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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Messiah : Complete BBC Series 1 & 2 [2001] [DVD]
Format: DVD|Change
Price:£6.00+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 10 June 2017
Great Dvd
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on 25 July 2017
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on 5 May 2004
BBC's answer to Prime Suspect (it took some time coming!) does not disappoint. Ken Stott's abrasive Red Metcalfe is superbly supported by a gritty and plausible cast (although Edward Woodward disappoints - he seems to think he's in an Omen movie or reliving the Wicker Man). The plot has enough twists, turns and surprises to prove enormously engaging right up to and including the finale (which is mercifully and realistically brief). If watching with someone else, you'll be forever swapping theories and observations. The extras on the DVD make this a no-brainer purchase, particularly at this ludicrously low price. Frightening, gripping, disturbing (surprised it's a 15, not an 18) and rewatchable at least three times. One word of advice though - resist the temptation to watch both episodes in a single sitting. Just like Prime Suspect, the climax of the first part is so compelling and the information and clues come so thick and fast that you'll enjoy the experience much more if you spread it over two evenings. Buy this classic immediately!
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on 26 February 2010
Like another reviewer we bought this DVD without having seen it or knowing a great deal about it other than the reviews on Amazon. Yes, both 1 and 2 are very good although if you are unduly bothered by plot flaws there appear to be a fair few of them. I won't give the details as it is impossible without ruining it for those who have not seen it but if you think about the plot there are things that are quite unrealistic. Some of the twists have clearly been invented just for the sake of a twist and the overall logic of Messiah 2 is a bit strained to say the least. Otherwise I'd have given it 5 stars. My only real gripe is how does a story split into two episodes of just over an hour qualify as a series? All five Messiahs together, yes, that would qualify but just one? Why do we accept such obvious marketing propaganda? Messiah 1 isn't a series, it is a film adaptation of a good book that would run for about 2hrs 40 mins if it wasn't split into two episodes. Messiah 2 is the same.
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on 21 October 2003
This two part drama is amazing. The plot is so clever and twisted it will keep you guessing right up to the end.
Many people compare this to the film seven, for obvious reasons. I saw this drama before being lent seven by a friend and i have to say i found this far creepier than the film, infact seven is almost a family movie compared to the horror that lurks in this macarbe drama.
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on 7 April 2003
If you suffer from a nervous disposition and/or you are squeamish, look away now, as this chilling tale of serial murder contains more blood and gore than you can shake a machete at.
The remarkable Ken Stott leads a team of baffled London police officers through a maze of bodies and theories, while simultaneously battling ghosts from his own troubled past. Questions and debates rage throughout; why does the killer change his weapon for each murder, what links a dead chef to a bishop and a soldier, and how can they trace a killer who leaves not one single piece of evidence behind?
This is a visually disturbing and mostly faithful re-creation of the images from the novel by Boris Starling, although certain changes have been made. An interesting decision to make DCI Metcalfe's wife profoundly deaf, but American actress Michelle Forbes carries it off beautifully. Ken Stott's performance is as powerful as ever; the chemistry between Metcalfe and his estranged brother Eric is so intense it's almost uncomfortable, and Neil Dudgeon excels as the character you'll love to hate.
Admittedly, the script is not particularly kind to Frances Grey. ("There's something in there", she groans during one scene. Well gee, you don't say!) However, she makes the best of fairly limited character material.
"Messiah" is far, far more than your average 'whodunnit'. The concepts it tackles are both clever and thought-provoking. If you've read the book, you can sit back and enjoy feeling smug. If you haven't, this controversial and thrilling drama will keep you guessing right until the end.
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VINE VOICEon 28 June 2006
Messiah 1 & 2. Such an interesting offering from the BBC and Paramount. It's really well written, well acted and well shot. The international market ensured there was a need for London buses and a few famous landmarks to denote place. One of it's failings is the communication of time/season. In the Boris Starling book (incidently the author makes an appearence as Bartholomew) there is an acute sense of seasonal change and the oppressive heat of a summer in London- it's a minor gripe. It's such a clever, taut filmic style BBC series.
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on 7 September 2005
what an unbelievably good series, after being converted to the Messiah series by friends just in time for the fourth series recently shown on BBC television. It was a must to go to Amazon and pick up series one and two.
No plot give always and I will recommend going back and watching it all over again. Not to say its hard to follow, but some of the subtle scripting works on so many levels once you know who it is perpetrating the murders.
Great, Rent it now!
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on 3 May 2004
this film is summed up in one word fantastic! the plot is so clever it keeps you guessing right til the very end of it! fantastic performances from all members of the cast especailly Jamie Draven! who plays Jez Clifton brilliantly! excellent but if your squemish be warned its not for the faint hearted but excellent well worth it im glad i bought the dvd
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 24 August 2012
London, summertime, and a serial murderer is at large, killing his victims in brutal ways and leaving a silver spoon in the mouths as his calling card. What links the victims? Detective Superintendent Red Metcalfe (Ken Stott) assembles a top team and attempts to halt the bloodshed as he simultaneously tries to keep the ghosts in his past from submerging his investigation.

Directed by Diarmuid Lawrence and co-adapted to screenplay by Boris Starling (from his own novel) and Lizzie Mickery, Messiah is formed in two parts. Firstly is The First Killings, then The Reckoning. Originally shown over two nights on BBC in 2001, Starling's source proves to be excellently unnerving stuff that translates very well to the screen. The comparisons with David Fincher's Se7en were inevitable, though a touch lazy and unfair given the different worlds they operate in, both cinematically as budgets, and as setting and protagonists portrayals.

Lawrence's film has so much going for it to make it an essential viewing for fans of serial killer based thrillers. It has all the key elements in place. The murders are most distressing, with us often having to witness the aftermath of the crimes and thus having to fill in the blanks (urgh). The mystery element is constantly strong, with the makers slowly dripping in clues as to the killer's motives, and then for the second half it becomes a race against time before the genuinely surprising reveal and denouement. The acting is first rate, with Stott (playing an interesting and unique hero), Jamie Draven and Michelle Forbes particularly impressive in tricky roles.

The investigative group dynamic is a troubled one, which adds spice to the investigation. Metcalfe has a stormy past that keeps rearing its head to affect his detecting, while his marriage to deaf Susan (Forbes) is coming increasingly under pressure, more so the deeper he gets into the case. DI Duncan Warren (Neil Dudgeon) has a gambling problem, at war with his ex-wife and fighting a losing battle to get quality time with his estranged son, and young pups D.S. Clifton (Draven) and D.S. Beauchamp (Frances Grey) have taken an inappropriate liking to each other. Into the mix is the gutter press and Art Malik's Boss Emerson is stomping around like a bear with a sore head.

Messiah is not without faults, one of the decisions taken by the killer just beggars belief, while there is one leap of faith (hrr hrr hrr) required to buy into the meticulous aspect of said killer's ultimate goal. But this is great skin itching stuff, a prestigious production that shows the better side of the BBC as Grand Guignol and British drama fuse together handsomely. 9/10
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