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Hope Springs

19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

"Brilliant Fun!" --What's On TV (U.K.)

Ex-cons Ellie, Hannah, Shoo, and Josie have done their time. Now they just want to disappear to Barbados with £3 million stolen from Ellie’s gangster husband, Roy. When a twist of fate leaves them without passports, they flee to a remote village in the Scottish Highlands and a shabby hotel that seems like the perfect hideaway. All they have to do is lie low and plan their escape. But the town of Hope Springs harbors bigger secrets and worse crimes, including unsolved murders. Soon their lives are complicated by small-town nosiness, a shady solicitor, a handsome policeman, and a hit man sent by Roy in search of his money--and the girls.

Alex Kingston (ER, Moll Flanders) leads a colorful cast that includes Annette Crosbie (Little Dorrit), Sian Reeves (Emmerdale Farm), Paul Higgins (In the Loop), Christine Bottomley (The Street), Vinette Robinson (Waterloo Road), Ronni Ancona (Gideon’s Daughter), and Alec Newman (Frank Herbert’s Dune). Set against the backdrop of gorgeous Scottish scenery, Hope Springs is escapist, entertaining fun.

Hope Springs is a bit like Sex and the City--if Carrie & Co. had served time for fraud, assault, and arson! Ellie (Alex Kingston, ER), Shoo (Christine Bottomley, The Street), Hannah (Sian Reeves, Emmerdale Farm), and Josie (Vinette Robinson, Waterloo Road) are fresh out of prison, but they pull off a perfect scam on Ellie's weaselly husband--netting them a big chunk of money and putting him in jail. Then their plan to skip off to Barbados falls apart and they're forced to take a detour to Scotland, where they try to keep a low profile operating a run-down hotel. Unfortunately for them, they've landed in a murder mystery--and the hotel is at the heart of it. Even worse, the imprisoned husband's right-hand man is hunting them down, and he doesn't care who gets hurt (or killed) along the way.

Hope Springs balances drama and whimsical comedy with easy skill. Kingston drives the show with her mix of iron will, confident sexiness, and flashes of vulnerability, but the entire cast is solid, including Annette Crosbie (One Foot in the Grave) as the previous owner of the hotel who's not as dotty as she seems. Particularly good is Bottomley; her character Shoo is a mess--needy, reckless, prone to petty tantrums--but in Bottomley's hands she's deeply sympathetic, and exemplifies the damaged lives these women have lived. The show's overarching theme is how these former criminals, who've learned to look out for themselves at all costs, discover the value of community. Thanks to the fine cast and strong writing, this opening up is both comic and touching. Hope Springs is an excellent show that deserves to find a wider audience. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

  • Biography of Alex Kingston
  • Photo gallery
  • SDH subtitles

Product Details

  • Actors: Alex Kingston, Annette Crosbie
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: June 1, 2010
  • Run Time: 451 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003A6C6WG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,222 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Harold Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWER on April 13, 2010
Format: DVD
Prison food seems to have accentuated 4 women ex-cons' cleavage. Plus their wits & determination. They con the con and run. Unfortunately, instead of Barbados they end up in the Scottish Highlands. Hope Springs and the inn with that name. Seems a good place to lay low, while they get new passports. But trouble starts. There's more trouble in Hope Springs than Midsomer County has murders (Midsomer Murder DVD-TV series). Even multiple murder, like in Midsomer, but in the highlands it all happens differently. Events leave you laughing as much as in suspense. What a fantastic combination for a TV series. But after 8 episodes the story comes full circle, and alas, the series is not continued. For some unreasonable, unexplainable notion, it has never been shown on USA TV, but then it is a recent, 2009, BBC airing. HOPE SPRINGS is new, delightfully different, and this DVD set is the only way you can enjoy it.

