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Jeff Slade And The Loop Of Infinity

Death In The Family

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Revenge Of The Chronology Protection Hypothesis

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Crime Traveller:
The Complete Series
cast: Chloë Annett, Michael French, and Sue Johnston

creator: Anthony Horowitz

400 minutes (PG) 1997
Revelation DVD Region 0 retail

RATING: 6/10
reviewed by John Percival
Jeff Slade (Michael French) is an unconventional detective, he will often rush in where other fear to tread. When he discovers that their police science officer Holly Turner (Chloë Annett) has her own time machine, Slade can see the possibility of solving crimes before they happen. Soon Slade and Turner team up and their unreliable time machine lands them in more trouble than good results.

The BBC produced another time travel drama in the form of Doctor Who, and here they have obviously tried to trade on that popularity. Crime Traveller borrows heavily from Doctor Who, right down to the temperamental time machine; they even sound similar when doing their time thing. Turner's machine is a mishmash of naff odds and ends mostly likely found in a skip behind the studio. So the technology is simply not believable, but even this could have been forgiven if they had not tried to make the show funny.

The detective unit to which Slade is a part of is so disturbingly inept that I find it quite worrying that they actually carry guns. Sue Johnston as Chief Grisson just shouts and looks suspiciously at people. The two other detectives are astonishingly stupid; they make the Keystone Kops look like a crack SWAT unit. It is this poorly advised use of humour that makes any chance of building some tension or excitement in the stories impossible. Then of course there are the holes in the plot so large you could lose a cruise ship in them. The crime has happened, they go back in time and end up getting themselves involved in the crime itself through trying to solve it. None of this they can explain to the boss.

French suffices in the pretty typical maverick cop role of Slade. Annett's Turner whines almost constantly about the rules of time and the abuse of her time machine. The budget is low, the acting is embarrassing and the seed of a really good idea has been taken and destroyed. Maybe it is the obvious Doctor Who rip-offs that are frustrating. There are many other better examples of time travel genre such as the American series Seven Days. Crime Traveller is light entertainment, which cannot be taken seriously. It is a shame as being a science fiction show it could have been a lot more.

Extras on this four-disc set include cast and crew biographies, plot synopses, and an interview with writer and creator Anthony Horowitz.
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