DVD Review: Catch Up With Original ‘Edge of Darkness’ Mini-Series

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CHICAGO – Mel Gibson’s return to the big screen in the thriller “Edge of Darkness” was relatively disappointing at the box office this weekend (opening with Gibson’s lowest first weekend box office since 1995) but not only is that film worth your time but you should definitely take a look at the award-winning 1985 BBC mini-series that inspired it, directed by the same filmmaker, Martin Campbell (“Casino Royale”).

HollywoodChicago.com DVD Rating: 4.5/5.0
DVD Rating: 4.5/5.0

The original “Edge of Darkness” was both way ahead of its time and a definite product of its era. The dramatic drive of the piece would play just as well on television now as it did a quarter-century ago but the themes of nuclear proliferation and a dark underbelly of society had a bit more resonance in the mid-’80s (and perhaps that’s why audiences felt like they had seen this story enough times to not pay to see it again this past weekend).

Edge of Darkness was released on DVD on November 3rd, 2009.
Edge of Darkness was released on DVD on November 3rd, 2009.
Photo credit: BBC Home Video

Bob Peck (“Jurassic Park”) plays Detective Inspector Ronald Craven, a good cop who watches his daughter (Joanne Whalley) get gunned down on his front porch. At first, the cops assume that the elder Craven was the target but Ronald begins to uncover the secrets that may have led to his daughter’s murder. Expertly paced and dramatically conceived, “Edge of Darkness” is riveting television, a winner of six awards at the 1986 BAFTAs and one of the most acclaimed programs in the history of British television. It was only recently released on DVD to coincide with the remake after being a cult hit for years. All British TV fans should definitely check it out.

“Edge of Darkness” is presented in its original standard format with only a mono track. Both could have used a little upgrading, as the video transfer looks more lackluster than it needed to be but it’s pretty standard for 1985 television on DVD.

The copious list of special features includes Alternate Ending to the Final Episode, Music Only Audio Option to isolate the Eric Clapton/Michael Kamen BAFTA-winning Score, Magnox - The Secrets of Edge of Darkness featuring interviews with the cast and crew, “Did You See” featuring reviews of the original BBC broadcast, Interview with Bob Peck from the BBC’s Breakfast Time morning program, Highlights from the BAFTA awards and Broadcasting Press Guild Awards including interviews with Bob Peck, Jon Don Baker and producer Michael Wearing, and Photo Gallery.

‘Edge of Darkness’ is released by BBC Home Video and stars Bob Peck, Joanne Whalley, Joe Don Baker, Charles Kay, and Ian McNeice. It was written by Troy Kennedy Martin and directed by Martin Campbell. It was released on DVD on November 3rd, 2009. It is not rated and runs 314 minutes.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

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