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Murder Investigation Team:
The Complete Series One
cast: Lindsay Coulson, Samantha Spiro, Richard Huw, Michael McKell, and Steven Pacey

creator and producer: Paul Marquess
391 minutes (15) 2003 widescreen ratio 16:9
Eureka DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 8/10
reviewed by Emily Webb
This DVD includes eight episodes from series one that focuses on the Metropolitan Police Elite Special Crimes Unit, which investigates murders. It could well be renamed 'CSI: London' as the series follows the formula of the hugely popular American franchise - the pre-credit discovery of a body, arrival of the forensic team, and the unhealthy dedication of the professionals to their job.

A spin-off from The Bill, the first episode sees the team investigating the shooting of Sunhill's Sergeant Matthew Boydon. The crossover element with The Bill concerned me at first because I find that show has deteriorated into a soap opera, but any involvement with it ceased after the introductory episode. The action is shown through the eyes of those closest to it, including the police and families of the victims. The subject and content of Murder Investigation Team is pretty grim - incest, castration, sex crimes and makes for a gritty drama that is probably one of the best on British television (of course, no British crime drama can hold a light to the American ones like the Law & Order and C.S.I. franchises).

Officers D.I. Vivien Friend (Samantha Spiro) and D.C. Rose McManus (Lindsey Coulson) head up the otherwise all-male Murder Investigation Team and, like in all good police dramas, are like chalk and cheese. DI Friend is cool and clinical and does not let emotions get in the way of finding the truth. DC McManus, on the other hand, is a mother and lets her heart rule her head, which can lead to problems with her keeping a clear view on investigation proceeding. There is also plenty of tension between the male and female officers a la Prime Suspect, with male officers resenting the fact that a woman is their 'Guv'nor.'
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