A Mind to Kill, Series 1" is a British mystery, more particularly a television series, a police procedural made and set in Wales. It was made by the evidently Welsh firm of Lluniau Lliw Cyf for BBC Wales, and was broadcast in the U.K. for five series in the mid- 1990's. It was nominated for five Welsh BAFTA awards, including one for best actor for star Philip Madoc (The Last Of The Mohicans  [DVD];Doctor Who - The War Games [DVD]). It's set in Wales, but not the Wales of the tourist brochures; this, suitably enough, is dark and rainy country, as its mysteries deal with dark, and some might feel, rancid material. It contains nudity and scenes of graphic violence, just as a word to the wise. The series has been compared to others, such as Inspector Morse - The Complete Collection [DVD] , or Cracker Complete Collection [DVD] , that are better-known, perhaps, and beloved, for the brooding central character who must tackle mode rn crimes. As is frequently the case with British TV series, there's been no apparent stinting on the location filming, extras, cars, interiors, etc. Madoc plays Detective Chief Inspector Noel Bain as a middle-aged, workaholic widower concerned with solving crimes, also with the welfare of his daughter Hannah. He's surrounded by some solid supporting actors playing the bunch at the cop shop, and the usual suspects in the episodes. They are: 1. Black Silence. Strike at the local coal mine, and a pretty yo ung local prostitute is murdered. Could a powerful, intimidating union leader, Roderick Tate, have something to do with it? Tate is played by John Rhys-Davies, ( The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Extended Edition Box Set) [DVD]) in a substantial part that suits him so well, it might have been written for him. 2. White Rocks. A young mother is found beaten to death at a seen-better days, somewhat threatening, holiday camp. Did her seven-year old son see the murder? 3. Gameboys. The charred body of a handsome, unidentifiable young man is found in a peaceful farming community. Pillars of the community will be implicated. 4. Rest Not Secure. There's a gang war going on, and war in the Bain household, too, as Hannah moves out. Bain retreats to his remote, rural cabin to recuperate, but trouble finds him there. 5. Son of His Works. A gruesome killing in the woods, and a secretive religious cult. Heads will be banged. 6. Rachel Hardcastle. Bain is invited to a concert of modern music, and the flirtation of the sophisticated and attractive pianist, Rachel Hardcastle, turns his head. Then her boozy, disagreeable husband is beaten to death. The pianist, who's on screen in every key scene, is magnificently played by Sian Phillips ( I Claudius - Complete BBC Series (5 Disc Box Set)  [DVD]) in a part that suits her so well, it, too, might just have been written for her. The mysteries are tense and absorbing; plots are intricate and memorable, and characters strongly drawn. Phillips and Rhys-Davies are surely among the best-known, most talented, living elders of Welsh actors, and I was happy to see them working here. There's no question in my mind that the series is aimed at the older cohorts among us, but I didn't mind that, why would I? I did notice a tendency, however, to ramp up the action in the closing scenes of each, in ways that often didn't make sense. This was, presumably, to deliver more of an action-packed "American" style closing. It also seemed as if there was quite a lot of product placement throughout the episodes. And there is the violence. However, it's tough, high-quality work that's not so readily available, and should please most lovers of British mysteries.
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