'The Irish R.M. - Complete Series'
(Peter Bowles, Bryan Murray, et al / 6-Disc DVD / NR / 2006 / Acorn Media)
Overview: When Major Sinclair Yeates leaves his home in England to work as the Irish Resident Magistrate, he finds that the justice system needs tempering somewhat to suit the local needs - and that not everything is as straight-forward as it appears on the surface.
DVD Verdict: Now, more than ever, when reality television dominates prime time, it is a pleasure to escape to Skebawn and make oneself at home amongst the colorful characters who so confound and brighten the life of Major Sinclair Yeates (Rumpole of the Bailey's Peter Bowles, the transplanted "fine gentleman from England," who serves as the Irish county town's Resident Magistrate at the turn of the 20th century. This very welcome six-volume set contains all three "seasons" of this beloved British series (introduced in this country on Masterpiece Theatre) based on the stories by Somerville and Ross. Charmed as the surroundings may be, "things are different in Ireland," as the very proper Yeates learns over the course of these 18 episodes, in which he finds himself presiding over "improbable" cases, or getting caught up in the lives of the eccentric villagers, most notably, his Puckish landlord Flurry (Bryan Murray), a misfit entrepreneurial spirit. Another formidable presence is his none too deferential housekeeper, Mrs. Cadogan (Anna Manahan). His wife, Philippa (Doran Godwin), and, later on, his sister, Babs (Sarah Badel), show incredible tolerance to what the late Alistair Cooke best described as "amiable chaos." In one episode, Yeates is locked in his room by an actor whose illegal production Yeates means to close. In another, a temporary "job cook" proves indeed too good to be true when she gets drunk on the occasion of a welcome home dinner for Flurry and his bride, Sally (Lise-Ann McLaughlin ) and the dread mother-in-law, Lady Knox. (Faith Brook). Another memorable episode finds Yeates and company shipwrecked and spending the night in the home of a very odd doctor and his menacing cockatoo. The final episode is a richly satisfying conclusion to the series, as Yeates uses the possibility of a job transfer to at long last "get the better of them just this once." This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
"Making of" featurette
Stories and recipes from Mrs. Cadogan's kitchen
Profile of writers Somerville and Ross
18 episodes on a 6 disc box set