'Second Sight - The Complete Series'
(Clive Owen, Claire Skinner, Stuart Wilson, Eddie Marsan, et al / 5-Disc DVD / NR / 2010 / BFS Entertainment)
Overview: In this mystery thriller series created by award-winning writer Paula Milne (The Politicians Wife), dynamic and successful Detective Chief Inspector Ross Tanner (Clive Owen - Inside Man) is investigating the brutal murder of a 19-year-old youth. Ambitious Detective Inspector Catherine Tully (Claire Skinner - Bridget Jones's Diary) is seconded to Tanners team to assist with the case. But during the inquiry, Tanner discovers that he is losing his sight - and so does Tully.
DVD Verdict: The UKs' loveable scamp Clive Owen stars in 'Second Sight' as DCI Ross Tanner, the head of the Elite Murder Unit. And, as if handling this new unit isn't enough, he's quickly dealt a low blow - in the form of blinding flashes to his eyes sight; ones that subsequently leave him with a varying amount of pain, and less and less clear sight as we progress.
Now, for most other great British police detectives - of our time or back through history - I think they would have given up the ghost PDQ. But not our DCI Tanner. Nope, he wants to battle through his ailment UNKNOWN to all this team surrounding him on a daily basis!
Anyway, as I'm sure you can already jump the gun here and guess that a) certain people figure it out sooner rather than later and b) his sight gets worse, and so does his personal life, we'll move along regardless! Episode one invites us into his world in the form of a two-parter, entitled 'Pilot' (of course!). It's a good start to the show (a show that lasted just 3 more feature-length episodes down the line), but if there's kids around be careful as there's a naked woman some 2 minutes in here!
The technical term of his eye sight loss, as explained throughout the show, is AZOOR and it is something that will never get better - although he keeps telling himself it will. Anyway, Part 1 (disc 1) is strung out and so to get to Part 2 (disc 2) is a minor relief. As the sight gets more blurred, more unmanageable, our hero is still at work, finding his way down corridors using his left had/fingers trailing along the walls, counting steps, etc. His second in command, Tully figures it out, gets close to help him, and they have an affair. As you do! As for the ending, well, sure there's a twist, but not one you can't see coming if you put your mind to it.
The second episode (disc 3), 'Hide and Seek' tells the story of Vicki Inghram, who has been brutally murdered. Tanner wants to recreate the scene but the use of Vicki's son causes more issues than tanner expected. Tully leaves during this investigation and so a new, overly-eager by-the-book DCI is brought in to replace her - and once again, Tanner is all alone in his eye sight knowledge. His SMU (Special Murder Unit) still knows no different about Tanner, but come on now, the guy can't look you in the eye, uses his hands to walk, and drops things left, right, and center!
But, for the sake of TV plots, I digress! This second episode is now infamous for the first TV appearance of a very young Tom Felton (Harry Potter) and his casting was spot on here. Episode three (disc 4), 'Parasomnia' tells the tale of a man who is bludgeoned to death after his stag party. His fiance wakes up covered in blood but has no recollection of the murder. Again, during the investigation Tanner starts now having hallucinations during his blurred sight moments, but the true let down on this episode is that you 100% can guess the ending right out the gates! Bill Kitchen (Foyle's War) stars here and although the twist ending is one no unguessed, it still pans out really nicely.
In the final episode, 'Kingdom of the Blind,' Tanner has to investigate a hate crime that is too close to home - and his son. Everything points to retired gangster, Harold King, a wonderful old school British character actor, Peter Vaughan. But, King is blind. But while Tanner uses his blindness to seek the truth, King has let his fester his hate - and he still 'sees' everything; including the fact that due to his double-handed handshake, Tanner is also losing his eye sight!
And, in truth this whole blindness is wearing thin plot wise; the shown blurred flashes of pain, the hallucinations, and the bumbling around the office from desk to desk is just something that couldn't happen - especially for a DCI investigating murders!! But, this final episode - obviously filmed a few years later than the others, as Owen is gaunt in the face, has less hair, and his wife has a new haircut - is still a good one. The fact that there is now a mole within the unit, well, it won't need more than the one guess to figure out who it is, sorry!
And so, with a final spoken ending of his wife asking Tanner, just as he's finally quit the unit, what he's going to do next, his response of 'Watch this space' was obviously meant to lead our hero into TV pastures new - but, it didn't ... because he became a big movie star thereafter!! This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.77:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs, but (sadly) does not comes with any Special Features.