"If you enjoyed Campion's first season you will probably love this season. Well at least if you like some thriller action. The first season was a little lofty and whimsical. This season draws you into intense intrigue and action from the start. The first movie finds Campion allying himself with a couple chums to ferret out a great mystery. They must determine why a wealthy gangster is trying so hard to grab up items that will prove the heritage of an heir to a small but mineral rich kingdom in Europe. I was sitting on the edge of my seat the whole episode fearing the worst for his new found romantic/intellectual interest.The second movie finds Campion investigating two murders at the theater. Campion must investigate an interesting group of performers that make you suspicious of them in one way or another. The third movie has him investigating how a man was murdered and locked into a strongroom at a publishers vault. The coroner's findings shed some light on the case, but make it difficult not to jump to conclusions. The fourth movie is mystifying and interesting and we are given puzzles like a maze leading to a missing person, quicksand that is not forgiving, and a frightening revelation when one of the ladies is kidnapped. The criminal behind it is cunning and Campion must keep his wits. This was a very exciting episode and I enjoyed it and the first one in the set the most.Great production values as usual with the same high quality standard for detail in the sets and costumes. All in all a excellent addition to your DVD collection. A must have for any that bought the first season. After seeing this set I only wish they had made more seasons of this wonderful series. Ashame how often when a series finds its legs they pull out the rug from under them."
Why must all good things come to an end?
babydoh | 01/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The second series of Campion is every bit as wonderful as the first. Why, oh why were there only two?! Ah, well. We have eight amazing episodes to watch over and over on DVD (sixteen, I suppose, if you count each half as an episode), and there are certainly worse things. I should start off by mentioning that the order in which they've advertised the stories on the side of the box is WRONG. Wrong, wrong, wrong. As they were originally presented in 1990, "Dancers In Mourning" was the first, followed by "Flowers for the Judge," "Mystery Mile," and THEN "Sweet Danger". Do NOT watch "Sweet Danger" first -- it must be saved till last. Trust me!
Now, on to the episodes themselves: "Dancers In Mourning" is my personal favorite of the four, tied in my book with the first season's finale, "Death of a Ghost". It (Dancers In Mourning) deals with a series of murders that occur within a group of actors performing in a musical, and it keeps you on the edge of your seat till the very end. And there is a sort-of-romance for Campion on the side, to boot! This one is not to be missed.
The sophomore episode, "Flowers for the Judge," is the story of a murder that occurs at a publishing company. Although parts of the story seem just a tad contrived (and here I am referring solely to the jury process in the court scene - horrific!), it's a good story. Plus it has a terrific ending.
Number three, "Mystery Mile" (the name of a seaside town, as it turns out) is another captivating tale. Its plot is complex and I hesitate to give too much away anyway, so I'll leave it ambiguous and intriguing by saying merely that it involves a magician; quicksand; visiting "Americans" (read: good British actors employing atrocious accents and almost managing to make themselves look bad, and one of whom incidentally is a doppelganger for Topher Grace). And, best of all, there is Campion in a sailor hat. (*Homer Simpson-esque gurgling noise*)
Finally, there is "Sweet Danger." "Sweet Danger," which leaves so much to be desired -- not because the episode is bad, quite the opposite; but because it breaks off Campion's story just where you MUST KNOW WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT!!! (Footnote for those who have seen it: I was later informed that the character of Amanda Fitton was supposed to be a teenager. Who knew?)
And last but not least, I feel it is my duty to review Peter Davison. Ahh, Peter Davison...what can one say? He manages somehow to be even lovelier and more charming than in the first season, and this is no mean feat. This man has the funniest, sweetest smile on earth. If for no other reason, watch this series for that!"
A lovely place to visit.
