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THE COMMANDER, SET 1


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THE COMMANDER, SET 1 + THE COMMANDER, SET 2 + The Helen West Casebook (Deep Sleep / Shadow Play / A Clear Conscience)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Amanda Burton, Matthew Marsh, Poppy Miller
  • Writers: Lynda La Plante
  • 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: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: November 11, 2008
  • Run Time: 570 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001B43IW6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,657 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "THE COMMANDER, SET 1" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description


A complicated female cop from the creator of Prime Suspect

After 20 years with London’s Metropolitan Police, Clare Blake has reached the pinnacle of her profession. She’s New Scotland Yard’s highest-ranking woman officer, the Serious Crime Group Commander, and head of the Murder Review Team. The pressure is intense and so is the scrutiny.

Ambitious but reckless, Blake lets her personal life bleed into her career. She defies convention, risks her reputation, and always gets too close to her cases. Each misstep she makes pleases DCI Hedges, a shifty, self-interested colleague with a grudge to settle. And he’s not the only person who wants to bring her down. From award-winning writer Lynda La Plante (Prime Suspect), this compelling thriller delivers gritty stories, intricate plot twists, and a strong, complex female lead.

Starring Amanda Burton (Silent Witness), Matthew Marsh (MI-5), and Poppy Miller (Attachments), with guest stars Hugh Bonneville (Iris), Saskia Reeves (Dune), and David Patrick O’Hara (Braveheart).

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE interview with star Amanda Burton, character retrospective with creator Lynda La Plante, supporting cast featurette, and Amanda Burton and Lynda La Plante bios.

Amazon.com

As she demonstrated with Prime Suspect, Linda La Plante has a fantastic ear for the grit and swing of police talk. Her scripts for The Commander capture the slippery way that the bond of police work leads to helping each other escape punishment for illegal acts. Commander Clare Blake (Amanda Burton, Silent Witness) has risen to a high position in Scotland Yard, but when she makes some questionable choices, her career threatens to unravel completely, leading to compromises, panic attacks, morphine, infidelity, manipulation, and unscrupulous deals with corrupt officers she'd intended to put away. At first, her reckless behavior seems to require an excessive suspension of disbelief (it doesn't ruin anything to say that she gets sexually involved with a murder suspect), and only the sharp dialogue and committed performances keep you from giving up on the plot. But over the course of additional episodes, Blake's actions grow increasingly seedy--and increasingly entertaining. She never becomes cartoonishly lurid, yet her behavior grows more and more indefensible--it's due to Burton's intriguing combination of sensuality and ambition that the character remains compulsively watchable. Each two- to three-part episode tracks a stand-alone story (a hacker is killing hospital patients by changing their records; a relentless internal investigator--the excellent David Patrick O'Hara, The Departed--forces Blake to join forces with a loathed enemy; an escaped mental patient seems to have murdered Blake's goddaughter), while the investigation of an old cover-up recurs across several episodes. Only the British can come up with a police show that's this smart, gritty, and trashy. Extras include interviews with La Plante, Burton, and the great supporting cast. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

It is a lot of fun finding the answer to this question.
carol irvin
In "Commander," I was hoping for something along the lines of "Intelligence" set in Vancouver ..
Don Caton
The casting, acting, directing, photography are all superb, and the plot is complicated and compelling.
Barbara Pierce

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Harold Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWER on October 17, 2008
Format: DVD
Clare Blake, (high praise for Amanda Burton's acting) takes the leadership of the Murder Review Team, but immediately does something that assuredly was in the "Commander Manual" in red lettering, #1 under the "DO NOT DO" list. Blake has a sexual affair with a murder convict just released that she herself had help get convicted. This affair gets publicized and creates a situation interfering with each the the murder investigations for the rest of the four episode, 570 minutes of top-notch murder mystery.

The 4-star rating is due to this UNBELIEVABLE action by the newly appointed Commander Blake. The movie even had the nerve to make this main character a female "BLOND". Would anyone in their right mind, especially the traditional conservative British population, make such a terribly wrong judgment error after a 20-year career of making the right decisions that get you appointed to the top leadership position?

