Customer Reviews: Edge of Darkness: The Complete BBC Series
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on June 26, 2003
Firstly let me point out that there is a DVD version of EOD, several actually. The best version is the latest released this year which is a wonderful transfer and includes a documentary on the film, Magnox and has clips of interviews and award ceremonies and discussions on the series. It is on region 2 DVD and is available from amazon uk. I too remember watching this masterpiece unfold when it was originally screened here in the uk. I was only 14 at the time and British television was still producing some wonderful stuff. Even so I knew this was something extra special. It must have planted a seed in my subconscious. Incredibly in 2003 it has lost none of its power and seems just as prescient now as ever. The callous disregard for the individual by corporations, the 'great game' played out between competing security agencies, the conspiracy of silence in the media. The ecology movement. The collusion of government with the malign constituents in our society. Ostensibly though this is still the 'little man's story' and what a central performance from the late great Bob Peck. His personal disintegration is harrowing to behold as he tries to unravel the mystery. Joe don Baker, what can you say about his performance. He is utterly compelling as the old school agency man fighting to keep his head above water. His verbal sparing matches with 'arts council' funded MI5's Ian McNeice and Charles Kay (also superb) are very very funny. Oh the script, what a script. Troy Kennedy Martin the writer provided the most consistently brilliant screenplay for television ever written. Martin Campbell the director sculpts it all into an entity that supplants the TV media. The DVD I saw previously to EOD was Leone's masterwork Once upon a time in America and I can honestly say EOD which bares many similarities is right up there alongside it. I don't think I could give this production a better accolade.
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on November 23, 2000
Probably the finest television drama series ever, 'Edge of Darkness' was 1985 made flesh - nuclear paranoia in a world gone mad. Apart from the faces, not much has dated, and even if the threat of nuclear annihilation seems less newsworthy, it's still an excellent, taut thriller. Bleak and brilliant, it starts with a seemingly random murder, and ends with the world on the brink of apocalpyse.
Everything works, and works well - the clever, non-linear direction is never annoying, the writing is intelligent, everything progresses with brutal, cold logic, and it all seems so much more serious, more 'real' than other television dramas of the time (with the possible exception of the early 'Taggart'). The acting is superb - Joe Don Baker's character may be a stereotype, but he makes it work, and the late Bob Peck is almost disturbingly intense. It's a shame that, for most people, he will be remembered as the unfortunate trapper from 'Jurassic Park' (or the narrator of countless nature documentaries).
It remains with you when its over, the music is excellent, and key images (nuclear trains at the dead of night, driving rain on the motorway, a room full of telephones, a field of umbrellas, and little black flowers) haunt you forever.
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on April 10, 1999
If anybody is looking for an obituary of Bob Peck then this film surely sums up this man. With Joe Don Baker, Joanne Whalley and other distinguished actors, Peck doesn't just act, he gives this film a rare dimension, he puts his body and soul into it as if the plot was actually happening in his own personal life. Here's an actor at the top of his profession giving a vituoso performance. The characters in the film link superbly to him and where necessary he supports brilliantly. This film isn't solely about Bob Peck, it's about what can happen when plutonium gets into the wrong hands. It's about an organization showing that the laxity of security procedures can lead to fatal consequences. It's about a father investigating his daughter's death caused by the effects of nuclear radiation. I wouldn't say that this was one of the best films that I've seen. This IS the best film I have seen. Thanks Bob for the pleasure you brought to us all. Rest in peace Bob.
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on December 2, 2009
I love this series. One of the greats of all time. I even have the original VHS. I can't believe that the BBC couldn't find a better print or clean up what they have considering it was one of the highest rated series & won top awards. Watchable but grainy & a couple of picture "streaks' from the video tape master that was used. Edge of Darkness fans in America have been waiting many years for this DVD. Like I said great series but disappointing mastering. I would give it a 5 star rating for the production but I am deducting 2 stars for the mastering & film print.
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on August 25, 2005
Craven, brilliantly acted by the late Bob Peck, is a highly decorated English police officer, well known for his discretion in politically sensitive cases. He is widowed with a grown daughter. One evening a man previously arrested by Craven shows up on their doorstep with a shotgun. The dauhgter throws herself before her father and gets shot. It looks like a revenge killing gone wrong, but then questions stars appearing: if the murderer was after Craven, why did he fire both barrels into his daughter, how did he escape in the first case, why does he and all other suspects die "resisting arrest", and finally: why is the lock of hair Craven cuts form his dead daughter radioactive?

His need for answers takes him to a nightmarish world of governement paranoia, interdeprtemental intrigue, and secrets hidden from the public "for their own good".

Bob Peck plays the tormented Craven with enormous depth and sensitiviy, creating a truly memorable character that the viewer just will not forget.
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on November 23, 2002
I have lost count of the number of times I have watched Edge of Darkness, and still seen something new and haunting in its ramifications for our current age. In this deeply disturbing film series the devil is most defintely in its Cold War detail, and Troy Kennedy Martin's script uncovers many of those very real demons that lurk in the international trade of nuclear technology and weapons grade plutonium, the most dangerous material in the world, and which is still clouded in mystery. It is also a mythic story of hope for the future, as Bob Peck's character finds his allies in the strangest of places, even as his enemies are everywhere.The fact that this series has still not come out on DVD is truly amazing, and if I believed in conspiracy theories i might even be suspicious! Who knows! Roll on E of D 2!! We need to be told, now more than ever...
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on August 29, 1999
I have watched this movie (series) on more than a few occasions and found it fantastic. It's not the sort of thing you can walk in to your local high street shop and buy but should be. Watch it and tell me I'm wrong... It's powerful although arms race sort of stuff!
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VINE VOICEon February 6, 2001
The edge of Darkness is a taught riveting thrillercenetring on the British nueclear industry during the Thatcher years. A middle level policeman, widowed for some years and still grieving,watches as his daughter is shotgunned next to him on the walkway to thier home.From there, the investigation takes him to the highest levels of the British government, the CIA{a brilliant turn by Joe Don Baker},MI5,and American venture capitalists.More twists than in most of this genre,here is one where I could not see the ending until it was upon me. It is that good. the acting is superb. The late Bob Peck, as the police inspector is wonderful.The scene of him clutching his daughters teddy bear lying in her bed with a gun in his hands after her shooting is haunting, as are the images of the trains carrying plutonium to the strains of a mournful eric clapton guitar.So well written,excellently acted,superb soundtrack that it should be considered a landmark for television,though I was only able to view it here on a now defunct PBS channel. Brilliantly filmed, this is television as it could be, at its best.
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on August 6, 2000
Edge of Darkness is one of the best programs ever on television. It is the quality of the best feature films, with amazingly sharp, astute writing, brilliant performances by the entire cast, and a story that takes you places you just weren't expecting to go. When this first aired in Britain in the fall of 1986, the public response was so great, it had to re-air only 6 weeks later! The insights into goverment, the nuclear industry, the intelligence community, and "just people" are chillingly accurate. It will change the way you view your world, forever.
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on October 4, 2011
Bob Peck plays the grieved father of an anti-nuclear activest - a young women murdered in his arms. Slightly crazy and experiencing visits from his dead daughter, Mr. Peck is determined to find the culprits whether he lives or dies. Great acting job by Mr. Peck. All sorts of unsavory things are going on which takes one back to the Cold War when countries and sleezy individuals were finding ways to obtain the makings of "the bomb". Underground tunnels, corrupt government officials, and just plain crooks and assassins abound. Don Baker plays a smart and funny CIA agent who works with Bob Peck to resolve the mystery and adds a bit of humor to this otherwise sad and frightening movie.
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