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The Complete Inspector Lynley Mysteries
The Complete Inspector Lynley Mysteries
Actors: Nathaniel Parker, Sharon Small
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
UR     2008     34hr 24min

Studio: Wgbh Wholesale Release Date: 10/28/2008 Run time: 2064 minutes


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Movie Details

Actors: Nathaniel Parker, Sharon Small
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: WGBH Boston
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 10/28/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2002
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2002
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 34hr 24min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 12
SwapaDVD Credits: 12
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 9
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

The Best of British Mystery
Bobby Underwood | Manly NSW, Australia | 10/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

""And you know what I would say? The world can wait." -- Lynley to Havers in a poignant moment from "In the Blink of an Eye."

This series was intelligent and entertaining, and one of my all time favorites in the history of television. Now that it has finally ended, despite the campaign to save it, this fabulous boxed set is being released. It covers everything from the initial "A Great Deliverance" through the final episode. For those who have never seen it, it is like finding a diamond among rocks. And for those who looked forward to seeing Lynley and Havers each season more than anyone else on television, it is the perfect opportunity to look back and remember why we fell in love with this BBC show which became a staple of PBS's Mystery.

Nathaniel Parker as Lynley and Sharon Small as Havers were perfect for their roles. The Inspector Lynley series was smart and atmospheric, Debbie Wiseman's opening music setting the tone for each intriguing installment. Based on Elizabeth George's characters, the BBC show grew and matured beyond the books, which frustrated some, yet delighted others. The dashing Lynley was originally paired with Havers due to politics and because it was taken for granted he would not be distracted by her in a romantic way. He was Oxford and she was from the other side of life.

The clashes that came in the first two seasons due to those differences became less important as the two quickly found there was more to each other than their reputations. They proved a great team and became quite close, their deep friendship and affection for each other rarely dwelled upon but always there beneath the surface. By season three when personal crisis hit both of them hard, it was each other to which they clung.

By season five the series had become more than the sum of its parts. Havers had softened some over time and Lynley had become more accessible, both due to the influence of the other. Season five began with Lynley suspended pending an inquiry into brutality charges, in "Natural Causes." Barbara had been paired with a very pregnant D.I. not warmed by Lynley's manner. He believes she is overlooking promising leads and ingratiates himself into the investigation. The episode provided some fun as towards the conclusion Barbara is the acting D.I. and Lynley must do her bidding.

The final episode of season five would provide one of the most poignant moments in the entire series. "In the Blink of an Eye" had a murder in Soho tied to horrific crimes in Bosnia. Catherine Russell portrayed Lynley's beloved Helen by season five and it would be her involvement in the case which would bring about events so tragic and unforseen that they would send our favorite Inspector into the bottle.

Havers and an old case would help Lynley crawl back among the living once again in season six. In "Limbo," first aired in Australia, the remains of Lynley's godson are discovered twelve years after he was reported missing. Lynley becomes deeply involved with the deceased's sister and will himself become the prime suspect in a second murder. In "Know Thine Enemy" one young schoolgirl kills herself to escape captivity and Lynley and Havers try to find another before tragedy strikes twice.

Parker and Small sparkled in their roles, giving carefully nuanced performances in mysteries both intelligent and entertaining. Fans of quality television and especially mystery lovers will find a bonanza in these 23 installments starring Nathaniel Parker and Sharon Small as Lynley and Havers. Fans truly cherished this show as much as Lynley did his cars, especially his Bristol. Included in this wonderful boxed set for fans is:

A Great Deliverance --- SEASON ONE / Well-Schooled in Murder --- Payment in Blood --- For the Sake of Elena --- Missing Joseph SEASON TWO / Playing for the Ashes --- In the Presence of the Enemy --- A Suitable Vengeance --- Deception on His Mind SEASON THREE / In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner --- A Traitor to Memory --- A Cry for Justice --- If Wishes Were Horses SEASON FOUR / In Divine Proportion --- In the Guise of Death --- The Seed of Cunning --- The Word of God SEASON FIVE --- Natural Causes --- One Guilty Deed --- Chinese Walls --- In the Blink of an Eye SEASON SIX / Limbo --- Known Thine Enemy"
Packaging May Doom the Set
Ronald G. Helfrich Jnr | 01/06/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)

"I am not going to speak about the show since others have written about it here already. Suffice it to say that I like the show very much which is why I purchased the complete set. What I do want to talk about is the packaging. Unfortunately, many reviewers ignore this along with the quality of the transfer in many of their "reviews".

Like quite a few other DVD box sets this one has problems. First, I have been sent two Lynley sets thus far. Both had the same problem. The first keep case housing discs one and two had fork spindles both of which had broken causing the discs to float around in the keep case resulting in (unsurprisingly) scratched discs. Discs off the spindles seem to be a consistent problem with these slimline keep cases regardless of source (Milestone, Criterion Eclipse). I don't spend new money for used looking discs.

