TV series exclusives: Lewis, Judge John Deed, The Hollow Crown & more – The WCL Ratings Project #7

With this month’s update of new DVDs enabled by our Ratings Project we have the final season of Judge John Deed, the latest season of Lewis, new Australian comedy Please Like Me, acclaimed Shakespearean drama with The Hollow Crown, along with some other comedy & crime favourites.

Cover imageJudge John Deed. Series six.
“In the sixth and final season of the BBC series, Judge John Deed (George Gently’s Martin Shaw) takes on complementary cases involving Iraq War veterans. For the first two-part episode, “War Crimes,” he travels to the Hague’s International Criminal Court to decide the fate of Private Clark (Neil Grainger), whose attempt to stop a terrorist caused the deaths of 11 civilians. In the second episode, “Evidence of Harm,” Deed returns home for a case concerning a soldier suffering neurological damage after a regimen of required vaccinations contributed to two deaths, including his own…Both episodes raise important questions about the way governments and corporations treat those who put themselves in harm’s way for the greater good…” (Abridged from Amazon.com review)

Cover imageRuth Rendell mysteries. Inspector Wexford’s Simisola ; Lake of darkness.
“The international best-selling author Ruth Rendell and a raft of stars ensure intrigue and suspense at every turn in these self-contained stories. SIMISOIA: A young Nigerian girl goes missing and shortly afterwards a woman is strangled in her bed. Then another body is found. As the body count increases with the local job centre as the only common link, Wexford’s suspicions fall on a local burglar. LAKE OF DARKNESS: Unassuming accountant, Martin Urban wins a substantial amount of money on the lottery. He is determined to give some of it away to deserving causes but things take a turn for the worse when he meets Francesca, who is not what she seems…” (Publishers description from Fishpond.co.nz)

Cover imageRuth Rendell mysteries. Inspector Wexford’s Road rage & Harm done.
“The international best-selling author Ruth Rendell and a raft of stars ensure intrigue and suspense at every turn in these self-contained stories. ROAD RAGE: AN INSPECTOR WEXFORD MYSTERY. A young girl is found brutally murdered in the woods and the investigation team uncovers a connection to a local firm. As Wexford fights for more resources, his own family gets caught up with the events as his wife goes missing. HARM DONE: AN INSPECTOR WEXFORD MYSTERY. A 16-year-old girl goes missing – then returns with an incredible story of kidnapping. Meanwhile, a toddler also goes missing. Wexford delves deeper into the case and the tension explodes into bloody violence…” (Publishers description from Fishpond.co.nz)

Cover imageAgatha Christie Poirot. 8.
“Hercule Poirot, the world’s greatest detective, nest-ce pas? Enigmatic, eccentric and extremely intelligent, Hercule Poirot cracks the toughest cases with brainpower alone, endearing himself to thinkers everywhere. Epitomising Agatha Christie’s Poirot, David Suchet stars as the dapper and debonair Belgian detective with an eye for deadly detail, outsmarting both the criminals and his cohorts in and around elegant upper-crust London. Titles include: FIVE LITTLE PIGS, SAD CYPRESS, DEATH ON THE NILE, THE HOLLOW…” (Publishers description from Fishpond.co.nz)

Cover imageAgatha Christie Poirot. 9.
“Episodes include: CARDS ON THE TABLE: Poirot joins forces with three other noted sleuths when a murder is committed; MYSTERY OF THE BLUE TRAIN: Poirot is pressed into service to help solve the murder of heiress Ruth Kettering; AFTER THE FUNERAL: Poirot is entangled in a dangerous web of wealth, deceit and murderous intent; TAKEN AT THE FLOOD: A 23-year-old widowed for the second time, and a vast inheritance at stake…” (Publishers description from Fishpond.co.au)

Cover imageAgatha Christie Poirot. 12.
“Episodes include: ELEPHANTS CAN REMEMBER: Poirot is pre-occupied with the strange and gruesome murder, and is joined by his old friend, crime writer Ariadne Oliver who has her own case to solve; THE BIG FOUR; DEAD MAN’S FOLLY: Commissioned to stage a fictional murder, Ariadne Oliver’s intuition tells her a real one is about to happen, but Poirot is unable to stop it even after she warns him; THE LABOURS OF HERCULES; CURTAIN: POIROT’S LAST CASE: Set ten years after the other films, an immobilised Poirot calls on his old friend Captain Hastings for assistance as they return to the scene of their first case, Styles Court, to try to prevent an imminent murder…” (Publishers description from Fishpond.co.nz)

Cover imageMonarch of the Glen. The complete series 5-7.
“Monarch of The Glen follows the loves, conflicts and schemes of the MacDonald family, their neighbours and employees in one of the most popular dramas ever screened on British television. As Archie begins to look for a life beyond Glenbogle, along comes Paul, a half-brother the Laird never knew existed. As Golly explains his heritage and the traditions of his new-found Highland background, Paul comes to understand that Glenbogle is worth fighting for especially when Donald MacDonald, Hectors long-lost brother, appears after a forty year absence… For all at Glenbogle, however, a catastrophe is approaching. The estates financial standing becomes increasingly perilous and as creditors and hostile buyers close in, the unthinkable seems inevitable: is this the end of life at Glenbogle for the MacDonald family?…” (Abridged from Publishers description from Fishpond.co.nz)

