'The Helen West Casebook'
(Connor Mullen, Amanda Lee Burton, et al / 3-Disc DVD / NR / (2001) 2009 / Acorn Media)
Overview: She’s a workaholic lawyer with a conscience and a messy personal life. As a crown prosecutor, Helen West deals with domestic abuse, sexual molestation, and murder. Driven by a strong sense of justice and compassion, she pursues cases even when her boss insists she drop them and goes out of her way to offer victims a helping hand. Although she’s determined to right the wrongs in others’ lives, her own personal affairs could use some work, particularly her relationship with handsome policeman Geoffrey Bailey (Conor Mullen, Reckless, Holby City).
DVD Verdict: Knowing that we get a slew of so-called "police procedural" shows over here in the States, all eminating from across the big pond from the UK, it is no suprise to see that once again Acorn Media have brought us another box-set of the very same ilk.
Based on the bestselling suspense novels by Frances Fyfield, this first set of three may well have been shown to death in the UK, even had their fair share of face time on our very own A&E channel, but are still worth the time invested in watching them, one wet, dreary day stuck inside with nothing on the agenda.
Amanda Burton plays Helen West in this DVD set and plays the character to ultimate, tip-top perfection. West works in the office of Crime Prosecution Service as a Crown Prosecutor, but where her daily position holds her held held high, it clashes badly when the worlds of personal and professional collide. Mostly, mainly, when her boyfriend, Detective Superintendent Geoffrey Bailey (Conor Mullen) is on her case (or a case, in fact) and they both are trying to pursue their own sense of justice.
In 'Deep Sleep,' a death turns to murder since the victim could not have administered the final lethal dose of chloroform herself. In 'Shadow Play,' a low-class man, Lycett (Robert Pugh), looks for his child, Ernie, (a 10-yr search) while continually getting arrested as a pervert. In 'A Clear Conscience,' West's apartment spring cleaner can also help paint the planned redecoration, but mysteriously Bailey's incomplete murder case may have a connection to West's cleaning lady, Cath (Lynda Steadman.)
Chock full of lawyer cases, romances, and secrets up the yin-yang, 'The Helen West Casebook' series is great British mysteries at their finest. The casting in all three films is rather brilliant also for Burton’s expressive face conveys no nonsense from the off - mixed with a steel of presence that would melt a snowman at 10 paces! Co-star Connor Mullen as her charming love interest is OK, but any 'nice' actor could be seen in his role, in truth. This is a Full Screen presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Biographies of star Amanda Burton and author Frances Fyfield.