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directed by Mike Smith, Josh Frizzell, Michael Hurst
New Zealand 2014


Touted as New Zealand's answer to MIDSOMER MURDERS, THE BROKENWOOD MYSTERIES trades village fκtes for cheese rolls as four-times divorced, country & western music-loving city officer Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Shepherd (Neill Rea, THE TRUTH ABOUT DEMONS) turns up in the North Island town of Brokenwood to put the "field in field investigator" and takes over investigation into a death that everyone else would rather believe was a suicide or accidental death, including local senior inspector Gary McLeod (Mark Clare, AN ANGEL AT MY TABLE) and his young partner Kristin Sims (THE ALMIGHTY JOHNSONS' Fern Sutherland). McLeod, who has considered the ten-year-old hit-and-run murder of current victim/suspected killer Nate Dunn (Chris Sherwood) his greatest failure, is willing to turn over the investigation to Shepherd since he has his own personal problems. Sims, however, is taken aback by Shepherd's habit of talking to corpses, his brusqueness (which he calls "being direct") in interrogations, and his lack of including her when he has a hunch. As with the aforementioned MIDSOMER MURDERS and other small-town procedurals, dirty laundry and skeletons in the closet could do with some airing out to expose culprits and the motives which sometimes are rooted in the past; and a mix of humor and country and folk rock music selections from local North Island artists including Tami Neilson and Delaney Davidson. Shepherd and Sims are also joined by young Detective Constable Sam Breen (POWER RANGERS' Nic Sampson), humorless Russian pathologist Gina (Cristina Serban Ionda, FILTHY RICH), and half-Maori Jared Morehu (Pana Hema Taylor, THE DEAD LANDS) – who operates on the fringes and proves a resource for local knowledge – in four feature-length cases, which also include rounding up the suspects when a wine show guest judge is found floating in a vat whose owner is more concerned about the wine than the corpse, sussing out the motives and alibis of the Brokenwood Gulf Club's board when one of their number gets a face full of toxic pesticide, and trying to determine how a groom could have been shot with his own rifle from fifty meters away on a bachelor party stag hunt.

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: 28 September 2014 - 19 November 2014 (TV)

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DVD Review: Acorn Media - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Acorn Media

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 6:00:42 (4% PAL speedup)

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.25 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English HoH, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Acorn Media

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
Disc One:
• Episodes (with 'Play All' option; 3:03:18)
•  - 1.1: 'Blood and Water' (16:9; 1:28:36)
•  - 1.2: 'Sour Grapes' (16:9; 1:34:51)
• Interview with Neil Rea and Fern Sutherland (16:9; 5:24)
• Interview with lead writer Tim Balme (16:9; 5:38)
• Picture Gallery (16:9; 1:03)

Disc Two:
• Episodes (with 'Play All' option; 2:57:24)
•  - 1.3: 'Playing the Lie' (16:9; 1:26:18)
•  - 1.4: 'Hunting the Stag' (16:9; 1:31:12)

DVD Release Date: August 14th, 2017

Chapters 34




Season one of THE BROKENWOOD MYSTERIES is split across two dual-layer DVDs with a mid-range bitrate. The series was shot and recolored digitally, and look good for the most part with an intentionally warm bias and lens flares sometimes inhibiting sharpness and detail. The production probably looks superior on Acorn's American Blu-ray (which also splits the four episodes onto two Blu-rays while their DVD edition splits them over four discs). The Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track boasts clear dialogue and effects, as well as an enveloping use of country & western source music along with a mix of traditional suspense and twangy action cues. Optional English HoH subtitles are included. The only extras are two short interviews.

  - Eric Cotenas


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CLICK to order from:


Also  available on  Blu-ray in the US:



Acorn Media

Region 2 - PAL



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