Monday, 6 June 2011


Struggling private detective Jackson Brodie meets sisters Julia and Amelia Land, who beg him to investigate the mysterious disappearance of their three-year-old sister, Olivia, more than 30 years ago. Later, lawyer Theo Wyre wants him to take the case of his murdered daughter, Laura, killed in her father's office.

Set in Edinburgh, Case Histories is adapted from the first three Jackson Brodie novels by Kate Atkinson. It stars much on demand English actor Jason Isaacs as private eye Brodie, a former soldier and policeman haunted by a personal tragedy. He left the Lothian and Borders police on bad terms and his only contact in the force is DI Louise Munroe (Amanda Abbington). Jackson adores his eight-year old daughter Marlee (Millie Innes), who often de facto follows her dad on field, but his ex-wife Josie (Kirsty Mitchell) has accepted a job in New Zealand.

« I think fate brought you to us, Mr. Brodie. Don't you think?
- Er... not really, no. I don't believe in fate. »

Jackson Brodie learns French (Est-ce que Angelica est dans sa maison?) while investigating infidelity, when he's not searching for free one of the cats of an old lady named Binky Rain (Sylvia Syms) - much to the annoyance of his secretary Deborah (Zawe Ashton). He's a faux tough guy whose natural sense of empathy and a personal trauma lead him to use his intelligence and his investigative talents on cases hiding deep human dramas.

Each of the three novels adapted for this new 6x60-minute drama series, devised by Ashley Pharoah (Ashes To Ashes, Life on Mars, Wild at Heart), is transposed in two parts. Of course Kate Atkinson's readers will rightfully feel the need to compare the books and their adaptations, but Case Histories is an enjoyable surprise as a P.I. genre drama with an empathetic twist and a pleasant eccentric humour. Jackson Brodie is not the classic private investigator, he's an emotional companion to the shattered souls. And Edinburgh never looked so magnificent.

Case Histories Parts 1 & 2 is directed by Marc Jobst, adapted by Ashley Pharoah, and guest star Fenella Woolgar (Jekyll) and Phil Davis (Whitechapel) - particularly brilliant as Theo Wyre. Ian Moss is director of photography and the so nicely Doc Martin theme intro is by John Keane. The excellent title sequence is from Huge Designs. Alison Owen, Jenny Frain and Nicole Finnan are executive producers and Helen Gregory is the producer.

Part 2 is scheduled versus Episode 1 of the highly anticipated ITV1 event drama Injustice, which is highly regrettable to say the least. Case Histories is produced by Ruby Film and Television and Monastic Productions for BBC Scotland. Original British Drama indeed...

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