Plot: What’s it about?
Detective Superintendent Andy Dalziel (Warren Clarke) is an old school detective, the kind who isn’t politically correct, is a veteran of the streets, and rankles the newer recruits with his methods. But his partner Peter Pascoe (Colin Buchanan) is his polar opposite, as he is educated, polite, and tends to handle things by the book. To call them an odd couple would be a massive understatement, but their results speak for themselves. The cases the two are assigned in this season are more complex than ever, pushing both detectives to their limits. The two investigate a boy’s mysterious death at a school, a racially charged situation that left a Sikh woman dead, and delve into the past to battle old ghosts. Dalziel finds himself tortured by memories of a deceased lover, while Pascoe uncovers something that his partner has kept hidden from even him. These are the most intricate, hot button cases the duo have faced, but if anyone can solve them it is Dalziel and Pascoe.
This long running series doesn’t have the most original concept, but I have always been entertained by Dalziel & Pascoe. The odd couple premise is well worn, even with the detective field, but the show never feels tired or like a retread. Their differences are used to actually progress both the cases and the characters, instead of just played for comic effect. The reliance on each other to solve certain aspects of the cases is well handled, with some terrific development as a result. These are also feature length stories, which means there is ample depth and the cases can be quite complex. I appreciate that since a lot of detective shows feel rushed or have a magic bullet solution, while this one feels more real and complicated.
Video: How does it look?
The episodes are presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. These episodes look quite good, with clean visuals and no errors to report. The detail level is good for a DVD release, but of course can’t compete with a full HD incarnation. But the visuals still look good, with nice depth and as I said, clean and crisp detail on display. The color scheme is natural, even a little muted at times, but comes across just as intended. I also found contrast to be accurate and consistent, so in the end these episodes look good enough to satisfy even the most critical fan.
Audio: How does it sound?
The show doesn’t lean too much on the sound design, so the included stereo soundtrack is fine. The dialogue seems to be the main focus and that pans out well, with clean and clear vocals throughout the episodes. I heard no volume problems or harshness, so all the dialogue is crystal clear here. The other elements sound passable, but the mix doesn’t push them beyond just competent presence. So not a mix that will astound your ears, but it does what it needs to do.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This release includes no bonus materials.