Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Mystery > Detective > Murder > Literature > British TV > Jemima Shore Investigates – The Complete Series (1983/Region 2 PAL/Network U.K. DVD Set)

Jemima Shore Investigates – The Complete Series (1983/Region 2 PAL/Network U.K. DVD Set)


Picture: C     Sound: C     Extras: D     Episodes: C+



PLEASE NOTE: This DVD set is only available in the U.K. from our friends at Network U.K. and can be ordered from them at the website address links provided below at the end of the review or at finer retailers.  This is a Region Two PAL DVD Set and will only play on machines that can handle that version of the software.



At the end of the last great period of British TV, several shows did not make it to the U.S. despite being interesting and key productions.  One such show is Jemima Shore Investigates, a short-lived 1983 series with Patricia Hodge as the title character, a TV journalist who finds herself solving actual mysteries on the side.  I had heard of the show before, running across it here and there, but seeing it (along with The Gentle Touch (reviewed elsewhere on this site), another U.K. groundbreaker for women at the time) were considered steps ahead for women on British TV.


The show only lasted for 12 hour-long episodes, but it was important enough in its time and holds up decently, even if the actual mysteries are not that strong overall.  Part of the problem is that these supposedly groundbreaking “new British women” were in the Margaret Thatcher mode and what was also referred to as post-feminist, meaning they had overcome and it was time to go on from there.  The forerunner of all of them seems to have been Joanna Lumley’s Purdey on The New Avengers (also reviewed elsewhere on this site), for which a quote about her said at the time that she was so liberated, she could put her bra back on.


The women that followed did this and more, seeming to be a step forward in one way and a step back to a new kind of conformity in another.  Based on a series of novels by Antonia Frazer, the world seems like a much less sleazy version of the Britain of Jackie Collins on one hand and stuff new high society in another, but that may be oversimplifying things.  Hodge is actually quite good in the role and my guess is that this was all the material they decided to make in this case.


The show has a feel for the time and in its own right, but U.S. viewers may be expecting a laugh track as the way it is produced (videotape (PAL notwithstanding) always signified sitcoms even at this point and even the use of some outdoor 16mm filming does not change that) that it might take some adjusting to realize this is not Benny Hill, Faulty Towers, Black Adder or even Mr. Belvedere.  When you finally do adjust, you see an ambitious show that is worth a look and includes guest turns by some great actors like Ian Hendry, Tom Baker, Bill Nighy, Brian Cox, Don Henderson, Lysette Anthony, Donald Burton and Patrick Newell, it deserves a DVD release and now you can see for yourself.  Anyone who has only read any of the books will be particularly interested.


The 1.33 X 1 color image is soft with aliasing errors and other flaws that hold the picture back, which is a little odd for a production its age, but I liked the look and feel just the same and it is also very 1980s.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is also a few generations down, so be careful of volume switching.  There are no extras.



As noted above, you can order this PAL DVD import set exclusively from Network U.K. at:









-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com