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Category:    Home > Reviews > Mystery > Drama > Telefilms > British > An Unsuitable Job For A Woman (Mystery!/WGBH Boston Video DVD)

An Unsuitable Job For A Woman (Mystery!/WGBH Boston Video DVD)


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Documentary: B-



Compiling four telefilms/two seasons of Helen Baxendale as Cordelia Gray, An Unsuitable Job For A Woman is a new 4-DVD set from WGBH form the ever-successful Mystery! series now hosted by Diana Rigg.  In the case of this DVD release, the intros by the great star and Shakespearian actress are thankfully retained.  Created by Detective Adam Dalgliesh author P.D. James, these are decent adaptations of a notable recent book series, a few of which this critic has actually read.


Sacrifice introduces Cordelia, who is mistaken at first for the “coffee girl” but soon take son the case with mixed results at first.  A Last Embrace shows her moving on to a case where she gets too personally involved in other’s personal affairs through the case, but she is still learning.  The second set includes Living On Risk, as a surveillance job may turn out to be a frame-up and Playing God has Superintendent Fergussen hiring her to watch his daughter, but might entail something darker and more disturbing.


The hook is that she is new and has flawed character, which can be a nice change from older female detectives more typical of the genre, yet putting her a generation above Nancy Drew.  However, each telefilm sometimes dwells and counts too much on this and it holds back the mystery aspects.  Still, these are quality productions some may find worth a look.  For others, it may seem just a step ahead of the “fuddy duddy” versions of such series.


The 1.33 X 1 image is soft, from an older analog transfer of likely color film footage, but it is too compelling not to watch in any condition.  Color is plugged up and detail is an issue.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has no surrounds, but is cleaner and clearer than the picture.  There are no real extras.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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