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Cult | News | Reviews | 06 September 2004

Review: Murder One

Gripping legal mystery makes it to DVD.

Murder One is 24 for John Grisham addicts. It devotes an entire season to a single, complex crime, inching the drama along in painstaking detail, and in what feels surprisingly like real time (only without the ticking clock gimmicks).

On DVD it's just as addictive as 24. Every episode solves a puzzle, and then reveals another revelation in the closing moments (What? There's a tape? It shows him strangling another woman? Gasp!). There's no such thing as watching just one episode. You'd better clear your evening.

The series was created by Steven Bochco, king of 90s TV and the man behind LA Law, NYPD Blue and Hill Street Blues. It's typically glossy storytelling, with nice houses, clean courtrooms, and lovely offices.

You'll be relieved to hear that it's not as po-faced as 24 - there's a lot of wry humour, and you'll actually like the characters. While it lacks 24's regular camp attacks, it does have a lawyer who says "Toodles" a lot.

The storytelling hasn't dated a bit - as the case gets more complicated, the suspects get ever more hideous - will it be seedy millionaire Richard Cross, or dumb actor Neil Avedon, or is it, in fact....?

There's lots to enjoy on this DVD - the only things that have aged are the music (electro-harpsichord, really!) and the title sequence (early CGI, and oddly like Robot Wars).

Random Steven Bochco facts: He also created Doogie Howser MD, and is currently working on NYPD 2063.

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