PBS Announces Streaming Date For ‘Endeavour: Season Seven’

Courtesy: itv/PBS Distribution/PBS

PBS Distribution is bringing the latest season of the crime drama Endeavour to its streaming service.

The seventh season of the British crime drama is scheduled to stream through the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel Aug. 9.  The channel is available with a subscription to Amazon Prime and Prime Video.  Subscription to the noted services is $5.99/month.

The seventh season of Endeavour is believed by many to possibly be the last for the hit series.  Opening on New Year’s Eve 1969, the three-episode season finds things back to some semblance of normalcy among Endeavour and his co-workers following the events of Season Six.

Chief Superintendent Bright is back in charge, and while new relationships will grow, friends already established will face their own new challenges.

The 1970s opens for the staff of Castlegate CID with the discovery of a body at the canal towpath on New Year’s Day.  The only clue that the investigators have to go on in the case is a witness who alleges having heard whistling just before the crime happened.

Pre-orders are open now for the home release of EndeavourSeason Seven on DVD an Blu-ray.  Its home release is scheduled for Aug. 25.

More information on Endeavour is available online now at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://www.pbs.org/masterpiece

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‘Endeavour: Season 5’ U.S. Release Date Announced

Courtesy: itv/PBS Distribution

itv’s hit crime drama Endeavour wrapped its fifth season this past March, and now Season 5 is coming home for the series’ American audiences.

Public Media Distribution will release Masterpiece Mystery!Endeavour Season 5 July 10.  It will be released on DVD ($39.99) and Blu-ray ($49.99).  In the fifth season of the international hit series, it’s 1968, and turmoil is brewing inside and outside the Cowley Police Station.

As Endeavour Morse takes a new recruit named Fancy (Lewis Peek — PoldarkCurse of the PhoenixDartmoor Killing) under his wing, his current partner, Thursday (Roger Allam — V For VendettaPirates of the CaribbeanOn Stranger TidesThe Wind That Shakes The Barley) is considering retirement.  Organized crime is also on the rise in Oxford, causing plenty of concern for Morse and company.

Season 5 opens with an auction of a famed Faberge Egg at Lonsdale College.  It catches the attention of an international thief — and in turn, the police — upon the report of a failed burglary.  That case turns to an even bigger investigation into a serial killer.  Along the way, Morse ends up taking the aforementioned Fancy under his wing, but not entirely willingly.

In ‘Cartouche,’ the second of Season 5’s episodes, a horror movie filming in Oxford crosses with the investigation into the poisoning of a former detective sergeant as Morse and Thursday are led to a theater in their investigation.  It just so happens that the theater is hosting the stars of that horror film at a special event.  Things take an even more unexpected turn when the theater’s organist is also poisoned, leading the movie’s stars to think an Egyptian  curse is to blame for the poisonings.  The reality though, is much darker.

‘Passenger,’ the season’s third episode follows Endeavour as he investigates a woman’s disappearance, fearing it may be linked to a cold case involving the death of a teenager killed years ago.  Thursday meanwhile, is investigating a truck hijacking that is believed to have been linked to organized crime in the city.

The death of a model following a photoshoot on an army base lies at the center of the season’s fourth episode, ‘Colours.’  Things get even more complicated when Sam Thursday — the son of Morse’s partner — is implicated in the model’s death, leading him to be sidelined.  DS Jim Strange takes Thursday’s place during the investigation.  Tensions rise between the pair during the investigation, especially after a second model is found dead and more secrets are revealed.

‘Quartet,’ the season’s fifth episode, is a turning point for Morse and Thursday as Thursday decides to step away and work more from home following an investigation into an attempted assassination.  While the investigation into the assassination attempt is halted, Morse wants to keep investigating, leading him deeper into the underbelly of Oxford than ever before, and revealing even more secrets than ever thought.  Thursday meanwhile, has to face his own issues as he works from home.

