Waking the Dead Season 4

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					5.0 out of 5 stars Product of Topnotch Writers and Directors; Intense, Riveting
Viewing, October 13, 2012
Stephanie DePue (Carolina Beach, NC USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Waking the Dead: The Complete Season Four (DVD)
"Waking the Dead Season 4"is a superb entry in the acclaimed British mystery television
series that ran from 2000-2007, when, sadly, it was axed by the BBC in favor of `newer,
more innovative crime dramas.' It played for some time on BBCAmerica on my side of
the pond, where I made its acquaintance. It is strongly -cast and -written ---by Barbara
Machin, a woman, yay! It's a police procedural/crime drama that follows Detective
Superintendent Peter Boyd and his cold-case unit, consisting of scientists and a
psychologist, as well as detectives, at the London Metropolitan Police. The squad utilizes
the latest advances in forensic science, psychological profiling of the unknown criminal
perpetrators and other modern investigative techniques to crack unsolved murders.

Upon even initial viewing, its differences from similar-sounding American TV series are
great. The cop shop is anything but new and shiny, and poorly lit compared to American
series that all seem to have been filmed on a sunny Southern California set. The actors
aren't new and shiny, either. Trevor Eve, ( Heat of the Sun Boxed Set (Private Lives /
Hide in Plain Sight / The Sport of Kings)) who plays Boyd, began his career as beefcake.
But he's older now, and showing how thoughtfully he's aged. Still very watchable. He's
backed, in the cop shop, by Sue Johnston as Dr. Grace Foley; Wil Johnson, as DI Spencer
Jordan; Holly Aird as Dr. Frankie Wharton; and Claire Goose, as DS Amelia (Mel)
Silver. All of them very good actors, and not one of them a beautiful young blond. The
production also uses a number of excellent older British actors; in this series, notably
older Celtic actors. It is violent, intense and suspenseful; plots are intricate and complex:
there's always something going on. The episodes are:

Disc 1. "In Sight of the Lord," Parts 1 and 2. World War II misdeeds of a squad of out of
control soldiers are punished unto the present day. Features Michael Byrne.

"False Flag," Parts 1 and 2. A 20-year old case centering on a young Anglo-Irish terrorist.
Or was he? Features Timothy West and Frances de la Tour.

Disc 2. "Fugue States," Parts 1 and 2. Centers on adoption issues. Cindy and Jason
Murphy were abducted as five-year olds and never found. What's become of them?
Features Sean McGinley.

"Anger Management," Parts 1 and 2. Boyd is ordered into psychotherapy for his anger
management problems. The squad investigates a purported suicide. Features T.P.

Disc 3. "The Hardest Word," Parts 1 and 2. A look back at child abuse, and a killer who
carves "Sorry," into the backs of his victims while they are still alive. Features Julian
Glover and Phyllida Law.
"Shadow Play," Parts 1 and 2. A mysterious "shepherd" is pushing unstable, religiously-
oriented young women into murder. Reaches a conclusion that shocks the cop shop, and
will shock viewers as well.

Solid and workmanlike this series surely is, but it's much more than that; under Machin's
executive producership, it is the product of topnotch writers and directors, and makes for
intense, riveting viewing. Whatever was the BBC thinking?

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