Professor T. - The Complete First Season
(Ben Miller, Frances de la Tour, Emma Naomi, Barney White, Sarah Woodward / 2-Disc DVD / NR / 2021 / PBS)
Overview: Jasper Tempest is a Professor of Criminology at Cambridge University. He is obsessed with cleanliness, structure and order, but his genius for solving crimes means he is constantly having to get his hands dirty, helping the police to crack their most difficult cases.
DVD Verdict: I loved the original Belgian series (which ended too soon, IMO), so I was curious to see how it would transpose into English.
Iím delighted that they have stuck close to the source material, retaining the quirkiness and eccentricities of the main character.
Ben Miller has already proven his ability to play an uptight English detective in Death in Paradise, so Jasper Tempest is right in his wheelhouse. Frances de la Tour plays his flamboyant and annoyingly intrusive mother very well.
Unfortunately, Emma Naomi as Lisa Donckers is lacking some of the passion and playfulness of her Belgian counterpart, which is rather disappointing. Indeed, there is more emphasis on her relationship with her partner than with the Professor, which is a shame.
That all said, itís playfully Avant Garde, itís foolish, the crimes are often just a sideline, but thatís nothing if not appealing, but some stronger issues are definitely looked into considerately (ie: rape, kidnap, suicide, domestic abuse, dementia, downs syndrome, alcoholism).
In truth, there is just the right amount of general silliness within the dream sequences and music, neither of which are the norm seen in such programs elsewhere, but they generally express the nature of the central character rather neatly.
The aforementioned Frances de la Tour is such an eccentric character which I would like to have seen more of in the series. Loved the dog character Kafka too. Would like to see more of them both. Brits are crazy about their dogs!
The overall musical score is beautiful and perfectly fitting and the Cambridge locations are great, with the camera work, sound, directing and created and made by some very talented people.
For my money, the original Belgian series only got better and better and I can see the same thing happening here with the British remake.
Itís hard to be unbiased towards a remake, as you make a connect or bond with characters, however, and as aforementioned, the cast are absolutely fantastic and I love them all already!
In closing, I will definitely watch again (which is not a rarity for me, I admit, but not usually so quickly after the original viewing) and will be keeping my eyes peeled for series two - and I urge you all to do the very same! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.
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