The season’s finale continues the turning point in Morse and Thursday’s working relationship after Thursday’s brother returns suddenly.  Meanwhile, Morse is investigating  a case at a school involving the disappearance of a teacher and the appearance of a body.  The discovery leads Morse to question who he can and cannot trust.

While audiences will have to wait until July 10 for Season 5 to be released on DVD and Blu-ray, the wait for its American television premiere is much shorter.  Season 5 is currently scheduled to premiere on PBS stations nationwide June 24.  Audiences can view a full season trailer for Season 5 online now here.

Season 5 is spread across three discs on each platform with a total run time of 540 minutes.  It can be pre-ordered online now via PBS’ online store at reduced prices of $34.99 (DVD) and $44.99 (Blu-ray).  More information on Endeavour is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/shows/endeavour

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Twitter: http://twitter.com/masterpiecepbs

 

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Public Media Distribution Announces ‘Endeavour: Season 4’ Domestic Release Date

Courtesy: itv/Public media Distribution/PBS

Public Media Distribution is bringing home the fourth season of the hit British crime drama Endeavour this summer.

Endeavour: Season Four will be released Sept. 4, just as summer starts to wind down and the weather starts to change, giving audiences plenty to enjoy through the rest of this year.  Season 4 picks up right where Season 3 left off with the young Detective Morse and his partner Thursday dealing with more personal and work issues.

Morse waits in the series fourth season for the results of his Sergeant’s exam at work while dealing with emotional issues off the job.  Thursday and Win have their own issues as Sam has left for the army and Joan has gone off to points unknown.

Season 4’s four episodes—‘Game,’ ‘Canticle,’ ‘Lazaretto,’ and ‘Harvest’—are spread across two discs, totaling 480 minutes.  The DVD will retail for MSRP of $34.99 and the Blu-ray for 44.99.  It will be listed soon online via PBS’ online store.  More information on this and other PBS Masterpiece series is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/masterpiece

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/masterpiecepbs

Twitter: http://twitter.com/masterpiecepbs

 

 

 

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‘Inspector Lewis: The Complete Series’ Is A Fitting Final Farewell For The Hit Crime Drama

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS

Inspector Morse, the hit crime drama from itv Studios and PBS, finally made its final bow late last year when it wrapped production of the hit crime drama’s eighth season. Over the course of the past nine years, Robbie Lewis have kept audiences enthralled with his modern-day Sherlock Holmes style sleuthing.  But as the old adage states, all good things must come to an end…or must they?  Next week, PBS Distribution will release Inspector Morse: The Complete Series on DVD, allowing audiences to relive every one of the series’ stories any time that they want.  There is a lot for audiences to appreciate about this set beginning with the most obvious of its elements, its packaging.  That will be discussed shortly.  The series’ episode guide is another important element to discuss. It will be covered later.  The set’s price rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is clearly important in its own right to the set’s overall presentation.  All things considered, Inspector Morse: The Complete Series proves itself to be one of the year’s top new box sets for grown-ups.

Inspector Morse: The Complete Series is one of this year’s top new box sets for grown-up audiences.  It is a wonderful way for fans to say not goodbye but hello all over again to the hit UK crime drama.  That is due in part to the series set’s packaging.  The set’s 34 total episodes are spread across 18 total discs within three separate cases.  That sounds like a lot on the surface.  But in reality, PBS Distribution is to be highly commended for its work ensuring the series’ packaging turned out quite ergonomically sound.  As a way to illustrate how smart the set’s packaging is, it is the exact same depth and width as the series’ previously released Season 1 – 6 box set, which was released in 2007.  That means that the packaging used to house this set saves quite a bit of space on audiences’ DVD/BD racks since Season 7 and Season 8 were released in their own standalone boxes separate from that six-season set. Keeping this in mind, the set’s packaging proves to be quite the positive to its overall presentation.  It is only one of the positives to note of the set, too.  Its episode guide is worth noting, too.

