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A MIND TO KILL, SERIES 1
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"Gripping detective drama" --Daily Record (U.K.)
Welsh detective Noel Bain solves crimes his own way. He relies not on science or technology, but unerring instinct, keen intelligence, and a passion for defending the innocent. A workaholic widower, he also struggles to protect his teenage daughter, Hannah, from the world he knows too well--one filled with horrific murders, brutal sex crimes, and unrepentant villains.
Philip Madoc (The Last of the Mohicans, Doctor Who) is unforgettable as the brooding detective in this acclaimed drama. Set in a Wales more bleak than picturesque, the series has earned comparisons to Cracker and Inspector Morse for its gritty authenticity and strongly drawn characters. Guest stars in these feature-length mysteries include John Rhys-Davies (The Lord of the Rings) and Siân Phillips (I, Claudius).
DVD FEATURES INCLUDE director’s production notes and cast filmographies.
Top Customer Reviews
It's set in Wales, but not the Wales of the tourist brochures; this, suitably enough, is dark and rainy country, as its mysteries deal with dark, and some might feel, rancid material. It contains nudity and scenes of graphic violence, just as a word to the wise. The series has been compared to others, such as Inspector Morse - Complete Collection, or Cracker: The Complete Collection, that are perhaps better-known, certainly beloved, for the brooding central character who must tackle modern day crimes. And as is frequently the case with British TV series, there's been no apparent stinting on the location filming, extras, cars, interiors, etc. Madoc plays Detective Chief Inspector Noel Bain as a middle-aged, workaholic widower concerned with solving crimes, also with the welfare of his daughter Hannah. He's surrounded by some solid supporting actors playing the bunch at the cop shop, and the usual suspects in the episodes.
1. Black Silence. Strike at the local coal mine, and a pretty young local prostitute is murdered. Could a powerful, intimidating union leader, Roderick Tate, have something to do with it? Tate is played by John Rhys-Davies, (The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (Theatrical Editions) [Blu-ray]) in a substantial part that suits him so well, it might have been written for him.
2. White Rocks. A young mother is found beaten to death at a seen-better days, somewhat threatening, holiday camp. Did her seven-year old son see the murder?
3. Gameboys. The charred body of a handsome, unidentifiable young man is found in a peaceful farming community. Pillars of the community will be implicated.
4. Rest Not Secure. There's a gang war going on, and war in the Bain household, too, as Hannah moves out. Bain retreats to his remote, rural cabin to recuperate, but trouble finds him there.
5. Son of His Works. A gruesome killing in the woods, and a secretive religious cult. Heads will be banged.
6. Rachel Hardcastle. Bain is invited to a concert of modern music, and the flirtation of the sophisticated and attractive pianist, Rachel Hardcastle, turns his head. Then her boozy, disagreeable husband is beaten to death. The pianist, who's on screen in every key scene, is magnificently played by Sian Phillips (I, Claudius) in a part that suits her so well, it, too, might just have been written for her.
The mysteries are tense and absorbing; plots are intricate and memorable, and characters strongly drawn. Phillips and Rhys-Davies are surely among the best-known, older, living, most talented of Welsh actors, and I was happy to see them working here. There's no question in my mind that the series is aimed at the older cohorts among us, but I didn't mind that. Why would I? I did notice a tendency, however, to ramp up the action in the closing scenes of each episode, in ways that often didn't make sense. This was, presumably, to deliver more of an action-packed "American" style closing. It also seemed as if there was quite a lot of product placement throughout the episodes. And there is the violence. However, it's tough, high-quality work that's not so readily available, and should please most lovers of British mysteries.
If you're still reading, and you really don't mind a bit of blood (no, lots of it), these police stories may be "spot-on" as far as accuracy and realism in the lives of murderers & investigative police. If so, glad I'm not one of 'em. Although filmed in Wales, it's not the scenic touristy pasture-life Wales is known for; but the dark villainous criminal underworld and the coppers who must clean up the mess and try to solve the crimes. DCI Bain (Philip Madoc--"The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes") is a crack police investigator, a widower, a father of a 17-year-old girl, with the toughness of Callan (another GREAT British thriller series) yet the occasional tenderness of a father.
SUBTITLES are helpful. Cast filmographies and very interesting production notes round out the bonus stuff. This is just series 1, so if it sells well enough, perhaps there will be the next season, or as the British call it, Series 2.
Now for DIEhards, the dark and bloody episode details:
...1 Black Silence: DCI Bain looks into the murder of a prostitute who witnessed a scab beating by strikers. Was the local Labor leader involved? There is a confession Bain fails to believe, and a riff divides Bain's team with the local police, all leading up to a dramatic conclusion.
...2 White Rocks: Small Luke witnesses his mom beaten to death with a hammer. He runs and is helped in hiding by the caravan camp manager's disturbed daughter. What sick/sinister activity is going on in this holiday park to inspire secrets and killings?
...3 Gameboys: A youth is found charred in a pig pit and confirmed to be a "rent boy." A nearby local man commits suicide by hanging. The investigation of the boy's death continues and uncovers drugs. Meanwhile Bain's daughter thinks she loves a rugby player. Bain objects.
...4 Rest Not Secure: Daughter Hannah resents dad as a cop and leaves to a location unknown by Dad. Bain's work & thought is distracted. A gang-style war gets Bain, a suspect, and the suspect's mom shot. Bain recovers but is still a target.
...5 Son of His Works: A body, nude, run over, beaten, and shot, appears to have also first dug his own grave. Murder mayhem. A religious hippie compound, drugs, dollars, the victim's daughter, all near the murder scene, looks related. Murder #2 clues point differently.
...6 Rachel Hardcastle: Hannah is still unhappy living with Dad, the widower, the cop, DCI Bain. Bain ignores a Margaret opportunity and instead gets flirtatious with a concert pianist till her hubby is murdered and Bain is suspect. In the meantime a toy model car builder's wife is killed. And as with all the murders, YOU get to watch the splattering & details.
"A MIND to KILL" sure doesn't reflect the peaceful, seaside vacation I remember taking in Wales from a few years ago. But this series is BLOODY fictional drama. I'll try to remember that, when I get the chance to order "A MIND TO KILL Series 2." I will order.
Now...if you dare...