Why does it take so long for things to be released on DVD? Why are some TV shows not released here at all, even though they are available in Australia? Unfortunately New Zealand’s DVD zone is at the end of the release market for a lot of material and faced with such a small market, procedural costs often become prohibitive to warrant general release by an official distributor.
We love TV shows at Wellington City Libraries, and we know you do too. Which is why we have initiated ‘The Ratings Project’, an ongoing mission to bring you the shows that you want to watch by submitting titles to the Film & Video Labelling Body for classification. We’re aiming to give you the complete ‘TV’ experience, whether we provide you with full run of your favourite TV shows, or surprise you with something new & different. We hope you find something you enjoy and feel free to send us any feedback and suggestions.
This month’s titles have a distinctly criminal bent:
The Inspector Lynley mysteries. The complete series four.
“The aristocratic Inspector Lynley and working-class Detective Sergeant Havers are a most improbable detective team with a definite knack for solving difficult crimes. Based on the Lynley and Havers characters from Elizabeth George’s Inspector Lynley Mysteries, this fourth Inspector Lynley Mysteries set begins where the third leaves off, just after Lynley and his wife Helen have separated following the loss of their baby and as Havers is returning to work after having been shot in the line of duty. “In Divine Proportion” finds the pair deep in the countryside where they must sort out a host of small-town relationships and piece together a string of seemingly disparate clues in order to bring two murderers to justice. Lynley and Havers are off on a brief holiday to visit Lynley’s mother Lady Asherton in “In the Guise of Death” when an apparent suicide in a neighboring stable draws Lynley back to work. Eventually, a smuggling ring that includes some most unexpected players is revealed. It seems that even the House of Lords is not immune to fraud and murder in “The Seed of Cunning,” but the question that haunts Lynley is whether its members are exempt from the legal ramifications of their actions. Lynley’s pursuit of justice without regard for protocol and self-restraint in the face of illegal immigrants, organ trading, and the search for an immensely valuable ancient Koran may quite possibly prove his downfall in “The Word of God.” These PBS Inspector Lynley Mysteries are suspenseful, thought-provoking, and thoroughly engaging…” (From Amazon.com review)
Murdoch mysteries. Complete series 6.
“Forensic sleuthing in the age of invention. Broadcast as The Artful Detective on Ovation. Based on novels by Maureen Jennings. At the dawn of the 20th century, Detective William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson, Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye) solves Toronto’s trickiest cases with scientific insight and ingenuity in this award-winning mystery series. From flying early aircraft to infiltrating nudist communities, consulting with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to helping a young Winston Churchill, Murdoch has always been a man ahead of his time. In Season 6, he also confronts legal and social challenges to be with his love, pathologist-turned-psychiatrist Dr. Julia Ogden (Gemini® winner Hélène Joy, Durham County). Meanwhile, Constable Crabtree (Jonny Harris, Hatching, Matching & Dispatching) gains confidence as a policeman and a suitor to fetching coroner Dr. Emily Grace (Georgina Reilly, The L.A. Complex)…” (Publishers description from Amazon.com)
Silk. Series 2 / created by Peter Moffat.
“As Martha (Maxine Peake) steps up to become a QC, Shoe Lane Chambers once again becomes the focus for drama and intrigue on the front line of criminal law… Martha Costello is incredibly young to have got silk, she is a brilliant and passionate barrister but now the stakes are higher than ever. Tensions are also running high in the chambers, with the still ambitious Clive Reader (Rupert Penry-Jones) having to deal with his failure to become a QC, and Billy Lamb under pressure to keep the chambers afloat. As Martha finds an ambiguous ally in Caroline Warwick, a 50-something, sharp as a stiletto QC, and Clive develops a fascination for a very beautiful and principled solicitor; passion, jealousy and ambition take hold both in and out of the courtroom…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)
Dalziel & Pascoe. Series four.
“Episode 1: On Beulah Height. With modernity raising its ugly head in Yorkshire, the grand idea of the Water Board was to flood a local valley to make a reservoir. Of course they had to bulldoze the homes of Dendale, the farming town inconveniently situated in that valley, first, and relocate the families. That was when the children began to disappear. Andy Dalziel was a young detective in those days, and he took the case hard. Three little girls were missing in all. No bodies were ever found, and the best suspect, a strange lad named Benny Lightfoot, was held for a time, then released. Twelve years later, with one of the driest summers on record, the ruins of Dendale have begun to reappear in the reservoir. And the child-snatching has started again. Dalziel, older, wiser, and more caustic, is determined to get his man this time. Episode 2: Recalled to Life. As Inspector Dalziel and partner Pascoe work unofficially to refute new evidence concerning a 1963 case, they threaten to unearth various nasty political secrets. Episode 3: Time to Go. The drugs-related death of young man who lapsed into a coma at a rave club attracts the interest of Dalziel (Warren Clarke) and Pascoe (‘Colin Buchanan’ ). As the detectives investigate deeper into the rave club they discover that the club is owned by Nicholas and Sophie, intense, inseparable twins and financed by their seemingly benign Uncle Henry (Bernard Cribbins), a maker of perfume. This bizarre trio cause problems enough for Dalziel but he then he comes under more pressure…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)
Dalziel & Pascoe. Series five.