The packaging that houses Inspector Lewis: The Complete Series is in itself a key part of the set’s presentation.  That is because of its ergonomic value.  In comparison to the series’ six season set and its standalone sets for Seasons seven and eight, this full series set’s packaging definitely saves some space.  It is just one part of what makes the set’s presentation stand out.  The set’s episode guide is just as important to note as its packaging.  Sadly though, that is both a good and bad thing.  On the good side, each standalone box within the larger set lists the episodes contained within each disc.  The down side to the episode guide is that there is no actual guide providing an episode summary of the episodes inside the boxes.  This seems like a minor issue on the surface.  But in the bigger picture, it does detract from the set’s overall presentation.  That is because something as simple as an episode summary, even a brief, concise summary, can make a world of difference in a set’s presentation.  That is because even as simple as it might be, it helps a viewer decide which episode he or she wants to watch at given moment.  To that extent, the set’s episode guide is not perfect but still is a positive at least to a point.  It is still not the only remaining element to examine in the set’s presentation.  The set’s pricing is just as important to note as its packaging and its episode guide.

The packaging used to house Inspector Lewis: The Complete Series’ 18 discs and the episode guide used to help viewers make their way through the series are both key elements to note in examining the set’s presentation.  The packaging is a clear positive.  The episode guide, however, is a bit of a double-edged sword so to speak.  It is a positive.  But there is a downside to it, too.  Even with that in mind, the set in whole is still a win despite that one negative.  Having minded all of this, there is still one more element to note in examining the set’s presentation.  That final element is the set’s pricing.  The set is seeing a very wide range of pricing from its different outlets.  Both Best Buy and Amazon have the series’ set listed below $70.  more specifically, each outlet has the set listed at $68.99.  Of course shipping and handling adds a little more to the price.  But that still keeps the set’s price well below the $100 mark.  PBS’ online store is the most expensive, listing the set at $94.99.  That is still below the MSRP of $99.99 in PBS’ defense.  So even with some shipping and handling, it will still again be just below the $100 mark.  On the surface this doesn’t seem significant.  But when one adds up the prices for the series’ other standalone sets, the price for this full-series set is still comparably much more affordable.  When one sets that fact alongside the set’s space-saving packaging and its episode guide, double-edged as it may be, then one will agree that the pricing is in fact its own important part of the set’s presentation if not one of its most important elements.  Keeping all of this in mind, one can say that all things considered, Inspector Lewis: The Complete Series is still a win overall, and one of the year’s top new box sets for grown-up audiences.

Inspector Lewis: The Complete Series is one of this year’s top new box sets for grown-ups and a must have for any true fan of the series.  That can be argued by examining the set’s space-saving packaging first and foremost.  The episode guide that is included with the set, despite being both a pro and a con, still does its own part to add to the set’s presentation.  The set’s pricing, which would appear to remain below $100 regardless of the outlet from which it is ordered, is the finishing touch to the set.  It isn’t cheap.  There’s no denying that.  But in comparison to the total price of owning all eight seasons alone –or other related variances—it proves to be quite affordable.  All things considered, this brand new full series set from Inspector Lewis proves in whole to be, again, one of the year’s top new box sets for grown-ups and a must have for any of the series’ hardcore fans.  Inspector Lewis: The Complete Series will be available next Tuesday, Oct. 18.  More information on this and other PBS Masterpiece series is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/masterpiece

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Twitter: http://twitter.com/masterpiecepbs

 

 

 

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PBS To Release Inspector Lewis’ Final Season This Summer

Courtesy:  PBS/Public Media Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

The end has finally come for Inspector Lewis.

On Tuesday, August 23rd PBS Distribution will release the eighth and final season of Inspector Lewis.  Robbie Lewis has been through quite a bit in the series’ seven previous seasons, both good and bad.  Through it all, he has always been there, even agreeing to come out of retirement in the series’ seventh season.  But now with a whole bunch of changes in store for Lewis and his long time partner, it looks like Lewis may finally call it a career.  Those changes include a new Chief Superintendent on the force, the potential retirement of forensic pathologist Laura Hobson, and much more.

