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The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: Season 1 (2008)

Jill Scott  |  PG |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (503 customer reviews)

Price: $57.16 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: Season 1 + Botswana: In the Footsteps of the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency with Alexander McCall Smith + The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency)
Price for all three: $87.98

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jill Scott
  • Format: Box set, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, Closed-captioned, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: September 8, 2009
  • Run Time: 480 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (503 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0016Q2D1Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,356 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: Season 1" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Botswana: The Gem of Africa
  • Anthony Minghella's No. 1 Film
  • The Beat of Botswana
  • The Making of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
  • The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: Author's Diary

Editorial Reviews

The lead hails from the U.S. and the creators come from the U.K., but The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency celebrates Botswana, "the finest place on God's Earth," as surely as a woman’s intuition. In his final directorial effort, Anthony Minghella joins forces with producer/co-writer Richard Curtis for the pilot, in which Precious Ramotswe (Grammy-winning singer Jill Scott) makes her debut. After her father dies, Mma Ramotswe sells his cows and opens an agency, because she "wants to do good." So, the "traditionally built woman" (in the words of Anthony McCall Smith, who wrote nine books about her) leases the old Gabarone post office, hires hyper-efficient secretary Grace Makutsi (Anika Noni Rose, Dreamgirls), and gets down to business.

With sassy hairdresser BK (Desmond Dube) and smitten mechanic JLB Matekoni (Lucian Msamati) cheering her on, Mma Ramotswe becomes a combination detective/feminist icon, sharing "endless cups of red bush tea" with her clients, encouraging women to take charge of their lives, and tackling tricky cases involving missing persons, duplicitous daddies, dangerous dentists, and unfaithful spouses (MI-5's David Oyelowo plays one of them). Produced for the BBC/HBO and filmed in Africa, the first season eschews gunplay and profanity for a fresh take on the small-town mystery series. Like Agatha Christie's Marple, but with fewer dead bodies, Mma Ramotswe depends more on her wits than technology.

In his author's diaries, McCall Smith reveals that "Minghella had long wanted to film my novels." Tim Fywell and Charles Sturridge (Brideshead Revisited) handle the remaining six episodes, while other distinguished guests include Prime Suspect's Colin Salmon as Ramotswe's ne'er-do-well ex-husband and Emmy nominee CCH Pounder as a mother searching for a lost son. Why Rose, who turns on a dime between comedy and tragedy, didn't also receive Emmy recognition, however, is the show's real mystery. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Product Description

Based on the best-selling novels by Alexander McCall Smith, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency tells the uplifting fictional story of a Botswana woman who fulfills a longtime dream – and bucks daunting odds – by opening her country’s first and only female-owned detective agency.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
176 of 182 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful rendition of a wonderful book August 25, 2008
By Kali
Okay so it doesn't follow the book entirely but I really enjoyed it, almost as much as I have enjoyed the books over the years.

It has been shown on English TV already so this will contain spoilers.

The movies follows a recently bereaved woman Mma Ramotste, well acted by the little known actress Jill Scott as she sets up the only Private Detective Agency in Botswana and her attempts to get it off the ground with the help of her new secretary Mma Makutsi played by the versatile Anika Noni Rose, and Mr JLB Matekoni, the owner and super mechanic of the wonderful Speedy Motors, played by Lucian Msamati. Follow Mma Ramotste as she takes on cases, meets many new people who need her help from a woman who thinks the man who has turned up at her door is not her father, to another lady who has a boyfriend who may or may not be faithful to her.

Filmed in Botswana and South Africa, the film tries to be as faithful as it can be to McCall Smith's books and I loved every second of it!

