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DVD Review: Pie In The Sky – Series Five

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Holding down dual professions is a balancing act that can takes its toll on anyone. Henry Crabbe (Richard Griffiths) is a kind-hearted soul who enjoys his career as head chef at a small-but-elegant restaurant called the “Pie in the Sky.” He’s also a Detective Inspector at Westershire County police, where his superior, ACC Freddy Fisher (Malcolm Sinclair), is constantly attributing his own faults onto the humble restaurateur/cuisine connoisseur. The obvious choice — to simply up and quit — isn’t one Crabbe can readily pursue, given that his business may not survive without his ardent ability to create culinary wonders. Worse still, DI Crabbe is now in charge of two new police officers, as part of a farcical “Public Duties Squad.”

And so begins Pie In The Sky: Series Five, the final course of the delightful, lighthearted comedy/mystery from across The Pond. During this last hurrah, Crabbe and his two new (green) colleagues — WPC Jane Morton (Mary Woodvine) and PC Ed Guthrie (Derren Litten) — are humiliated by a number of asinine assignments from Mr. Fisher, such as guarding a house from vandals, watching over a jury pool, and making sure a group of peaceful animal rights activists don’t get out of hand while they camp out in front of a sausage factory (and that’s not a euphemism, kids — shame on you). Of course, Crabbe’s eye for mystery is just as good as his nose for food; to wit he uncovers bizarre truths behind the people he’s been employed to look after.

The (mis-)adventures continue to distribute all the glee they can, as Henry is given the unenviable tasks of preventing boarding school lads from bullying a superior’s son, and keeping an alcoholic footballer sober long enough to win a police soccer match. Soon, these humiliating experiences take their toll on the good Mr. Crabbe; who starts to ponder whether or not he really wants to continue protecting and serving people who usually wind up being guilty of something under wraps. The final episode of Pie In The Sky: Series Five finds Henry losing his sense of smell, while Fisher jeopardizes his entire career by wooing a suspect’s wife.

Acorn Media brings us the last series of Pie In The Sky in a two-disc DVD set that presents all eight episodes in their original 1.37:1 aspect ratios with English Stereo sound and optional English (SDH) subtitles. Series Five is also included in Acorn’s Pie In The Sky: Complete Collection for those of you who want to order the full course of this enjoyable mid ‘90s series.


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About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the disgruntled alter-ego of a thirtysomething lad from Northern California who has watched so many weird movies since the tender age of 3 that a conventional life is out of the question. He currently lives in Chico, CA with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.