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WIRE IN THE BLOOD Season 5 (2007)

(Based upon the books and characters of Val McDermid.)

Starring: Robson Green, Simone Lahbib, Emma Handy, Mark Letheren

Not rated.

Seasons 1-4 are available on DVD.
Season 5 will be available on DVD July 8, 2008.
(Recently showing on BBCAmerica - cable TV)

Genre: Mystery/crime/suspense

Long-running series in the UK (ITV).

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

For those not familiar with the popular series "Wire in the Blood," Dr. Tony Hill (Robson Green) is a clinical psychologist who has a knack for getting inside the brains of criminals and uses this "gift" or "talent" to assist the Bradfield Police (UK) in solving grisly crimes and murders. Quite often his criminal "profiles" are so vague as to fit half of the UK and at other times, the police swear he couldn't possibly be correct in his analysis. Some of the top brass have misgivings about allowing Dr. Hill anywhere near a case, but the cops actually tasked with investigating the crimes find Dr. Hill's insights helpful...eventually.

DI Alex Fielding (Simone Lahbib) is a divorced mother of a young boy. She has trouble balancing her job with her parental obligations. DC Paula McIntyre (Emma Handy) and DS Kevin Geoffries (Mark Letheren) round out the investigative team.

In the season opener, Dr. Hill is caught up with a prisoner on death row in Texas. (This is the first episode to be filmed in the U.S.)

In the following four cases, the team investigates the disappearance of a young girl apparently abducted on her way to school, ritualistic killers, a rapist who is dressing his victims in the clothes of previous victims, and a "contest" between killers who have a "mother fixation."

Ardent fan of the series will welcome these new episodes. For those who have not seen this series, you can begin viewing the series with these episodes or start at the beginning of the series. The "early" cases (Seasons 1-4) are available online or through DVD catalogs such as Acorn or BBCAmerica. Just be aware of two things. First, in the first three seasons there was a different DI working with Dr. Hill. Carol Jordan (Hermione Norris) was replaced in Season Four by DI Alex Fielding. In the first episode featuring DI Fielding, there is an initial friction between the two. Fielding is new to the area, wants to make her own way, without anyone's help, and she doesn't trust Dr. Hill for several reasons. First off, she feels he compromised Carol Jordan's career, and might do the same to hers. Plus, Dr. Hill has recently survived the removal of a brain tumor. Everyone is second-guessing whether he is back to normal yet and if he was off-base with some of his profiles before the brain tumor was diagnosed.

For those who tried watching this series early on and found Robson Green's portrayal of Dr. Tony Hill unbearable, you might want to give it another try. He's not nearly so annoying now. (Either that, or I've just gotten used to him...) He still can't act, but the storylines make up for that.

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