'Pie in the Sky: Series 5'
(Richard Griffiths, et al / 3-Disc DVD / NR / 2011 / Acorn Media)
Overview: Richard Griffiths (Harry Potter) returns for a final season as the long-suffering DI Henry Crabbe. The semi-retired detective, who loves cooking at his beloved Pie in the Sky restaurant, now has to become part of Assistant Chief Constable Freddy Fisher's (Malcolm Sinclair, Casino Royale) latest scheme, the Public Duties Squad.
DVD Verdict: In this final season, which I didn't know watching it and have to saw I was sad to find out afterwards, does its usual job of being two thirds out of his beloved kitchen in Pie in the Sky (the restaurant he runs with his wife, Margaret, the lovely Maggie Steed from Shine on Harvey Moon, and a third sorting out problems within it.
In the first episode, 'SQUASHED TOMATOES,' we discover that ACC Freddy Fisher (Sinclair) has instituted a new Public Duties Squad, which hires out police teams for private use. Not loved by anybody, technically even Fisher himself, let alone Crabbe, his first assignment is to protect a new housing estate from vandals. Together, in every episode, with both WPC Morton (Mary Woodvine -`Space Precinct') and PC Guthrie (Derren Litten -`Perfect World'), it's not that exciting of a debut episode. In 'UGLY CUSTOMERS,' Crabbe's team must protect a jury of a fraud trial. Jury intimidation seems to be rife within the hotel they are all locked into, and great British character actor Keith Barron ('Haggard') as the foreman seems to be at the heart of it all.
In 'PORK PIES,' which is also one of the best episodes in this fifh season, a meat factory has some animal-rights protesters for company outside its gates and so calls in the Public Duties Squad. But is there something funny going on in their VERY cold freezer re: their infamous Thunderbolt sausages? In a subplot, Margaret's friend might be the subject of a con man. In 'CUTTING THE MUSTARD,' while Gary thinks his homemade mustard might just earn him some credit and money, Crabbe's team look into bullying at a private boarding school - where ACC Fisher once went, and was expelled from!
In 'RETURN MATCH,' which I loved being an ex-footballer, but was filled with some really dodgy fake footballing on the field, ACC Fisher wants one of his young Detective Constable's to play for the local police team in the final Championship game - because he's an ex-Premiership footballer! But Kirk, aka DC Thomson (Neil Stuke) has a drink problem and a dark past that won't let go of him. In a sub plot to all this, a private 'security' team known as Troubleshooters seems to know things before they happen - is there a mole inside HQ? In 'THE APPRENTICE,' an off license robbery and beating means Crabbe investigates. Out of the blue, a young boy volunteers to do Work Experience away from school at Pie In The Sky, but he has a secret too. A very serious episode this, light on laughs, heavy on lessons to be learnt.
In 'IN THE SMOKE,' the Crabbe's take a so-called 'holiday' away from Pie to stay in a flat in London of an old mate of Henry's. But, once there all their plans go by the wayside when Margaret suspects foul play! Indeed, this whole episode revolves around her as she a) finds a packed suitcase, b) hears a hurried phone message warning, b) finds a corpse, and d) gets kidnapped! In the final ever episodes, 'SMELLING OF ROSES,' Crabbe loses his sense of smell and taste ofter a bout of flu and a bang on the head - and suddenly might be losing Gary too! Also, on his last case, when ACC Fisher orders an investigation into a businessman that he himself seems to have more than a light hankering for said mans wife, Crabbe becomes even more suspicious. And so, as the episode comes to an end, Crabbe quits the police force the same day/moment her Royal Majesty The Queen shows up at the police station, Gary decides to stay on, and a huge steak and kidney pie is laid out for all to enjoy! [RT] This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with, sadly, still NO Special Features.