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TIT

'DCI Banks: Season Three'
(Stephen Tompkinson, Andrea Lowe, Caroline Catz, et al / 2-Disc DVD / NR / 2015 / BBC America)

Overview: Stephen Tompkinson returns as the tenacious and stubborn Chief Inspector Alan Banks in three more chilling crime stories.

DVD Verdict: Although actually known in the UK as "Season Four," this US version is entitled Season Three. OK, are we now on the same page? Good. Let's continue. Here in this third (fourth UK) season, the constant thread is whether Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks and Detective Sergeant Annie Cabbot will ever get their relationship together? I'm not even kidding, as the murders seem to come a pale second to their on-and-off attempts to come together as one, so to speak.

Anyway, moving on, and we get another three (3) wrenching crimes and theie grim, long investigations. With the duo once again rounded out by the stern, by-the-book Detective Investigator Helen Morton (Catz, 'Doc Martin'), the hit UK crime series set in a bucolic Yorkshire town, this time brings us tales of a social worker abducting a young boy, finding a murdered journalist in a holiday chalet, and even the daughter of DCI Banks being kidnapped!

All three of the approximately 90 minute episodes are uncut so you will hear language and see violence. Be warned, albeit nothing too fruity, shall we say. The first disc contains two crime mysteries which were - for me - just okay in the plotting, but my attention was kept by the talented core cast of detectives. The second disc contains just one story - "Bad Boy" and will grab you, shake you to the core, and simply not let go. While the lead characters' personal lives are not focused on in all the previous stories, everything comes together in "Bad Boy".

'DCI Banks' is truly and excellent British crime drama, but you have to be a fan of Caroline Catz! Otherwise, well, her overacting will manage to drag you and the show down to its knees, trust me! Better known for her role in 'Doc Martin,' Catz is on fire here; overly, but at least Tomkinson and the rest of the cast provide the necessary gravitas. ie: very subtle humor and at times, despair.

In closing, the British know how to write and act and produce excellent pieces for television as well as movies. The 'DCI Banks' series is different from other detective / mystery shows and holds you captive throughout each episode. And as much as it wanders occasionally, the love will-they or won't-they mess throughout a distraction, that all said, and importantly, come the end of each episode I am left wanting more. Which, in my book, is always a good sign! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.BBCAmerica.com





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