind of a weird enigma for Broadchurch. From a first series that had cemented itself in the minds of the majority of the British population, Broadchurch was left hanging by a thread. The series had sadly fell victim to the 'difficult second series syndrome'. The fundamental flaw with series two was that it focused too much on continuing the storylines of series one. Here, although there are echoes of the series' origins, writer Chris Chibnall has effectively gone back to basics and brought back the key element which had everybody initially hooked: a classic whodunit.

Gone are the memories of the tragic second series, and three years on, the lives of the Broadchurch residents are somewhat back to normal. That is, until one night, a party at a stately home on the edge of town is rocked by a brutal and vicious rape. The victim, Trish Winterman (Julie Hesmondhalgh) is portrayed as an unlikely victim, a mid-40s single mother with few social ties to the community. Like the first series, a list of possible suspects soon begin to emerge and as a viewer, suspicion begins to fall far and wide.

Although billed as the final chapter, this series feels like a new beginning. Writing this review after Episode 5, with three episodes to air, it still feels like that the investigation, and the lives of the Broadchurch residents that we have come to know and love are far from over. Sometimes, it is better to abandon a failing idea that to continue to disappoint viewers. Although it feels weird being the last in a 'trilogy' of series, having virtually little relation to it's predecessors, it feels like it was the right thing to do to end the series on a high. Finally, their must be praise for Tennant and Colman who continue to provide an acting masterclass as mismatched detectives Alec Hardy and Ellie Miller.


Father Brown Series 5 [DVD]
Father Brown Series 5 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Mark Williams
Price: £19.99

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hats off to another excellent series!, 26 Jan. 2017
This review is from: Father Brown Series 5 [DVD] (DVD)
I love Father Brown. It's one of my favourite 'cosy' detective dramas. Mark Williams portrays Father Brown with a subtle yet determined passion. He has an excellent variety of crimes to investigate in this series, all while attempting to deal with the bumbling Inspector Mallory (Jack Deam) who always somehow manages to arrest the wrong person. Thank god that his trusty second in command, Sgt Goodfellow (John Burton) is a little more screwed on and is often on hand to help Father Brown find the real culprit. This series sees the introduction of Bunty Windermere, Lady Felicia's wayward niece. Bunty (Emer Kenny) brings some much needed gusto and light humour to the series and works as a great counterpart for the ever pleasant Mrs. McCarthy (Sorcha Cusack).

This series sees Father Brown investigate a number of interesting crimes including a murder connected to the Kembleford mobile library, the macabre world of dollhouse crime scenes, strange goings on at a Gentleman's club and of course the return of his most feared enemy, M. Hercule Flambeau. Despite being the joint longest season so far (along with season 3), there's plenty here for old and new fans of Father Brown to get their teeth into. With a more refined main cast of Williams, Deam, Burton, Kenny and Cusack, the series seems to have finally hit it's stride, with an equal amount of character development for each of the characters.

Father Brown definitely has plenty more in the tank for further seasons and I hope that the current cast are retained for another run.


The Coroner: Series 2 [DVD]
The Coroner: Series 2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Claire Goose
Price: £22.66

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you loved Series One, Series Two will blow your socks off, 6 Dec. 2016
This review is from: The Coroner: Series 2 [DVD] (DVD)
I am honestly very surprised by the other reviews for this series of 'The Coroner'. Having loved the first series, I was on tenterhooks to see the second series. And it didn't disappoint. While the stories this series were perhaps grittier than the first, the chemistry between the main cast remains as strong as ever. For the first time, we get to see the complex history behind Davey and Jane's former relationship and the odd spark between the pair hints towards the possibility a rekindled romance, perhaps setting out the stall for the third series.

Once again, murders, deaths and even a robbery or two bring together Coroner Jane Kennedy (Claire Goose) and DS Davey Higgins (Matt Bardock) as they investigate the residents of the tight knit community of Lighthaven. Once again, Jane is assisted by her loyal employee Clint (Oliver Gomm) whilst trying to keep teenage tearaway Beth (Grace Hogg-Robinson) under control. Meanwhile, Jane's mum Judith (Beatie Edney) and boyfriend Mick (Ivan Kaye) also continue to interfere in her private life, signing her up to a dating site, and even entangling her in the investigation into the death of Mick's rival landlord.

