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Pie in the Sky: Series One (2009)

Richard Griffiths  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Griffiths
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: May 12, 2009
  • Run Time: 488 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001O4C6MQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,237 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Perfecting a recipe is like solving a crime, suggests Pie in the Sky, the clever British mystery series featuring sleuth-turned-chef Henry Crabbe (Richard Griffiths, The History Boys). After being shot by a notorious embezzler, Crabbe tried to retire from the police force so he could open a restaurant--but his weaselly superior officer, ACC Fisher (Malcolm Sinclair) blackmails him into remaining a detective. Thus begins Crabbe’s dual career, which of course proves handy as mysteries feature everything from omelets to edible snails. He’s assisted at the restaurant by his wife, Margaret (Maggie Steed, Sensitive Skin), despite her maddening indifference to food; he’s assisted in his investigations by DS Cambridge (Bella Enahoro), who works for Fisher but whose sympathies lie with Crabbe.

Pie in the Sky has an excellent balance of suspense and humor, exemplified by the very first episode’s opening: The snappy banter of policemen on a stake-out turns abruptly taut when a car careens into their territory, then segues into an elegant and almost eery face-off between Crabbe and the embezzler (played with crisp malice by Michael Kitchen, Foyle’s War). Some later episodes are more conventional, but odd narrative turns are a staple of the series (in one episode, it turns out a crime was never committed in the first place!). Griffiths is probably best know as Uncle Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter series, but others know him as lecherous Uncle Monty in Withnail and I--which only demonstrates this superb actor’s remarkable range. His approach to Crabbe is almost gentle, yet with a decisive, cunning undercurrent. The ten episodes of Pie in the Sky: Series 1 unfold like a well-made meal: Unexpected yet delightful flavors are revealed with each bite. --Bret Fetzer

Product Description

The delectable British detective series

After 25 years in the force, Detective Inspector Henry Crabbe (Richard Griffiths, The History Boys, Harry Potter) has lost his appetite for the job. He plans to take early retirement and open his dream restaurant, Pie in the Sky. But his accountant wife, Margaret (Maggie Steed, Shine on Harvey Moon), doesn’t think the numbers add up. And his boss, ACC Fisher (Malcolm Sinclair, Casino Royale), needs him around to handle those delicate cases at which he excels. Although craving retirement, Crabbe discovers that crime solving can be just as hard to resist as his signature steak and kidney pie.

This lighthearted British mystery series blends criminal investigations and culinary adventure for the "perfect way to while away the afternoon" --The Times (U.K.). Guest stars include Michael Kitchen (Foyle’s War), Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings), Pete Postlethwaite (In the Name of the Father), and Julian Fellowes (Monarch of the Glen). As seen on public television.

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE interview with star Maggie Steed, production notes, biography of Richard Griffiths, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Although the box description touts the comedy aspect of this series, it is 98% police mystery. There is some lighthearted moments, and some images of fine food (no recipes provided), but expect some serious investigative work by a crime detective that sometimes has his own way to looking into the facts, sometimes not quite on the up-and-up, and always with his heart back at the restaurant called "Pie in the Sky."

Many kudos for the performance of Inspector Henry Crabbe (Richard Griffiths) as he unravels the sometimes nonexistent clues. He also cronically seeks time to work on new menu items and cares for his music loving chickens (eggs must be fresh). Crabbe's wife, Margaret (Maggie Steed), plays the perfect spouse, looking out for the financial side of Crabbe's retirement cafe as well as keeping him honest with his requirements to his police boss, Fisher.

Assistant Crime Commissioner Fisher (Malcolm Sinclair), is a man provided for the viewer to hate. He traps Crabbe into abandoning his retirement plans, after an investigation arrest goes bad, and Crabbe gets a minor bullet-in-the-leg wound while dining with the man supposed to be arrested. It looks suspicious. Fisher all but blackmails Crabbe into additional crime assistance, always at Fisher's beck-and-call, forcing the retirement "Pie in the Sky" restaurant to be started up under Margaret Crabbe's name. She doesn't even like food.

Each episode is a new call to a different crime and tough investigation that ACC Fisher needs help solving. Promotion seeking Fisher plans on Crabbe taking the blame if things go awry. For all viewers that enjoy English versions of police mystery, this is unusual and quite well done.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pie in the sky.DVD. April 9, 2009
I have seen these on BBC America, they are wonderful.
Part comedy part mystery.
I had tried to get them before but they were only
on Region 2. Delighted I can obtain them now.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Starring Richard Griffiths (whose previous appearances include "The History Boys" and "Harry Potter"), Pie in the Sky Series 1 is the debut boxed set of a British DVD series that blends elements of mystery, police drama, and comedy into a witty whole. 25-year police veteran Detective Inspector Henry Crabbe longs to take early retirement and open the restaurant of his dreams, which he calls "Pie in the Sky", but his accountant wife thinks his dream is a bottomless money pit, and his boss needs him to handle those intricate cases that he has a natural gift for! A surprisingly lighthearted crime drama (at least, as lighthearted as any crime drama can be), Pie in the Sky even weaves elements of culinary delight into its slyly sumptuous storytelling. Special features include an interview with star Maggie Steed, production notes, a biography of Richard Griffiths, and more. Highly recommended. 3 DVDs, 10 episodes, 488 minutes plus 18 minutes bonus program, 4:3 full screen, subtitles.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Richard Griffiths as D.I. Henry Crabbe
Maggie Steed as his wife & restaurant owner Margaret Crabbe
Malcom Sinclair as ACC Freddy Fisher, Henry Crabb's superior who keeps him working for the force.
Joe Duttine as Steve Turner
Bella Enahoro as WRC/DS Sophisa Cambridge, the beautiful woman Henry hates to see (she brings the cases to him).
Nick Lamont as Chef Gary Palmer, a reformed ex-con.
Ashley Russel as John the waiter
Alison McKenna as Linda the waitress

