Acorn Media has done it again. They've
licensed a riveting and gripping UK
drama and released it here in the US. This
time it's Touching Evil, a
procedural staring Robson Green who would go on to make the equally
Wire in the Blood. Equally intense in
this role, Green plays a very human police officer who has to work on
vilest and most disturbing crimes that occur.
With an excellent cast and well crafted scripts, Touching Evil
top-notch production that's well worth watching.
DCI Dave Creegan (Robson Green) was shot and nearly killed
in the line of duty. Taking a bullet to
the head left him with a single visible scar, but many that couldn't be
seen. After making a total physical
recovery, and a partial mental one, an old friend gets Creegan assigned
newly formed OSC, Organized & Serial Crime Unit.
Like a British version of the FBI, these
elite detectives work on the cases that are too big for the local
Creegan is very good at what he does. He's
able to think like a criminal and figure
out the method behind the madness that he sees.
His ability to profile the person behind heinous crimes often
and his colleagues in the right direction.
But it takes a toll on the man's all too fragile psyche. It's said that there's a fine line between
genius and madness, and Creegan is walking right on that line.
The crimes that the OSC investigate are particularly
horrific, and this show isn't for the timid or young children. They involve not only serial killers, but
killers who target children and like to watch them die slow deaths. There is a soldier who replays the horrors of
Bosnia in London,
pedophiles stealing children to make
porn, and a killer who drugs people before setting them on fire. It's gruesome stuff, and though the crimes
are mostly committed off camera this show isn't for the young or
The brilliance of the show is the way it spins the
narrative. Though it is a police
procedural, the show isn't about the killer or criminal, it's about the
of the people affected by his (or her) actions.
The name of the show says it all:
Touching Evil. Not only are the
families of the victims changed forever by what they go through, but
themselves are deeply affected. Not only
by what they see, but by what they find themselves doing, or thinking
in reaction to the vile crimes that they have to solve.
It's this dynamic that is often glossed over
in crime shows and movies, that sets this show apart from its
The show is also very surprising. There
are twists and turns in the
investigations of course, that's to be expected in a mystery program,
happens to the main characters and some of the choices they make are
startling, but realistic. It gives the
show an edge, and viewers are never quite sure what will happen in the
It's no surprise that Robson Green does a wonderful job as
the lead. He plays Creegan with just the
right mix of empathy, uncertainty, and violence to make him a realistic
dimensional person. Nicola Walker plays
Creegan's partner, Susan Taylor, and while her role isn't quite as
Green's, she also does a wonderful job.
The episodes in this collection are:
Through the Clouds:
Creegan joins the OSC and has to find a serial kidnapper. He discovers a series of kidnappings that
occurred in Germany
nine years earlier with the exact same MO.
Unfortunately those crimes were never solved and the children
Killing with Kindness:
Several patients in the ICU at a hospital die of heart attacks. That's not so unusual, but these people
didn't have heart trouble and they all died at the same time.
Deadly Web: Someone
is convincing teens to carry out his murderous fantasies through the
internet. It sounds dumb, but the
episode was quite engrossing.
Scalping: Creegan and
Taylor catch a serial killer who admits he's guilty.
But after he's locked up the crimes
continue. It appears that he's trained a
student to take his place...
War Relief: A series
of corpses, all carefully washed and enshrouded in white sheets, starts
up across Europe.
When they hit England,
Creegan discovers that the victims were all doing relief work in Bosnia
What Price a Child:
When a woman kidnaps a young child, Creegan uncovers a ring of
who are importing orphans and selling them across Europe,
mainly to pedophiles.
Innocent: A criminal
who confessed to Creegan has his statement thrown out and is set free. Creegan follows him back to his home town
where the murders start happening once again.
But this time Creegan thinks the original suspect was innocent.
Fiery Death: A series
of bodies, some burned beyond recognition, start turning up and it's up
OSC to discover who is doing it and why.
This collection contains all three seasons, 8 stories in
all, on five discs. Each season come in
its own single width keepcase and the three cases are housed in a
slipcase. One note: Originally
each story here was aired as two
50 minute long episodes. They've been
stitched together for this release.
The only audio track is an English stereo mix. There
are no subtitles. The sound is very clear
and crisp. Since there are not a lot of
sound effects or
music, it wasn't an enveloping sound, but very good nonetheless. Fairly good use was made of the front sound
stage with certain sound effects coming from one side or the other. It was an adequate sounding disc.
There are optional SDH subtitles.
The fullscreen image looks pretty good overall. The
picture was clear and not fuzzy like some
shows from the UK
tend to be. Skin tones looked natural,
and details were present in the shadows.
That's not to say it picture was perfect, it was slightly dark,
as sharp as I would have liked. There
was some digital noise reduction done, and there are artifacts from
mainly a slightly grainy look to the sky and other large objects. This is almost unnoticeable and not a
distraction. It also looks like this is
a PAL-to-NTCS conversion with a slight amount of ghosting in some
there is a lot of movement. Again, this
doesn't distract from the show luckily.
Unfortunately there are no extras aside from some text
This is an excellent, though disturbing show. As
the title suggests, this crime drama is
more interested in looking at the affects that evil has on people than
themselves and that makes for some excellent viewing.