Monday, November 10, 2008

Mysteries on TV: The Commander, George Gently, M Squad, The Murdoch Mysteries, The Streets of San Francisco, New This Week on DVD

Mysteries on TV

, your source for the most complete selection of detective, amateur sleuth, private investigator, and suspense television mystery series now available or coming soon to DVD, is profiling five series that have season DVDs being released this week.

was a series of multi-part made-for-television movies that aired on ITV1. The series starred Amanda Burton as Clare Blake, New Scotland Yard’s highest-ranking woman officer, the Serious Crime Group Commander, and head of the Murder Review Team. The pressure is intense and so is the scrutiny. Developed by award-winning writer Lynda La Plante (), this compelling thriller delivers gritty stories, intricate plot twists

The Commander Set One DVD set of 4 discs contains the four episodes that aired in February 2003, January 2005, and January and late March / early April 2006.

Martin Shaw stars as Commander , an incorruptible, uncompromising cop transplanted from London’s Scotland Yard to England’s North Country where he finds an odd ally in John Bacchus (Lee Ingleby), an overeager, opinionated young sergeant who plays fast and loose with police procedures. Together the two tackle cases involving murderers, drug dealers, gun runners, and more. Based on the long-running series of novels by Alan Hunter, George Gently feature powerful mysteries that unfold against the beautiful backdrop of rural 1960s Britain, a region just beginning to feel the rumbles of the era’s social and cultural quakes.

The George Gently Series One DVD set of 3 discs contains the three episodes (including the pilot) that aired in April and July 2007 on BBC-1.

Lee Marvin starred as Lt. Frank Ballinger, a plainclothes detective assigned to an elite police group in . (M was shorthand for "murder".) The series was set in with the episodes primarily devoted to fighting organized crime. Music was an important element of each episode with the muscial arrangements composed by legendary jazz man Benny Carter (and a young John Williams, later the multi-Academy Award winning composer of such movies scores as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Harry Potter). For the second season, the great jazz artist Count Basie wrote the series theme music.

The M Squad Complete Series DVD set of 16 discs contain all 117 episodes that aired over three seasons on NBC from 1957 through 1960. The series was reportedly inspired by the exploits of famed Chicago crime fighter Det. Joseph Morris. Individual season DVDs are not available for this series.

Set in 1895 , Murdoch Mysteries explores the intriguing world of William Murdoch (played by Yannick Bisson), a handsome young detective using radical forensic techniques, like fingerprinting and trace evidence, to solve some of the city's most gruesome murders. Three made-for-television movies based on the novels by Maureen Jennings, , were so popular a weekly series was developed which debuted on Canadian television in January 2008. The movies, however, had a different cast of characters with Peter Outerbridge starring as Detective William Murdoch.

The Murdoch Mysteries Movie Collection DVD set of 3 discs contains the three made-for-television movies that preceded the series and which originally aired in 2004 and 2005.

Karl Malden starred as Detective Lieutenant Mike Stone and (for the first four seasons) Michael Douglas as his rookie partner Inspector Steve Keller who together investigated homicides in the city by the bay in . A made-for-television movie aired on NBC in 1992 with Malden returning as Mike Stone investigating the murder of his former partner Keller. Earlier this year CBS commissioned a pilot for an updated version of the series.

The Streets of San Francisco Season Two Volume Two DVD set of 3 discs contains the 11 episodes that aired during the second half of the 1973 / 1974 television season on ABC.

Visit the Mysteries on TV website to discover more currently available on DVD.

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Lance Wright owns and manages Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites, which had its origin as Hidden Staircase Mystery Books in 1986. As the scope of the business expanded, first into book reviews — Mysterious Reviews — and later into information for and reviews of mystery and suspense television and film, all sites were consolidated under the Omnimystery brand in 2006.

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