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Excellent British police procedural
Robbie Coltrane plays Dr. Edward Fitzgerald, or "Fitz" as he prefers to be called, a renowned psychologist in Manchester, England, who offers his expertise to local police. Fitz, however brilliant, is a mess personally. He drinks and smokes too much (often defiantly), is overweight, and has a gambling problem that causes serious problems in his home life. He is profane, unapologetic, arrogant, selfish and sometimes cruel, and yet there is something refreshing about his refusal to conform to the politically correct. This DVD set includes all three series of the show, plus two extra episodes, the latter of which was filmed eight years after the series originally ran. The stories, like many British police dramas, do not flinch from the horrific, although never for the sake of being merely shocking. It is quite entertaining to watch Fitz careen through his professional life as well as his personal, leaving a trail of wreckage in his wake. By not avoiding depicting the messiness of the main character's life, the show achieves a high degree of realism.
Of special interest to the most recent incarnation of Dr. Who, Christopher Eccleston plays a central role in the first series.
The DVD set itself is typical of Acorn Media releases, with little or no extra features, including no subtitles. The Mancunian accents are a little tough to decipher at first, but the viewer will quickly acclimate. All the episodes except the final one are presented in 4:3 ratio, as originally filmed.
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Posted October 1, 2010