Cover imagePlease like me. The complete first season.
“Josh’s life is turned upside down when he’s dumped by his girlfriend, finds a weird new boyfriend and has to move back in with his mother after she overdoses on painkillers. Inspired by the award-winning standup comedy of Josh Thomas, PLEASE LIKE ME is a charming and bittersweet comedy/drama about cavoodles, custard tarts, boyfriends and girlfriends. Mostly though, it’s about growing up quickly and realizing that your parents are not heroes, but big dopes with no idea what’s going on – just like you…” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imagePlease like me. The complete second season / by Josh Thomas
“After being praised by critics in Australia and the USA, where it was hailed as this falls best new comedy, the award-winning comedy/drama ‘Please Like Me’ is back for a second season, again inspired by the stand-up comedy of Josh Thomas. This season continues to explore the themes of duty, responsibility, family, friendship, normality, mental health, sexuality and death, all through the eyes of a unique twenty-something with low self-esteem, a charming dog, and a preternaturally impressive collection of kitchenware…” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imageThe secret of Crickley Hall.
“Joe Ahearne writes and directs this three-part TV adaptation of James Herbert’s ghostly novel. A year after their young son Cabe goes missing without trace, Eve (Suranne Jones) and Gabe (Tom Ellis) Caleigh decide a change of scene would help, and set out with their daughters for what they hope will be the rustic delights of Crickley Hall. Shortly after arriving in the Devonshire village of Devil’s Cleave, however, the family start to experience strange paranormal events, which somehow seem to be linked to the disappearance of their son. As the story continues to unfold, both in the past and the present day, the Caleigh’s soon come to realise that the darkly gothic mansion possesses a secret evil from which they can’t escape…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageThe code. Season one.
“Stretching from the spectacular red desert of Australia’s outback to the cool corridors of power in Canberra, this series tells the story of two very different brothers who unearth information those at the highest levels of political power will kill to keep secret. Ned and Jesse Banks – one, a young internet journalist, the other a troubled hacker – are gifted a poisoned chalice when a phone video of an outback accident arrives in their inbox. The decision to dig deeper drags the brothers into the darkest heart of politics, and the web of black marketer’s and the international agencies who monitor and manipulate them. The question is just how far those in authority will go to keep their explosive secret safe. And just how far the two brothers will go to reveal the truth…” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imageMoody and Pegg. The complete first series.
“All six episodes from the first series of the 1970s ITV sitcom starring Judy Cornwell and Derek Waring. Bolton lass Daphne Pegg (Cornwell) and newly-divorced antiques dealer Roland Moody (Waring) both buy the same flat from a dodgy estate agent who absconds with both lots of money, leaving them to battle it out as to who has legal ownership. With all their money gone, the two strangers both move into ‘their’ flat…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageMoody and Pegg. The complete second series.
“Moody and Pegg chronicles the fraught yet occasionally mutually beneficial relationship between two very different people trying to live under the same roof after a rogue estate agent leases the same flat to both of them. Series Two is again scripted by noted screenwriters Julia Jones and Donald Churchill. Disillusioned civil servant Daphne and recently divorced antiques dealer Roland find themselves thrown together once more, following a quarrel that had almost put paid to their unorthodox flat-sharing arrangement. With both their romances having gone sour, they have decided to bury the hatchet. But you can t keep a good hatchet down…” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imageLewis. Series seven.
“Episodes include: Down Among the Fearful. When psychologist Reuben Beatty is murdered while moonlighting as a psychic Lewis and Hathaway struggle to unpick his baffling double life. The Ramblin’ Boy. Chief Superintendent Martin Cornish goes missing and a recently embalmed body is discovered by an isolated farm track – could there be a link? Hathaway goes on sabbatical and Lewis takes an awkward young constable under his wing. Intelligent Design. After seven years of ducking the question, Lewis and Hobson are embarking on a relationship. Meanwhile an elderly don is murdered on the night of his release from prison…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageSecret state.
“Secret State is a four-part political thriller inspired by Chris Mullin’s novel A Very British Coup, delving into the relationship between a democratically elected government, the military and the markets. In the run up to a general election, an accident on Teesside raises awkward questions about the safety procedures of a US petrochemical company, PetroFex. The Prime Minister claims to have secured a compensation package from them, but on his return from PetroFex HQ, his plane crashes in the Atlantic under mysterious circumstances. Deputy Prime Minister Tom Dawkins (Gabriel Byrne) takes the reins and during his quest to find justice and the truth for the victims on Teesside, he uncovers a conspiracy at the heart of the political system. How will he deal with the powers at play? And can he remain that rare thing: a decent, honest man in politics?…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageThe hollow crown / by William Shakespeare.
“The latest show to close the gap between the production values of the big screen and television, The Hollow Crown is a sumptuous piece of work, filling the screen with simply glorious visuals, and real period detail. It pulls together and reimagines four of William Shakespeare’s plays: Richard II, Henry V and both parts of Henry IV. The cast boasts the likes of Jeremy Irons, Patrick Stewart and Tom Hiddleston, acting heavyweights who make much of the already strong material. The end result is something very special indeed. The Hollow Crown is an accessible yet deep look at three different kings and their differences. Of course, that leaves ample room for politics, power struggles, family and conflict, and the sheer ambition of what’s on the screen is refreshing and engrossing.” (Abridged from Amazon.co.uk review)