Above Suspicion (2008 – 2010/Acorn DVD set) + Poirot
Series 3 (1991/Acorn Blu-ray set)
C+/B Sound: B- Extras: C+/D Episodes: B-/B
that Acorn Media bought controlling interest in the Agatha Christie Estate was
big news and being it is the holdings of her work and a key all-time writer, it
is impressive. However, Acorn has issued
more British TV Mystery than any other company in the U.S., so that
is no surprise. Here is their latest new
mystery release and latest Christie title.
Above Suspicion is a new set of series from Prime Suspect creator Lynda La Plante
and once again, it is very interesting and watchable. The original 2008 mini-series and its 2010
sequel The Red Dahlia are here in
this one DVD set and it deserves a wider audience. If you missed it, you’ll want to see it.
underrated Ciaran Hinds is the head investigator of what turns out to be a very
gruesome series of prostitute killings, a case so hot and causing such a panic
that he is actually fighting with other departments over who is taking the
case. Enter a new female investigator
(Kelly Reilly) anxious to help and smarter than anyone thinks and you have
another dual tale of a hideous murder and a woman fighting prejudice from men
(sexism) and women (jealousy) resulting in something better than your usual
police procedural and the leads have great chemistry. I also liked the supporting cast and the
approach, including a great move where we see stills come to life of the victims
to tell their story and show that they are not disposable. Very smart.
sequel series is of a crazy copycat killer (imitating the infamous Hollywood
Black Dahlia murder) in what is a more commercial, broad series that is still
good, but does not keep up al the intensity of the first set of shows. Still, I liked this more than the usual dull
genre work and hope we get the next series.
Extras include behind-the-scenes featurettes on both series, stills and
brief cast interviews.
continues to reissue early David Suchet episodes of Poirot on Blu-ray with this Series
3 (1991) set that is as much a pleasant surprise as its predecessors, Series 1 & 2, which you can read
more about at this link:
in the original broadcast order, including their first telefilm-length
adventure as the season opener, here are the adaptations this time around:
Mysterious Affair At Styles (1920 novel)
Does Your Garden Grow?
Million Dollar Bond Robbery (1924 Christie short story)
Express (1951 Christie short story)
Nest (1929 Christie short story)
Tragedy At Marsdon Manor (1924 Christie short story)
Double Clue (1925 Christie short story)
Mystery Of The Spanish Chest (1939 Christie short story)
Theft Of The Royal Ruby (1960 Christie short story)
10) The Affair At The Victory Ball (1951 Christie
11) The Mystery Of The Hunter’s Lodge (1924
Christie short story)
did cover just about all of these on DVD previously and once again, the upgrade
is a huge surprise, so if you have a Blu-ray player and are a fan, get these
new sets and be prepared to be shocked.
More on the playback performance in a moment. Though there are no extras, note Series 6 was issued on Blu-ray a while
ago and we covered it at this link:
forward to the final two upgraded sets as well as more Blu-ray from Acorn, who
has been issuing some great discs in the format since they started.
enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on the two series of Above Suspicion are about on par with each other, though the first
series was filmed and is a little more color rich, has slightly more detail and
less motion blur. I would love to see
these on Blu-ray too. The lossy Dolby
Digital 2.0 Stereo is more evenly matched, well recorded and with some Pro
Logic surrounds, though a lossless track would sound better and the sound seems
to be there.
1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Poirot is as much a big improvement over the previous DVD editions
as the last two Blu-ray sets were with much better color, depth and definition
like you have never seen before from this show.
Once again, the professionally shot 16mm (with great Panavision
equipment) plays off and you can see the money and effort on the screen, as
well as the locales that makes this more watchable than ever. Fans will sometimes feel like they are seeing
the show for the first time. The lossy
Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo of the DVDs used on the first two Blu-ray sets has
been replaced here by warmer PCM 2.0 Stereo that is not perfect, but is a
noticeable improvement in delivering subtle differences we had been missing
- Nicholas Sheffo