'Taggart - Set 3'
(Alexander Clark Norton, et al / 4-Disc DVD / NR / 2010 / Acorn Media)
Overview: This award-winning television drama follows four cops on the streets of one of Britain’s most menacing cities. Detectives Burke, Ross, Reid, and Fraser make a formidable team against Glasgow’s criminals, from drug dealers and blackmailers to gangsters and pimps. Armed with determination and intuition, they pursue justice in an often dark and dangerous world.
DVD Verdict: This on-going, although I do hear that it is finally (sadly) being brought to a filmed halt soon, beloved TV crime show (this series culled from 2005) brings us it's usual 8 episodes - spread (mysteriously) over four discs!
Even here, it's hard to see the guys from America's CSI mixing well with the guys from Strathclyde Police (albethey a non-fictional police force in their own right!), as Robbie plants his feet right on top of a suspects garden imprint, and a knifed body in an alley is moved left and right to check its pockets - all without gloves on!
Anyway, as always, 'Taggart' is full of suspense, action, thrilling sequences of invetigation, and still ranks as one of the great which British Mystery and Crime series' to (supposedly) still be on our TVs.
In 'MIND OVER MATTER,' first a student, then a nurse are battered to death. Both are in the same therapy group. DS Reid (Blythe Duff) goes undercover within the group, based on her past history, to try to find the killer, who they believe is one of said group. Complete with brand new opening credits, more darker, mysterious ones at that, there is not much to write home about here, tempo wise. Mind you, head man Burke's rant at a prisoner is worth its weight in gold: "I don't have the patience for all this bollocks"!
In 'CAUSE AND EFFECT,' a young, beautiful wife is brutally murdered at her home, whilst her older husband is on his expansive yacht. Again, not much to write home about, more script wise this time, as it plays out just the way you imagined it would re: the killer, and their associations therein.
In 'A TASTE OF MONEY,' Scotland's a nasty place to criticize a restaurant and when one food critic dies in a weird and poignant manner it's time for more than one chef to hit the fan. In truth, as much as this is a better episode than the other two, it is made all the more sweeter by the lovely Ashley Jenson ('Extras'). My goodness, she is adorable. As for edge of the seat stuff, well, the odd mark left on the victim's neck will keep you guessing for a while.
In 'A DEATH FORETOLD,' a confession to a priest may be the secret to unlock the case of a serial killer. But, given his oath, will the priest reveal confessional conversations? Of course not, but as DS Reid has a personal issue ongoing in her life, she bonds with the priest. This episode finally shakes the shaky cobwebs off and gives us two murders in the first act! This is a very religious episode and a vry personal one for DS Jackie Reid, as she visits her ex-husband in a hospice, himself just days to live.
In 'DO OR DIE,' a soldier supposedly commits suicid and a murder, seemingly once unrelated, suddenly gets tied in back to a military base. A very army-infused episode this one, showing me why I never chose to subject myself to these 'camps' to gain the better man out of me! Anyway, aside from that, once it gets going there's no stopping it. Who the double act of killers are is easily guessed from the second act in, but that doesn't spoil the fun of watching it all unfold.
In 'RUNNING OUT OF TIME,' police are being shot all over the place: in people's houses and even on a Scottish lake whilst fishing! The trouble is, the latter is DCI Burke (Alex Norton) himself! Now, as much as this is a very good, very solid, very edge-of-the-seat episode, I have a major problem or two with it! Firstly, Burke was shot (in the morning) in the neck, blood spurting out like a fountain all over the place. He then slumped down back into his floating-aimlessly boat. DC Reid, against all office reasoning, drives into nowhere to just go talk to him, miraciously finds his wayward boat, and gets him to hospital - and, even though this is later in the afternoon, he is STILL ALIVE!!!!
My ass would he still be alive! He would be dead as a dodo by that point of the day the amount of blood that gushed from his sniper-hit neck! But, all through the episode the gang work out whodunit without their #1, all the time the hospital teasing us with 'He's not looking good' and 'You might want to get your people here soon' statements! Does he survive? Not telling you ... but, perhaps if he's in the rest of the season, maybe that answers your question for you?!
In 'CAUSE TO KILL,' not much is said about Burke's near-fatal shooting the episode before, but he is to the fore when his memory is jogged of an old killing - whilst looking into a new murder. Is it a serial, copycat, or was the convicted original killer the wrong person? This time, a so-called "Profiler" (Dr. Russell, played by Alison Peebles) and crime book author joins the investigation. That said, she couldn't profile her way out of a wet paper bag if her life depended on it! haven't they seen the work the profiler does on 'Waking The Dead'?!
Anyway, a cafe subplot quickly turns into the mainstay of this episode and bit by bit the tension mounts. As for who the killer turns out to be, well, there weren't many usual suspects to choose from so it turns out to be somebody outside the box, so to speak. Nicely done too.
Finally, in 'DEAD MAN WALKING,' a business partner goes missing after an auto mechanic is torched to death. Well, we get a horrific murder in the opening 60 seconds here so you know the last episode in the series will be going out with a bang. The two gangster-type crooks here, brothers, are about as scary as a plate of jelly at a kids party table, to be quite frank, but everyone seems soooooo frickin' afraid of them! That aside, one of the characters, a snitch called Arthur (Brian Pettifer) sets out to help the police and gets (in a very disturbing scene - mentally) his fingers cut off his left hand for his troubles!
These are all Full-Screen Presentations (1.66:1), but, and sadly, come with no Special Features.