Case Histories on PBS’s Masterpiece Theater

I’m enjoying the episodes of Case Histories on PBS’s Masterpiece Theater. Each program covers several interlocking cases. The first episode involves mysteries surrounding the disappearance of two women and one little girl and the murder of a young woman. Private detective Jackson Brodie also broods about his own family’s unsolved mystery, the murder/drowning of his little sister when he was a boy. Brodie’s personal experience with tragedy and his brilliant insights help him to solve puzzles much faster than the Edinburgh police. This series is based on novels by Kate Atkinson.

Case Histories is set in Scotland, and the characters speak genuine Scottish dialects. While Americans may find the Scottish accent hard to understand at first, the dialect adds local color, and the firth settings are a refreshing change from mysteries set in England or the United States.

Actor Jason Isaacs is superb as Jackson Brodie. Divorced, Brodie adores his young daughter Marlee, and is distraught when his ex-wife decides to take a job in New Zealand and to take Marlee with her. Isaacs is especially good at capturing the effort that it takes for a detective with his own stressful family issues to constantly deal with finding missing people and solving murders.

I commend PBS for this new series. I would also like to see PBS develop new series based on books by American writers.


Originally posted on October 26, 2011

Keywords:  review, Case Histories, Masterpiece Theater, mystery, Public Television

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