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17 customer reviews

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(Oct 06, 2009)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A maverick Irish cop takes on the London crime world

Detective Tommy Murphy has nothing left to lose. Guilt-ridden over the death of his young daughter, who was slain by the IRA, he flees to London to work undercover for the Metropolitan Police. Hardheaded, hard-drinking, brash, and brooding, Murphy is down on his luck. But he still has more than a bit of the old Irish charm, flashing quick wit and a roguish grin.

James Nesbitt (Cold Feet, Match Point) is "absolutely brilliant" (The Mirror, U.K.) in a role created especially for him by novelist Colin Bateman (Divorcing Jack). Murphy delves into London’s criminal underside--drugs, blackmail, murder--assisted by DI Annie Guthrie (Claudia Harrison, The Cat’s Meow), his sexy, savvy boss.

As seen on BBC America.

BONUS: biography of James Nesbitt.

Undercover cop Tommy Murphy (James Nesbitt, Cold Feet,Jekyll) throws himself into dangerous assignments to escape his painful past. He infiltrates a trigger-happy gang of diamond thieves, gets sent to prison to lure information out of a serial kidnapper, and risks becoming the victim of a murderous female who uses a gym to find her victims. Other assignments--such as acting as the bodyguard for a threatened snooker player--seem less dangerous, but minor problems (a snooker player's surly manners, for example) swiftly escalate to threaten the lives of Murphy and his superior, DI Annie Guthrie (the excellent Claudia Harrison). Murphy's Law: Series One has a lighter tone than the show would develop in later series, but the balance of procedural thrills and humor is thoroughly enjoyable. Nesbitt's expressive eyebrows get a good workout; cheekiness comes naturally to him, but he's just as good at revealing Murphy's other sides, such as when his ex-wife appears and forces Murphy to face buried secrets. Most episodes feature cunningly surprising plots--in particular "Kiss and Tell," in which Murphy pursues a female serial killer while a vengeful Russian mobster is pursuing him. Series One is the only series featuring Harrison, who dropped out at the beginning of the second. It's too bad, because the chemistry between Nesbitt and Harrison is a pleasure to watch. Murphy's Law is given added ballast by guest stars like Ray Stevenson (Rome), Lynda Steadman (Career Girls), Adrian Dunbar (Hear My Song), and David Bradley (the Harry Potter series). --Bret Fetzer

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: James Nesbitt
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • 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: October 6, 2009
  • Run Time: 443 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001Y44DKY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,821 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Harold Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWER on September 19, 2009
Format: DVD
Yes, ya just gotta love that Northern Irish brogue in this earthy London cop, a transplant from Belfast. The DVD set is the first season including the pilot of the series "Murphy's Law" that continued then for several years. Although this Series 1 consists of what is called 5 episodes, each episode is 90-minutes, feature-length, movies, each with it's own cop/mystery/crime story. Only the occasional overlap, & that's due to about 5 main characters. Episodes are thrillers, packed with action, suspense, and each ends with a twist unexpected. The truly spectacular aspect of "Murphy's Law: Series One" is the number of times you end up belly-laughing at comical one-liners, usually being spit out by Murphy, and usually at a moment when he should have been mum. All the ingredients of 5-stars for British Mystery fans.

DS Tommy Murphy (James Nesbitt) is the undercover cop with a haunting past, a rugged body that takes abuse frequently, a mind always a step ahead of the people around him (be they the low-life he's undercover to investigate or other coppers), and he's funny. He has a smart mouth, quick wit that generally opens with a biting comment at just the wrong time, getting himself a fist or other injury, or when he's getting close to a romantic moment, which usually ices all inspiration.

DI Annie Gutherie (Claudia Harrison) plays his boss, beautiful, available--except to Murphy--who tries (bless his heart). Beautiful! That lass.
Carter, another copper, is a regular as is Father McBride, an old friend of Murphy's who tries to help, but usually compounds an ordeal.

Oh yes, and Murphy has a wife, from Belfast, who periodically shows up in the stories, unannounced, unwelcome, and helps dredge up that secret past that Murphy is running away from.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Dr Jacques COULARDEAU on August 3, 2009
Format: DVD
That series works on a simple but extremely effective formula. The first characteristic is that there is only one plot going on, one investigation, as opposed to most American, and even French, detective series. That enables the episodes to go into detail a lot more and delve into intricate elements of psychology or economic interest, especially since the episodes are about one hour and thirty minutes, twice as long as standard episodes of detective series.. The second interest is that crime is always stated as being some kind of business. And that is fundamental. We think of crime as being asocial or antisocial. It is in a way, but not because it wants to disrupt and destroy society, but because it plays the rules of society in order to get an easy profit out of it. Easy? Way of speaking. Fast for sure. The pilot episode takes us into the business of undertaking and shows how that business can easily become a cover for another deadly and lethal business: heroin in exchange of diamonds, or vice versa if you prefer. "Electric Bill" is beautifully wrapped up so that the first suspect will be revealed as the culprit but after a long hesitating line of exploration and digging out. But this serial killer is only someone who is preparing the big case with little ones so that he is sure the target will pay because he will be frightened. Serial killing as an efficient business procedure. "Kiss and Tell" is funnier because a spa center is transformed into a hunting ground for a female serial killer who is only getting a lot of money out of some rich men who are looking for sexual variety and killing them when she gets the real prize.Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Literally Literate on November 16, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
MURPHY'S LAW just couldn't be done better by anyone else. I waited years for this to be released for Region (1). AMAZON IS THE BEST! They even emailed me when OCCUPATION (a recent BBCTV movie with James Nesbitt starring) was going to show. This being because I had MURPHY'S LAW on my wishlist. So now I have my own copy of ...LAW. I already knew I had to have it, as it aired on BBC a few years back. I was impressed and determined. It wasn't even available in Region (2) at that time. James is the best Murphy there could ever be. He's just got that character.
I'm now awaiting the Region (1) release of the dynamic BBCTV series COLD FEET-Season 4. Series 1-3 are out and I have them! All you have to do is search for COLD FEET and you can watch the pilot. You will crack up and want to buy all you can get. The line up is chock full of talent, but James is the star by far! He's beautifully Irish but thank God the BBC loves him too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By FYI on July 27, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Look for Nesbitt in the fun, highly recommended film Lucky Break, which also features another cast member from "Murphy's Law." We arrived at "Murphy" after viewing the morass of "Cracker." Though we respect the expansive and emotive Coltrane, the dolorous character stagnated, unlike the driven Murphy. "Murphy's Law" wastes no time on theatrical evaluation of criminal psychology.

James Nesbitt completely inhabits the grief-wrought Murphy, a man pushed to the edge in ways few experience. With conviction and wild despair, he becomes a means for justice. Reminds me of Hammett's staccato poetry. I've known fascinating aged ex-criminals, salt of the earth, friends with great stories, as well as law enforcement folks; this show actually understands the dynamics involved. This is one hard intelligent romp, from Murphy's Law: Series One to Murphy's Law: Series Three. For connoisseurs of crime/suspense drama, Season Three is over the top great; snappy and tight, with crisp writing and great momentum. At this point, James Nesbitt stepped in to contribute creative direction, propelling the show to another level. Season Two is not as good, but Season Three is an intense fantastic run, due to Nesbitt's superb story ideas and acting. Throughout, James Nesbitt inhabits the role of Murphy perfectly, stretched tight across a harsh life. Nesbitt is also superb in the revival of Jekyll. Sadly, after the first season of "Murphy's Law," the Irish priest friend, a great character and gentle ballast, is dropped; Series 5 is lackluster at best.
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