Once again, we return to the dark world of Jane Tennison (Helen Mirren). Though she is nowa Detective Superintendent, don’t think that promotion means life is any easier. Her personal lifeis just as much of a mess as before, and she is still contending with the old boys’ network on theforce. The cases themselves are pretty nasty stuff too. “The Lost Child” is a strong case in point.Here a young mother is found on her kitchen floor, bleeding from a head wound. Her baby girli… missing. Evidence points to a local pedophile. The race is on to find the baby. And if you thinkthis is as dark as this story gets, you’d better brace yourself. Elsewhere, “Inner Circles” landsTennison in the middle of class warfare after a murder at a country club points to wide-scalecorruption. “The Scent of Darkness” takes us back to an early case, as a new rash of murdersseems to suggest that Tennison nabbed the wrong man before. Her career is on the line with thisone.
Pedophiles, prostitute murders, child abductions, police corruption — all very cheerful stuff.Some of the storytelling techniques are extremely chilling — the opening minutes of “The LostChild” force one to read between some very black lines indeed. The series is unflagginglyintelligent and well performed, especially by Mirren. Some viewers might find the unrelieveddarkness a bit wearing, however.
The 2.0 soundtrack is a workmanlike effort. It won’t knock your socks off, but there are farworse examples out there (and it is much more successful than what you have on theCracker series). Dialogue is crisp and clean, there is no hiss, and the background noises(on the street, in a hospital, in the station, etc.) are given nice rear speaker presence.
As TV transfers go, this is, like the sound, solid but not spectacular. The colours, contrastsand blacks are good, if a touch murky here and there. There is no visible edge enhancement, andthe grain isn’t bad, though it is present. The sharpness level is pretty good too, though again, notquite at the level that will have you leaping in excitement.
On par with the other releases in the series: excellent crime drama, okay picture and sound,not an extra in sight, and one classy case.