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Cracker - The Complete Collection


On DVD: 
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Take A Wild Guess

Geraldine Somerville, like her co-star Robbie Coltrane, played a character in the Harry Potter franchise. Who did Somerville play? An extra point for not using IMDB.

Dr. Edward Fitzgerald, or Fitz, is a brilliant forensic psychologist often hired on by the police to help with cases that utilize his knowledge of the disturbed mind. He gets results that separate the guilty from the innocent weather by methodically investigating every word or action or by throwing himself physically into the case. He’s a brilliant man but also a danger to himself and the ones he loves. His penchant for booze, sex, and gambling puts a stranglehold on his relationship with his wife, kids, and colleagues. Its only so long before he loses everything.

Brilliantly played by Robbie Coltrane (Harry Potter) and supported by a cast that includes Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who), Geraldine Somerville (Harry Potter), Barbara Flynn (Miss Potter), Lorcan Cranitch (Rome), and Ricky Tomlinson (The Royle Family). The BAFTA award winning show now comes in this Complete Collection. All 11 mysteries on 10 discs.

Cracker lasted four strong seasons running from 1993-96 with a lone episode popping up in 2006 (A New Terror) which was disappointingly clichéd beyond redemption. Still, the show manages to combine a sense of cop drama with a far reaching human touch, playing on the idea that were all damaged one way or another. Fans of the hit series House will more then likely identify with Coltrane’s Fitz character, a very flawed character who knows it, ingenious at what he does, arrogant in all the ways someone who is more often right then not and needed is. The writing for the show dips in and out, coming on extremely strong and other times, not necessarily losing touch, but maybe relying on plot devices that seem stretched or overused.

Quality of the show ranges from fair to current. British shows sometimes have that tint of  age regardless of what decade they were created in. Take for example Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, a film which has a grainy older looking texture that would make you believe that its point of origin places it back in the 1980’s. Being a lover of most things British I’m used to this kind of film texture. Cracker The Complete Collection begins much in the same way. The title of the show comes out generic looking, sound a bit warbled, but as the show progresses the texture of the film begins to get less grainy, the audio more defined. By the time the show ends on A New Terror its completely caught up; soundtrack blaring, picture crystal clear, even the opening title screen is revamped to look more modern. I truly appreciated that all the episodes came with English subtitles. While I am, by now, used to the cockney sublanguage and even the often times jumbled wordplay of the British sometimes its helps to be able to see to make sure that what you thought you heard was correct, especially in a show that requires your attention pretty much the entirety of its run time. The only bonus features in the set is a behind the scenes look at the show, 45 minutes with cast and crew. Enjoy.

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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