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Intelligence: Season 1

82 customer reviews

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(Apr 29, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Information is the most addictive drug of all.

"One of the smartest cop dramas in years" -- The Vancouver Sun

"Smart. . .sexy. . .edgy" -- The Toronto Star

This critically acclaimed drama from the creator of Da Vinci’s Inquest takes you deep inside the murky world of organized crime and the cops who keep tabs on it. As a dedicated father, respected businessman, and big-time drug smuggler, Jimmy Reardon (Ian Tracey) feels the heat from outlaw bikers muscling in on his territory. Mary Spalding (Klea Scott), the ruthlessly ambitious head of Vancouver’s organized crime unit, fears her rivals in the intelligence community more than she fears criminals. Together, Jimmy and Mary form an uneasy alliance that threatens to undo them both.

From Vancouver’s mean streets to its high-rise offices, Intelligence shows the shifty nature of undercover information-gathering, where your deadliest enemy can become your closest confidant and treachery is taken for granted.

DVD FEATURES INCLUDE behind-the-scenes clips, biography of series creator Chris Haddock, character descriptions, cast filmographies, and more.

Contains strong coarse language.

You may need a scorecard to keep track of all the characters appearing in Intelligence. But identifying their agendas is no problem, as they all seem to have the one that's spelled out in the series' title: namely, the gathering of the kind of inside information commonly known as intelligence. Throughout the 14 episodes (including a two-part pilot) comprising the first season (2006) of this Canadian police drama, there are cops who infiltrate the ranks of the bad guys, and vice versa. There are bad policemen and good criminals. There are rats, moles, and worms galore--so many, in fact, that even some of the rats have rats--and so much treachery, suspicion, and mistrust that one wonders how anyone has time for anything else. At the center of all this activity are two principals: Jimmy Reardon (Ian Tracey), a Vancouver businessman who also happens to operate a thriving drug-running enterprise, and Mary Spalding (Klea Scott), a cop who currently heads the city's Organized Crime Unit but wants to be promoted to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). Reardon is no Tony Soprano; he's a low-key kind of guy who responds to his subordinates' frequent screw-ups not with violence but with a shrug, who gives his cokehead ex-wife (Camille Sullivan) and alcoholic brother (Bernie Coulson) endless opportunities to betray and disappoint him, and who forms an "uneasy alliance" with Spalding, supplying her with information in return for her backing off on the police surveillance of his marijuana-dealing activities. For her part, the humorless Spalding is almost universally unliked, but too preoccupied with nailing her cheating husband (she hires a private investigator to collect intelligence on the guy), rooting out the traitor in the OCU, and pursuing her new gig to care.

While there are some intriguing ideas here, both professionally (especially in the early episodes, when a file containing the names of the police's confidential informants falls into the wrong hands, putting many lives in jeopardy) and personally (including Reardon's competition with his ex for custody of their daughter and Spalding's struggle to get ahead in a male-dominated world), Intelligence falls short of consistently compelling viewing. On most levels--acting, writing, action, excitement--the show has a kind of second-tier vibe that simply doesn't measure up to its more flashy American counterparts; these days, dealing pot seems mighty small-time, and when it comes to "mean streets," Vancouver doesn't exactly resonate like New York, Los Angeles, and Miami. Extras include some behind-the-scenes material, a bio of creator-writer Chris Haddock (who was also responsible for Da Vinci's Inquest), character descriptions, and cast filmographies. --Sam Graham

Special Features

  • Behind-the-scenes clips
  • Biography of series creator Chris Haddock
  • Character descriptions
  • Cast filmographies

Product Details

  • Actors: Ian Tracey, Klea Scott
  • Directors: Stephen Surjik
  • Format: Multiple Formats, 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: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: ACORN MEDIA
  • DVD Release Date: April 29, 2008
  • Run Time: 676 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0013NAMLU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,878 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Intelligence: Season 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

129 of 134 people found the following review helpful By Pepper on April 21, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I could not disagree more with Sam Graham's analysis of this program (see Amazon's review). First, he unfortunately compares what he considers failings of this show with U.S. programming. Who ever said programming in the States is something writers should try to emulate!
"Intelligence" does have a large cast, and you will recognize many of them from the DaVinci series if you have been fortunate enough to see those. (Acorn - please put that entire series out on DVD!)