The first year of PIE IN THE SKY dealt more with setting up the restaurant & introducing the characters; the police detective work was back story until about the third or forth episode. It took me several episodes to get into the series but I stayed with it because I liked the actors & the characters they portrayed.

The company description fails to mention the real reason Detective Inspector Henry Crabbe continues working part time for the police: Blackmail. Henry was tricked into appearing to take a bribe, even though he is entirely innocent, this circumstance enables his superior, A.C.C. Fisher, to blackmail Crabbe into continuing to take on occasional cases as required, threatening to re-open the inquiry if Crabbe disagrees.

A blackmailing Police force is the real story behind this series. So there is quite a bit of tension between D.I. Crabbe & his superior. And D.I. Crabb is willing to do anything that makes his superior look bad.

While the Full Frame DVD (the show's original framing) has no Closed Captions, the episodes do have Sub-Titles (accessible from your remote). I prefer subtitles over Closed Captions as they do not mask over the picture. With British accents, I tend to leave the subtitles on.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully Original August 11, 2009
How come the British manage to do it everytime! I mean choosing an actor that makes the character really live, breathe and interact just like a regular bloke. David Suchet as Poirot, Diana Rigg as Mrs. Emma Peel, Leo Mackern as Rumpole and now Dursley as a fat overweight, thoughtful detective whose passion lies in the kitchen!
I don't know why I even bothered to get the series; I was looking for something new, something different and the opening episode was barely enough interesting for me to go on. By the end, I said to myself, well let's give the second episode a try. And then I was hooked!
Richard Griffiths grows on you, although given his bulk, one winces when he tries to hurry. Maggie Steed is wonderful. But it is Bella
Enahono who as Sgt. Cambridge steals the show. I was actually waiting for her to show up in episode 4, just praying she would not be dropped from the series. And she did. This is one of the best of the first season.
The stories, sly and understated could be more interesting, but the characters breathe fire into half hearted plots. Wish there was more culinary scenes, perhaps a few recipes thrown in like a fruity pasta in one of the earlier episodes.
Did you know that ox kidneys are better than veal ones, in the making of that fine English dish, Steak and Kidney Pud?
More, more. I am looking forward to Series 2, and 3, let there be more!If There Wasn't Death (Middle_english Edition)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 1 month ago by MICHAEL LOWSLEY-WILLIAMS
5.0 out of 5 stars Great series.
I love seeing British character actors stretch from comedy to drama. This is a first rate drama with no tidy endings. Love it.
Published 6 months ago by Vanissa Thurman
3.0 out of 5 stars Redundant
Looked like a cute concept. It was for awhile but palled quickly. I have no interest in seeing it again. Just not good enough for a second time around.
Published 11 months ago by Betty Garland
3.0 out of 5 stars Pie in the Sky
I like many British series, especially having to do with the cozy mystery genre. This series showed promise, for the most part. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Deborah Macdonald
5.0 out of 5 stars Richcard Griffiths - RIP :(
This is a great show and the actors and characters they play are just great. You love to hate Freddie Fisher!
I certainly intend to get more of these series. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Patience E. Patterson
5.0 out of 5 stars good fun
Felt bad when Richard Griffiths died this year, so went back to watch the series. A nice series, and Griffiths will be missed.
Published 16 months ago by Country girl
5.0 out of 5 stars More pie
this is the first of the series I have watched. I enjoy all the characters and am glad they take the restaurant food seriously. Is there a cookbook? Thank you
Published 16 months ago by Irene Gierzak
4.0 out of 5 stars So far, so good
Have only watched 2 of these as yet, but am already intrigued. This policement reminds me of an overweight Columbo, but the endings aren't quite as pat. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Bun
3.0 out of 5 stars Light. fun series
This series is a nice idea, but, for us, not nearly enough intellectual material, even for an entertaining evening. Read more
Published 19 months ago by E. Lehman
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtitles Included
We are viewing this DVD and really enjoying it. Acorn didn't list the cc but it does have it and it is must for my husband who is hard of hearing. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Patricia
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subtitles or CC?
Bought Pie in the Sky, has sub-titles.
Jun 12, 2009 by Linda L. Ivins |  See all 5 posts
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