Atheen M. Wilson | Mpls, MN United States | 07/05/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although I enjoyed reading all of Margery Allingham's Albert Campion series, I wasn't sure if I'd like the film series. Sometimes the characters and ambience that are in your mind as you read are so different from those presented by putting them into three dimensional reality. I needn't have hesitated, however, since Peter Davidson's Campion and Brian Glover's Lugg are just as I imagined them. While the latter would be a fairly simple character to enact, the former is by no means easily captured. The Campion in the stories is a complex character, slightly foppish and light hearted, like Lord Peter Whimsey, yet no ones fool. Davidson gives the character just the right blend of wittiness, intellect, and affability. Each of the stories in the collection are a treat for anyone interested in period settings, and the 1920s and 1930s are among the more enjoyable. The architecture, furniture, automobiles, clothing, make-up, and hairstyles encapsulate the era beautifully. The mysteries themselves are quite clever and entertaining. A lovely visit to a pleasant time and place and interesting people.Of this foursome I enjoyed Flowers for the Judge, about a murder in a publishing house, the most enjoyable, with Sweet Danger the dearest of the set. Dancers in Mourning seemed to wander a little like it was having trouble finding its solution, and Mystery Mile seemed a little too contrived and melodramatic. Still all four are worth watching more than once just to spend time with the characters."
Dianne Foster | USA | 01/16/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Like her fellow detective fiction writer Ngaio Marsh, Margery Allingham developed a number of plots involving actors and/or artists. Allingham's debonaire sleuth has a different background, than Marsh's Allyn or Sayers' Wimsey. Although of somewhat noble birth, he was born on the `wrong side of the covers' and his name does not reflect his pedigree. The name Campion is taken from a small white field flower that he sometimes wore in his buttonhole.
Unfortunately, this and other bits of trivia are missing from these DVDs, because the BBC videos are missing `Mystery Theater' hostess Diana Rigg who introduced the stories to PBS viewers and related additional information about the background of the protagonist and his sidekick valet-sometimes house maid, the former house breaker and very talented Mr. Lugg.
The second season includes episodes that feature: 1/ the royal claims of the Pontsbright family to a newly formed country in the Balkans also of interest to the Nazis; 2/ Evil happenings involving dancers and death; 3/ Murder at a publishing house; 4/ Mobsters and Turkish smugglers.
Like Christie, Allingham excelled in the creation of plots and her characterization of Campion (played by Peter Davison -- `All Creatures Great and Small' and "At Home With the Braithwaites) and Lugg are well done. Some of the peripheral actors are also well developed and many of faces are familiar. The episode `Sweet Danger' introduces the woman Campion will eventually marry, but only those who read the series or saw the PBS presentation will know that bit of trivia."
"Nothing sordid, vulgar, or plebian"
Julia Flyte | 01/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Albert Campion. Born 20 May 1900. Name known to be a pseudonym. Education: privileged. Embarked on adventurous career 1929. Justice neatly executed. Nothing sordid, vulgar, or plebian. Deserving cases preferred, police no object. Business address: 17 Bottle Street, Picadilly, London W1. Specialist in fairy stories."
I watched the Campion series on PBS' "Mystery!" when it first aired - I was only a young teenager, but as a life-long anglophile, not to mention sucker for 1930s mysteries, I was absolutely enamoured. I awaited a re-run of the series (to no avail), but finally we have Mr. Campion and friends on DVD! Peter Davison ("All Creatures Great and Small," "Dr. Who," "The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries") is pitch-perfect as upper-class sleuth Albert Campion, and Brian Glover is incomparable as his manservant/sidekick, Lugg. As with all BBC productions, all details of the series are impeccable, and the scenery is positively delicious. (The Dower House, not to mention the Manor, in "Mystery Mile" is particulary stunning.) Unlike many of his literary peers, Mr. Campion possesses great wit, and uses it disarmingly, even in the most stressful of situations (for instance, when the Bad Guys are practically upon him - hardly a time for anyone but our hero Campion to be cracking wise! -- most people just can't carry that sort of thing off, dontcha know...). Even that other high-tone sleuth Lord Peter Whimsey can't match Mr. Campion! Sit back, watch the adventures of Campion, and have a spot of fun! "