Every one of the 45 minute stories are self-contained, well-paced and cleverly written. Each will keep you guessing until the very end. There is also an array of well-known guest stars in the series, and perhaps one or two to keep an eye out for. As previously mentioned, some of the stories in this series are a little heavier than the last, but the beautiful backdrops of Devon and Cornwall, alongside the great chemistry of the cast, make for an amazingly crafted second series. I would go as far to say that the second series outweighs the first by miles. Worthy of a primetime slot. Here's hoping a third season will follow in 2017.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 7, 2016 5:48 PM GMT


Jack Taylor: Series 3 [DVD]
Jack Taylor: Series 3 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Iain Glen
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £11.98

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More excellent stories for the Galway private eye, 26 Nov. 2016
This review is from: Jack Taylor: Series 3 [DVD] (DVD)
Having only recently discovered Jack Taylor, he's fast become one of my favourite television detectives. Having never seen Iain Glen in a starring role, I was pleasantly surprised to find that his portrayal of the drinking, smoking and generally car-crash former Garda detective was addictive. I whizzed through series one and two within a week in preparation for series three.

Series three, however, brings some changes. Nora Jane Noone and Killian Scott are gone. This time, Jack is assisted by Darragh Noonan (Jack Monaghan), Kate's cousin, with Kate this time being played by Siobhan O'Kelly. The stories are also a tad lighter than before. Gone are the dark, gritty Galway streets and in are the sweeping scenes of the sunrise across Ireland's coast. Also, notably, gone is the odd segments of narration provided by Glen as a backdrop. Taylor is also initially a little more light-hearted than before, but soon slips back into his old ways. It's weird seeing Kate - now being played by an older actress - become Taylor's lover, having seemed more like a daughter to him in the first two series - but it's interesting to see how the complex web of relationships continues to grow.

The three stories - Cross, Headstone and Purgatory (erroneously broadcast as Blood Cross, Nemesis and Purgatory) - are again 90 minutes long. Each has plenty of action to keep you hooked throughout. You soon get used to the new characters and realise that despite the changes, the series is just as addictive as before. Glen's performance as Taylor is simply perfect once again and I hope that a fourth series will get the greenlight. Bravo.


Stan Lee's Lucky Man - Series 1 [DVD] [2016]
Stan Lee's Lucky Man - Series 1 [DVD] [2016]
Dvd ~ James Nesbitt
Price: £10.80

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent stuff from Nesbitt and Co, 26 Nov. 2016
I didn't watch Lucky Man the first time around. The element of a 'Lucky Bracelet' in a police drama seemed be to a genre crossover too far. But on the re-run, I decided to give it a go. And boy, I was pleased.

DI Harry Clayton (Nesbitt) is a typical, down on his luck detective. Compulsive gambler. His DS, Suri Chohan, is his saving voice. His boss, Winter (Steven Mackintosh) hates him, and is looking for any excuse to nail his head to the wall. His fellow ranking officer, DI Orwell (Darren Boyd) is desperate to see the back of Clayton in order to become top dog. But Clayton has one thing on his side - a lucky bracelet given to him by Eve (Sienna Guilory). At first, Clayton isn't sure of his latest asset, but in time comes to realise he can use it to his own advantage.

The series has a fantastic blend of fast paced stories and fascinating characters. It seems just the beginning of a long complex tale for Clayton and the team and i'm pleased to hear a second series is on the way. This is the fourth series i've watched recently with Nesbitt as the star and he's starting to become one of my favourite actors on television. His ability to play any given character to the letter is superb.

Definitely worth a watch if you haven't seen it yet.


Ordinary Lies - Series 2 [DVD] [2016]
Ordinary Lies - Series 2 [DVD] [2016]
Dvd ~ Con O'Neill
Offered by A2Z Entertains
Price: £8.63

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent second series from Danny Brocklehurst!, 26 Nov. 2016
If you caught the first series of 'Ordinary Lies', you won't be disappointed by series two. Tales of hidden cameras, social media addiction, costume superheroes, domestic violence and distant family take centre stage as the series looks at the employees of Coopers, a sports warehouse in Cardiff.

This series boasts a stellar cast - from company boss Jenna (Angela Griffin) to office manager Joe (Con O'Neill) and warehouse manager Toke (Joel Fry). Stories also focus on warehouse operatives Fletch (Matt Di Angelo) and Wendy (Rebekah Staton) as well as office PA Holly (Kimberley Nixon). Luke Bailey, Jill Halfpenny and Griff Rhys Jones also play prominent roles in the series.

Although the show has lost some of the sparkle from the first series, particularly because of the outstanding performances of the main cast, you will soon settle into the new setting and want to see more from each of the characters as the series progresses. Particular episodes that stand out for me are Episode 3 - Toke's Story, and Episode 1 - Joe's Story.

Like the first series, there seems plenty more room for stories featuring these characters. Overall another excellent series.


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