I like this show for exactly the reasons that Sam Graham finds fault with it. There is not gross visualization of violence and gore - because it is written with more development of character than the standard shoot 'em up you will find in U.S. programming. (How many times can we watch CSI and all those carved up bodies!)
Ian Tracey is great as the low key bad guy you can't help but like and they give the strongest role opposite Tracey's to a woman. Klea Scott as Mary is compelling because she holds her own with the big boys, never using her sexuality to get what she wants. She uses her brain and intuition to get the "Intelligence" she sees as the way to fight crime in her city.

It is apparent Mr. Graham is not a Canadian and seems to think crime is
neat and tidy in Canada....too whitewashed to be interesting. Has he not heard of the pig farmer lately?
I live in Seattle and drugs crossing our borders from Canada are a constant worry here. Amazon is based about a mile from my house, but Graham's lack of understanding of the drug problems in the Northwest make me wonder where he lives!
Readers, pay no mind to Amazon's review of this series. Take a chance on "Intelligence". I think you will be as fascinated as I have been.
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful By James Schumaker on May 5, 2008
Format: DVD
I first started watching this show on the Hallmark Channel in Eastern Europe -- unfortunately, it is not being broadcast in the United States. If it were, it would quickly eclipse the usually predictable and increasingly gory American crime series that Amazon's reviewer seems to prefer.

Unlike many of its American competitors, "Intelligence" is not a show that aims at the lowest common denominator. Instead, it requires a bit of intelligence on the part of the viewer to sort through the convoluted plots and the complex characters, but the effort is worth it. The second season, which just started playing overseas when I returned to the States, is even better, which makes it all the more shameful that the Canadian Broadcasting Company is apparently not going to pick it up for a third season.

I have heard that there is some talk of reviving the series on cable and changing its locale to an American city. Continuing "Intelligence" is a great idea, but changing locales is not. A series like "Intelligence" is tailor-made for American cable, and would fit in very nicely on HBO or Showtime, but it gets most of its unique appeal from its Vancouver location and its incredibly strong Canadian cast. If it is to be revived, it should stay in Vancouver.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Puppluv on May 6, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
WWWWOOOOWWWW!!!! Instantly hooked in INTELLIGENCE!!! This is a great crime drama - violence like any crime show but not gruesome-perfectly creepy.Deep characters who by the end of disc 2 it's hard to decide who you like and who you don't. Almost everyone has something to love about them and most have something that makes you cringe a little. You never know what's going to happen and can't wait for the next episode. I started it 2 days ago and I'm on the third disc already - when I watch an episode I'm suddenly 3 episodes into it and force myself to shut it off and go to bed already. Great actors, great plot, great characters, great show, lots of layers. PLEASE TELL ME THERE"S MORE SEASONS THAN THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Kohout Jr. on January 2, 2009
Format: DVD
I watched the entire first season in 2 viewings over the New Years holiday. I also could not disagree more with the Amazon review. Point in fact that if I could give 4 1/2-stars I would, as the series is just a notch under perfect. First and foremost, for a crime drama there is a surprising lack of gratuitous violence. Could this be a result of the copious amounts of alcohol consumed? The aforementioned may put many people off that are accustomed to American TV a la "24" and the "CSI Trilogy." Violence does lurk beneath the surface, though even when deemed necessary we rarely get to see it on screen.
Perhaps my reason for not giving the series 5-stars is that a good portion of the show is filmed in a strip club with nary a bare breast seen (not sure if this is a result of CBC sensors or simply a decision made by the producers). Seriously, it may actually be the lack of gratuitous sex & violence that make this series work, as the focus is more on interior & exterior power struggles and the resulting sub plots, yea? (Apparently, in Vancouver it is common to finish a sentence with "yea"). The other interesting aspect to show, which was frequently a topic of discussions among my friends and I, was how such relatively "soft" organization could manage a criminal enterprise that generated 9-figures annually? Again, perhaps this goes to how criminal enterprises are managed in Canada?

I would recommend this series to anyone that is a fan of well written crime dramas sans the sex & violence. If you pinned me down I would have to say the real reason why this would not rate 5-stars is that the characters are not multi layered, which while may be enough to not generate a fifth star, still place this series in the top tier of anything that is currently in the USA/UK.

*Does anyone recognize Jimmy's Brother Mike as the Rick Diesel from "Eddie & the Cruisers 2?"
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Inventor: According to Acorn Media's web site, this set does NOT have either subtitles or closed-captioning. Thank you for raising the question, I will not purchase it without these options.
Apr 10, 2010 by Arya |  See all 3 posts
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