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on 30 November 2006
By Series 3 Dempsey & Makepeace was starting to show real depth - series 1 had some of the most hilarious police storylines ever broadcast on TV (sword fights in stately homes, fist fights while parachuting to earth, a ludicrously inauthentic drug-trafficking travestite... it goes on!), and series 2 went all out on the action (how many gunfights can you squeeze into an hour??), but it was sad to see this show end on this, series 3, some 20 years ago just as it seemed to be really finding it's feet...

By these final 10 episodes Dempsey had toned down his American bravado somewhat, and Makepeace was no longer simply the 'Saturday night totty' on ITV; we not only saw darker and more serious storylines - particularly the last handful of this final series - but also saw the real characters developing, and most importantly Makepeace finally seeming to be the truly excellent detective she was always meant to be (rather than simply Dempsey's decoration). Glynis Barber herself wrongly remembers that "Makepeace never ever saved Dempsey, it was always the other way around", but from the very first pilot episode where she guns down the hitman about to chop off Dempsey's head in the hotel kitchen (!) to the final episode on this series 3 boxset where *again* she guns down the hitman (this time in a pub!) who is about to blow Dempsey's head off, Barber remembers things completely the opposite of what really happened in the show (has she ever watched it back, we wonder?) - Makepeace saves the day, and saves Dempsey, with frequent regularity. There's much talk about D&M being very mysoginistic, but this was the 80's, but looking back at it now Makepeace was a very powerful character for it's time, remarkably cold (hardly the giggling bimbo) and often very calculating. Tokenistic, initially, but in the context of these sorts of 80's cop shows, she was always as casually violent and gun-toting as the next *man*.

No-one can ever accuse this show of taking itself too seriously, and elements of it are shameful (most notably some of the 'guest' stars, many of the plotlines, and some terrible continuity) but it was magnificent fun to watch every Saturday night, and I for one remember it extremely fondly. Considering it was one of the highest rating shows in the 80's, its also pretty scandalous that we are only now, 20 years later, seeing a full release, albeit of Granada's daytime 'edits' with well over half the episodes over the 3 series' being heavily edited, with this third boxset being wrongly labelled 'Complete & Uncut'. Still great though, and every 80's cop show fan HAS to have this series!!

With Glynis Barber about to appear as a detective again for the first time since Dempsey & Makepeace - albeit only slumming it in Emmerdale this Christmas - maybe there'll be a demand to bring back the "crime fighting duo"... okay, okay, with Glynis in her 50's and Brandon knocking on pensioner-age, the premise for a new version may have to be reworked slightly, but they do both look amazing for their respective ages!! I for one vote bring it back, 'cos it was itself criminal the way it was cut off in it's prime the first time around.

Charlie Five, over and out.
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VINE VOICEon 2 January 2007
Having viewed all 3 of these series on DVD now there are such obvious differences between them. Series one was the shaky start, technically and dramatically; series two was bedding in the characters and the mindlessly enjoyable blowing up of the streets of London; this third and final series was a confident and accomplished action drama in its own right.

The points to really stand this one out are:

This finally becomes Makepeace's series as much as Dempsey's. The drama, lines and action often tip in her favour, even against his harsh countering - they're still battling each other as much as the criminals. In particular, the episode Extreme Prejudice sees the sparks fly between them, and their professional relationship all but dissolves, with Dempsey throwing Makepeace around a police cell, and her angry retaliatory threat. Finally she gets to square up to him in a way that she wasn't able to in the other 2 series. Maybe something to do with their off-screen relationship? Or her growing confidence? Any road, it makes for great viewing.

Technically the show holds its own, with the acting, production and (most importantly) editing all tight - although the inadvertant appearance of the production assistant on his hands and knees shutting the door behind our two heroes in the Prizefighter episode is unforgiveable!

There's something odd about this series, as has been pointed out, erring as it does on the side of light relief, albeit in a heavy-handed way, rather than go for all out drama (the aforementioned Prizefighter could be easily forgotten; Mantrap could be done less for laughs), and the comedy-style incidental music in a number of episodes becomes a distraction. But I guess they had their reasons.

Finally, Ray Smith as Spikings seems to have lost some of his bite. He also looks a bit frail. Perhaps this was a foreshadowing of his untimely demise some 5 years after this last series?

