Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Ballykissangel - Complete Series One|
Actors: Robert Taylor (VII), Mick Lally, Owen Teale, Kate McEnery, Colin Farrell
Director: Paul Duane
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Life is a challenge for any priest in a small mountain town, and Father Peter Clifford has just arrived from London with high expectations and not even a drivers license to help him navigate the rocky road to salvation in ... more »
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Colleen F. (cftwo) from SELINSGROVE, PA
Reviewed on 2/18/2008...
Perhaps it's because I know a lot of priests and preachers, but I found this series to be very funny and heartwarming at the same time. In this series, Fr. Peter Clifford is new to the town of Ballykissangel in Ireland. His pastoral duties bring him into close contact with the villagers, and we come to know their hopes, their fears, and even their disdain for the Church. You also see the development of a close friendship between Fr. Peter and the proprietress of the local pub, Assumpta Fitzgerald.
A Delightful, If Ultimately Shocking, Series
Donegal Dan | Southwest United States | 10/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Since I am of Irish heritage I started to watch this series because of the inherent comic/dramatic possibilities of a young English priest in an Irish village. It did not disappoint in this and the characters encountered in the saga of Father Peter Clifford in Ballykissangel are entertaining and very Irish,though part old Irish and part modern. I followed this series almost to the bitter end, which is much longer than the first 3 series now available on DVD or video. The first part is better than the latter part and I began to lose interest after the series took a rather dramatic turn midway through. I will not reveal that dramatic turn but I thought it was a very poor resolution of that part of the story and I never had the same affection for it thereafter. Up to that time, however, it was a delightful story of the Irish in a small village with their eccentricities and foibles and the befuddlement of the young priest trying to get used to them and guide them, and at the same time deal with some rather serious issues of his own. During the course of the entire run of the series, you see a long line of well-known Irish actors and actresses, not the least of which is Colin Farrell in what had to be his first real part. He's come a long way since Ballykissangel but you could see the star quality even then. Over all, a very watchable and entertaining tragicomedy but beware the denoument somewhere around the 5th or 6th season, if the whole series ever appears on DVD. It's a shocker."
Father Peter Clifford arrives in BallyK as the new curate
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 08/06/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"WARNING! If you have never seen an episode of "Ballykissangel" and are starting from the beginning like I did today, be aware that on the second disc there is a special feature that looks back on the making of the show. It includes several spoilers including what would have to be the biggest spoiler of them all. So if you want to get all the way through to Series Three and not have things ruined for you then skip the "On the Ballykissangel Trail" featurette so what happened to me does not happen to you.
"Ballykissangel" is about young Father Peter Clifford (Stephen Tompkinson) who has come from England to the Irish town of Ballykissangel (Baile Coisc Aingeal) to be the curate at the local parish. You would think that the problem is going to be that the young priest is English, but it turns out to be his way of thinking and not his country of origin that shakes things up in town:
Episode 1, "Trying to Connect You" (Written by Kieran Prendiville, First aired February 11, 1996) starts with an interesting race. Can the new priest get to town before whatever is in that giant crate marked "Fragile" that is rolling down the mountainside and into Ballykissangel? Father Peter gets a ride Assumpta Fitzgerald (Dervla Kirwan), who runs the local tavern and has no use for the church. Then there are Niamh Quigley (Tina Kellegher) and Ambrose Egan (Peter Hanly), who are supposed to be getting married. But she wants to make sure they are really compatible which means living and sleeping together and he does not want to commit a mortal. Meanwhile, Father MacAnally (Niall Toibin) is not happy to have a new curate who cannot drive and then there is what is in that box that Brian Quigley (Tony Doyle) has bought for the church.
Episode 2, "The Things We Do for Love" (Written by Kieran Prendiville, First aired February 18, 1996), has Father Peter and Brian Quigley butting heads again. Quigley is planning a holiday home development and a young couple are living in a caravan near the site, so he orders his men to dump "organic fertilizer" right next to the caravan, which is making the young couple's baby sick. Father Peter does not like what is going on, but he has his own problems when Jenny Clark (Lena Headey), a parishioner from Manchester shows up because she thinks he has feelings for her. Fortunately there is a Gaelic football match that is going to be played in which Peter is the reserve goalkeeper, and Soiban (Deirdre Donnelly) has a bright idea.
Episode 3, "Live in My Heart and Pay No Rent" (Written by Kieran Prendiville, First aired on February 25, 1996), has a stone statue of St. John falling off of the church and crashing into Ambrose's car right after he got out of it. So he decides this is a sign from God, calls off his wedding to Niamh, and decides to become a priest. Niamh is already upset because her father is going to be meeting up with his old girlfriend. So she decides that under the circumstances, even if she is not getting married she still wants her wedding reception.
Episode 4, "Fallen Angel" (Written by John Forte, First aired March 3, 1996), has Ambrose on the trail of a pirate radio station in the village, while Father Peter has been warned he needs get his license and a car or he will be shipped back home. Assumpta agrees to give him driving lessons, which is probably a mistake. Meanwhile, on a hospital visit Peter encounters a former judge, Michael Bradley (Aidan Grennell), who proves to be even more of a challenge than the driving test. That is because apparently no parish priest has ever failed the test, but Father Peter does not like the idea of a fix and his prospects for passing the test have everybody placing bets.
Episode 5, "The Power and the Gory" (Written by John Forte, First aired March 10, 1996), begins with the local representative to the Irish Parliament being buried, which means a contest for the seat between Brian Quigley and Sean Dooley (Owen Roe). The television reporter sent to cover the election turns out to be Assumpta's ex-boyfriend, Leo McGarvey (James Nesbitt), and while Father Peter is hoping to get some publicity about replacing the bell at the church, McGarvey wants to know about the old bones that Quigley's men have uncovered out at the development site.
Episode 6, "Missing Your Already" (Written by Kieran Prendiville, First aired March 17, 1996) finds Father Peter has been told he has to return to England. He wants to know why and we want to know if he is really going to go. Brian Quigley's latest brainstorm to get visitors to BallyK is to get a three-day license to open a bar and grill, which is going to take money away from Fitzgerald's. Adding insult to injury, Quigley has put a ram up on some scaffolding, which has upset Soiban. Father Peter might not be able to do anything about leaving BallyK, but he can certainly do something about the sheep and perhaps even preside over a wedding.
This is a charming little show, and what strikes me most is that it is like a situation comedy that has been put in a lower gear to make it into an "hour" long show. The road to acceptance is not as hard as Father Peter thinks that it is and the locals are not quite as eccentric as you would expect (Eamonn and his wooden sheep are the proverbial exception). I read that "Ballykissangel" was the BBC's version of "Northern Exposure," which only goes to prove the wide cultural gulf that exists between two lands separated by a common tongue. Half of the show's six series are available on DVD so you can proceed to Series Two if it strikes your fancy."
Great series, lousy DVD
D. Engstrom | Portland, OR | 11/28/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The first three seasons of Ballykissangel are top notch. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the DVD's which are very poor quality. There is an overall graininess throughout and compression artifacts are visible to the point of being a distraction. If you are a Bally-K fan your options for owning the series are limited, but I would hold out for a remastered DVD, perhaps an anniversary edition down the road..."