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  • Masterpiece: Breathless
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Masterpiece: Breathless


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Masterpiece: Breathless + Masterpiece: Death Comes to Pemberley + Masterpiece: Downton Abbey Season 5
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Product Details

  • Actors: Jack Davenport, Iain Glen, Zoe Boyle, Joanna Page, Catherine Steadman
  • Directors: .
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS (DIRECT)
  • DVD Release Date: August 26, 2014
  • Run Time: 360 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00KX44U90
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,197 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Set in a London hospital in 1961 when Britain was on the brink of cultural revolution Otto Powell (Jack Davenport, Smash, Coupling) is a brilliant and charismatic surgeon, who believes he can make a difference in women s lives. His marriage to the elegant Elizabeth (Natasha Little, Any Human Heart) appears to be idyllic but they are hiding a devastating secret which could shatter the careful illusion they have created.

Review

...a drama perfectly pitched between Mad Men and Call the Midwife... --telegraph.co.uk

...gritty as it is stylish... --dailystar.co.uk

...gritty as it is stylish... --dailystar.co.uk

Customer Reviews

Best TV Drama series I've seen.
madeline.lizzie
So you find yourself yelling at the screen: "No, don't go through THAT door!"
Chuck Snow
They just have great quality acting.
marlene l shove

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Steve Ramm TOP 50 REVIEWER on August 4, 2014
Format: Blu-ray
When I received an advance copy of this new PBS miniseries I had great hopes and expectations for it. I love good British mysteries – and have reviewed many DVD and BDs of them here on Amazon. I do not like to include spoilers in my reviews but I’ll have to provide a few here because it’s impossible to honestly review this product without divulging a few things. If you don’t want any significant spoilers then read on until I write “STOP!”

“Breathless” was period drama produced by the commercial ITV studios (not the BBC) in 2013 and it is now airing in the US on PBS’s “Masterpiece Mystery” series. There are six episodes which each run about 47 minutes. The PBS Home video version is the “Original UK Edition”. The PBS version was “edited” but I not by very much. I think it was for language (there is an F-word at least once). There is no nudity or graphic sex or violence.

The story takes place in 1961 London – a point in time when abortions were still illegal and the birth control pill was just being introduced. The series reeks of early 60s ambience (clothes, music) just like the TV series “Mad Men”. Only this time all – or most of the story takes place in the OB/GYN section of the London City Hospital. The relationships between the medical staff and they wives and families has the same ring as early 1960s movies too.
As I said this series is being shown as part of “Masterpiece Mystery” but – honestly – no mystery occurs until the third episode and then it’s not a detective kind of mystery – it’s the divulgence that something has happened in one of the character’s ,lives and we’ll have to wait a few hours to learn what it is. The other story lines are interesting and the casting is superb. The actors make you feel for them and their emotions.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Butterflies on August 9, 2014
Format: DVD
My fondness for this medical crime drama stems from its vivid expression of London in the early 1960's
`Breathless' ,captures this unique period of social history perfectly as post war Britain slowly emerges from austerity.

Not entirely procedural- it's more than just theater life and illegal abortions. It's a clever and detailed look into lives and aspirations of Doctors, Nurses and their families. Women in the 1960's were still perceived in society as inferior and not expected to retain or pursue careers after marriage. Strict moral codes of conduct applied.

Jack Davenport's performance as Senior Consultant Gynecologist Mr. Otto Powell, within one of London's shiny new National Health Service Hospital's is superb - in fact all the cast are equally captivating in this character led tale of secrets and lies. Keeping us in exquisite anticipation and suspense as the story unfolds.
I'm not going to divulge or explore the plot, let's just say everyone, especially the golden couple, {to whom everyone aspires} Otto and his wife Elizabeth have secrets which have the potential to ruin their reputations and lives .

This production is beautifully crafted, from detailed set designs, period camera shots, fashion and 60's music - all making it a classic. I loved it and I'm left aching for more................
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By L. M. Keefer TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 31, 2014
Format: DVD
If you would like a stylish 1960's medical drama, this may be a 5-star series for you. This centers around doctors, nurses and their mates in a medical ward. Head doctor is played by Jack Davenport, and his beguiling affability keeps you watching the show. It seems he is attracted to a nurse who isn't his wife. Other characters are similarly challenged which provides much of the dramatic tension in the show. There are other plot strands involving illegal procedures and past histories. Would say it is more character-driven than plot-driven. There is no one central conflict providing cohesion. It is not a typical Masterpiece mystery if that is what you are expecting.

It's also fashion-driven and set-driven as these compete equally for attention. The casting is inspired with star performances by female leads Zoe Boyle and Catherine Steadman who play nurses. It's a visually appealing series. I don't usually watch medical shows, and didn't find the plot strands in this as compelling as the actors, dialogue, sets, and costumes. But those who love medical dramas with a hint of revealing past secrets, this may be worthy of 5 stars.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Editbabe on September 3, 2014
Format: DVD
Episode 1 left me both excited by what I had seen and a little perplexed. The show touched on so many issues: deplorable attitudes towards women's health, marital infidelity, blackmail, socio-economic class disparities, the stigma of mental health problems. Episode 2 left me more than a little frustrated in leaving some glaring problems unsettled, or not properly resolved. Episode 3 was the worst. There were so many different directions the final show could have taken to give the viewers a more satisfactory ending; however, none of those possibilities were explored and I was left shaking my head in disbelief.

Other reviewers thought the show spoke down to viewers in that women were pretty much dismissed, thought of as pretty objects instead of being appreciated and respected. Having lived through that time period, I can tell you that is precisely how I was treated. Some of us were powerless and had little control at home, in the workplace, or in matters of our own health care. Fortunately, those days are past.
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