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102 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent...but be warned
In my opinion, McCallum is the forerunner and inspiration for the CSI franchise on US television. I caught most of the episodes on PBS long before CSI came on the scene and was totally caught up in it's dark, gritty, ugly portrayal of life and death in the East End of London. John Hannah is excellent as Dr. Ian McCallum, forensic pathologist extraordinaire but a man who...
Published on June 26, 2006 by Katherine

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars McCallum
Love love love the series. One of the dvd's quality was not that great. For something that is bought new, it should be perfect, and it was not. It had some wavy lines and it was not crystal clear.
Published 9 months ago by cher


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102 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent...but be warned, June 26, 2006
By 
Katherine (Colorado, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: McCallum: The Complete Series (DVD)
In my opinion, McCallum is the forerunner and inspiration for the CSI franchise on US television. I caught most of the episodes on PBS long before CSI came on the scene and was totally caught up in it's dark, gritty, ugly portrayal of life and death in the East End of London. John Hannah is excellent as Dr. Ian McCallum, forensic pathologist extraordinaire but a man who fights demons of his own...both in his personal life and at his job. Hannah is surrounded by a superb supporting cast. McCallum is a top-notch drama from the UK but be warned, it's not pretty, is R-rated and definitely NOT for the kiddies.
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70 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Darker Shade of London, October 5, 2006
By 
Stephanie De Pue (Wilmington, NC USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: McCallum: The Complete Series (DVD)
As it appeared on broadcast television, at least, episodes of this series opened on a dark, moody and threatening looking Thames River flowing through London, under the famous bridges, while a sultry chick singer delivered "Cry Me a River." Now recently released on dvd, scuttlebutt says this production of Scottish Television Enterprises has lost the voice-over opening song. Licensing difficulties, I suppose. But this is a blow to me, and, perhaps to others: the English singer Mari Wilson's take of this famous song put me right in the mood for what followed.

At any rate, hunky Scottish actor John Hannah, whom I first noticed in an episode of Taggart,came to widespread public notice playing "Matthew"in "Four Weddings and a Funeral." Here he plays Dr. Ian Mc Callum, forensic pathologist based at St. Patricks Hospital in London's East End. The darkness of the Thames continues into the hospital, which always looks so dark and dusty, I wonder how the pathologists can see anything through their microscopes. As befits a Scot, Hannah's character, McCallum is painted in dark, morose tones too. At one point he and a friend take a stroll through London: it seems that, at almost every street, there has been a murder, and he has examined a body, and it is obvious that he carries all those violent deaths, and all those bodies, as a burden all his waking, and sleeping hours. Hannah, who was born to a large family in East Kilbride, Scotland, and began his working career as an electrician's apprentice, evidently has a gift for these dark law enforcement roles. He played Rebus in several made for tv episodes of the Ian Rankin books, until a corporate reorganization resulted in his replacement by another actor.

At any rate, Mc Callum's plots, too, are dark, but taut and spare: this is a well-written series. I call to mind an episode about a Jewish family that owns a bakery, and a really resonant one about illegal Brazilian immigrants being exposed to a mysterious fatal illness by the unlicensed English doctor they must consult for their medical needs. There's an excellent one in which a female coworker of McCallum's is murdered shortly after they've made love: he's in an uncomfortable, untenable position: doesn't want to admit he was the last to see her alive, but unable to prevent the investigation from going forward and snaring him at last. And there's a dandy one about a man who believes Mc Callum has injured him, trying to take revenge.

There's some of that Scottish wit too, of course. Guess you'd have to conclude that this television series fits into that school of British mysteries now known as tartan noir: darker, more violent, more bloody than the norm. But with some humor, too. At one point, McCallum, talking to a woman he's about to get to know better says, "Please, I'm Scottish. We don't even make eye contact until after we've had sex." Of course, there is sex, Hannah/Mc Callum is much too easy on the eyes to be going without, and almost every episode features a shot of Hannah's tasty tousch. Another good reason to check this series out.
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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Brilliant, July 16, 2006
By 
apophatic (Auckland, NZ) - See all my reviews
This review is from: McCallum: The Complete Series (DVD)
This is one of the finest examples of British police/forensic programmes ever. My only complaint is that they didn't make more episodes - with John Hannah.

