on September 23, 2005
For those of us in the U.S. who are fortunate enough to have access to Canadian CBC programming on cable television, DaVinci's Inquest will be a familiar offering. It is typical of the literate and sophisticated television offerings which are wholly produced in Canada largely for Canadian audiences. This series involves the Vancouver coroner's department as well as the police department in a series of death investigations which involve serious and often philosophical looks at the contemporary crime scene. The characters are well defined and believable while the acting is uniformly excellent. In particular, the coroner, Domenic DaVinci, played by Nicholas Campbell,is extremely well played. None of your typical U.S. serial pap here. Rather a sensitive and vulnerable coroner with his own personal hang ups, a recovering alchoholic, recently divorced, with a teen age daughter, who is trying to make sense of his personal life as well as provide compassionate understanding to those who find their lives down on the seamy side of Vancouver.
Many will already know that Canada treats drug abuse and prostitution quite differently than is the case in the U.S. This well acted series provides ample discussion of the isues surrounding the handling of social ills in Canada. I believe that it is a must see for those who want not only to be entertained but wish to understand the basis behind the more liberal Canadian thinking on these matters.
on July 25, 2007
I'll admit my bias upfront. I like this show, and I like what Acorn Media does on DVD. Still, being a skeptic by nature, I did my homework regarding the claims that Acorn's release of "Da Vinci's Inquest" Season One was somehow edited from the Canadian versions. What I found was that the Canadian version that some people are praising (as if it held the cure to cancer) actually clocks in SHORTER than Acorn's release.
I can't speak to where A. Wharton got the 423 minute time quoted in his/her (erroneous) review, but whatever the source was it was clearly wrong. The Canadian version lists a run-time of under 600 minutes, while the copy of the Acorn release I'm looking at clocks in at 611 minutes. That's nearly one minute per episode. Again if any version of the program is cut (or "censored" as some maintain), it would clearly seem to be Canadian one that's missing something.
Another thing that seems to be missing from the Canadian release is closed-captioning. Speaking for myself, a few too many rock concerts in high-school have done a number on my hearing, and I love captioning.
As to the show itself, the reviewer who compared it to "Homicide" really hit the mark. Dominic Da Vinci's comment that he "[speaks] for the dead" very much echoes the attitude of the detectives on "Homicide." Indeed, Da Vinci strikes me as what "Homicide" would have been like had the medical examiner been the main character rather than primarily a supporting role.
Shows like "Law & Order" are entertaining enough, but programs like "Homicide" and "Da Vinci..." go a step beyond that. Where "Law & Order" seldom stretches beyond the generic police procedural drama, "Da Vinci..." makes you feel like you've stepped into a world that is completely concrete. You know that these characters had a life before the episode started and (assuming they're not the victim) will have one that goes on after. This show is something special.
on March 16, 2006
Several months ago, quite by accident, I came across the Da Vinci's Inquest TV show and was instantly hooked. The show is set in Vancouver, British Columbia, and features an ensemble cast of police, pathologists, criminals, and other denizens of the city, headed up by the Vancouver coroner, Dominick DaVinci, who takes his job seriously indeed. As he says, his job is to speak for the dead. Acting, plotting, casting, writing and photography are all excellent. Now the first season is finally available on DVD for all of us who can't often catch the show at the odd hours it is shown in the states. I can't say enough good things about this show! As I said, I'm hooked.
on February 6, 2005
This may well be the best show out there today. It's a police procedural about a Vancouver coroner, Dominic Da Vinci, and his daily routine. But it's also about his friends and allies: Leary, Shannon and Kosmo in the Homicide Division, Chick the Crime Scene Investigator, Zack the traffic cop, his secretary, Helen. And it's about the dark side of Vancouver. If you loved Homicide: Life on the Street, this is your kind of show. If you love great writing and acting, this is most definitely your kind of show. It has storylines and characters that really hook you in for the long haul. And Nick Campbell (Da Vinci), one of the most celebrated actors in Canada, is backed up by some of the best actors in the business. Even better, though he's in every episode, the other characters get their time in the sun, too. It's not just a one-man show.