Masterpiece Mystery!: Inspector Lewis Season 8 features three more episodes and runs a total of 270 minutes on 2 discs.  The first of those episodes, “One For Sorrow” sees Robbie Lewis coaxed back out of retirement once more.  And just as in the series’ seventh season it doesn’t take long for mystery to come along.  A body is discovered in a well but identifying the remains seems almost impossible for Lewis.  It isn’t the only mystery that Lewis and CS James Hathaway have on their hands either.  Another possible murder looks to possibly be linked to the body found in the well.  It’s up to Lewis and Hathaway to figure out if there is a connection between the two cases.  Meanwhile Lewis has to prove himself to his new boss as he works the case.  And Hathaway finally manages some important time with his estranged father.

“Magnum Opus” is the season’s second episode.  This episode puts Lewis and Hathaway on the trail of a possible serial murderer.  The culprit isn’t just any random killer either.  An alchemic symbol found near the body of the first victim, and symbols found on the victims’ bodies seem to point to a connection between the murders and a secret society.  Having made this discovery it is up to Lewis and Hathaway to hunt down the killer and stop the killer before a fourth murder is committed.

Season 8 closes out with “What Lies Tangled.”  This episode is sure to keep audiences on the edge of their collective seats.  First a prominent math professor is killed in a bomb attack.  The man is known for his infidelity and thus has many enemies who could be considered suspects.  The mystery deepens even more when a bomb is found at the home of the professor’s brother, who is also a math professor.  As if that isn’t enough, a chemistry professor is also later found dead.  This time a clue is found at the scene of the crime that will help Lewis and Hathaway solve the case.  The stress doesn’t end for Lewis here.  His vacation with his girlfriend is on the line when Lewis worries whether or not he will have a job upon returning from vacation.

This is all in the eighth and final season of Masterpiece Mystery!: Inspector Lewis Season 8.  It will be released Tuesday, August 23rd, only days after the season (and series) ends Sunday, August 21st.  It will be available both on DVD and Blu-ray.  The DVD will retail for MSRP of $29.99 and the Blu-ray for $34.99.  Both can be pre-ordered online now direct via PBS’ online store at a discounted price of $24.99 (DVD) and $29.99 (Blu-ray) respectively.  More information on this and other Masterpiece Mystery! Series is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/masterpiece

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/masterpiecepbs

Twitter: http://twitter.com/masterpiecepbs

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

PBS To Release ‘Endeavour: Season 3’ This Summer

Courtesy:  PBS/Public Media Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

Detective Morse finally returns to PBS this weekend with the third season of the hit crime drama Endeavour.  The third season of Endeavour will air each week from June 19th to July 10th on PBS stations nationwide.  Audiences should check local listings for air times.  In celebration of the series’ return to the U.S. Public Media Distribution has announced that it will release Season Three on DVD and Blu-ray not long after Season Three ends.

Masterpiece Mystery!: Endeavour Series 3 will be released on Tuesday, August 23rd.  it will be released both on DVD and Blu-ray.  Season Three picks up where Season Two left off, with the young Detective Morse dealing with the aftermath of having been thrown in jail.  DI Thursday is meanwhile fighting for his life.  And that is just the tip of the iceberg.  There is a murder, a missing persons case, a house fire, and much more in this season.  Season Three’s four episodes run a total of 360 minutes and are spread over two discs both on DVD and Blu ray.  That is a total of six hours.  The DVD set will retail for MSRP of $39.99 and the Blu-ray set for $49.99.  The Blu-ray can be pre-ordered online now at a discounted price of $44.99 and the DVD for a discounted price of $34.99 via PBS’ online store.  Audiences can see a preview of Season Three now online via PBS’ official YouTube channel.

