32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2005
The second season is even more exciting and action-packed than the first season, especially the first DVD in this set, Still She Cries, where you get to see Dr. Hill's patient Maggie try to reconcile the haunted images of her victims by finding where she buried the bodies, Dr. Hill help DI Carol Jordan and the Bradfield police find their latest serial killer (very good bursts of analysis by Dr. Hill, very gripping. It feels as if Robson Green is now comfortable with playing Dr. Hill and is starting to live the part). There's the mind f*ck of one of Dr. Hill's post-graduates, and personally I think she should have really lost her lunch when DI Jordan told her who she'd been with.
The second, third, and fourth episodes are all as different from each other as the first season's were. Yes, there are a core group of actors but I don't feel as if I'm watching a "Crossing Jordan" sitcom. These all feel as if they are separate movies with full attention paid to script writing, location shoots, camera focus and background scenes, and sounds and soundtrack music. They don't drag out the latest high-tech gadget to solve a crime which is so common in the US (though I'm sure the crew are working their butts off behind the scenes to give me this wonderful series); Dr. Hill's analysis is the primary tool, and I'm kept glued to the screen watching and enjoying the pursuit and the twists each case takes. This is very high quality cinema that I hope will be come cult status. If you enjoy this you'd also enjoy Christopher Nolan's Memento starring Guy Pearse and Carrie-Anne Moss. Both involve your brain and your emotions in ways I'd thought the screen had long forgotten.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2008
I just finished watching Season 3, and am officially addicted. While I am waiting for my Season 4 disc to arrive, I will try to control my jones by writing this review.
Both Hermione Norris and Robson Green were unknown to this American prior to watching this series, but they are both fabulous in their respective roles as DCI Carol Jordan and profiler extraordinaire Dr. Tony Hill. Dr. Hill can best be described as 'quirky', sometimes unsettlingly so, in his methods, and his ability to intuit the minds of twisted serial killers leaves him several bubbles off plumb in normal human interactions. However, DCI Jordan is similarly laser-focused on her career, and over the episodes she and Dr. Hill have forged a real and tender bond that makes each the other's best and most reliable friend. Though Carol and Tony often come tantalizingly close to becoming far more than friends and professional colleagues (and for these two rather damaged, very lonely people, we want them to stop dancing and just get it on already!), so far the series, prudently perhaps, keeps any romantic feelings bubbling under the surface but as yet unacted upon.
There are unmistakable echoes of 'Prime Suspect's Jane Tennyson in Carol Jordan that go beyond blonde hair; Helen Mirren brought us a cautionary portrait of a workaholic police inspector whose career and natural inclination shut meaningful personal relationships out of her life until it's too late. DCI Jordan is in danger of treading down that same path if she's not careful. Perhaps (and I hope so) this series will finally wrap up with Tony and Carol as a couple, and save Carol from Jane Tennyson's fate. In the meantime the dance is fun to watch.
"Fun" might perhaps be the wrong word for a series that is unabashedly grisly. Really. "Wire in the Blood" (and I sincerely hope I never find out what that means) is hands down the most graphic show I have seen. Indeed there are scenes here that would have not been out of place in David Fincher's "Se7en". American crime shows are fairly sanitized for this kind of thing, and we Yanks are a bit unprepared for the sheer amount of gore and even nudity of corpses which this show presents us. Be advised that the crime scenes in this series require a strong stomach, and make anything on "Law & Order" look like a children's cartoon. This show doesn't just push the envelope; it tears it completely. I find a grudging admiration in the risks this show takes--and here I thought that British TV was supposed to be so boring!
Robson Green is my new crush, and writer Val McDermid, who created the character says that Mr. Green is the 'definitive' Tony Hill as he existed in her imagination. I know he certainly fires up my imagination, and has grown on me as this series has progressed. If you're a fan of crime dramas, gird your stomach and watch this--you won't be sorry.
