DCI Banks: Aftermath
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64 of 65 people found the following review helpful
Unlike my fellow Amazon Top 100 reviewer, K Harris (whose reviews I admire) , I was unfamiliar with the character of Chief Inspector DC Banks before seeing this film. Research after watching this DVD (I'm not a fan of "spoilers" and trusted the BBC label to give me a good detective story) I learned that this was a two-part "pilot" for a series that ran two seasons. (It was edited into one 90 minute "film" - I did notice a brief "pause" in the middle). So, if you are new to the character, I can only recommend that - like any good mystery - you go in knowing as little as possible before watching it.

There is a murder (in fact a few) and they are bloody (no spoiler here) and the story is told using flashback at points (in a creative way). The only thing that made me drop a star in my rating is that the action takes time out for a "romantic interlude" which detracts from the flow. (At least for me.)

The film is based on a novel (which I guess gets expanded in the subsequent "series", which I pan to look into watching; the main character did interest me.).

The DVD has no special features - just scene index and subtitle option (in case the accents are too thick for you.).

This is one of those crime series that the British do so well. Actually it was created by the commercial ITV Network but aired on cable on the BBC America channel and now released on the BBC Home Entertainment imprint.

If you want to know more about the plot I'll refer you to K's review. He covered it very well (though be prepared for "spoilers").

I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
If you love contemporary cop shows and you haven't checked out the "DCI Banks" series, I'd strongly recommend that you take a look into it! This intense and no-nonsense offering from Britain plays by the rules of typical TV crimes procedurals, to be sure, but it does so with a refreshingly hard edge. "DCI Banks" ran for two six episode seasons in 2011 and 2012, but it kicked off in 2010 with the effective two-parter "Aftermath" (here combined and released at the feature length of ninety minutes). Some people, therefore, might consider this Season One of the Banks saga but really it's just a movie that introduces the primary characters who will extend into the following TV series. But whatever you want to call it, "Aftermath" is a gritty and entertaining film adapted from the popular novel by Peter Robinson. It may not necessarily be my favorite Banks case, but it does a great job introducing the characters and setting the mood that serves the series so well. First and foremost, an impassioned Stephen Tompkinson headlines the piece. He plays a fairly typical archetype: a disillusioned cop right on the edge of reason. But Tompkinson imbues Banks with just the right mix of integrity and volatility. You never know quite which way he's going to go.

"Aftermath" gets off to a quick and bloody start. When a woman hears a scream from across the street, she reports a domestic violence charge to the police for that address. When two patrol officers respond, they find the wife beaten on the ground and a macabre murder tableau in the basement. Just as they are taking in the sight of a tortured body, however, they are viciously attacked by the husband. It turns out that the police have been investigating the disappearance of five local women and they've just stumbled across the culprit. It's never that simple, though, is it? The primary mystery is given away right from the start. But there are still plenty of loose ends. One of the girls is still missing, the cops suspect an accomplice, and how much did the wife know about what transpired in the basement. As the story unfolds, several of the major players seem to be hiding secrets. Banks is on the case, it's a personal mission for him. He is haunted by the fact that he didn't come to a speedier resolution. But he is also hampered with the British equivalent of Internal Affairs (Andrea Lowe) investigating the charge of excessive force. In the end, some of the major revelations aren't incredibly surprising but it's definitely a journey worth taking.

Tompkinson exudes compassion and is obsessed with justice at any cost. Lowe is more pragmatic, seeking to move her career to the next level with single-minded determination. Adversaries will learn to respect one another (Spoiler Alert: she's a regular on the TV series) and each brings something to the table that benefits the other. Sounds like a classic pairing, doesn't it? In addition to the leads, the supporting cast is also very solid. The reliable Charlotte Riley (why isn't she a bigger star?) takes on the meatiest role as the abused wife of the deranged madman. And Barry Sloane, who has since hit U.S. primetime on ABC's Revenge as Aiden, has a memorable turn as the father of the girl who remains missing. "Aftermath" is intense, well acted, and mightily enjoyable. It's a great introduction to what I might consider a five star series. KGHarris, 8/13.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2013
This video was well acted and very, very suspenseful. The scenery is lovely, the whole plot unfolds carefully and each actor makes us believe in the persona. I'd like to see more of this series.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2013
and this series can really grow on you. Aftermath was the pilot of this episode and it's a chilling introduction to Alan Banks. Stephen Tompkinson plays a decent man besieged on all sides struggling to solve a horrifying series of murders. From the family of one of the victims, to the criminals and his own colleagues, all are trying to manipulate him.

I give this only four stars simply because it's not the best of British crime fiction, especially when compared to series like Foyle's War, or Sherlock but compared to American crime drama, this is very superior show.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2014
I've read ALL of the DCI Banks books, they are very dark and complex stories with dozen's of local characters and plenty of Red Herrings just like PD James, although the TV series had to cut a lot of the plot to make it fit into a 90 minute show they kept the heart of the story very well.
Are the books better ? of course (the audiobooks are great too, really good narrators) but this is a fine job of adaptation, great acting, scenery and local flavor.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2013
Wetted my desire to see the series. DCI Banks is very emotional for a police officer... The Yorkshire countryside can look like scences from Midsomer Murders.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2014
Enjoyed it / good action / clean language / looking forward to the next one...
Good old English who done it... : o )
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2014
I love British Crime Dramas because they rely on acting and writing as opposed to special effects or just blood and gore violence. There seems to be better and more real detective work going on. I am a bit biased as I just love English mysteries.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2013
LOVE ANYTHING THAT STEPHEN TOMPKINSON IS IN AS HE IS A GREAT ACTOR. HAVE LOVED ALL THE DCI BANKS SHOWS.HAVE ALSO READ SOME OF THE BOOKS WHICH ARE GOOD BUT THE SHOW ARE MUCH BETTER.WOULD LOVE TO SEE STEPHEN ON STAGE AS I KNOW HE HAS TO BE EXCELLANT THERE ALSO. THE SHOWS KEEP YOU ON THE EDGE OF YOUR CHAIR TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHO DONE IT.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2014
This is the pilot of the DCI Banks series, and it's not included in the U.S. DVD set of the first season -- perhaps Aftermath is considered Season Zero. In any case, I found the story quite uninteresting despite its sensational subject matter: Five girls are missing, and by chance police break in on what they think is a domestic violence case but is actually the home of the killer and rapist, for in fact four of the five girls are in the basement, and the perpetrator's wife lies beaten upstairs. During the resulting confrontation, one of the discovering policemen is killed.

It's a brutal but promising start to a grim drama, but in the end the main plot thread is pretty simple, and in fact the police sort out almost everything rather early, except for the whereabouts of the presumed fifth victim, a mystery which is solved through brute force rather than deductive skill. In the meanwhile, there are side plots involving a concerned father who's also a sleazeball, a neighbor who is more involved than we initially suspect, and police politics.

At the end of the day, as I said, the plot is actually rather simple and not that interesting, and the side-plots don't had a whole lot, either. The characters are complex, but frankly that of Annie is rather repulsive, and Banks himself doesn't come off well, either. She's ambitious and amoral, while he is too impulsive. My wife has read some of the novels on which these television dramas are based, and according to her, in many instances some significant changes have been made. Be that as it may, although I thought the Season One set was good, this pilot stinks just a bit, to my taste.
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