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Murder Investigation Team: Series One
DVD | Box Set
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"Intelligent, edgy, and gripping" --The Times (U.K.)
"Well paced and intriguing" --London Evening Standard
"Dark and gritty" --The Guardian (U.K.)
From the makers of The Bill, Murder Investigation Team reveals the gritty reality of police work, where success is part grueling procedure and part gut instinct.
Leaders of an elite squad of detectives, brusque DI Vivien Friend (Olivier Award winner Samantha Spiro) and intuitive DC Rosie MacManus (Lindsey Coulson, EastEnders) single-mindedly pursue those who do unthinkable deeds as part of the Special Crimes Unit of London’s Metropolitan Police.
Fast paced and brimming with twists and turns, the series details the course of an investigation from crime scene through profiling, forensics, and good old-fashioned detective work. Along the way, false leads, misdirection, and surprising resolutions fill each gripping hour, meticulously crafted to reflect real-life investigations.
Contains strong language, violence, and graphic images
While some crime dramas, like Single Minded, focus on a police officer's personal life as it dovetails with crime solving, Murder Investigation Team takes a methodical narrative approach that will appeal more to viewers who enjoy understanding exactly how a case is solved from a strictly professional standpoint. These eight 50-minute episodes track a fictionalized version of the Special Crimes Unit of London's Metropolitan Police, and one can tell from the outset that the portrayal aims for accuracy. While little is revealed about the personal lives of head detectives DI Vivien Friend (Samantha Spiro) and DC Rosie MacManus (Lindsey Coulson), one settles into the intimate psychological tactics they use to sleuth gruesome murders. Detectives Friend and MacManus's rapport resembles that previously shared in Cagney and Lacey, though all sentiment is cut from this show in favor of the search for cold, hard evidence. Detective Friend, established as the administrative leader, divvies out research demands to discover precursor incidents and confidently directs her team members' lines of inquiry. MacManus's warmer, more personable tack aids greatly in the interview room and in the field as she relentlessly questions witnesses. Most scenes, like those in The Wire, depict the detectives gathering evidence and hashing out theories back in the office.
There are several abject crime scenes and glimpses of violence and murder, but this show deemphasizes sensationalism in favor of explaining, for example, how forensics are reasoned out afterwards. The crimes vary widely to allow for this. In "Moving Targets," the murder of Sergeant Matthew Boyden (Tony O'Callaghan) unleashes a complicated trail of drug usage and lies. In "Daddy's Little Girl," Phil Seabrook, the father mourning his teenage daughter's murder, turns out to have unexpected troubles of his own. In "Rubbish," a child's body is found on a trash barge, and in some cases, as in "Reading, Writing, and Gangbanging," multiple murders are linked. Each episode highlights the two women, but the team members, especially Detective Trevor Hands (Michael McKell), have deep character as well. As they obsess over cases, occasionally managing to slip into the local pub for a late-night drink, the team constantly mulls over mysterious details for clues. The amazing part is that the detectives rarely snap, though in one episode, "Models and Millionaires," Friend's anxiety begins to get the best of her as she doubts a member of her own team. In this, one is reminded of what a difficult task real detective work is; viewers may come away with a newfound respect for the dedication and intelligence it takes to convict real criminals. --Trinie Dalton
Interview with actor Michael McKell (25 min.)
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Top customer reviews
but the sound mixing on the second season was off. The background noises:
office machines, street sounds, music, etc. were turned up so high that I struggled
to hear the actor's lines. They seemed to mumble, and the background sound
dominated. Finally in frustration, I turned it off.