In any case, the final episode, Guardian Angel, will leave you with a lump in your throat. The end of an era, fabulous drama, and the final admission by the two protagonists of their undeniable need for each other. Great stuff.
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VINE VOICEon 26 October 2006
In 1986 Dempsey and Makepeace returned for its third and final series. Despite generating the kind of audiences that would probably today see the programme being on air for most of the year, makers London Weekend television instead opted to put their money into a new fire drama London's Burning, following the success of Jack Rosential's one off television play about firefighters in the English capital city.
In contrast to series two - easily the best of the series made, the the third outing of Dempsey and Makepeace contains some of the weakest episodes. In particular Jericho Scam and The Prizefighter. The violence of the previous season has also been toned down and the humour has been increased. In The Prizefighter there is an attempt to inject some humour with a storyline about the boss Spiking on the trail of his wife's mini metro. This proves to be unfunny and with the added comedy music as teh car is chased, it embarassing to watch. The stronger episodes feature the return of Dempsey's nemesis, Keith Lyneman and in a very different type of episode, the duo are on the trail of a serial killer who is murdering women.
The two part opening episode The Burning is excellent, and features Dempsey's corrupt former New York Police boss Coltrane finally catching up with him. Although eagle eyes viewers may spot that this is not the man seen in the original episode. There is a great opening scene set in the bleak London docklands.
The final episode, directed by Michael Brandon is also very good. Brandon actually got to direct after a pettion from the crew. Here Makepeace resigns and a new female colleague played by Kate O'Mara is introduced.
This is certainly a dvd worth purchasing.
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on 16 March 2011
This excellent DVD box set collection of the cult-classic, British action-drama series, Dempsey And Makepeace, contains all of the third season. The series spanned three seasons, filmed between 1984-86. Anyone who enjoys a bit of nostalgia and classic 80's TV then this box set is most definitely for you, and for all fans of Dempsey And Makepeace, this is simply essential!



Disc one, and series three, begins with a two part story, The Burning, two of my very favourite episodes of the series where Dempsey's New York past finally catches up with him and his life becomes under threat by an old enemy. The complex relationship between Dempsey and Makepeace is touchingly drawn upon. Then Jericho Scam is where Dempsey is framed for a robbery and goes on the run.


The Prize Fighter is fun as the dynamite duo find themselves exploring the perils of illegal bare-knuckle fighting while Extreme Prejudice is one of the weaker episodes in the series where Dempsey is thrust into a life and death situation. Then Bird Of Prey sees Dempsey and Makepeace face their old enemy, Joe Lymon, who they hesitantly call upon for help following the kidnapping of a young girl.


This last disc is consistently excellent and some of the best in the series, particularly Out Of Darkness, which is indeed darker than usual as Makepeace trys to catch a serial murderer while The Cortez Collection features the investigation of a South American drugs gang. Mantrap sees Dempsey and Makepeace on the trail of a criminal mastermind and then finally disc three ends, and the series itself, with Guardian Angel when after seeing Dempsey nearly murdered, Makepeace decides to quit the force and her strong personal feelings for Dempsey are soon discovered. This excellent last episode also saw Michael Brandon move into the director's chair.

Among the special features in this third box set are two episodes of Takes Of The Unexpected alternately starring Michael Brandon and Glynis Barber, plus a vintage interview with Glynis Barber from 1987.

More than anything the overall electric chemistry between Michael brandon and Glynis Barber completely shines through and it's their engaging performances that really carry the series. Unlike a lot of other cop shows of the time, a lot of the reason why people watched and loved Dempsey and Makepeace was the often explosive interaction between the two leads. Though some of the plots were pretty wafer-thin and the action laughably far-fetched, again this is always redeemed by the enjoyable performances from Brandon and Barber. This dvd box set is certainly excellent value for money, attractively packaged and boasting good picture and sound quality. A must-have for fans.

Ian Phillips
March 2011
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on 5 February 2014
This comes with 3 individual DVDs. The 3rd DVD was so badly scratched that it was unreadable. The first two were fine and enjoyable.
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on 18 September 2016
Bought for my mentally handicapped son as he loves all the old tv series
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on 5 January 2016
Really pleased with dvds, quick delivery.
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on 30 August 2014
just as I expected.Very, very pleased.
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on 21 July 2014
very good fast sent out 10/10
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