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Hamish Macbeth - Series One

66 customer reviews

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Product Description

Hamish Macbeth: Series One (Dbl DVD)

With the help of his right-hand man, TV John, police constable Hamish Macbeth (Robert Carlyle) keeps the peace in Lochdubh's mean streets in his own idiosyncratic way, with little regard for police regulations and every intention of avoiding promotion. Promotion would mean leaving his police home, the wild, beautiful Scottish countryside, and Wee Jock, his beloved West Highland terrier. So the less his superior officers in Inverness know of his policing activities, the better.

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Before his breakout performances in Trainspotting and The Full Monty, the intense Robert Carlyle starred in the quirky mystery series Hamish Macbeth. As the constable of a small village in the Scottish highlands known as Lochdubh, Macbeth struggles to maintain the social balance of his tight-knit town, solving crimes along the way. In fact, the show as a whole leans more towards character drama than whodunnit; when a newcomer to Lochdubh (Phyllida Law, The Winter Guest) receives threatening notes, finding their source is little more than the hook for a web of characters' portraits and social observation. This may disappoint hard-core mystery fans (and fans of the books the series is based on), but the quality of the writing and the performances gives the show an emotional richness few mysteries can muster. Two episodes in particular--one in which Macbeth seeks revenge for his dead dog and one where he tries to keep a corporate team-building exercise from turning deadly--are unexpectedly wrenching. Other episodes are more comic; in one, lobsters are the key to a local bully's disappearance, and another hinges on tubs of raspberry ripple ice cream. But even when the show turns whimsical, Carlyle's live-wire presence keeps you glued to the screen, ably supported by a solid cast--especially impish Shirley Henderson (Yes, Topsy-Turvy), whose quiet yearning for Macbeth strikes a plaintive note and leads to a nerve-wracking series-ending cliffhanger. (Two caveats: The Scottish accents are occasionally impenetrable--though the stories are always clear enough--and the fourth episode of this six-episode first series could not be included on this dvd set.) --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

Biographies: Cast biosBiographies: Cast biosBiographies: Cast biosBiographies: Cast bios

Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Carlyle, Shirley Henderson
  • Directors: Nicholas Renton, Patrick Lau, Sid Roberson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 23, 2007
  • Run Time: 246 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000AOEMVE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,637 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hamish Macbeth - Series One" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

116 of 118 people found the following review helpful By Katherine on August 6, 2005
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This little gem of a series is one of the most entertaining tv shows I've ever seen. It's funny, sad, quirky, dramatic and can make you laugh one moment and weep the next. Each of the characters is unique and brings their own brand of nuttiness to the Scottish village of Lochdubh. In the middle of it all is Constable Hamish Macbeth, solving crime while trying to stay low-key enough to not be promoted to a precinct in one of the big cities. The Scottish accents can be a bit overpowering at times but it shouldn't deter. Robert Carlyle stars as Hamish and he's wonderful (as he always is), but there are really two stars of this series that make it memorable: the incomparable scenery of Scotland and a little West Highland White Terrier by the name of Wee Jock. A warning to fans of the MC Beaton, HAMISH MACBETH mysteries...the television series bears no resemblance to the book series. The tv series and the books are entirely separate entities and should be enjoyed as such. Thank you BBC for giving the fans dvd's in the region 1 format. Please give us season 2 and 3 also. ADDED NOTE: I agree that it's a shame "West Coast Story" isn't included in this collection but you'd have to take your gripe to the US movie studio that holds the rights to the movie, "West Side Story". Because the Hamish Macbeth episode uses some of the music from the movie, the producers of the dvd either cannot afford to obtain the rights or the studio has refused to grant them permission to use this episode on the dvd. Nothing can be done and it's really too bad. However, the show is still worth having on DVD, because the five episodes you can see are brilliant.
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94 of 96 people found the following review helpful By Deborah MacGillivray HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 25, 2005
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While I am thrilled they are FINALLY putting Hamish out on DVD - WHY did they fail to include the FULL YEAR??? first six episodes were

1)The Great Lochdubh Salt Robbery
2) A Pillar of the Community
3) The Big Freeze
4) West Coast Story (MISSING FROM THIS COLLECTION)
5) Wee Jock's Lament
6) A Bit of an Epic

So while the series is wonderful and great to have they are cheating us out of #4 episode. Are they going to drop an episodes from 2 & 3? SO we end up missing 3 full episodes? Or do we pay for the "Lost Hamish Episodes". Just a tiny note that says "We regret Episode 4 "West Coast Story" could not be included in this collection." Och, that is mean!

This series is brilliant. The characters of zany Scots comes through loud and clear. It's one that bears repeat views.

Just don't cheat us!! TV John would not be amused!

246 minues on 2 discs. Closed Captioned
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jason P Montgomery on August 17, 2005
Finally our favorite Constable Hamish Macbeth is making his way to the states!

This is one of my favorite programs. Not only is the scenery breath taking, but the characters of Lochdubh well developed and quirky, each in their own unique way.

The program aired for 3 seasons and I enjoyed every episode!

Thanks BBC for finally making this avalible for Region 1 viewing.

Cheers!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Orrin C. Judd VINE VOICE on March 21, 2006
The Wife and I are big on British mysteries on TV and have been working our way through the whole Midsomer Murders series via Netflix. So when the Recommendations feature popped up the intriguing sounding Hamish MacBeth -- starring Robert Carlyle, who has a great star turn as a psychotic soccer fan in the original Cracker -- it seemed worth a try. (Of particular note is that several episodes are directed and/or written by Danny Boyle, with whom Carlyle later made Trainspotting.)

The series turns out to be a delightfully idiosyncratic concoction, sort of reminiscent of Local Hero, but with Carlyle playing a Scottish police constable who disguises his own ability from his superiors in order to avoid promotion and get to stay in the quirky seaside town of Lochdubh. There he watches over the oft-times larcenous doings of the inhabitants and tries to keep them out of trouble, protecting them from both the law and genuine evil-doers. Carlyle gives us a MacBeth of appealing emotional fragility -- especially where his dog, Wee Jock, and the not-always-requited love of his life, Alexandra MacLean, are concerned. It's very amusing, though the last two episodes of Season One took a darker turn and left us with an emotion-wrenching cliff-hanger.

The books, at least the first two (I found a British edition that contained both), feature a tougher and more devious MacBeth -- who poaches and conducts other schemes in order to send money home to his large family -- making them enjoyable in a different way. His sidekick, TV John, is also missing and rather than Alex he loves a Priscilla Halburton-Smythe.

Books or series, you won't be sorry either way.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By PrivacyWrites on September 20, 2005
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A long-time fan of both the BBC TV shows, and of the novels that provides their namesake, the TV show is distinctly different from typical fare. The best comparison I know is with Northern Exposure ... a character driven comedy based on the eccentricities of remote villagers. Any who have visited the town of Kyle of Lochalsh (where much of "Lochdubh" is shot) will recognize the similarity to Alaskan outback. And Hamish? Well, Robert Carlyle's performance is spot-on as a slightly worldlier-but-disdaining-of-big-city-life police constable who's main ambition is to NOT be transferred to "Sunny Inverness."

If the episode "West Coast Story" is not included in the set, it is likely wrapped up in the issue of musical rights, as it leaned heavily on Bernstein's work as integral to the plot. A shame, if so: it also introduces a great hippy character, "Zoot", who appears occasionally through the series.
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