My wife gave it 5 1/2 stars while only half way through the series. Men will add an extra 1/2 star for the beautiful babes. These women-of-the-world don't dress like it's cold in the Scottish Highlands. And oh, what scenery, landscape were talking here. Add to that the lovely British and Scottish accents, with SUBTITLES PROVIDED TO HELP. Some funny slang I need to remember to add to my own vocabulary.

The bevy of gals is led by Ellie (Alex Kingston-'ER' 'Moll Flanders') who is brilliant, colorful, and quite convincing as a tough ex-con. But she can get tender for seconds at a time. Her former cellmates include:
Shoo (Christine Bottomley, a blond with a blond brain,
Hannah (Sian Reeves), perhaps the most stable of the pack,
Josie (Vinette Robinson), leggy action-prone beautiful convict.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Doc on October 3, 2012
Format: DVD
Witty, clever and highly entertaining.

The end of each episode get's you thinking, 'how the heck are they going to get out of that one'!

Full of twists and turns with plenty of drama and comedy to boot.

With a plethera of fine actors, I defy anyone not to enjoy this series. Just a shame that it's not getting a follow up.

This is one of the best shows I have ever seen on the Beeb.

Highly recommended.

P.S. You do get used to the inclemant weather here in the UK. :-)
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By takingadayoff TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 8, 2010
Format: DVD
Nothing beats a good caper movie. Catch Me If You Can, The Thomas Crown Affair, Ocean's Eleven, I can't resist them. TV hasn't been as successful in the scam department - the most recent attempt that comes to mind is Leverage -- what might have been a decent swindle story was made hopelessly unbelievable by keeping it going too long.

I think the writers must have known, or suspected, that the series would not be renewed. They came up with a plot that was more or less resolved by the end of their allotted eight episodes. It starts out with four women being released from prison and immediately executing a major heist. They not only get away with a wad of cash, they do it by double crossing our heroine's husband, a mobster who has been two timing her after she had taken a rap for him, the rotten scoundrel.

Intending to flee to Barbados, the four end up fleeing to the Scottish Highlands and have to lie low for a while. See, there's a cold-blooded assassin after them. (Is it my imagination, or has the movie/TV assassin population grown exponentially lately?) Predictably, but pleasantly, the girls slowly become involved with the quirky population of Hope Springs, even as they make plans to leave as soon as possible. Of course, something always keeps them from leaving and they learn that they are not the only people in town with criminal secrets.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Drissol on September 23, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I purchased this video on a whim because I like the actress Alex Kingston {Doctor Who} and I love the British sense of humor and drama. This too short series is simply excellent. Good story, even though it lasted only one season. Funny! Well acted! Well written! And the "dark humor: is excellent! And the actress's aren't bad to look at either
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By G. M. Curtis on September 15, 2011
Format: DVD
I enjoyed this series a lot. Regrettably its only eight episodes on three discs, and its a buddy movie series for woman, but it was still damned good. It could have rated a second season.

Probably the best part for me are the four woman, escaped cons who somehow pull off the perfect crime, robbing their leader Ellie's husband of three million pounds and fitting him up for the job in the process, and then go from super competent to completely incapable in the space of a single episode. They war with one another constantly, but in the end always stick together, while all of them keep making unbelievable mistakes and suffering one in a million tragedies, such as burning the three million pounds in a house fire, not to mention buying a hotel with a dead body in it.

The writers did a lot of work in bringing these characters to life as tragic victims of past wrongs and portraying those pasts in the way that they act, and the actresses all do top notch jobs in showing those flaws in their characters as well as their strengths. These aren't one dimensional cardboard cut outs by any means. And somehow, despite all the improbable things that happen, and the amazingly bad decisions they make, that makes everything real.

Of course the surprising amount of cleavage shown in the freezing cold Scottish Highlands, the beautiful scenery, and the seemingly endless number of plots, plotters, hotel buyers and sellers, and people who want to kill them, and of course the twisted romance of the local copper and his pregnant soon to be wife, also help.

Definitely it's British humour, always slipping somewhere between the dramatic and the ridiculous, but its well worth watching.

Four solid stars.
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