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

More information on this and other Masterpiece Mystery! Programs is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/masterpiece

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/masterpiecepbs

Twitter: http://twitter.com/masterpiecepbs

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Inspector Lewis Returns For His Seventh Season This Fall On DVD And Blu-ray

Inspector Lewis is back.  That’s right.  Everyone thought that the end of the road had come in the sixth season of the hit itv crime drama when Inspector Lewis called it a career.  Low and behold, he’s back.  And it wasn’t his own choice to return as audiences learn in the season premiere.  This fall, fans of the hit crime drama series will find out the circumstances of Inspector Lewis’ return when the series’ seventh season is released in whole.

Masterpiece Mystery!: Inspector Lewis 7 will be released Tuesday, November 25th on DVD and Blu-ray.  Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox both return to reprise their iconic roles as DI Robert Lewis and newly promoted Inspector James Hathaway in the show’s seventh season/series (different terms for the same thing depending on which side of the pond on which one lives).  Masterpiece Mystery!: Inspector Lewis 7 is comprised of three episodes, spanning a total of 270 minutes (or 4 ½ hours roughly).  The DVD will retail for MSRP of $29.99 and the Blu-ray for MSRP of $34.99.  It will also be available for digital download.   It can be ordered online direct from the PBS online store at:

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

Blu-rayhttp://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=46782166&cp=&sr=1&kw=masterpiece+mystery+inspector+lewis&origkw=Masterpiece+Mystery+Inspector+Lewis&parentPage=search

Courtesy:  PBS/itv

Courtesy: PBS/itv

DVDhttp://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=46782146&cp=&sr=1&kw=masterpiece+mystery+inspector+lewis&origkw=Masterpiece+Mystery+Inspector+Lewis&parentPage=search

The episode listing for Masterpiece Mystery: Inspector Lewis 7 is included below complete with episode summaries.

Entry Wounds

Hathaway gets to work on his first case as an Inspector, with the help of his new partner, DS Lizzie Maddox. The crime is a complicated one that bridges the worlds of neurosurgery, blood sports and animal rights. Lewis, struggling to adapt to retired life, jumps at the chance to rejoin the force when Superintendent Innocent seeks his help. With Lewis back on the team, will they be able to solve the mystery?

 

The Lions of Nemea

After a difficult start, Lewis and Hathaway seem to have settled back into their former relationship, and Maddox has become integral to the team. Their abilities are tested as they investigate the brutal murder of Rose, an American Classics student. Suspicion immediately falls on a young professor who had recently broken off an affair with her, but as the detectives delve further into the case, they only find more secrets and murky motives.

 

Beyond Good and Evil

Thirteen years after Lewis’ first successful arrest as a Detective Inspector, the forensics have been called into question and the case re-opened for appeal. Lewis fears the worst – but nothing can prepare him for a new string of murders resembling the original murders with the original weapon. Did he arrest an innocent man? With Lewis’ reputation in jeopardy, Hathaway and Maddox race to catch the killer.

 

More information on Masterpiece Mystery!: Inspector Lewis 7 is available online at :

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/lewis

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/masterpiecepbs

Twitter: http://twitter.com/masterpiecepbs

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

PBS Announces Release Date For Endeavour: Series 2

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

Officials with PBS announced Monday that the network will release the second season/series of its imported crime drama Endeavour.

Eandeavour Season/Series 2 will be released Tuesday, July 8th. The second season/series of the drama will be released both on DVD and Blu-ray. It features four more full length episodes totaling six hours. Season Two picks up right where the series’ first season ended. DC Endeavour Morse is back with the Oxford City Police and is re-united with DI Fred Thursday. The pair is investigating what appears to be a suicide. But when Morse starts to question that, his own mental health is questioned by his partner.

The second episode of Season Two is a ghost story of sorts. In “Nocturne,” Morse’s investigation of an elderly man’s murder leads him to a girls’ school. As it turns out, the school has a very dark past. That past threatens to become part of the present. And it’s up to Morse to keep that from happening as he investigates the man’s murder and how it’s related to the school’s past.

