Friday, April 17, 2015
'Morse 25th Anniversary Collection' DVD Set: Roughly 25 Reasons to Make It Yours
This post on a monumental in both senses of the word BFS Entertainment DVD set is the beginning of an "endeavour" to do justice to the spectacular BFS "Inspector Morse 25th Anniversary Collection." Subsequent reviews will discuss the 11 "Morse" DVD sets in the sturdy in both substance and leatherette covered sturdy cardboard construction collection.
The first in this series of reviews of actual "Morse" episodes will begin with a late-April 2015 look at the aptly titled set "The Dead of Jericho." These three episodes that comprise the first series (my people call them seasons) of "Morse" revolve around murders in the titular region in the Oxford jurisdiction of our titular hero.
The scope of "Collection" extends well beyond including each of the 33 feature-film length "Morse" episodes. The separately packaged 50-minute feature "The Making of Morse" includes interviews with the late and great John Thaw, who seems born to be Morse, and Detective Sergeant Lewis portrayor Kevin Whatley. The audience also gets a look at the Oxford locations of "Morse"and the behind-the-scenes folks who merge the program and the settings.
"The Story of Morse" is another 50-minute study of this classic on both sides of the pond. This adventure in time (but not space) tells how "Morse" the television program came to be and went on to be such an international hit. The feature-length "Inspector Morse's Oxford" honors the 2012 25th Anniversary of "Morse" with an extension on the themes in "Story." The treats in this one including having "Morse" expert Dr. Antony Richards present it.
In the spirit of "As Seen on Television" products, BFS additionally includes the truly awesome book "The Oxford of Inspector Morse."This comprehensive guide to that city includes maps and descriptions of landmarks in the context of their portrayal in "Morse." Your (sometimes humble) reviewer sincerely will bring this along when a long-desired trip to Oxford (and, of course, "The Prisoner" setting of Portmeirion) becomes a reality.
The 25th Anniversary Collection provides the additional bonus of evoking nice thoughts of the equally special BFS complete series DVD collection of the Thaw legal dramedy "Kavanagh QC." A series of Unreal TV reviews on "Kavanagh" provides more specifics regarding this one.
The appeal of "Morse," which dates back to January 1987, includes the wonderful blend of quirks that our creative and persistent police detective possesses and that Thaw conveys so well, This seemingly (completely straight) middle-aged confirmed bachelor enjoys his pints at the local pub just as much as his classical music, crossword puzzles, and solitude.
It is nice as well that Morse adheres to the methods of fellow fictional detective legend Sherlock Holmes in using deduction and skillful questioning of witnesses, persons with a proverbial horse in the race, and suspects alike to reach the solution. The fact that these resolutions typically are a realistic surprise is nice icing on the cake.
Additionally, the rooster of past, current, and future U.K. stars in the "Morse" episodes rivals that of that group in the "Harry Potter" film series. Random examples include Elizabeth Hurley, Clive Swift, and the truly legendary Sir John Gielgud.
All of this amounts to a well-produced show that holds your attention and provides a vigorous (but not overwhelming) mental workout.
The same candor that requires sharing that this set comes with a literally high price tag also necessitates sharing that the cost is worth it. Aside from essentially getting 33 films with top-notch acting and awesome real-life scenery (plus truly special extra features), you get a complete set of what can be considered a "house-painting" program in that it is one that is conducive to watching again a few months after making your way through the entire set.
On a related note, "Morse" is a series to savor in episode-length (rather than marathon) viewing sessions. It is MUCH more akin to a $25 bottle of wine than a six pack of Budweiser and should be appropriately consumed.
Anyone with questions or comments regrading "Morse" or "Kavanagh" is welcome to email me. You can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.