Okay, now, getting beyond that initial event, the rest of the series is on-the-edge-of-your-seat, bewildering intrigue, plots braided together holding thrilling mystery, and 5-stars. Each of the 4 episodes (About 2 1/2 hrs each) have a new primary murder to solve. The MRT actors/actresses remain the same in each, additional cast in introduced related to the complex plots, Blake's affair with Murder Lampton resurfaces, Blake's family situations get involved, and the outcome will not be guessed, until the DVD does the disclosing.

There was the police shooting of a suspect, Cripps, that went awry and covered up for 4 episodes. Blake's blunder with the Lampton affair was further aggravated by her entrapment attempt. Will she never learn? The commander's sister gets cancer at the same time someone hacks into a hospital records system and begins murder blackmail.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Pierce on November 28, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a brilliant series. I couldn't be torn away from it -- I was in its thrall for about 4 days, when I watched all 10 hours of it and couldn't wait to get back to the TV to watch more. The casting, acting, directing, photography are all superb, and the plot is complicated and compelling. My only (slight) reservation is that the last disk is a disappointment. It has nothing to do with the three previous ones, and seems like an add-on. (My inspiration to buy this was an interview that I heard on NPR with its author/producer, Lynda LaPlante, which is available on the internet. I recommend it highly.)
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Fan on November 12, 2008
Format: DVD
I highly recommend this boxed set, it is a terrific series. My only complaint is that this US release contains the episode 'Blacklight' & the earlier UK release didn't. so now all of us who bought the UK set have to buy this set also.....not happy Acorn Media
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By rstamper2 on November 20, 2009
Format: DVD
This set really disppointed me. I consider Lynda LaPlante's Prime Suspect series some of the best stuff ever on TV, and so I was very interested in this series after reading that she'd written this one, too. But I not only didn't care for The Commander set, I really didn't care much for the 'heroine' at all! I had little sympathy for her...and very little respect for her; she's definitely NOT what I'd call a heroine! Prime Suspect's heroine is flawed for sure, but she has character & integrity in spades; the woman in this set is a bit too smug and I didn't find her to have much integrity at all, spending far too much time trying to dig herself out of the hole she'd dug for herself without much plausible reason (in my view) for having fallen in to begin with. If I'd rented the set, I would probably have stopped after 1st segment, but -- given I'd bought the set based on the high review rating, I plodded on, thinking that surely it would get better. It didn't, in my opinion. By the end, I didn't really care if she succeeded in saving herself or not. Too bad I had ignored the few more negative reviews in light of the majority of great ones; I wasted way too much money on this set! I would not recommend it to anyone. Far better are any of the Prime Suspect series (my faves are 1st and 6th), the Cold War era Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy set & the Smiley's People set (I think these are my absolute favorites of any TV mystery series I've seen), the House of Cards trilogy, and to just a little lesser degree, Reilly Ace of Spies. A Very British Coup, and the terrific Inspector Morse series (the last episode of which actually brought me to tears as I'd grown to care so much for the main character).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By carol irvin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 9, 2012
Format: DVD
For those of you who don't recognize him, the convict released early from prison who just wrote a book, is none other than Hugh Bonneville of Downton Abbey. He plays the father in that because he is older than he is in this series. He is marvelous in this role. I really don't care how improbable it is that a woman police chief would have an affair with an ex con who had murdered his girlfriend. She is highly repressed, highly dutiful. She is also attracted to danger. He pushes all the right buttons in her so that she is falling madly in love with him. Has he reformed or does he like murdering women and will eagerly return to it? It is a lot of fun finding the answer to this question.

As a subplot, one of her underlings is plotting against her throughout the episode and wants her to get fired. She provides him with the perfect opportunity to take her down with this controversial romance. I enjoyed this a lot but may not have with a lesser talented male lead.

I just watched it on netflix streaming.

Visit my blog with link given on my profile page here or use this phonetically given URL (livingasseniors dot blogspot dot com). Friday's entry will always be weekend entertainment recs from my 5 star Amazon reviews in film, tv, books and music. These are very heavy on buried treasures and hidden gems. My blogspot is published on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
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CC or Subtitles?
Talk about ignorant business people: There are over 100 MILLION English speaking people who need CC or subtitles. Add in the many foreign speakers who need subtitles in English to fully comprehend the script and you have a lot of business lost when the film companies cannot be bothered to show CC.
Sep 2, 2010 by InventorNC |  See all 3 posts
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