A serial killer is on the loose in “Sway,” the third episode of Season Two. And it’s up to Morse and Thursday to stop the killer after a woman is found strangled to death with a black silk stocking. Their investigation of the killer’s trail leads them to have to face their own issues along the way.

An investigation of a series of murders uncovers corruption and misconduct within the Oxford City Police and even the higher echelons of Oxford’s social circles in “Neverland,” the fourth episode of Season Two. Morse and Thursday are investigating the cases of a missing boy, a dead journalist and an absconder from prison in this episode, leading them to the revelations about the noted corruption and misconduct.

PBS’s upcoming release of Endeavour: Season/Series 2 will feature all four episodes in their complete UK length presentations. The DVD will retail for SRP of $39.99. The Blu-ray presentation will retail for $44.99. Both the DVD and Blu-ray will be available Tuesday, July 8th. They can be ordered online direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=35620626&cp=&sr=1&kw=masterpiece+mystery+endeavour&origkw=Masterpiece+Mystery%21+Endeavour&parentPage=search. More information on Endeavour is available online at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/endeavour/, http://www.facebook.com/masterpiecepbs and http://twitter.com/masterpiecepbs. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

PBS Announces Release Date For Masterpiece Mystery!: The Escape Artist

Courtesy:  PBS/BBC

Courtesy: PBS/BBC

Officials with PBS announced this week that the network will release the latest installment of its series Masterpiece Mystery! this summer.

Masterpiece Mystery!: The Escape Artist will be released Tuesday, June 17th on DVD and Blu-ray. The legal thriller was written by David Wolstencroft (MI-5) and stars David Tennant (Dr. Who, Broadchurch) as successful defense lawyer Will Burton. Burton’s life is perfect. His career is on the right path. He has a beautiful wife and child. His talent for getting his clients out from behind bars has even earned him the nickname “The Escape Artist.” Burton has only one true rival. Her name is Maggie Gardner (Sophie Okonedo—Hotel Rwanda). Gardner is second only to Burton. The pair’s rivalry is purely professional. Both lawyers take more pleasure in manipulating he lives of their clients than each others’ lives. But things change dramatically when Burton receives a case file on the eve of his vacation that could change the very course of his career and his life.

The case file focuses on accused killer Liam Foyle (Toby Kebbel—Wrath of the Titans). Foyle has been accused and charged with the torture killing of a young medical student. Burton goes over Foyle’s case file during his vacation, trying to find any possible break in the file that could be used against the reclusive bird-lover. The legal battle that ensues upon Burton’s return from his vacation brings turn after turn that will keep viewers on the edges of their collective seats.

Masterpiece Mystery!: The Escape Artist will be available on DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday, June 17th. The DVD will be available for SRP of $24.99 and the Blu-ray will be available for SRP of $29.99. It can be pre-ordered now via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=35446806&cp=&sr=1&kw=masterpiece+mystery+the+escape+artist&origkw=Masterpiece+Mystery+The+Escape+Artist&parentPage=search. More information on this and other installments of Masterpiece Mystery! is available online at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/mystery/index.html, http://www.facebook.com/masterpiecepbs, and http://twitter.com/masterpiecepbs. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

No Mystery Here, Inspector Lewis Series Set Could Be One Of 2013’s Best Box Sets

Courtesy:  itv/PBS

Courtesy: itv/PBS

Masterpiece Mystery! Inspector Morse: Pilot Through Series 6 is a wonderful reward for fans of this imported British crime drama.  The box set boasts all twenty-seven of the series’ episodes on fourteen discs as a starter.  This is just the start of what fans will appreciate from this potential contender for a slot on this critic’s list of the year’s best box sets.    Also for audiences’ enjoyment, they are treated to a bonus interview with series star Kevin Whately (who played Inspector Lewis) as well as a bonus “Making of featurette that takes audiences behind the lens of this hit crime drama.  The full series run and the bonus content collectively make this box set well worth the time and money for any fan of Inspector Lewis.  One can’t ignore the set’s packaging.  It plays just as big a role in the set’s overall presentation as the aforementioned aspects of the box.  Together with those factors, it makes a solid case for a potential spot on this critic’s list of the year’s best box sets.

