PIE IN THE SKY

 

British TV series (1994-1997)
Set 1

Creator: Andrew Payne
Director(s): Colin Gregg, Martin Hutchings, George Case…
Writer(s): Andrew Payne, John Flanagan, Andrew McCulloch…
Cast: Richard Griffiths, Malcolm Sinclair, Maggie Steed, Bella Enahoro, Ashley Russell,
Guest Stars: Michael Kitchen, Vincent Riotta, Jonathan Moore, Tim Woodward, Robert Glenister, William Armstrong, Denise Stephenson, Michael Coles…

 

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Set 1 includes 10 episodes.
Run time: approx. 50 minutes per episode
Price: $49.99  (Online prices vary with some as low as $25.70)

Genre: Police crime drama/comedy

 

Reviewed by Cherie Jung
(September, 2014)

 

Detective Inspector Henry Crabbe (Richard Griffiths) is a 25-year veteran of the police force whose strongest wish is to retire and open a restaurant. Due to a botched assignment, Crabbe’s boss, Assistant Chief Constable Freddie Fisher (Malcolm Sinclair) refuses to grant Crabbe’s request for early retirement and suspends him, pending an internal investigation, which essentially postpones Crabbes retirement indefinitely. Crabbe is then coerced by A.C.C. Fisher into helping solve criminal matters for the police whenever requested, which is rather frequently. With his official retirement in limbo, Crabbe places his dream restaurant, Pie in the Sky, in his wife’s name and reluctantly resigns himself to the demands of being head chef and a policeman.

The main reason A.C.C. Fisher demands that Crabbe continue at his beck and call is that without Crabbe, nothing would ever be solved. Fisher is a twit (but a loveable twit), as are many of the other local coppers. Crabbe clearly is the superior intellect in this brain trust. He is amiable, witty, and quite prepared to outsmart the crooks and corrupt coppers on their own turf, all while pursuing his restaurant dream at Pie in the Sky.

The first episode got off to a rather slow start for me, and I nearly turned it off. I know the Brits like to take their time introducing the characters but the idea of yet another TV series dealing with yet more police corruption was at first unappealing to me. A.C.C. Fisher quickly won me over. There is police corruption and then there is inept police corruption. (Fisher, hilariously, falls rather firmly into the latter category.) D.I. Henry Crabbe is also a joy to watch whether he is cooking in his beloved restaurant or matching wits with the corrupt coppers and criminals and wrestling them to at least a stalemate. As Crabbe once remarked, good doesn’t win and there is no justice. But he manages, in the end, to keep the bad guys at bay. This cleverly plotted series will grow on viewers over time. Luckily there are 5 sets in this series to enjoy.


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