CSI. CSI: Cyber. CSI: NY. CSI: Miami. Criminal Minds. Law & Order. Law & Order: SVU. Law & Order: LA. Law & Order: Criminal Intent. If today's surfeit of television crime dramas have left you feeling jaded, you might wish to check out Murder: A Joint Enterprise, a new four-part series which turns traditional storytelling techniques on their heads.
The BBC's Murder: Joint Enterprise won a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award when it was released. It's not hard to see why. This gritty, grainy drama features direct-to-camera confessions, crime scene photos, CCTV footage and other documentary style techniques which have the effect of grabbing viewers by the scruff of the neck and thrusting them into the story's epicentre.
In Murder: Joint Enterprise it is clear something awful has happened in the small housing commission flat in Nottingham. However, the emotionally-laden accounts given by survivors - the victim's sister and a young man the pair met in a pub that evening - diverge at every turn. Viewers hear the confessions, scrutinise the forensic evidence, weigh the tired detective's words and watch crime scene renactments. These fast-moving features serve to position viewers as flies on the wall and as jury-members forced to decided on featured parties' guilt and innocence.
Using the same hauntingly graphic format, Murder: The Complete Series now features three more cases rich in forensic and psychological detail. The Third Voice explores an apparent drowning which is later revealed to be a stabbing once the body washes ashore. Lost Weekend is set in London's moneyed Belgravia and features an aristocrat accused of murdering his girlfriend. The Big Bang covers a single terrible night inside the locked cells of a prison and juvenile detention facility - events sparked by a murder 10 years' previously.
Murder: A Complete Series offers a novel viewing experience. Monologues serve to reveal individual characters' perspective on events, sending seemingly clear-cut cases veering in unexpected directions. This series thus captures the malleability of memory, and the risks associated with making snap judgments, exceptionally well.
Thanks to our generous friends at Acorn Media Australia, WeekendNotes has 5 DVD copies of Murder: The Complete Series to giveaway!
To celebrate the Australian release of Murder: The Complete Series on June 1st 2016, WeekendNotes subscribers have the chance to win 1 of 5 DVD collections.
*To go into the draw, all you have to do is send an email titled 'Murder: The Complete Series' to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know in 25 words or less why you want to see this acclaimed drama. Please make sure to include your full name and mailing address so we can send you your prize!
5 lucky winners will be drawn on Wednesday 1st June 2016 at 5pm. Good luck!