The Helen West Casebook (aka Helen
West/2002/Acorn Media DVD)
Picture: C Sound: C+ Extras: C- Telefilms: C+
world of police procedurals, the three telefilms of the short-lived Helen West Casebook (aka Helen West) series may be the first to
become a cult item from the long and winding cycle of usually forgettable such
shows. Amanda Burton is good in the
title role, but the problem is that she is underdeveloped, yet the function of
the mysteries work better than usual for this cycle… at least initially.
Frances Fyfield’s books, the telefilms are Deep
Sleep, Shadow Play and A Clear Conscience, but for whatever
reason, each becomes progressively weaker.
That is why it was soon axed and though Burton moved on to greater
success in Silent Witness and The Commander, it is interesting to
look back at this set up of professional worker with personal problems. We see that all the time. Here, there was a different way they tried to
approach it, but ran out of ways to do so and that is why it ended so soon.
X 1 image is softer than expected with aliasing errors and motion blur
throughout. What happened? This should look much better for a new
production, but if filmed and these copies were finished on PAL analog
videotape, then that would explain it. The
Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is better, with some distortion, but clean and clear
enough for its age and to hear now. The
only extras are text on Burton and Fyfield.
For more on The Commander,
try this link:
- Nicholas Sheffo