TV series exclusives: George Gently, Dalziel & Pascoe & more – The WCL Ratings Project #5

With this month’s update of new DVDs enabled by our Ratings Project  we complete our run of ‘Blue Bloods’, ‘George Gently’ & ‘Dalziel & Pascoe’ as well as the latest season of top Australian drama ‘A place to call home’… We hope you find something you enjoy and feel free to send us any feedback and suggestions!

Cover imageBlue bloods. The first season.
“If the television menu has a section for comfort food, then Blue Bloods definitely belongs there. ..Blue Bloods isn’t edgy; it doesn’t have “a look.” What it offers instead is a simpler, more old-fashioned form of entertainment. Meat and potatoes, you might call it, served with a side order of easily digestible family values. That family is the Reagans: Frank (Tom Selleck, solid and likable as always), the police commissioner, a job previously held by his father (Len Cariou); eldest son Danny (Donnie Wahlberg), a detective, Iraq war vet, and something of a rule-bender; daughter Erin (Bridget Moynahan), a district attorney; and younger son Jamie (Will Estes), a Harvard Law grad who chose the life of a rookie beat cop instead. (A third son, Joe, died at the hands of a group of dirty cops known as the Blue Templars; the series’ sole continuing story line follows the Reagans’ efforts to bring these rogues to justice.) Under Frank’s “plain and honest” leadership, these and other characters (Jennifer Esposito and NYPD Blue alum Nicholas Turturro play Danny and Jamie’s partners, respectively) pursue a variety of bad guys…Unlike the dysfunctional units seen so often on screens both big and small these days, this is a smart, admirable bunch who have dinner together seemingly every night; they might disagree or argue, but they always have each other’s backs, and it’s this wholesome, solid family element that gives Blue Bloods its pulse…” (Abridged from Amazon.com review)

Cover imageBlue bloods. The second season.
“BLUE BLOODS is a drama about a multi-generational family of cops dedicated to New York City law enforcement. Frank Reagan is the New York Police Commissioner and heads both the police force and the Reagan brood. He runs his department as diplomatically as he runs his family, even when dealing with the politics that plagued his unapologetically bold father, Henry, during his stint as commissioner. A source of pride and concern for Frank is his eldest son Danny, a seasoned detective, family man, and Iraqi War vet who on occasion uses dubious tactics to solve cases. The sole Reagan woman in the family, Erin, is a N.Y. Assistant D.A. and newly single parent, who also serves as the legal compass for her siblings and father. Jamie is the youngest Reagan, fresh out of Harvard Law and the family’s “golden boy;” however, unable to deny the family tradition, Jamie decided to give up a lucrative future in law and is now a newly minted cop. Jamie’s life takes an abrupt turn when he’s asked to…” (Publisher’s description from Amazon.com)

Cover imageGeorge Gently. Series 6.
“It’s 1969, one year on from the harrowing shootings at Durham Cathedral that nearly claimed both Gently’s and Bacchus’s lives. Having pushed himself to full fitness, Gently has returned to duty while Bacchus is still recovering in a police convalescent home. Shocked to receive his sergeant’s resignation, Gently insists Bacchus works his one month’s notice. He then sets about trying to change Bacchus’s mind and help him overcome the barriers, both real and imagined. Following a death in custody, Gently resolves to find the man’s identity and uncover the mystery of his existence. With a police officer in hospital, Gently’s investigation is surrounded by anger, hatred, violence and fear. In a time when police officers’ roles and attitudes towards them are rapidly changing, Gently struggles to gain the trust of either the public or the other police officers. Amidst colourful social change, Gently investigates a murder at the Bluebird Holiday Camp, unveiling a seedy undercurrent within the more permissive of society; he is forced to dig deep within himself when entering the cloak and dagger world of military clinical trials, facing strong ethical questions; he also explores how the closure of the collieries can rip apart tight knit communities when a mysterious death in the mine leads to infighting and betrayal…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageDalziel & Pascoe. Series seven.
“Poor Peter Pascoe (played with glum determination by Colin Buchanan). Not only is his dogged, slow-but-steady police work consistently outshined by the piercing insights of his partner, Andy Dalziel (the eternally surly Warren Clarke), but his personal life keeps getting caught up in woeful crimes: When he attends a wedding as best man in “The Unwanted” or plays squash with an old friend in “Dialogues of the Dead,” murder crops up posthaste. And when he tries to date… well, it doesn’t work out well in “Mens Sana.” Not that Dalziel is much luckier; his only sister turns out to have a surprising connection with an investigation in “Sins of the Fathers.” “For Love Nor Money” doesn’t involve their personal lives, but it does implicate almost their entire police department in illicit activity. It’s suspicious, really, just how often Dalziel and Pascoe are intimately connected to the crimes they investigate…Such implausibilities aside, Dalziel & Pascoe is an intelligent detective series, more focused on character than many such shows. The leads have complex personalities and an even more complex relationship, while the recurring detectives (like the stoic and understated Wield, played by David Royle, and eager newbie Harris, played by Keeley Forsyth) routinely get moments where their individuality shines through…the other episodes are solid and engaging tales of greed getting out of hand, bitterness too long repressed, and secrets that can’t be kept any more…” (Abridged from Amazon.com review)

Cover imageA place to call home. Season 2.
“Last year’s epic finale saw the lives of the Bligh family imploding. After paying off Bert to keep him quiet about his son James’ sexuality, George was furious when he attempted to extort more money from him. Shortly afterwards, Bert’s body was seen floating on the surface of the river. Who killed him? The first few minutes of season two will continue to keep everyone guessing. A seemingly typical morning at Ash Park is revealed to be something else entirely… Sarah moves into Ash Park and works to prove herself a fitting wife-to-be for George, while his mother Elizabeth plays a devious waiting game to see what Regina will unearth about Sarah’s past in Europe. Little does Sarah know, Elizabeth will uncover information that blows life as Sarah knows it sky-high. Which secrets will come out? And which secrets will be buried?…” (From Syndetics summary)