The second problem is the lack of documentation. Inspector Lynley ran on the BBC from 2001-2007 and on PBS from 2001 to 2008. In this set there is no documentation of series/season. Nor is there any indication of original run dates. Apparently WGBH thinks none of us out here in DVD buying land are interested in TV history But hey, they do list the episode titles. One should, I suppose, be grateful for small favours.

As for the transfer (which is letterboxed), it looks good though there appears to be some ghosting. I am of two minds with respect to the appearance of the Mystery openings and closings on some of the discs. It is interesting to see the show as first presented on PBS. On the other hand, I do wonder about the editing particularly at the end of the episodes with the PBS Mystery introductions and conclusions. My sense is that there is some editing out of these end scenes as they originally appeared on the BBC given the abruptness of these endings.

In conclusion: A big thumbs down to WGBH's production department and quality control. As of this moment the WGBH/PBS Lynley set is the only game in town. I do hope the complete set comes out in Britain at some point so I can see Lynley as originally broadcast."
All In One Place...
D. S. Thurlow | Alaska | 11/02/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"With the "Inspector Lynley Mysteries" series at an end, the BBC has made all the episodes, from the pilot movie "A Great Deliverance" through the truncated final Set Six, available in one package. Longtime fans of the series will have the opportunity to reexamine all the episodes, while new fans can find out what they were missing.

At the heart of this series is the intriguing partnership of aristocratic Inspector Thomas Lynley and working-class Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers. Their initial pairing in the pilot was very likely a device by their superiors to drive one or the other out of service. Lynley is educated and professional, but apt to let his emotions cloud his judgement. Havers is a good cop, but initially resentful of Lynley's advantages and soured by a tough childhood and prejudice on the force. Their professionalism wins out, and their complementary abilities allow the partners to solve crimes and to build on a subtle respect for each other that will ultimately border on emotional dependence. In retrospect, Lynley's long and troubled relationship with police pathologist Helen Clyde, which progresses from best friend to fiance to wife to estranged partner, seems designed to keep Lynley and Havers' parallel relationship on a professional level.

This emotional glue of the series is also the source of frequent comedy, whether in the awkwardness of Havers' first visit to Cornwall to meet Lynley's wealthy but clearly disfunctional family, or Lynley's heroic good manners when faced with Havers' domestic chaos. Fortunately, the class distinctions wore away early, and the later disputes were largely over method. Somehow, Havers never seemed to mind riding in Lynley's excellent automobiles.

The Inspector Lynley Mysteries easily transcend the standard police procedural. The stories, shot on location around England, couple often visually attractive scenery with tough, gritty crimes. The audience gets the clues at the same rate as our detectives; invariably, there are plot twists and success in sorting through the suspects may depend on a flash of Lynley intuition or Havers policework. The series was not wedded to happy endings; at least a couple of episodes have unsatisfying conclusions and each season features at least one professional or personal cliff-hanger for the detectives.

"The Complete Inspector Lynley Mysteries" is very highly recommended to fans of the series and to new viewers looking for the best in an extremely well-done police procedural."
Perfect Actors But Truncated or Completely Rewritten Scripts
carol irvin | United States | 09/04/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Elizabeth George's mysteries abound in layers, facets, characters, texture and complexity. Reading George's mysteries is similar to peeling a huge onion. They are not for a reader who wants a quick, light read. Usually the lives which are uncovered are tragic. It is rare to see anyone end happily and, if they do, George is just as likely to pull the rug out from under them. Usually I give up on series books because the characters get tedious. However, no one could accuse George of getting tedious. Controversial is more the defining word for her. Thus, I give Elizabeth George's Lynley and Havers novels a full five stars. But now we turn to the British mystery series based upon the novels. I've enjoyed them but the filmed versions are way too short for these deeply layered novels. Alas, what the writers do is go in and rewrite these excellent novels so as to make them more "viewer friendly." In short, they mute George's more controversial writing decisions. Bold directions she takes with a character, the scriptwriters reverse. It would have been better to film each novel as a miniseries. At least there would have been the possibility of covering these deeply layered and complex books. Truncating these books to fit into a one episode show was not a good move. Yet, the people who did the series did one astounding thing: they cast the perfect actors to play Lynley and Havers. In fact, I can't imagine any other actors playing them. If Amazon allowed half star ratings, I really would give this a 3.5 star rating instead of a four star rating. If you can watch this for free or through your public library, I would say see it. I would not spend a fortune to buy it on dvd though. If you want to spend your money wisely, buy all of the books and spend some delightful time going through them. I only wish I were starting them again. I have serious withdrawal since I have read them all!"