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Category:    Home > Reviews > Crime > Drama > Murder > Mystery > Police > British TV > Murphy’s Law – Series 3 (2005/Acorn Media DVD) + Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea – Season 4, Volume 2 (1968/Fox DVD)

Murphy’s Law – Series 3 (2005/Acorn Media DVD) + Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea – Season 4, Volume 2 (1968/Fox DVD)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C-/C+     Episodes: B-/B



Sometimes TV series get better as they go along, even when it seems they might not.  We now look at two examples.


James Nesbitt is a good actor, but I had not been that impressed with his hit series Murphy’s Law.  As we go into Series 3 (2005), the show picks up in intensity and storyline in a way that is a pleasant surprise.  Here are my thoughts on the first two sets for the record:









Suddenly, Thomas Murphy is out to get a London gangster connected to illegal arms and has made it a personal vendetta.  The show has thrown out the formula of police procedurals and any political correctness, making this some of the best British TV of its kind of late and Nesbitt has finally found a new stride for the character that makes all six hour-long shows in this set worth your time, even if you have not seen the previous sets.  Sadly, the only extra yet again is a repeat of the text on Nesbitt.


Then there is the final set of the original hit TV series Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea, Irwin Allen’s biggest hit series quitting while it was ahead in 1968.  This Season 4, Volume 2 set has the last 12 hour-long shows in color that nicely wrapped up the series.  This includes No Way Back, a clever conclusion episode with Henry Jones and Barry Atwater that is one of the better ways a hit series ever ended, especially when ending early.  The show may seem serious for the genre, especially with its intended younger audience, but it stayed intelligent throughout and never sold its audience out.


Here is our coverage of previous seasons of the show for those less familiar with the show thought this review of the 1961 feature film and another volume of the show on DVD:





Yes, the effects can be obvious, dated and phony and yes, not all the scripts hold up, but this was a show with a great cast (including Richard Basehart and David Hedison) and it at least was a show that liked the idea of science.  Most such shows today could care less.  You can start with any volume, but the more you watch the earlier shows, the more you’ll appreciate how they went out on top.


Extras include two versions of the original black and white pilot to the series.  One has instrumental music more akin to the theme song of the 1961 feature film, while the other is longer because it retains commercials broadcast in its ABC-TV premiere.  Eddie Albert (Green Acres, Switch) also stars in both versions, a thoroughly entertaining start to the show.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Law is as soft as its predecessors, but it does not look bad and has some styling typical of this period.  That means color is undermined.  The 1.33 X 1 color image on Voyage episodes can be good and color terrific, but there are also many soft spots and spots of faded color competing with the good, so that holds back overall performance.  Still, the show was shot on 35mm film and was built to last and that comes through here at its best.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on Law is not bad, but again does not have any palpable surrounds, while the Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on Voyage sounds good for its age and is cleaner more often than expected.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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