25 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2006
I became a Robson Green fan when I saw the first season of Wire in the Blood. Since then, I have read the books, and watched Green in his other crime series, Touching Evil. If you like to watch films about police solving serial killer crimes, you will enjoy this. The crimes are shocking, the denouement is interesting, and at the heart of the story is the developing relationship between Dr. Tony Hill (Green) and the police woman with whom he works these crimes.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2007
I love the series, and the videos are great. The quality is excellent. However, English is not my first language and the lack of Spanish (and any other language) subtitles was a sort of disappointment. I didn't know that before the purchase. Fortunatly, the audio is great. And if you don't mind the absence of subtitles, I totally recommend it!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Wire in the Blood is a truly disturbing, and riveting British crime drama that delves into the darkest depths of the human mind. Clinical psychologist Tony Hill (Robson Green) plays the central character in this series and besides his day job as a university lecturer, he also helps the local police in the town of Bradfield solve the most horrific crimes. His counterpart (for the first three seasons) is the competent DI (later DCI) Carol Jordan (Hermione Norris) whose meticulous, analytic, forensics-based approach to solving crimes nicely complements the more eccentric methods employed by Hill. It is Hill's job to get into the minds of the most depraved and disturbed serial killers, and at times his methods are downright ghoulish (he experiments to see how he could choke himself on newsprint in one case), but his methods almost always yield the results needed to solve crimes.
The second season is even better than the first with four compelling cases to keep viewers glued to the screen. The episodes here are:
Still She Cries - Tony tries his desperate best to get Maggie, serial killer of children (and with whom he has worked for the past five years) to reveal where she hid the bodies of her victims. Meanwhile, there's a serial killer targeting young women, and Carol gets stalked by the killer.
The Darkness of Light - When the police discover an old burial ground dating 500 years holds not only the older corpses but also evidence of more recent victims, Tony comes in to help solve the case. The pattern of the crimes is very similar to the 500-year-old crimes, which leads Tony to suspect a ritualistic element to the killings.
Right to Silence - Carol is now a DCI, and works on a case involving the murder linked to a gang boss.
Sharp Compassion - A spate of suspicious deaths at a Bradfield hospital leads both Tony and Carol to suspect that someone working within the hospital might be killing off seriously ill patients.
Wire in the Blood works so well on screen mainly because of Robson Green's consummate portrayal of Tony Hill. Green has come to own his character, and viewers with an appreciation of how crimes are solved will be riveted by the conscientious method by which Tony works through a case until he solves it. Hill is not without flaws, and is very much a loner, and the only normal human that he connects with is DCI Jordan. The pair share a close bond and there's definitely some sexual tension simmering between the two. The stories themselves are artfully crafted and well-written, though at times the content does get too graphic and disturbing, enough to warrant a short break between viewings! Overall, an excellent crime drama that will appeal to fans of the genre.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2011
At first glance, Wire in the Blood might seem as if it is trying to shock with graphic scenes and unnerving antagonists but this is simple window dressing. While the murder scenes can be over the top sometimes, the shock value is used to underscore and emphasise the mind behind it. The killers are frightening, but Dr. Hill's compassionate breakdown of the motive and mind help transform them from terrifying to pitiful... and all without making excuses or justifying behavior. The part I enjoy best is watching Tony discover and lay bare the mind behind the madness.
As an American this show can sometimes seem odd to me, as I have an involvement in the American law enforcement community and it's interesting to see how it's done differently "across the pond" (No guns! DCI Jordan has a brass pair since she takes on psycopaths armed with nothing but harsh words!). I also appreciate that more time and effort go into the creation of the profile (Criminal Minds here in America is fun, but ultimately boring after watching this show).
Tony Hill is quirky and intelligent, but highly human and empathic. Carol Jordan is an excellent character as well, and although I can't quite forgive her for not being Carol, Alex Fielding is a worthy successor. Since I tend to go in for six hour marathons I've started to catch onto the little "tells" that let me know who the killer is before the end of the show. This is faintly dissappointing, but it makes the times when I'm wrong even sweeter (and really, can't be helped... the audience has to have something to "remember" that "extra" by, or the ending is harder to follow).
Bottom line: Good character development, excellent acting, engaging story lines. The longer run-time makes it far superior to anything we have in America. Highly reccommended for the mystery lover.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
"Wire in the Blood," another strong British television detective series, is based upon the work of prize-winning British author Val McDermid; it's based in her fictional Midlands city of Bradfield, which she undoubtedly based upon the very real Midlands city of Manchester, where she worked as a journalist for 16 years, and still lives. It's filmed in the little-seen-here Midlands, rather than London, of which we see so much, and as such, it has a real background feel to it. It's a crime drama/police procedural, dealing as a rule with the capture of serial killers (a theme some of us may find we've seen too much), and it is gritty, sometimes gory. McDermid, of course, is considered one of the leading lights of the school of British mystery writing known as tartan noir -- rather more violent and bloody than the usual, and, thankfully, lightened occasionally by that dour Scots humor. Written by a Scot, duh, which McDermid is. And all those English seem to whisper while they work: it could sure use subtitles.
