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Editorial Reviews

Based on the novels by Kate Atkinson

"Splendid" --The Guardian (U.K.)
"Perfectly entertaining" --The Independent (U.K.)

Jackson Brodie (Golden Globe® nominee Jason Isaacs, Harry Potter, The Patriot) used to be a soldier in the British army and then an officer in the Lothian and Borders Police. Now the tough detective has turned private investigator, compelled to bring peace to victims and their families. Based in Edinburgh, the good-hearted Brodie finds himself looking into everything from lost cats to wayward spouses and killers on the run. He does a lot of running himself, partly to unwind from the stresses of his work, but mostly to escape the memories of his own traumatic past.

Seen on Masterpiece Mystery, this "more than successful adaptation" (The Guardian, U.K.) of Kate Atkinson’s award-winning novels also stars Amanda Abbington (Agatha Christie’s Poirot), Natasha Little (Vanity Fair), Phil Davis (Vera Drake), and Keith Allen (Robin Hood). Created for television by Ashley Pharaoh of Life on Mars, this character-driven drama features sharp scripts and an outstanding lead performance by Isaacs, all set against the ruggedly beautiful Scottish scenery.

Special Features

BONUS Behind-the-scenes featurette
SDH subtitles

Product Details

  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: November 8, 2011
  • Run Time: 347 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005K8QIS0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,816 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

136 of 139 people found the following review helpful By Dr Mike C on October 12, 2011
Format: DVD
I thoroughly enjoyed watching this series. The acting is quite good, and the cast consists of many veteran UK actors who are recognizable from other dramas. The series is well written. It weaves together multiple investigations within each story line. For example, the first drama consists of three investigations, as well as developments in the private life of the main protagonist, Jason Isaacs. I watched the UK episodes without captions and the PBS episodes with captions, and the use of captions greatly helped me understand the dialogue. I strongly urge using the subtitles.

The structure used by the BBC in broadcasting this series was to air twin one-hour episodes on consecutive nights; resulting in a single drama consisting of approximately one-hour and 55 minutes. The only problem that I have with this structure is that you have a climax in the middle of the drama, which seems unnecessary when the two episodes are viewed back to back (as opposed to on consecutive nights.)

Beginning next week, PBS will start to show these dramas in two-hour blocks (the twin UK episodes joined together). When watching the series, keep in mind that PBS has redacted approximately 5 minutes or so in order to fit the episode into the allocated time slot. The DVD, which is not produced by PBS, contains the full UK episodes. The 5 minutes or so cut are substantive (e.g., (i)in the first drama - scene where father abuses daughter is drastically cut, and (ii) in the third drama, the kidnapped victim's escape is drastically cut), and don't include the additional non-substantive cuts (e.g., one set of credits and titles, as well as the scene at the start of the second hour of the drama that remind the audience of what transpired on the previous night).
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75 of 79 people found the following review helpful By H. Schneider on September 30, 2011
Format: DVD
We all know that film adaptations of books are rarely up to the mark. There are exceptions.
Kate Atkinson has written some superior crime novels around English private investigator Jackson Brody, a former police man. The novel called Case Histories has him involved in 3 diverse cases at the same time, all related to mysteries about missing or dead girls.
A little girl has disappeared 30 years ago. Now her father has died and the girl's sisters find her Blue Mouse toy in father's desk.
A young girl starts an internship in her father's law firm. On her first day in office, a man shows up with a knife, kills her, and disappears.
While a woman is in jail for murdering her husband, her little girl disappears from foster care.
Lots of problems for Brody.
This is the only book of hers that I read myself. My daughter tells me that her others are also good.
A BBC series with 6 episodes based on 3 of Atkinson's Brody novels has been produced and shown on TV in summer 2011. This is brand-new stuff. I watched it with my wife and I was very impressed. If you like the genre, you will appreciate this as top of the class. The production added some local charisma by transferring the location from somewhere in England to more remarkable Edinburgh, with all the available options on the language side.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J. Janssen on December 30, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I originally saw this on Masterpiece Mystery and really enjoyed it. I particularly liked the converging plot lines and the inspired casting. After ordering the DVD set and watching the six episodes (the original Brit series was shot as a six part 1 hour TV series, but shown on PBS as two edited 2 hour episodes) my opinion was reinforced with the observation that the major ingredients of a successful series had been met. If it was intended just to be a one off cinema production I would have given it 5 stars. However, if viewed as a longer term series it has some problems.

I can't think of one Brit crime series that has gone on to achieve broad popularity that doesn't have the lead protagonist ensconced in a structured environment or "family". Morse, Lewis, Barnaby, Foyle, Rebus and Frost all had a support system where they could play against their "intellectually inferior" co-workers or rail against the constraints of their organization. Sherlock had the same in his Watson and Poirot had his "posse" of hanger-ons. American crime shows are even more locked into this formulae; just witness NYPD Blue, Law & Order, The Closer, etc. If you go back in time to where televised "Private Eye" fiction was more the norm that it is today even the self employed P.I. had his stable screen family to keep him grounded or, at the very least, dealing with conflict issues that added to the character and subplot of these serialized scripts (Rockford/Magnum). However, those PI feature length films that starred the lone wolf rarely made the grade. Witness the great literary detectives of the 50's and 60's, Lew Harper and Travis McGee. While the books were serial best sellers for the authors (Ross MacDonald & John D. MacDonald) the movies were mediocre at best.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By grizzlyproject on May 11, 2012
Case Histories is an engrossing drama. Jackson Brodie (Jason Isaacs) is a former police officer now on his own as a private detective. While the story unfolds through the structure of a detective story, it is anything but. It is a character-driven drama with a complex character -- Jackson Brodie-- at its center. Intelligent writing, character-driven plot within the detective frame -- it's great. I keep watching for when more are coming! Bring them on, please!!!
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