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Willow

'Dalziel & Pascoe: Season 9'
(Warren Clarke, Colin Buchanan, et al / 2-DVD / NR / (2009) 2014 / BBC Home Entertainment)

Overview: The blunt-talking, politically incorrect Andy Dalziel once again pairs up with his younger, fast-tracked side-kick, Inspector Peter Pascoe, for a crime-solving marriage of opposites.

DVD Verdict: Back in 1996 who knew that casting Warren Clarke as Dalziel and Colin Buchanan as Pascoe would lead to 12 series' of this gritty, well-acted British crime drama. But it did and right now on DVD in the US we're on Season 9. In the first episode of four, 'Heads You Lose,' we quickly see that they've changed a few things! Firstly, the episodes are nearly an hour each and secondly the opening title credits have changed.

Anyway, moving on and Dalziel's hair is now up, fluffly, styled and very trendy, for the first time ever! Pascoe, in pursuit of a suspect is involved in a nasty head on collision and is rushed to hospital. In a coma, Dalziel comes out of his personal funk to sit by his bed side and promises to find the suspect Pascoe was chasing for him. But Weatherfield General Hospital, where they both are is shutting down, but the reasons don't seem to add up to Dalziel - who begins to look deeper into it all, of course. Pascoe awakens from head/brain surgery fighting fit as it nothing had happened, and soon is flirting with a nurse. Between the three of them they figure it out, but this episode comes with a 100% COMPLETELY unnecessary last minute death (so be warned!).

In 'Dead Meat,' which contains a mix of tigers (and other animals) within the confines of a private zoo and Asian immigrants being smuggled into the UK, this episode may seem like it's disjointed but it all comes together very nicely. It also features a is-he or isn't-he still alive situation of the original owner of the private zoo who has long since been presumed dead. Come the end and, well, the episode's title says it all - for someone!

In the third episode, 'The Dig,' Reginald Hill's original mystery novels continue with a body being found at an archeological dig. Some think it's a medieval find, some think it's a religious sign, and others like the building contractor just wants rid of them so he can bulldoze the whole area to make flats! So the archeological crew and the bulldozer crew go head-to-head, literally and eventually someone gets killed. It also comes with a GREAT twist at the end so keep plugging along with this one!

In the last episode of this season, 'Dust Thou Art,' WPC Maria `Janet' Jackson (Naomi Bentley) is kidnapped on the streets, bundled into the boot of a car and taken off to a remote country hideout. Along with another young girl they have to figure a way to let people know they are there and to try to escape. In truth, this final episode of the set is rather drawn out, but the end twist is worth the wait. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

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