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Based on the novels by Kate Atkinson
"Splendid" --The Guardian (U.K.)
"Perfectly entertaining" --The Independent (U.K.)
Jackson Brodie (Golden Globe® nominee Jason Isaacs, Harry Potter, The Patriot) used to be a soldier in the British army and then an officer in the Lothian and Borders Police. Now the tough detective has turned private investigator, compelled to bring peace to victims and their families. Based in Edinburgh, the good-hearted Brodie finds himself looking into everything from lost cats to wayward spouses and killers on the run. He does a lot of running himself, partly to unwind from the stresses of his work, but mostly to escape the memories of his own traumatic past.
Seen on Masterpiece Mystery, this "more than successful adaptation" (The Guardian, U.K.) of Kate Atkinson’s award-winning novels also stars Amanda Abbington (Agatha Christie’s Poirot), Natasha Little (Vanity Fair), Phil Davis (Vera Drake), and Keith Allen (Robin Hood). Created for television by Ashley Pharaoh of Life on Mars, this character-driven drama features sharp scripts and an outstanding lead performance by Isaacs, all set against the ruggedly beautiful Scottish scenery.
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The only thing that bothers me with this package is the title: The Complete Collection. (I have the two separate series releases.) What does 'complete' constitute? Series One and Two? More than that? I know of (and have) only the two series, so that is my assumption. Both series now together on NTSC format for the folks in No. America. The failure to indicate this in the descriptive notes on this page is also disappointing. Still, those following the show on TV might have a better sense of what constitutes 'complete'.
All in all, 'Case Histories' is a very worthwhile viewing. We were totally unaware of it being on TV. And showing it to friends in Canada, they loved it. And like me, those bits of Edinburgh they see make this show that much more enjoyable.
The hero is the stereotypical failed family man, but the series spends just enough time on it to let you know without dragging you into it. I was surprised here and there when good and bad guys turned out to be bad and good guys and this series has strong male and female characters . It's violent, which I like. I love the settings they are as urban rugged as our hero and I don't really dig political murder plots, who cares, I like the smaller stories, the people like you and me at risk stories and thus far this series is all about that.
In season one he deals with a distraught father trying to discover why he daughter was murdered; a dead Russian hooker; and a nanny who suspects her employer might have been killed by her husband. In season two he is haunted by an assignment that went wrong and might turn out to be a kidnapping; a woman who suspects her fiancé is having an affair; and an old flame who is pregnant. In his own way, Brodie either loses or leaves all the women in his life.
Sometimes you get the feeling, Brodie would have been better off just being a Trappist Monk.
Without giving away the plots, the first episodes are stronger scripts and the latter not as much. I only hope that somehow some very good writers are hired by the producers to give his series closure in the main sub plot which drives this series.
The 15 minute "behind the scenes" program is outstanding. It really gives you a good insight into the the way the actors approached their roles, how Atkinson approaches her writing, a bit about Edinburgh itself, etc. Quite excellent. You might even want to watch it before seeing the films.
Sometimes I find it difficult to understand the actors' accents in films from the UK. The videos are sub-titled and this was a really good way to catch every word. The subtitles are excellent; as near as I could tell, word for word to what was being spoken. We're used to watching films from Scandinavia so are used to subtitles and don't even notice them after a short while. Speaking of mysteries from Scandinavia, if you like good crime shows, try "Unit One" a fantastic Danish series (available here on Amazon). Like Case Histories, it's filled with interesting, likable characters and the writing and acting is excellent.
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The porn part made it worse. We all have choices....mine was, not for me.