“Episode 1: A Sweeter Lazarus. Having recovered from his wounds Andy Dalziel returns to the fold just as Peter Pascoe is in the midst of an undercover operation trying to capture a serial killer. Peter corners the man who then jumps to his death but the only witness turns out to be Abbie Hallingsworth who was kidnapped 19 years before and presumed dead. More difficult however is that her kidnapper, Gus Mullavey, confessed to her murder and is still in prison, though now on his deathbed… DNA testing confirms her identity but the police soon have a murder investigation on their hands when Abbie is found dead. When they learn that one-third of the Hallingsworths’ considerable family wealth was in trust for Abbie, they focus on Abbie’s brother David as the most likely suspect….Season 5, Episode 2: Cunning Old Fox. After Georgina Webster dies following a fall from her horse during a fox hunt, it’s put down to an accident. When the Master of the Hunt, James Marsham, receives an anonymous letter saying her death was a good thing, he asks the police to investigate. ACC Rebecca Fenning puts Dalziel in charge of the case and he would rather be doing almost anything else…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)
Dalziel & Pascoe. Series eight.
“Dinosaur Detective Superintendent Andy Dalziel and his cultured sidekick, DI Pascoe return to tackle four intriguing new murder mysteries set in the beautiful countryside and towns of Yorkshire. Cases include a complex investigation involving an escaped wife-murderer, secret affairs, hidden bodies and illegitimate children; and the death of a wealthy factory owner, blamed by his family on his Russian fiance. They may be total opposites, but their different skills complement one another, making them a crime-busting detective team second to none…” (Container description from Syndetics)
Dalziel & Pascoe. Series nine.
“Blunt-talking, politically-incorrect detective Andy Dalziel once again pairs up with his younger, fast-tracked side-kick, Inspector Peter Pascoe. Joining the team are one time tearaway, WPC ‘Janet’ Jackson and a young muslim, DC Parvez Lateef, as they investigate four more intriguing murder mysteries in the town of Wetherton and the beautiful Yorkshire countryside surrounding it…” (Container description from Syndetics)
Hu$tle. Series six.
“The smash hit show returns for a sixth series and the gang are back with more exciting, inventive, and very shady scams. If you have money to burn, you had better keep an eye on it. From cheap jewellery to the odd priceless painting, the team continues on their mission to right the wrongs of the country by punishing the corrupt and excessively wealthy for their lack of concern for others. It just so happens that the team makes some money along the way. In Series 6, Mickey (Adrian Lester: The Day After Tomorrow) finds himself pursued by the beautiful and clever Lucy Britford (Indira Varma: Rome). Problem is, shes a detective inspector set on catching Mickey and making him answer to all of his past crimes. Meanwhile Sean (Matt Di Angelo: EastEnders) and Emma (Kelly Adams: Holby City) must face up to some family history, and contemplate the best way to get the perfect revenge. The question is is it about the money?…” (Container description from Syndetics)
Hu$tle. Series seven.
“All six episodes from the seventh season of the BBC drama following the fortunes of a gang of London-based expert con artists with a moral bent. In this series, the team plans to stitch up the owner of a dodgy model agency and help a former hustler, after he fakes his own death, to evade the clutches of an Iranian gangster. Episodes comprise: ‘Silent Witness’, ‘Old Sparks Come New’, ‘Clearance from a Deal’, ‘Benny’s Funeral’, ‘The Fall of Railton FC’ and ‘The Delivery’…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)
Hu$tle. Series eight.
“The final season of Hustle was always going to have a lot to live up to. In the seven series that preceded it, all manner of capers and cons had been pulled, and the characters had been dragged through the mire on many occasions. Was there, it was asked, enough left in the tank for one more run? The answer? Yes. Yes there was. Hustle series eight might not be the show at its finest–indeed, there are a couple of dud episodes here–but it’s still to the credit of the writing team that they still find compelling rug-pulls to spring on the audience. You still have to pay as much attention as you always did, and that’s always part of the fun. What’s particularly pleasing here is how well Hustle goes out. Its confidence grows towards the end of its final series, and the last episode does the show proud. We’re not spoiling anything here, but for eight series, Hustle has set itself high standards, and it doesn’t relax them here. There might not be anything particularly special about the DVD release for Hustle season 8, but the six episodes alone, at nearly an hour apiece, comfortably offer terrific value, and plenty of rewatch potential. It might be a shame that Hustle had to sign off, but full credit to the show for doing it in such style…” (From Amazon.co.uk review)
New tricks. Series 10.
“Retired cops solve cold cases in this hit British series. The old dogs of the Unsolved Crime and Open Case Squad are about to welcome a few new faces. But first, Detective Superintendent Sandra Pullman (Amanda Redman, Sexy Beast) and her loyal team—Gerry Standing (Dennis Waterman, The Sweeney), Brian Lane (Alun Armstrong, Garrow’s Law), and Steve McAndrew (Denis Lawson, Bleak House)—will solve their final cases together, bringing justice to decades-old murders that stumped London’s Metropolitan Police. After Brian’s reckless behavior endangers his place on the team, brainy Danny Griffin (Nicholas Lyndhurst, Only Fools and Horses) steps in and rubs the rest of the squad the wrong way. Later, Sandra makes a choice that means a new boss for UCOS: feisty, fearless DCI Sasha Miller (Tamzin Outhwaite, EastEnders). The result is “a welcome new lease of life” (The Daily Telegraph, U.K.) for a show that has “plenty more tricks up its sleeve” (Western Daily Press, U.K.)…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)