In Deep-Season 1 (2001)

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Released 13-Feb-2008

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Crime Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 315:35 (Case: 318)
RSDL / Flipper No/No
Multi Disc Set (3)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Colin Bucksey
Roberto Bangura
Paul Marcus

Beyond Home Entertainment
Starring Stephen Tompkinson
Nick Berry
Case Slip Case
RPI $29.95 Music Paul Bartholomew
Joe Campbell
Paul Hart

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    In Deep is a rarity among BBC police dramas, in that I cannot recall it being shown on local television here in Australia before being available on DVD. I may be wrong of course but I cannot remember this series being shown on the ABC or any other free-to-air network. Considering its high quality and well known cast this surprises me somewhat. All three seasons of this show were aired in the UK, starting in early 2001. Two have so far been released in Region 4 by Force Entertainment, with the third season due in July. The format of the show is two-part episodes, which when combined run to somewhere near 100 minutes, slightly shorter in this first season than in the second. The first season contains three of these two-parters (each one on its own DVD5 disc).

    The basic premise is that these episodes follow the various cases taken on by a two-man team of undercover cops, Liam Ketman (Nick Berry, Heartbeat) and Garth O'Hanlon (Stephen Tompkinson, Ballykissangel). One of the first surprises considering the cast and their famous earlier roles is that this show is gritty, violent and takes on story lines which other shows shy away from such as paedophilia. Accordingly, it has been given an MA15+ rating by the OFLC. The next and very pleasant surprise is that this show avoids the soft and easy endings which afflict many cop shows. Rather than the main characters always getting the win in the end, they struggle to get results, do things which may not be approved of by the ethics committee and certainly don't come away unscathed (mentally or physically).

    Having said that, the show is not perfect as sometimes the writing is a little lacking in exposition or includes unlikely coincidences. These issues, however, can be ignored as this is an entertaining, thought provoking and very watchable show featuring two fine performances which are pretty much against type for these actors.

    Liam is a married man, with two teenage children. He struggles to hold his family and marriage together due to his demanding and very secretive job. Garth on the other hand is a loner who is estranged from his family and tries not to let his personal life interfere with his work. He does not always achieve that aim and his mental state can be quite variable as the demands of the job weigh on him. Both of them suffer in different ways due to their career choice.

    The episodes included in this series are:

  1. Blue on Blue (104:30) - A girl working in a massage parlour/brothel is murdered by a drug squad cop and Liam and Garth must investigate their fellow officers while working undercover.
  2. Romeo Trap (110:11) - A very dark episode involving paedophilia. Garth goes undercover in prison to try and make contact with the leader of a paedophile ring who is being released from prison soon. This case is very tough on Garth and he finds it hard to work within the rules. While watching this episode, I actually wondered whether this was originally designed to be episode 1 as some overarching plot points seemed out of alignment with things which happened in Episode 1.
  3. Ghost Squad (100:54) - This is the best episode of Season 1 and involves a group of racist terrorists trying to disrupt petrol supplies with explosions. Also, a man from Garth's past is released from prison after 14 years.

    I would certainly recommend this series to those viewers who enjoy the grittier end of UK cop shows such as The Ghost Squad, Cracker or Prime Suspect. Well worth a look.

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Transfer Quality


    The video quality is decent but no more.

    The show is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio, 16x9 enhanced, which I would guess is the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was not overly sharp and appears somewhat grainy throughout, with no low level noise. The shadow detail was decent. The grain sometimes became mild macro-blocking especially in backgrounds. The overall bitrate was low.

    The colour was reasonable but somewhat pale. There was colour bleeding visible, especially from light colours.

    Artefacts included edge enhancement, some white spots & splodges and some minor aliasing.

    There are no subtitles on these discs.

    There is no layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio quality is fine.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was mostly easy to understand but the lack of subtitles was certainly felt in some scenes.

    The score is slightly overbearing at times, but not offensive.

    The surround speakers were used for some atmosphere when played via Pro Logic II and the subwoofer was not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    No extras.


    The menu is simple, featuring some music and the ability to select scenes.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    As far as I can tell, this show has not been released on DVD anywhere else in the world.


    A gritty, bravely written and well acted BBC cop show.

    The video quality is decent.

    The audio quality is fine.

    No extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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