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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Murphy's Law: Series 4 & 5'
(James Nesbitt, et al / DVD / NR / (2006) 2011 / Acorn Media)

Overview: 'Murphy's Law' is a BBC television drama that shows us DS Murphy as an uncompromising, sometimes tough talking cop. He has no issues with using his charm and sense of humour to attempt to impress any woman, or worm his way out of; or into any UC operation.

DVD Verdict: 'Murphy's Law - Series 4' kicks off with Murphy having semi-retired from the job due to personal reasons. But soon he is re-recruited back in as there is a local hoodlum brothership that seems to be primed to turn nasty.

Basically, a couple of low-life brothers, or so it initially seems, are hitting small patches of estates trying to take them over. Soon, Murphy is knee-deep undercover alongside the younger brother, but in his personal life, Murphy's mother has Alzheimer's and is on the verge of having to leave the family home for an actual Nursing Home.

As we progress into the second part of this fourth series, Murphy gets closer to the truth behind the brothers, and quickly learns that perhaps the older brother has found religion. With lead Nesbitt also the Creative Consultant for the series, the shot-in-grey-tone episodes are all gritty, realistic, and as we progress, utterly sad.

Come the third and final episode, Murphy's cover has been blown by the younger brother, but due to some other things he has now turned him - and wired him! Halfway through the episode we get to witness a horrible killing scene and come the ultimate finale, well, the stand-off plays out badly for some concerned.

In the final series, the fifth of the run, Murphy has enrolled his mother into a home, and is now apart from his mother and father (unlike the season preceding this one). With new opening titles for this last season, weirdly due to it being THE VERY LAST of the series (!), two of Murphy's UC's are missing and with him as their UC Officer he takes the blame.

A great story this one as it leads from one situation directly to the next, bleeding into one horrible issue to (sadly) yet another one. With an undercover operation having taken a female officer and male officer, Murphy digs in undercover himself to find out the truth.

In the second episode we find out that drugs in the low life area of the city is just the tip of the iceberg as soon the female UC is found drugged and in homemade porn DVDs, her partner dragged out of the water dead. People are being brought in from abroad illegally for cheap labor, with the girls being hoarded at a nasty abandoned hotel re: the porn trade.

Come the final episode, and the final one of the series, Murphy finds more and more DVDs of his female UC being abused, and a history of how it all came together slowly unravels before him. The eventual end is unbelievably powerful - truly - and as much as it is wholly expected, when it finally plays out it will make you shake your head with true sorrow. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.66:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of a detailed retort on the state of play within the fourth series from James Nesbitt via a written commentary.