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Murder Investigation Team: Series One

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UPC: 054961852390

Format: DVDMultiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC, Widescreen

List price: $49.99
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While some crime dramas, like Single Minded, focus on a police officer's personal life as it dovetails with crime solving, Murder Investigation Team takes a methodical narrative approach that will appeal more to viewers who enjoy understanding exactly how a case is solved from a strictly professional standpoint. These eight 50-minute episodes track a fictionalized version of the Special Crimes Unit of London's Metropolitan Police, and one can tell from the outset that the portrayal aims for accuracy. While little is revealed about the personal lives of head detectives DI Vivien Friend (Samantha Spiro) and DC Rosie MacManus (Lindsey Coulson), one settles into the intimate psychological tactics they use to sleuth gruesome murders. Detectives Friend and MacManus's rapport resembles that previously shared in Cagney and Lacey, though all sentiment is cut from this show in favor of the search for cold, hard evidence. Detective Friend, established as the administrative leader, divvies out research demands to discover precursor incidents and confidently directs her team members' lines of inquiry. MacManus's warmer, more personable tack aids greatly in the interview room and in the field as she relentlessly questions witnesses. Most scenes, like those in The Wire, depict the detectives gathering evidence and hashing out theories back in the office. There are several abject crime scenes and glimpses of violence and murder, but this show deemphasizes sensationalism in favor of explaining, for example, how forensics are reasoned out afterwards. The crimes vary widely to allow for this. In "Moving Targets," the murder of Sergeant Matthew Boyden (Tony O'Callaghan) unleashes a complicated trail of drug usage and lies. In "Daddy's Little Girl," Phil Seabrook, the father mourning his teenage daughter's murder, turns out to have unexpected troubles of his own. In "Rubbish," a child's body is found on a trash barge, and in some cases, as in "Reading, Writing, and Gangbanging," multiple murders are linked. Each episode highlights the two women, but the team members, especially Detective Trevor Hands (Michael McKell), have deep character as well. As they obsess over cases, occasionally managing to slip into the local pub for a late-night drink, the team constantly mulls over mysterious details for clues. The amazing part is that the detectives rarely snap, though in one episode, "Models and Millionaires," Friend's anxiety begins to get the best of her as she doubts a member of her own team. In this, one is reminded of what a difficult task real detective work is; viewers may come away with a newfound respect for the dedication and intelligence it takes to convict real criminals. --Trinie Dalton
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Video details

List Price: $49.99
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Acorn Media
Actors: Lindsey Coulson Samantha Spiro Richard Hope Richard Huw Michael McKell 
Size: 7.5000" x 5.4000"
Weight: 0.3000 lbs.
Language: English