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no subtitles, fewer extras and recycled US stories
on 4 March 2011
Law and Order UK season 3 gives us 7 episodes on 2 discs.
We see the main cast return in its entirety with the "Law" represented by Ronnie Brooks (Bradley Walsh), Matt Devlin (Jamie Bamber) and their boss Natalie Chandler (Dame Harriet Walter); and the "Order" being represented by James Steel (Ben Daniels), Alesha Phillips (Freema Agyeman) and their boss George Castle (Bill Patterson).
Once again the series is merely a remake of US Law and Order episodes "adapted" for the UK.
"Broken" - 46 minutes - taken from US episode 2, season 10 (1999) "Killerz"
"Hounded" - 46 minutes - US episode 18, season 7 (1997) "Mad Dog"
"Defence" - 46 minutes - US episode 21, season 6 (1996) "Pro Se"
"Confession" - 46 minutes - US episode 20, season 5 (1995) "Bad Faith"
"Survivor" - 46 minutes - US episode 8, season 9 (1998) "Punk"
"Masquerade" - 45 minutes - US episode 3, season 7 (1996) "Good Girl"
"Anonymous" - 46 minutes - US episode 18, season 8 (1996) "Stalker"
The acting is of a good standard with Bradley Walsh out shining the others; which makes the recycling of these American stories all the more disappointing. Each episode is so familiar that it is like watching a repeat rather than watching a "new series" and this left me with a disappointed feeling.
The extras with this series have been reduced to 3 items. They are:
- "From Dawn `til Dusk" - a 13 minute mini documentary with the cast and notable for Bradley Walsh bemoaning the difficulties of filming on the streets of London and fans wanting to meet him when they are filming.
- Playback UK trailer - 1 minute 10 seconds of the production company pushing its catalogue.
- Commentary for episode 6 "Masquerade"
I am, personally, getting a little fed up with this lazy TV. We have talented writers in this country who I'm sure would jump at the chance to write for this series. It is especially galling when you realise that the murder in the first episode "Broken" is based on the UK Mary Bell case.
Once again there are NO SUBTITLES or audio description available, and I have to wonder why. The RNID estimate that the total number of deaf and hard of hearing people in the UK is approximately 8,945,000. The RNIB say that there are around 370,000 people who are registered blind and another (approximately) 2 million who are losing their sight. That's over 11 million people who might have been interested in watching the show but have been completely snubbed by the production company. It is especially annoying when you realise that subtitles had been available when the programmes were first broadcast.
At the beginning of the discs is a "thank you" for purchasing the DVD and "supporting your film and television industry" however, from my point of view, a better thank you would be to give us original episodes with subtitles, audio description and more extras.