Wednesday, 27 May 2020


The third series (four 90-minute episodes) of British mystery comedy-drama Agatha Raisin premiered on U.S. streaming service Acorn TV between Autumn 2019 and Winter 2020. 

Ashley Jensen (Catastrophe, Ugly Betty) plays the title role, an ex-London PR queen turned private investigator. 

The Agatha Raisin Detective Agency is severely hit by bad publicity after an article in a local paper-including some unkind words from DCI Denzel Wilkes (Jason Barnett). But Sir Charles Fraith (Jason Merrells) has convinced a friend, the obnoxious Mrs Tiggy Leggat-Brown, to hire Agatha. Her daughter Cassandra has received death threats because of her engagement with Perry Peterson.

« Although I hope you're not the amateur busybody that the police say you are.»

The engagement party ends in the pool for Tiggy, Cassandra and Perry when Agatha Raisin saves them from a sniper but Tiggy Leggat-Brown accuses her of ruining the event. Toni Gilmour (Jodie Tyack) looks for a missing dog with DC Bill Wong (Matt McCooey), James Lacey (Jamie Glover) is disenchanted, a hitman eats a cake, Charles and Roy Silver (Mathew Horne) play dominoes and DCI Wilkes can dance tango.

Australian actor and dancer Adam Garcia guest stars as George Felliet, a tango teacher, in the fabulously funny Agatha Raisin & the Deadly Dance. This episode, adapted from the novel by M.C. Beaton, was penned by crime drama virtuoso and regular Agatha Raisin scriptwriter Chris Murray (Midsomer Murders and the recent Van der Valk). 

Also with Lucy Liemann (Sarah Bloxby), Patsy Kensit (Emma Comfrey), Anna Wilson-Jones (Tiggy Laggat-Brown), Abigail Carter-Simpson (Cassandra Laggat-Brown), Steve John Shepherd (Jeremy Laggatt-Brown), Angus Castle-Doughty (Perry Peterson), Elle McAlpine (Felicity Felliet), etc.

Produced by Free@Last TV and Company Pictures (an All3Media company). Co-produced by Acorn Media Enterprises (a division of RLJ Entertainment, Inc.). Barry Ryan and David A. Walton exec produce for Free@Last TV. Michele Buck exec produces for Company Pictures. Catherine Mackin exec produces for Acorn Media Enterprises

Produced by Guy Hescott. Co-produced by Ian Strachan. Music composed by Evan Jolly. Theme composed by Rupert Gregson-Williams. Cinematography by James Moss. Editing by James Hey. Titles by Light Creative. Distributed by All3Media International, except for English-speaking territories which are handled by Acorn Media International. Directed by Roberto Bangura. (Series 3, Episode 1)

Tuesday, 19 May 2020


[Favourite of the Month] Starring Hannes Jaenicke, Der Amsterdam-Krimi was launched almost two years ago by German pubcaster Das Erste. It's one of the channel's feature-length crime dramas filmed abroad for its Donnerstags-Krimi line-up (like Der Zurich-Krimi or Kommissar Dupin).

Amsterdam Undercover (the international title of Der Amsterdam-Krimi) started with Tod in der Prinzengracht and Auferstanden von den Toten, two episodes shot between December 2017 and January 2018 and aired in November 2018.

Alex Pollack (Hannes Jaenicke), an undercover investigator for the LKA in Düsseldorf, wants to bring down a drug baron named Tom Fischer (Sascha Alexander Geršak). He handles the infiltration of his colleague and girlfriend Katja Wolf (Alice Dwyer), who became Fischer's right-hand person in Amsterdam under the alias Isabel Baumann. When Katja doesn't report to Alex for three months, he goes to the capital of the Netherlands without informing neither his superior, nor the Dutch authorities.

Pollack discovers that Katja/Isabel got dangerously close to the mobster. A confrontation with her at the Amsterdam Central Station ends up with Alex arrested by Dutch Commissioner  Bram de Groot (Fedja van Huêt) and his team. They put Tom Fischer and "Isabel Baumann" under surveillance as part of an investigation on a new dangerous designer drug. De Groot wants the man behind the whole operation: Frederik Koning (Raymond Thiry), a powerful investor with many connections. The commissioner joins forces with the German investigator, who must figure out whether Katja has gone much too far.

Loyalty is the theme of Tod in der Prinzengracht, the first part of a couple of captivating crime thrillers. Hannes Jaenicke is at his best amongst some excellent German and Dutch actors in the beautiful Amsterdam. In Auferstanden von den Toten, the death of a female student and the reappearance of a foreign worker provide Pollack and de Groot unexpected leads to Koning. This episode makes a great use of the locations, such as the fascinating Koepelgevangenis in Breda (a former prison).

Written by Peter Kohler. Based on a format by Rebecca Mahnkopf and Klaus Pieber. Directed by Michael Kreindl (Todes in der Prinzengracht) and  Peter Ladkani (Auferstanden von den Toten). Also with Sven Gerhardt (Thomas Breuer), Gijs Naber (Rijkaard), Birgit Welink (Renée), Peter Post (Rutger), Tanja Jess (Susanne Verbeek), Edon Rizvanolli (Driss), Omar El-Saeidi (Molo), Sigrid ten Napel (Hanna Meijer), etc. Produced by Ziegler Film Köln for ARD Degeto and Das Erste.

Marc O. Dreher exec produces. Produced by Barbara Thielen. Florian Nilson and Sandra Moll are the production managers for ARD Degeto. Production services by Ministry of film (Huub Meijer). Music by Andreas Helmle. Production designed by Alfred Schaaf. Cinematography by Anton Klima (Todes in der Prinzengracht) and Namche Okon (Auferstanden von den Toten). Editing by Nina Meister and Nathalie Pürzer. In June, Das Erste will show two new episodes of Der Amsterdam-Krimi (filmed during summer 2019): Tod im Hafenbecken and Das verschwundene Kind.

The same month, the channel will launch Van der Valk in Germany as Kommissar Van der Valk. The ITV detective drama is co-produced by ARD Degeto and filmed in Amsterdam too. Amsterdam Undercover is distributed by Beta Film.

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