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Wycliffe: The Complete Second Series

Wycliffe: The Complete Second Series“Set in the ruggedly beautiful county
  of Cornwall, Wycliffe is an acclaimed
  ITV crime drama series with likeable
  and believable characters led by the
  relentless Detective Superintendent
  Charles Wycliffe...”

AS A COMPLETE CONTRAST TO the usual maverick detective, DS Charles Wycliffe (Jack Shepherd) is a mature family man, described as "quietly charismatic" and with a fastidious and tolerant approach in the excellent television series Wycliffe.

Against a background of the windswept beauty of rural Cornwall, this popular series includes storylines that highlight the social and economic difficulties faced by the local community as the conscientious Wycliffe takes on the region's most serious and challenging cases.

Tackling each investigation with a calm determination and open mind, Wycliffe's perception and style of questioning get right to the heart of the mystery and he is supported by his dependable and very human colleagues who include Detective Inspector Doug Kersey (Jimmy Yuill), DI Lucy Lane (Helen Masters), DS "Dixie" Dixon (Aaron Harris), CC Birkin (David Brocklehurst) and DC Potter (Adam Barker).

The first episode of the Complete Second Series of Wycliffe sees the detective hot on the trail of armed and dangerous escaped prisoner John Bonetti (Sean Chapman), who has been helped by prison visitor Jane Hardy (Cathryn Harrison). Is Jane Hardy all she appears to be and why do the spate of murders continue after Bonetti — whose parents appear to have disowned him — has a cast-iron alibi? A clever twist in this episode, that is entitled All For Love and is written by Steve Trafford.

Another taut storyline is about a kidnapping where the victim is Alison Keir (Margo Gunn), who owns a champion racehorse that looks set to be a winner. Is her husband Alex (John McArdle) innocent or is disgruntled employee Dave Penryn (Adam Kotz) so determined enough to ride Warrior that he wants Alison out of the way? Or perhaps it is rival horse-owner Major Tregelles (Brian Gwaspari), whose wife (Brenda Cavendish) is rumoured to be more than just good friends with Alex? Or even the youthful Diane Byrne (Judy Brooke), whom Alison looked on as a daughter.

In one of the more perplexing episodes, Wycliffe needs to discover who is leaving mysterious drawings and messages for David and Angela Miller (David Haig and Judi Maynard) and why was a local man murdered and his body nailed to their back door. Can it be the work of Donald Thorne (David Neal), who hates outsiders and believes that only the Cornish should live permanently in Cornwall? Do neighbours Georgie and Marcus Howell (Maureen Bennett and Michael Fenton Stevens) know more than they seem to or is the arrogant Colin Drake (Mark McKenna) at the centre of the mystery?

Another episode opens with a body being washed up on the shoreline. Edwina Coryn (the wonderful Eleanor Bron) comes forward claiming it may be her husband whom she reported missing some time ago and she identifies his jacket. The team also speaks to Fiona Jay (Marian McLoughlin), whose husband has also gone missing. But as Wycliffe begins to solve the mystery he discovers that both women have a secret that could have far-reaching consequences for both them and their families.

It is going to take a little bit more than an unsolved crime to fox the DS as he sifts through the clues of all these cases and more, using every available method at his disposal to unravel a tissue of lies. Wycliffe is a riveting series with well-constructed, compelling storylines and the series improves with every episode.

Guest appearances also include Louise Jameson and Geoffrey Bayldon and Wycliffe received The Royal Television Society award for the best television theme, composed by Nigel Hess. Wycliffe remained a top-rated drama throughout its five-year run and the second series was originally transmitted in 1995. Wycliffe is based on characters created by W J Burley.

Network DVD announces the release of the acclaimed ITV crime drama Wycliffe: The Complete Second Series, starring Jack Shepherd, on 5 April (2010). Certificate: 12 | RRP: 19.99 | Total Running Time: 400 minutes approx | Catalogue Number: 7953255.

"Wycliffe is a riveting series with well-constructed, compelling storylines" — Maggie Woods, MotorBar