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Cracker - Series 2

40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Second in a series of three DVD releases of the popular PBS Mystery series; including 9 hours of programming. Robbie Coltrane's outstanding creation of 'Fitz', in the PBS series Cracker 1 continues his journey as a criminal psychologist in three more episodes: To be a Somebody, The Big Crunch, and Men Should Weep. 'Fitz' combats personal crises and professional challenges when racism, religion, and murder get in his way.

Amazon.com

Cracker: Series 1 was fine--a terrific premiere and two interesting sequels introduced freelance police psychologist Eddie "Fitz" Fitzgerald (Robbie Coltrane) and his family and colleagues—but series 2 is unexpectedly and vastly superior. The three miniseries included on these discs are exemplary thrillers (even better than the first trio), but the real leap forward is in the stories' deepening complexity and fascinating intertwining of Fitz's strained relationships and work.

"To Be a Somebody" begins where series 1 left off. Fitz and his wife, Judith (Barbara Flynn), and two kids are living together again, but the rotund profiler--still juggling multiple addictions to booze, gambling, nicotine, and overall self-destructiveness--is on a new, downward spiral. His name is also mud with Detective Chief Inspector Bilborough (Christopher Eccleston) and would-be lover and police detective Jane "Panhandle" Penhaligon (Geraldine Somerville). But a series of class-anger killings by a psychotic welder-turned-skinhead pulls Fitz into a case so disastrous that every major and minor character is profoundly affected. Portraying the murderer, Robert Carlyle (Trainspotting) is brilliant, as terrifying and sympathetic as Taxi Driver's Travis Bickle.

The emotional and dramatic fallout of "To Be Somebody" carries over to "The Big Crunch," in which Fitz's relationship with Jane intensifies while he pursues a religious cult that may be responsible for a girl's abduction. The final story, "Men Should Weep," concerns an investigation into an unnerving string of rapes by a masked, mutilated cab driver. More startling is a link between these crimes and eruptive events in the lives of Fitz, Judith, Jane, and thickheaded, thorn-in-the-side copper Jimmy Beck (Lorcan Cranitch). A breathtaking climax and shocking, cliffhanger ending make "Men Should Weep" a must-see for thriller fans. --Tom Keogh


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Christopher Eccleston, Edward Peel, Geraldine Somerville, Colin Tierney, Robert Carlyle
  • Directors: Charles McDougall, Jean Stewart, Julian Jarrold, Michael Winterbottom, Richard Standeven
  • Writers: Jimmy McGovern
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Hbo Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 24, 2004
  • Run Time: 468 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000X2EU6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,479 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cracker - Series 2" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 30, 2003
Format: DVD
File "Cracker" series two under that rare category of "Great Television Seasons of All-Time."
The second season of Cracker picks up a short while after the events of series one. On the personal front, Fitz and his wife are still coping with their marriage issues while at the same time he deals with a rather put-out Jane Penhaligon and the affair that wasn't. On the professional front, the gambling debts weigh a little heavier as Fitz finds his police work curbed courtesy of a standing grudge between himself and DCI Bilborough over their last case together.
Into these lives come three extraordinary stories and a cast of characters that will irreversibly change the course of events in Fitz's world. The first story, "To Be A Somebody", is considered the strongest of all three seasons. It features a tour de force performance by Robert Carlyle of "Trainspotting" fame in a teleplay that discourses vitriolically on themes of immigration, family, and class warfare. The second story, "The Big Crunch", features Jim Carter (Brassed Off) and Samantha Morton (Minority Report) in a melancholy tale of greys in the decidedly black and white world of organized religion. The final story of the season, "Men Should Weep" offers no denouement and no respite, a powerful and personal story that will leave you waiting breathlessly for the release of series three.
Through all the tales of crime and punishment, the story of Fitz and his life is interweaved. The beauty of the show, indeed its greatest strength, is in how seemlessly that story is told and how it manages to compliment the overarching plot of each episode. "Cracker" is as good as television gets, and season two is the very best of a great series.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By the horse's mouth on December 15, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is one of the best series television has ever produced. Dr. "Fitz" Fitzgerald (Robbie Coltrane) is as reprehensible and great psychologist as ever in this terrific 2nd series. All 3 stories are well played and well written. Some terrific performances by future star character actors, Robert Carlyle and Samantha Morton. I think the standout is the first story of three episodes, "To be a Somebody". Robert Carlyle is outstanding in this, arguably, the best episode of the series.

