Monday, January 19, 2009

Mysteries on TV: MI-5, Moonlight, The Rockford Files, and Waking the Dead, 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 four series that have season DVDs being released this week.

The UK spy series Spooks airs as in the US. Based on the secret British intelligence agency, the series has a large ensemble cast that portray the agents of MI-5 with the mission of protecting the country's national security. They do not exist, you will never know their names.

The series stars Peter Firth as Sir Harry James Pearce, head of the counter-terrorism department. In addition to Firth, the only cast member to be a part of all 6 seasons to date is Hugh Simon who plays Malcolm Wynn-Jones, a technician and data analyst.

The MI-5 (Spooks): Volume Six DVD set of 5 discs contains the 10 episodes of the sixth season that aired on BBC-1 during the late fall of 2007. The series recently completed its 7th season. More information can be found on the official Spooks website on

Trying to capitalize on the trend of vampires as private investigators (or almost anything else), CBS developed , a crime drama that aired for just one season. The series starred Alex O'Loughlin as LA PI Mick St. John, an immortal vampire bitten 60 years ago by his bride Coraline on their wedding night. Sophia Myles played his current mortal girlfriend, reporter Beth Turner. The complications of their relationship form the backdrop for many of the series episodes.

Though crime dramas currently dominate on CBS and Moonlight would have seemed a good fit, the series high costs and relatively low viewership led to the network cancelling the show after just one season.

The Moonlight: The Complete Series DVD set of 4 discs contains the 16 episodes its only season that aired on CBS from September 2007 through May 2008.

One of the classic series from the 1970s, and maybe all time, was . The series starred James Garner as Jim Rockford, a Los Angeles private investigator who lived in a trailer in a Malibu parking lot. Noah Beery Jr. played Rockford's father Rocky, and Joe Santos LA Police Lt. Dennis Becker.

The series ran for 6 seasons on NBC. Almost 15 years after The Rockford Files ended, a total of 8 made-for-television movies based on the series aired from 1994 through 1999.

The Rockford Files: Season Six DVD set of 3 discs contains the 10 episodes of the sixth and final season that aired September 1979 to January 1980. (It was cancelled mid-season.) James Garner was nominated for an Emmy five times, winning once, and the series itself was awarded an Emmy as best drama series in 1978.

The BBC's cold case crime drama, , debuted in 2000 and remains in production today having just completed its 7th season. An 8th season has been confirmed. The series stars Trevor Eve as Detective Superintendent Peter Boyd of the Metropolitan Police Service's Cold Case Unit, set up to investigate old cases where new evidence or links to modern day crimes have come to light. Using advanced techniques in forensic science, the team gets under the skin of some tough cold cases, often taking risks in order to discover the truth and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Each season of the series consists of 4 to 6 episodes airing in 2 parts over consecutive nights.

The Waking the Dead: Season Three DVD set of 2 discs contains the 4 episodes that aired in the fall of 2003. More information can be found on the official Waking the Dead website on

Finally, also being released this week are the four seasons of starring Peter Davison as Detective Constable "Dangerous" Davies, now available as The Last Detective: The Complete Series.

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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