Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Series Six (1994/Acorn Blu-ray + DVD Sets)/Dalziel & Pascoe: Season 6
(1999/BBC DVDs)/The Equalizer: Series
Two (1986 – 1987/Universal/Umbrella Entertainment Region 4 PAL Import DVD
set)/Garrow’s Law: Series Three
(2011)/Injustice (2010/Acorn Media
DVDs)/Judge John Deed: Season Six
B (DVDs: C+) Sound: B- (DVDs: C+) Extras: D/D/C/C/C-/D Episodes: C+/C+/B/C+/B-/C+
PLEASE NOTE: The Equalizer DVD set covered here can only be operated on machines
capable of playing back DVDs that can handle Region Four/4 PAL format software
and can be ordered from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment at the website
address provided at the end of the review.
for a look at several detective crime series, all in this case with British
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Series
Six (1994) has
David Suchet getting just a bit better in the role (as I have noted, I am not
as big a fan of him in the role as some others who played him before) but the
four classic mysteries this time are well done, yet not as memorable as I would
have liked. Acorn has issued the
following for the first time on Blu-ray in High Definition as well as a DVD set
for those who did not buy the larger collections:
Poirot’s Christmas (1938, reviewed elsewhere on this site on its own)
2) Hickory Dickory Dock
On The Links (1923)
Witness (1924 Christie short story)
the best way to describe the problem is that these adaptations are just too
reserved despite the money and effort in authenticity. There is more energy to Christie’s work when
I read it and this series simply tends to flatten it out a bit. In the case of the Blu-ray set, it is the
best way to enjoy the shows if you most watch them. This time out, however, there are no extras.
latest issue of the sometimes comical police procedural Dalziel & Pascoe: Season 6 (1999) continues the title duo’s
cases and the show is holding steady, though I think it is starting to find
itself being affected by the weekly TV grind at this point, even with only four
shows this time out. Warren Clarke and
Collin Buchanan certainly know their characters by now and have some chemistry,
while the show has its own consistent energy.
However, it only goes so far and I am glad it was a hit, but I would
recommend you start at the beginning of the series if you have never seen it
before. There are no extras, but we have
reviewed all five previous seasons elsewhere on the site, so check those out it
you are interested further.
I am a
much biggest fan of early seasons of Edward Woodward’s second big TV spy hit
after hit British classic Callan and
The Equalizer: Series Two (1986 –
1987) already issued by Universal in the U.S. on DVD has been issued by
Australia’s Umbrella Entertainment and we finally get to catch up with it. We reviewed the debut season sets from both
companies previously and for more on the show, especially if you are unfamiliar
with it, try this link:
last great Spy show from TV’s last Golden Age (happening a few years after that
age was dead, more or less), the show was considered sometimes rough and
violent in a Mannix way, where the
action was contextual to serious events.
The show was also bold in its early seasons and not afraid to get its
hands dirty, yet wanted to be 1980s TV, which are contradictory things. Add a welcome old-fashioned approach (i.e.,
justice is possible) and the shows have aged in odd, interesting ways.
this time out are:
(Lori Laughlin, James Rebhorn)
(Jessica Harper, Michael Parks, Ashford & Simpson)
Community Of Civilized Men (Tammy Grimes, Jennifer Grey)
(Christian Slater crosses the mob when he tries a new drug called Crack! This one alone is worth getting the whole set
Of Darkness (William Sadler, Caroline Kava, Olympia Dukakis)
Line (Giancarlo Esposito)
On A Shore Thing
10) The Cup (Dennis Christopher)
12) High Performance (James Remar)
13) Beyond Control
14) Carnal Persuasion
15) Memories Of Manon (in two parts, Melissa Sue
Anderson, Jon Polito)
16) Solo (Kevin Spacey, Lindsay Crouse)
Place To Stay (Ed Lauter)
18) Coal Black Soul (Lois Smith, Gale Garnett)
19) First Light (Marco St. John)
20) Hand & Glove (William H. Macy)
21) Re-Entry (John Goodman, Joe Morton, Steve
include a Stills Gallery, Concepts and Original Biographies. Note that Denzel Washington (and not Russell
Crowe, as was once planned) will play Woodward’s McCall in a new feature film.
we have three somewhat similar shows, Garrow’s
Law: Series Three (2011), Injustice
(2010) and Judge John Deed: Season Six
(2006), which all happen to be crime/mystery dramas centered on the courtroom,
though Garrow’s Law is more of an
outright (and period for that matter) drama, it has its crime elements. The think that keeps the long-running shows
going are their casts and you need that since these shows too can suffer from
the weekly TV grind. At least the
quality is still there with Garrow’s Law
and Deed (you can read more about
them in our coverage of previous seasons, but these latest releases only offer
4 and 2 episodes respectively), so I found Injustice
to be a pleasant surprise.
by Foyle’s War creator Anthony
Horowitz, James Purefoy (who nearly played Simon Templar in a recent Saint revival we are still on the
lookout for), her plays Barrister William Travers, who has moved onto a country
town with his family, no longer wanting to deal with city crime, but he is
asked to take on a case there and eventually gets entangled in troubles of his
own. He carries the five episodes very
well and is a nice variant of the genres covered.
Deed has Martin Shaw and Garrow’s Law has Andrew Buchanan among
their good casts, so all are as smart as they are entertaining, but Injustice has a little more energy and
not just because it is a new show set.
If you are interested in seeing any of them, you really can’t go wrong.
Garrow’s Law includes Photo
Galleries, text Cast Filmographies and 19-mintes From Dawn To Dusk featurette, while Injustice simply has a Photo Gallery.
1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on the Poirot Blu-ray set are far and away the visual champs on this list
with the same high quality presentations in color and definition the 16mm
film-originated shows have been in their previous Blu-ray upgraded
outings. You can see the money and hard
work on the screen, the consistent look and the shows look better than most
people (including fans could ever imagine.
It is yet another volume that shows how fine 16mm film can look in High
X 1 DVD version repeats the soft DVD transfers of the past Acorn DVD releases
of these shows that do not look that great, but are passable for the format,
which I can repeat for The Equalizer
transfers with the same aspect ratio, though they were shot on better 35mm
film. I hope Universal considers
Blu-rays for this show, especially as Callan
(save the later 1974 theatrical film) will never see Blu-ray since most of each
episode was produced on analog tape.
that, you would think that the anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image transfers
on the other four DVD TV releases would somehow outperform these older shows,
but they do not and have issues with details, motion blur and even (intended
where applicable) color limits.
2.0 Stereo on the Poirot Blu-rays
are also the sonic champions here with a warmth and overall recording quality
that will again surprise fans and anyone who underestimates the sonics of a TV
show its age. That leaves all the DVD
sets here with lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo that is not as good, but they all
happen to be professionally recorded and finished, so therefore they are on par
with each other including no major audio issues.
above, you can order The Equalizer
PAL DVD import set exclusively from Umbrella at: