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Category:    Home > Reviews > Mystery > Detective > Drama > Action > Crime > British TV > Dalziel & Pascoe – Season 1 (1996/BBC DVD)

Dalziel & Pascoe – Season 1 (1996/BBC DVD)


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



Warren Clarke will always be known as the big, dumb thug in Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, but he has had a long and enduring career.  What few people know is he is the co-star of one of the longest-running police shows on British TV with Dalziel & Pascoe.  Beginning in 1996, he took on the role of cynical Detective Superintendent Andy Dalziel (pronounced die-el) and in the pilot telefilm, is paired with the young, new and smart Detective Superintendent Peter Pascoe, played by Colin Buchanan.


This Season 1 set includes the first three cases: A Clubbable Woman, An Advancement Of Learning and An Autumn Shroud.  With writers like Alan Plater and Malcolm Bradbury, plus guest cast including Prunella Scales, James D’Arcy and Francesca Annis, the show has much wit, does not have the big star turn out to be the killer and offers some terrific dialogue.  That is especially the case with the Dalziel character and gives Clarke a chance to really run with the character.


I also found the mysteries smart for a change and not bogged down by formula or what has become police procedural fatigue.  If you like this kind of television, you will find this a must-see TV on DVD set.


The letterboxed 1.66 X 1 image is filmed, yet seems to have been finished on PAL analog video for TV broadcast, resulting in aliasing errors and softness it might not otherwise have.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is pretty clean and clear for its age, making all three shows still very watchable.  There are no extras.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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