'Dalziel & Pascoe: Season Two'
(Warren Clarke, Colin Buchanan, et al / 2-Disc DVD / NR / (1996) 2010 / BBC Home Video)
Overview: Detective Andy Dalziel is an idiosyncratic copper with a penetrating wit and questionable personal habits. Inspector Peter Pascoe is his cultured sidekick – a thoughtful man with a degree in Social Sciences, a caring attitude and a sharp brain. But together they have forged an impressive crime-solving partnership.
DVD Verdict: Having watched, and enjoyed the first season of four episodes, I was greatly looking forward to this new set. Dating back to 1996, the only thing dated are the clothing and the computers/phones - the rest is still, spot on detective work.
It's also good to see that the quality and the style of Series One have established themselves here again - and for the next 10 years, as it's been an ongoing series in the UK for 12 seasons! That fine actor with a mug's face, Warren Clarke, plays Detective Superintendent Andy Dalziel (pronounced Dee-ell). He worked his way up, had no easy rides to the top, he drinks, he smokes, and he's overweight.
His young Sergeant, played by Colin Buchanan, a man himself who reminds me every time I see him as a young Clive Owen, is quieter in nature, not a drinker, not a smoker, a family man with a new born in his midst. And we also get to meet the third member of Andy's team, Detective Sergeant Edgar Wield (David Royle).
The season 2 four episodes (on two discs) of 'Dalziel & Pascoe' are all good, but seem to, this time around, plod a little. The set opens with 'Ruling Passion,' where Peter and his new wife, Ellie, go to visit a friend ... and find three corpses! I know, this is a far fetched plot at its best, because all they do is go visit some friends for a long weekend and suddenly they're knee deep in 3 dead friends and blood everywhere!
Here we also find Dalziel coughing and wheezing badly, until he has to have a check up - "Andy, I don't like the sound of that cough ... Sorry, Doc, but it's the only one I've got!". Whereupon the doc tells him he is ok, but won't be in a few years if he doesn't quit the beer and fags! He does, for the length of this episode ONLY!
The storyline gets bogged down, twist and turns within itself so much I either fell asleep or lost the plot for a moment there! An important series point though is that Sgt. Peter Pascoe becomes Inspector Peter Pascoe.
In 'A Killing Kindness,' a serial killer admires Hamlet so much that after each of their killings they call the local newspaper to quote a line of it! Dalziel is back on the beer and fags, no mention of the episode and warnings from his Doc that went before. This one is a good, solid tale, involving fair folk, such as fortune tellers, etc. As for who the killer is, well, good luck guessing!
In 'Deadheads,' a man with a passion for roses is accused of murder - for the entire episode, one way or another! A mysterious opening, set back in 1973 tends to lean us that way too, but looks can be deceiving, as they say. DS Wield, whilst questioning him, reports back to Dalziel that, "He's giving me some miniatures ... Single Malt? ... No, flowers for me window box," he dead pans back! Classic stuff from Dalziel.
As with the last episode, Peter's wife, the lovely Susannah Corbett (daugter of legendary comedian, Harry H. Corbett) has not only given birth to a baby girl, but involved (at home) with most all of the cases that Peter talks to her about. She becomes, for all intents and purposes, a part-time detective. This episode also features the great British character actor, Keith Barron.
The final episode of the set, 'Exit Lines' finds Peter investigating Dalziel, after a drunken drive down a country lane ends in an old cyclist dying - although it seems his sober Bookmaker now seems to have been behind the wheel. This is a great story, in which Peter has to grow up, start to make decisions for himself - as his boss is put on leave. A good ending leaves us all waiting for the 3rd season to arrive on DVD. (RT) This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.55:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs, but sadly does not come with any Special Features.