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Cherry Pop

'Wycliffe - Series 4'
(Jack Shepherd, et al / 3-Disc DVD / NR / 2010 / BFS Entertainment)

Overview: The wild, craggy Cornish coast seems ideal for hiding serious crimes, but forthright and observant Detective Superintendent Wycliffe (Jack Shepherd - The Golden Compass) leads an investigative team charged with solving each baffling case. Violent robbers, blackmailers, kidnappers, arsonists and murderers are some of the scheming criminals they pursue in the intriguing mysteries of this gripping, British police drama.

DVD Verdict: 'Strangers’ - For season four, we get brand new opening credits/titles, which work very well - as the show needed a fresh start, even if this fourth season was released some 13 years ago, back in 1997! Here we open with a couple getting married, with a scene that includes one of the guests dressed in an orange suit! A real Agatha Christie tale this one, but it does have a sad beginning, culminating in a sad ending, sorry!

‘Close To Home’ - This is a true slow-burner of a story, but with some real Cornish locations, and some breathtaking scenery, well, you kind of let is slide. The main plot line here though is that DI Doug Kersey (Jimmy Yuill) visits a suspect late at night in the cell, leaves, and the comes back in the morning to find him dead! Now his job is on the line, as he’s also started drinking!

‘On Account’ - Somebody is poisoning food, whether it be prison food, health food, or baby food, and so the hunt is one for a blackmailer. Another slow-burner of an episode, but the running theme again is DI Kersey now feeling the pressure of an internal investigation. As for the ending, the blackmailer is caught, sure, but who it is and why they did it comes completely out of the blue.

‘Lone Voyager’ - A much-loved, skilled yachtswoman goes missing on a stormy night and the team, led by DI Kersey investigates. Another slow story, with the back story of Kersey’s internal investigation still ongoing, this one hinges on the love between a man and a woman - and what one is willing to put up with to keep the other in their life.

‘Seen A Ghost’ - A traffic incident leaves a woman dead, and the driver of the car swearing blind she had just killed a ghost! A tricky, well-played out tale this one, takes us to some seaside B&B’s, and opens the doors to what happens behind-the-scenes. The wonderful Gwen Taylor (‘A Bit Of A Do‘) stars here as the main landlady in question, and DI Kersey finally gets the news he’s been anxiously awaiting.

‘Bad Blood’ - Whilst Wycliffe is away at his cousin’s funeral, he gets a call that he is needed back on home soil - much to his wife’s rolling eyes! Another the slow tale of fishermen, money, taxes, and local (un)support unfolds, the ending is very nicely sewn together - and at the very same time, in a split second, very, very sad too.

‘To Sup With the Devil’ - A pub landlord is killed and Wycliffe is DCC Stevens at another useless policing convention at the time the call comes in to him. DI Kersey and DI Lucy Lane (Helen Masters) head up the investigation in his absence, but with a possible promotion for one of them on the board, well, tensions are high. The killer here is guessable halfway through, unfortunately, and Lane gets herself into a very sticky situation - that allows Kersey to come to her rescue.

‘Old Crimes, New Times’ - It begins with a court date that goes wrong, very wrong for Wycliffe and his team of investigators re: an original arrest charge that has now been overturned. The killer goes free, the plot plods for a while, and the death of a police officer becomes a sub plot. The episode gets to finally come full circle very nicely, thankfully, but it could have been played out some twenty minutes earlier, sorry. [RT] This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.