I disagree with it being a forerunner to CSI though - as I think McCallum is entirely different. McCallum is so much more realistic, and a far far superior drama at the same time.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, August 10, 2006
By 
This review is from: McCallum: The Complete Series (DVD)
I am a huge John Hannah fan I when I found this was out I just had to get it. I really enjoy it and even if you aren't a John Hannah fan then I would still tell you it is worth the buy great storylines. I wish there were more coming. I also a huge Nathaniel Parker fan and was very pleased to see him in the last episode.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great characters, great writing, intriguing stories., March 31, 2007
This review is from: McCallum: The Complete Series (DVD)
John Hannah is one of the most talented, naturally gifted actors working today. This series was compulsive for me. I had to see every epidsode after Rebus, with Hannah, ran out. Somehow, the Brits always get into the characters so well..why is that? Could it be the casting is perfect? Hannah,as Dr. Iain McCallum, carries the series, is a devil with women, and everyone in the show does an amazing job. Where do these actors come from? I recognized only Hannah. The women have such a different,natural beauty, and none of the men could pose for underwear ads. Yes, they play compelling characters and are somehow much more interesting for looking like regular folk. The writing is superb; so much better than even the best shows on American t.v. With each episode, I could not take my eyes away from the screen because I had to know what McCallum was going to do and how he was going to get thru another big mess because often. motorcycle- riding McCallum is his own worst enemy. His personal life becomes as intriguing as who is raising the body count; and what is obvious, is that the writer of the series knows medicine and science well, so that the viewer is learning in every scene. This is not glamorous London; it's the seedy side of the East End of London and is as deadly and dark as Edinburg,Scotland in the Rebus series. Don't miss McCallum if you like an intelligent and entertaining experience. I wish there were many more episodes but Hannah is on to other assignments.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent BBC series, July 1, 2008
By 
This review is from: McCallum: The Complete Series (DVD)
McCallum: The Complete SeriesThis is an excellent, compelling series starring John Hannah. Great characters, storyline, production. You will be unable to tear yourself away until the end of the episode (2 hours). Sadly the series was not renewed. Probably due to the replacement of the lead characters in the final episode -- its hard to have a series called McCallum without McCallum in it. Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, but too quickly ended, September 26, 2011
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This review is from: McCallum: The Complete Series (DVD)
One of the best among British mystery series--my favorites--but I was stunned and disoriented when the fourth disk finished and the last disk had a new cast with no McCallum.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars McCallum: The Complete Series, March 5, 2010
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This review is from: McCallum: The Complete Series (DVD)
One little disappointment with an otherwise excellent series was the fact that the theme tune for the series released in the US was different to the series release in the UK and Australia. I really missed not hearing 'Cry Like A River' at the beginning and end of the show.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars See (and enjoy) them all, except for the last..., January 13, 2008
This review is from: McCallum: The Complete Series (DVD)
Fabulous series, and I wish they'd made more. Of course it was a precursor to CSI - but better, because McCallum is so natural, so real, and the actors are stupendous. However, I suggest getting the series at the library and skipping the last one. It's a total bore - McCallum (John Hannah) is gone, along with the exquisite Angela (Zara Turner) and everyone from the start of the series looks weary. The actors basically phone in their performances and the new people have no charisma whatsoever. Either that, or the writing of this one episode is just really, really bad. My favorite scene from the entire series is in the next-to-last episode, between Bracken (Gerald Murphy) the thorny police investigator, and his awkward young assistant. They have begun bickering like an old married couple by this time; the kid is beginning to get really good at his job and Bracken is suddenly threatened. You have to see it to get it. We howled, and played the scene between them in the car, at the end of the episode, over and over and over again. But don't start with this disc. You have to see the whole series all the way through to appreciate the scene. Enjoy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars McCallum, July 29, 2011
By 
mona milford "mona_s world" (San Francisco, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: McCallum: The Complete Series (DVD)
I really liked this series a lot. The acting is good, the interaction of characters is great. They also killed off some of the regulars I didn't like. My only 2 complaints are, I would have liked a follow up episode of the Black Widow character and I don't understand why McCallum wasn't in the last episode. I love Nathaniel Parker, so it was a great last episode, but since it wasn't a spin off, it didn't make a lot of sense.
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McCallum: The Complete Series
McCallum: The Complete Series by Gerard Murphy (DVD - 2006)
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