Plot: What’s it about?
Janine Lewis (Caroline Quentin) has had some ups and downs lately, as she was promoted to Detective Chief and discovered her husband was having an affair. She didn’t learn of the infidelity by word of mouth either, she walked in and found her husband Pete (Joe Tucker) in bed with another woman. So just as she is given her first case with her new rank, she has to send her cheating spouse off, while trying to maintain order at home with her three children. Janine is not a typical detective, she has a kind, warm personality, not a hard nosed, on edge persona. But she is able to use her warmth to get close to witnesses and suspects, which is not always an option with other investigators. Her boss (David Schofield) might not always have complete faith in her methods, but she and her partner (Ian Kelsey) produce results. But can Janine handle not only the criminals and their actions, but a chaotic household when she comes home?
I am addicted to detective/police drama shows, from Law & Order to Criminal Minds to Foyle’s War, so when the chance arrives to check out a new one, I never hesitate. Blue Murder is unique even among the myriad of detective shows out there, as our lead is a realistic and believable woman. A separated wife, mother of three, over forty years old and not a bombshell type of woman, but one terrific character and one it is very easy to connect with. The character has warmth and charm, which is used effectively by the writers throughout, to help her get close to suspects and witnesses. Caroline Quentin brings the character to life quite well, giving a natural and enjoyable performance through this third collection of episodes. The rest of the cast is impressive also, but Quentin carries the show. Another aspect of the show is that we’re taken inside the personal life of our detective, so we see her solving problems in her own life, not just the ones in the police files. I found this third volume of Blue Murder to be delightful, but keep in mind, this set houses only three episodes, instead of six or four like the first sets. But the price is reasonable, so all in all, Blue Murder: Set 3 is well worth a look.
Video: How does it look?
The episodes are presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. I was impressed by how good this show looks, as so many of these British mystery shows don’t look good on home video. Of course, this is a very recent series and I am sure that is a big factor as to why the visuals are so superb. The show doesn’t have the slick texture of shows like Criminal Minds or C.S.I., but it looks impressive and fans should be pleased. The image has good detail depth, colors are bright and natural, and contrast performs well, so all the way around, this show looks terrific here.
Audio: How does it sound?
A basic, but effective stereo soundtrack has been provided. I do want to note this show has some thick accents, so unless you’re a veteran of British television, you might miss a lot here. But if you’ve seen a fair volume of British shows, you should be able to understand most of what is said. Aside from the accents, the audio here is just fine, with well handled dialogue, sound effects, and music elements. Not a whole lot more that can be said here, this show only needs a basic soundtrack and the audio sounds quite good in this release.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This release includes a special look behind the scenes of the series, as well as some filmographies on select cast members.