As far as the DVD set is concerned, it's nicely boxed, but if looking for extras, you won't find any. Nonetheless, anyone with an interest in British TV, you can't go wrong with this fantastic series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 11, 2009
Format: DVD
This review is about the episode 'To Be Somebody', which is available separately in the UK. I first watched this when it aired in 1994. It was the first episode of Cracker I watched and I thought it was fantastic. I was only 20. Add the best part of 15 years and I've finally watched it again... So now what do I make of it?

I'm surprised I didn't come back to this sooner. Coltrane is perfect as Fitz. Many have tried to play the angry, hard-drinking detective but nobody comes within a country mile of this acid-tongued colossus. He is hilarious at times, genius, tragic and brutal at others. A chain-smoking, workaholic, alocoholic, womanizer who also likes an 'occasional' flutter. Add to that, the utterly convincing performance of Robert Carlyle as psychotic skin headed killer, Albie Kinsella; the beautiful and poignant writing of Jimmy McGovern; and a rock-solid supporting cast (including a great Christopher Eccleston, Ricky Tomlinson and sultry Geraldine Somerville as `Panhandle') and it is pretty incomparable.

If you like crime dramas and haven't seen Cracker, get this episode, you'll probably buy the boxset. If, like me, you thought it was good at the time but have forgotten just how good, do yourself a favour and give it another go, you won't be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paula on April 12, 2007
Format: DVD
From BBC,another terrific series. As good as Prime Suspect, it's about the on-going core characters - all with their own psychological quirks, strengths and weaknesses as well as the crimes they need to solve.

Great acting, writing. Suspenseful.

Now waiting for series 3, 1 & 2 are definately keepers!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Goodhead on July 23, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Cracker is an amazing series. Although sometimes a little slow to get you into the story, there is always a point to it. The stories can also be a little depressing too. If you are looking for something lighthearted, turn away. If you want a good gritty series to get into, buy this!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Straight-8 on June 1, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Brilliant and gripping drama. Robbie Coltrane is perfectly cast as the brilliant criminal psychologist with a ironically disastrous personal life. My partner usually can't concentrate for five minutes, but she's glued to the screen whenever Cracker is on.
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Not that it becomes an unwatchably bad show after this point, it doesn't by any means. There are still some great stories, especially in the third series, but as far as this set goes...'To Be a Somebody' outshines the others in a lot of ways. But, then again, that was also the point when they started having another writer coming in.
First of all, the story of 'To Be a Somebody' is complex, emotional, and it rides on the same concept of humanity, and logic that made previous episodes so successful and brilliant. 'Cracker' manages to take a character, show you the character, and then delve under the skin of the character and show you their workings. It's all about the psychology of the characters, going along with Fitz's speciality. All the characters, no matter how unlikeable or seemingly cruel, are still completely human and sympathetic. You know why they're doing what they're doing, and you know why they think what they're doing is "right", in their minds.
The fact that you can sympathise with these criminal characters, but still realise that they are not good people, is the strongest, most horrifying trait of the 'Cracker' series up to this point. After 'To Be a Somebody', this quality is a little bit lost. Though the stories are still good, and the acting still remarkable, the later episodes just don't hold up with the earlier ones.
But I'm getting off course. Another remarkable thing about the episode 'To Be a Somebody' is the acting. All the characters go through some unbelievable emotional turbulence, and the acting is brilliant. And then, of course, there's Robert Carlyle in the role of the criminal, who manages to steal the show despite the already remarkably strong casting. Every scene with him is just mesmerising--he does unbelievably well in the role.
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