The series advertises itself these days as "based upon characters created" by McDermid. Robson Green stars as Dr. Tony Hill, psychologist-academic-profiler, giving a wondrous performance; handsome, praises be, intense, intelligent, fallible and flexible. He is ably supported by Hermione Norris as Detective Chief Inspector Carol Jordan, Emma Hardy as DC Paula McIntyre, and Mark Letheren as DS Kevin Geoffries. And they all seem to whisper while they work: the series could sure use subtitles.
Unfortunately, McDermid hasn't written nearly enough to keep a series going, and the episodes collected in Series 2, which are written by others, are not up to her standard. For those of you who've never had the privilege, she's a daring writer, breaking new ground with every step; and her best work is troubling, intensely gory and violent; frequently involving torture of a sexual nature. Unfortunately, the four episodes that comprise this series just don't go there.
Disk 1, "Still She Cries," is the strongest, involving Maggie Thomas, a troubled, convicted female serial killer in jail for life(many people would argue that, in fact, there never has been a female serial killer; the American, Aileen Wuornos, was not a proactive hunter, merely a reactive.) It also involves a predatory, pretty blond student of Hill's, and a new serial killer preying on pretty blond girls.
Disk 2,"The Darkness of Light," concerns an overly religious young woman. Somewhere on the internet, I noted a comment from a British crime scene investigator to the effect that the hotel room in which a murder takes place in this episode is, in fact, the hotel room in which a murder once took place.
Disk 3, "The Right to Silence," opens on a particularly gruesome murder, body found at a slaughterhouse. The work appears to be that of a local gangster, already imprisoned. The story is made a bit stronger by father/son, and brother/brother arcs.
Disk 4, "Sharp Compassion." Someone's killing very sick people in a hospital. And somehow terrorists, and MI5 are shoehorned in.
The series takes its name from an early Dr. Hill book: The Wire in the Blood (Dr. Tony Hill and Carol Jordan Mysteries). That book was violent in the extreme, and considerably cleaned up for Series 1. I recommend it whole-heartedly, but not if violence disturbs you. I understand the title quote comes from a poem by T.S. Eliot, and rather meant an irresistible urge to kill. At one time, while he was writing Blood Work; I believe, Michael Connelly, currently most popular American crime writer, mentioned "Wire in the Blood," and said he was going to collaborate on the writing of it. (He had a habit of mentioning past and future books, in each book he then wrote.) In the event, of course, McDermid wrote "Wire" alone. Well, the current TV series is worth watching - watered-down McDermid is better than no McDermid - but don't judge the author's writing by it.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2007
Green's character of Tony Hill, written by Val McDermid, is a wonderful blend of intelligence, compassion, single-mindedness and utter obtuseness when it comes to interacting with people who are NOT serial killers. These videos bring him to life in as clear a manner as John Thaw's "Inspector Morse," but in a much more graphic style.
The stories are all well-written (with a complexity reminiscent of the Prime Suspect series) and the cinematography is griping and memorable. The scene in the first series of wind turbines viewed from a passing train is one which I will always carry with me.
I've enjoyed Green in previous series, but nothing has come close to The Wire in the Blood, for pure quality writing, acting and impact.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2009
If you are not a fan of Robson's, that's your loss. Everyting he does is well written, well acted, filmed and edited. He's courageous for bringing jobs to the NE Region of Scotland, and works tirelessly to keep his region in the news. If you are adventurous and not afraid of what goes bump in the night, view the entire series of WITB 1-6. Series 7 is in production as of November 2009, and I cannot wait.
Cheers to all of Robson's fans and to those I think will become fans.
A loyal and grateful watcher of British media.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2013
Season two continues the intense drama and character development of Dr. Hill and his relationship with both DCI Jordan and his career. The psychotic characters reinforce what I can only describe as great writing and acting. Wonder why our networks cannot seem to produce anything of similar quality on a reasonable basis?