My main complaint is...where's the rest of it? Season seven just finished. Season eight has been confirmed and a spin-off show is in production. So, why is only season one out on DVD? Some more extras wouldn't hurt, either. I'd happily buy the rest of the seasons as is, and the quality of what you get is fine, but some commentary from the writers and/or actors would be fun, too.
on November 19, 2006
In the past six months I've quickly become obsessed with DaVinci Inquest, which offers a twist on the usual cop genre show by depicting stories of murder and natural death through the eyes of a progressive, hot-tempered, crusading coroner, Dominic DaVinci. Set in Vancouver, BC (Canada), the average US viewer also gets a look at things and thinking that do differentiate our close cousin to the North - for example, the many ethnic cultures that thrive in Vancouver are evident in almost every show, as well as the sad prejudice against the native Canadians (comparable to lingering US prejudice against Indians/Native Americans).
If you've been watching the faded-out, constant re-runs on WGN, it's worth the investment to see these full-color, unedited episodes of the shows.
DaVinci shares his screen time with the equally talented and opinionated stars of the Homicide squad, as well as the peerless forensic investigator "Chick" and the all-female M.E.s. Brimming with a cast of fine actors and compelling, memorable storylines, DaVinci has grabbed me unlike any show since the late, lamented early seasons of Homicide: Life on the Streets, which it resembles in many ways.
It would be horribly unfair to not note the welcome and excellent contributions of DaVinci's long-suffering but incomparable secretary, Helen, who always knows how to speak her mind.
Season One features, in addition to many one-episode stories, three running mysteries: the systematic slaughter of prostitutes; the brutal killings of kidnapped young women throughout the US and Canada; and early development of a long storyline about a dirty Vice cop, Brian.
Unfortunately, this set has no extras other than formatting features for subtitles, etc.
on August 9, 2006
Dominic DaVinci is Vancouver (Canada's) Coroner and he refuses to allow incompetence or illegality to be brushed under the rug. As he works in tandem with the police, some of whom are heroes and other corrupt; city officials; street people; and the like, he is dedicated to learning why people on his watch die before their time, and improving the health and welfare of his beloved city.
I place this as the second-best "cop" show ever, second only to the early years of the great, late, lamented "Homicide: Life on the Streets" US show of the early 1990s, which "DaVinci" echoes in many ways.
Yet, DaVinci is thunderously human, an alkie who still drinks, a man with a broken marriage who has to work daily with his angry ex-wife and who has a beloved teenage daughter with whom he doesn't always connect.
One important thing is that the stories always place work first - the personal lives of the characters are shown, but they never take over the storyline -- no "jumping the shark." A truly great ensemble cast backs up Nicholas Evans, the seemingly inexhaustible actor who plays Dominic.
This all sounds highly melodramatic but the tv show is presented in a low-key, business-like manner. I was seriously hooked after watching only a few shows and I have yet to be disappointed.
on April 20, 2006
I have been hooked on this show since the fall of 2005. I am lucky enough to get the "CBC" channel here in Washington State. This show is shown Monday to Friday at 1pm local time and I tape all the shows. The problem lately is that CBC is only showing the seasons 2002 to 2003 repeatedly and on occasion we get the shows from 1999 and 2000. My other part of this review can not be any better then the reviews that have been posted, I like all the other reviews. Please put all the seasons out on DVD, we are hooked, and willing to spend the money to buy all seasons.
on July 8, 2006
I can see that I am not the only one who was mesmerized by this program. I've been watching for the past month and have my DVR set for this great show. My wife is now hooked on it too. We loved to discuss it and the characters' moods and such. So much is said by a "look". We also laugh about how on Law & Order and other American crime dramas they'd be yelling at the suspect and throwing things around. The Amer. cop show moods are somber to instant EXTREME anger. On Da Vinci, these guys listen with quiet respect even to people who are obviously mentally unbalanced. It's the kind of show I'd want everyone to be like and see. I love the Da Vinci/Zack sessions!!
Now, make the rest of the seasons for us to buy please.
on July 25, 2007
Please be assured that the Acorn Media DVD of Da Vinci's Inquest has most definitely NOT been censored. It is 611 minutes long and is the UNCUT version.
Can anyone give a specific example of a scene from the program that has something censored in it?
on December 29, 2006
Da Vinci's Inquest is the most prestigious representant of Canadian TV shows, along with Cold Squad. It spans on seven seasons, each one of 13 episodes, plus a one-season spin-off.
This Vancouver-based crime & forensics drama has everything : an experimented casting, intriguing storylines (with arcs spanning on several seasons for some !) and efficient direction.
It is also to be noted that DVI was, and still is, an obvious inspiration for shows such as CSI or Crossing Jordan.
If you don't know that show and are still hesitating whether of not to buy this DVD set, buy it NOW, you won't regret it.