This is the pilot movie for a new series, so lets hope it is successful!
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93 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency March 30, 2009
I saw the premier of the Mc Call Smith "the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency on HBO - it was a wonderful production and the cast fit my imagined characters perfectly (I have read all eight books in this series). I can only recommend this to readers and viewers as a great experience.
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87 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVE THIS SERIES!!! May 12, 2009
Its a shame that people who have read the books are comparing it to the HBO version. I haven't read the books, so I am seeing it with fresh, unbiased eyes. I LOVE IT!!! It is well acted, funny, and it transports you to a wonderful and beautiful place where people live regular lives who have the same hopes and dreams as everyone else in the world. I can't wait til next season!
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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complete First Season June 1, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I see there is some confusion in some of the other reviews of this fantastic show whether or not the sale of this DVD is for the pilot only or the complete first season. I was confused at first, myself, until I enlarged the picture of the DVD advertised and under the title it clearly states "Complete First Season" so I can only surmise from this that I will receive all 7 shows on this one DVD that I have pre-ordered. I hope you are all able to come to this same conclusion, as well. This is one of the best shows I've ever encountered and cannot wait for the 2nd Season to start.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency is addictive May 13, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I've actually looked forward to Sunday evenings for the past seven weeks because of this series. Jill Scott is excellent in the role of Precious Ramotswe and her supporting cast is spot on. Though there are a few new characters and yes the series does not follow the books religiously, it is a wonderful combination of books meet film.

I will be going through withdrawal until the series returns for it's second season.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I ADORE THIS SERIES!! May 2, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I must say that I didn't expect to adore this series to this extent. I have watched each episode numerous times and each watching reveals something that I missed before. An A+++++
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the books and love the movie! April 18, 2009
I didn't even know the book was made into a movie until I happened upon it late last night flipping channels. Mma Ramotswe's heart is the best component of this movie and these stories. She is truthful, loving, and caring with a mind that wraps around life like warm blanket. She uses her intellect to make her Botswana a better the place, the kind of place she knows it is at its core.
This is an uplifting morvie that I will always treasure.
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well done February 11, 2009
By Johanna
As the previous reviewer stated, it's not entirely faithful to the events in the books, but it is very faithful to the spirit. Precious takes her inheritance from her father and sets up her detective agency, finds a secretary and a good mechanic for her van, and solves her first cases. It ends very satisfactorily with a celebration for two large contributions to the local orphanage, engineered by Precious, and a proposal of marriage, turned down, for now, by Precious. The actors are wonderful, the Botswana locale and people fabulous. I couldn't wait for the US version, I ordered it from Amazon UK and watched it on my multi-region DVD player (bought from for under $60).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 10 hours ago by g
5.0 out of 5 stars A great film that follows the books closely
We had read approx 12 of the book and when the opportunity to see the video became available we decided to see it and were not sorry,
I wished it had been longer as it is... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Islander
4.0 out of 5 stars A high quaity production
This is a great series. The TV version sticks closely to the novels The characters are much like I imagined from the book description. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Lovina Northram
3.0 out of 5 stars Would Wish for the Kinder, Gentler Spirit of the Books
What it is, it is. This is a good production with quality acting and interesting, modernly calibrated screenplay. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Commenter77
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
Really brings the books to life. The acting is superb and I absolutely love both ladies!
Published 11 days ago by Susan Roush
5.0 out of 5 stars I got my Sexy Jill Scott back.
Love it. I have been looking for this series since the day I heard HBO was not renewing the series The # 1Ladies Detective. I am also a big fan of Jill Scott.
Published 12 days ago by Baba
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
This first season is great! I love it. Jill Scott is pure perfection for this role and so is her secretary. Jill draws you into every emotion Precious Ramotswe has. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Stella Walton
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great dvd
Published 14 days ago by Ellen Davidson
5.0 out of 5 stars Jill Scott makes this ROCK!
Excellent series, BRING IT BACK!!
Published 16 days ago by R. Metoyer
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this series
I love this series, the rhythm of the soundtrack, the cadence of the actors' speech, the locale, the rich variety of characters, everything is just as it should be. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Long Beach Mom
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Topic From this Discussion
Tell HBO we must have the next season of No 1 Dectective Agency Filmed
I would love to see the next season of the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency. I keep looking for it on HBO. I can't get enough and would love to see more of the series. It is so pleasant to see something new and creative on HBO. Thank you!
Feb 25, 2010 by R. Hagbloom |  See all 17 posts
CC or subtitles
I just watched the pilot on DVD and I was able to turn on subtitles. :)
Sep 9, 2009 by Star Fire |  See all 2 posts
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