American TV shows that run twenty-seven episodes are generally considered to be not that successful.  In American television, twenty-seven episodes is generally the equivalent of perhaps a season and a half for a show.  However in the case of a show such as Inspector Lewis, that’s actually quite a bit considering that each episode ran roughly ninety minutes.  That equals out to roughly forty point five total hours of programming, or a total of two thousand four hundred and thirty hours of programming.  It would take nearly forty-one hour-long episodes of an American crime drama to equal this.  Add in the fact that Inspector Lewis survived through six seasons/series because of its solid writing and audiences get even more reason to pick up this box set.  Unlike American television, its writers didn’t rely on sex appeal and overt violence to drive its episodes.  This is such a welcome change of pace for those that want more than just a bunch of eye candy and blood.  And this was the case from the pilot all the way through the series’ beautiful ending.   It really serves as a monument to crime drama writing done right.

The writing that spans all six seasons/series of Inspector Lewis is a triumph for fans that have followed his character since the days when he worked with Inspector Morse.  To that extent, audiences will appreciate the bonus “Making of” feature included in this new complete Inspector Lewis box set.  That’s because while it does offer some behind the scenes information on this series, it also offers a rather in-depth history of how Inspector Lewis came to be his own person after Inspector Morse ended.  It’s interesting to note that between the two series, everything really came full circle by the end of Inspector Lewis.  The “Making of” featurette shows how Lewis went from being the young, cocky sidekick in Inspector Morse to being the cranky old detective that was Inspector Morse.  Keeping that in mind, one could even argue that Inspector Lewis was less its own series, than a continuation of Inspector Morse in its own right.  That makes this series box set even more valuable for anyone that has followed the career of Inspector Lewis from his earliest days with Inspector Morse.

The bonus “Making of” featurette is quite the interesting addition to this new box set.  It’s not all to which fans have to look forward, either.  Also included as a bonus, is a first person “interview” with Kevin Whately.  Whately discusses in his “interview” what it’s like to play Robbie Lewis and what made it so fun to play his character. He also discusses the expectations from Season 5, and much more.  It is slightly dated being that Whately is discussing a previous season.  But Whately’s thoughts on playing Robbie Lewis for twenty years makes up for that and makes his “interview” another nice addition to this set.

There is so much that can be said of Masterpiece Mystery! Inspector Lewis: Pilot Through Series 6 as one can already tell by now.  But a proper look at this set wouldn’t be complete without looking at the set’s packaging.  On the outside, it is a relatively large box.  But even if the set had been released on Blu-ray as well as DVD, the set still would have been relatively large.  It still would have consisted of at least ten discs if not more.  Audiences will appreciate that that packaging was not even larger when looking at how the discs were packaged inside the set.  All fourteen discs are contained within three cases that make up the box.  In order to keep the number of cases as small as possible, each disc was placed smartly inside each case.  They are placed on their own spot on “plates” inside the case.  Not only does this help to conserve space inside the case, but it also protects the discs from one another.  So to the credit of itv and PBS, this was again a very smart way to package the set.  It would have been nice to see the set released on Blu-ray.  But as is, the DVD packaging combines with all of the aforementioned factors to easily make this set a contender for a spot on this critic’s list of the year’s best new box sets.  It’s available now and can be ordered direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=23286606&cp=1413205&ab=Aspot10off49&parentPage=family.  More information on Inspector Lewis and other Masterpiece Mystery! programs is available online at http://www.facebook.com/masterpiecepbs and http://www.pbs.org/masterpiece.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.