This holiday season, there are only two types of people in this world: those who love a good British television mystery, and those of you who will be receiving socks again this year. For the former type of individual, Acorn Media has a variety of recent and (more or less) classic TV series alike to choose from as part of their 2017 Holiday Gift Guide.
Following its debut back in those now seemingly far-off days of 2007, the highly-rated BBC mystery Inspector George Gently recently took its final bow in 2017. Now, all eight series of the acclaimed detective drama starring Martin Shaw are yours to own in Acorn’s George Gently: The Complete Collection, available as a 13-Disc Blu-ray set or a 25-Disc DVD package. Based on the novels of author Alan Hunter and set (for the most part) in the changing world of the 1960s (and, later, as the series progresses, the fabulous ’70s), Gently focuses on the cases of Shaw’s eponymous character ‒ an old-fashioned (and very devoted) detective who moves from busy London to the rural Northeast, only to find people are still just as capable of committing heinous crimes there as they are in the big city. Lee Ingleby also stars throughout this captivating drama as Gently’s less-refined younger apprentice. In addition to all 25 feature-length episodes, Acorn’s Complete Collection also includes behind-the-scenes featurettes, cast/crew interviews, and more.
Another acclaimed series from Acorn making its “complete” debut this season is England/Northern Ireland’s unconventional serial killer thriller, The Fall: The Complete Collection. Starring The X-Files‘ Gillian Anderson and a pre-Fifty Shades of Grey Jamie Dornan, this exciting program from RTÉ and BBC arrives on Blu-ray and DVD in six-disc sets. Spanning the distance of three series and 17 episodes, Allan Cubitt’s The Fall centers on more than just a detective on the hunt for a vicious murderer, adding an intriguing character study in the midst of its oft-gritty environment as the elusive and enigmatic Paul Spector (Dornan) leaves a trail of victims in his murderous wake. But the story behind The Fall‘s antagonist isn’t the only mystery for viewers to solve here, as Gillian Anderson’s Stella Gibson proves to be an equally perplexing puzzle to piece together. Acorn Media’s The Fall: The Complete Collection also includes several behind-the-scenes featurettes, deleted scenes, and more.
The last point of interest from Acorn Media’s grove of international delights for this article is also the most recent mystery of all. A joint production betwixt Ireland and Canada, 2017’s Acceptable Risk finds Elaine Cassidy as Sarah Manning: a remarried mother of two who also happens to have two dead husbands (talk about terrible twos!). After her new hubby is murdered execution style whilst in Montreal on business, Sarah is left with a feeling of emptiness that is quickly overfilled with unanswered questions. As Sarah and detectives from Canada and Ireland alike attempt to unravel just who our heroine’s prominent pharmaceutical executive husband really was, Sarah herself begins has to wonder if there is any connection to the accidental death of her first married partner ‒ who just happened to work for the exact same big pharma outfit! Morten Suurballe, Angeline Ball, Lisa Hogg, and Geordie Johnson also star in this RTÉ drama. Acorn Media releases the six-episode series in two-disc sets on Blu-ray or DVD, both of which feature bonus cast interviews and behind-the-scenes featurettes.
Additional titles of interest this season include Midsomer Murders: John Barnaby’s First Cases, a “best-of” collection highlighting the long-running series’ current star, Neil Dudgeon; Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, the 2010 BBC TV production with David Suchet reprising his famous role as Hercule Poirot; and two compilation sets featuring more murder and mayhem from the crowned queen of crime herself, The Best of Agatha Christie. Finally, for those of you who are more of the sit-and-binge types, Acorn Media offers gift subscriptions to Acorn TV.
All in all, there’s plenty to get wrapped up in this year from Acorn Media. Happy holidays.