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Murder One - Season 1 DVD Box Set



Review: Jack Foley

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio commentary by actor Jason Gedrick on Chapter 8; Audio commentary by director Randy Zisk on Chapter 15; Featurette: 'Making the Case: Season One' (25 mins).

Before there was 24, there was Murder One, and boy was it good fun!

From the pen of best-selling author and the 10-time Emmy Award® winner and creator of NYPD Blue and LA Law, Steven Bochco, came the explosive legal drama, Murder One - a riveting legal drama that unfolded over the course of 24 tightly-wound, character-driven episodes.

Murder One was a groundbreaking event in TV history as the first serialised legal drama to follow a single case for an entire season, intricately exploring every facet of a scandalous, high-profile Hollywood murder trial - both inside and outside of a Los Angeles courtroom – from the discovery of the murder victim, through all of the hearings and gathering of evidence to the trial itself and the final verdict.

The show focuses on the wide array of players involved in the trial, from attorney, Theodore ‘Teddy’ Hoffman (Daniel Benzali) and his team of legal experts, to key witnesses, jurors and the media.

The programme led the way for a whole host of crime and legal shows, but only really the real-time format of 24 has matched its intricate plot-twists and finely woven characters.

Prominent Los Angeles defence attorney, Theodore Hoffman, has taken on the biggest case of his career.

Hoffman is defending bad-boy TV & movie star, Neil Avedon (Jason Gedrick), against the charge of murdering teenager, Jessica Costello.

Jessica is discovered slaughtered in a building owned by wealthy businessman, Richard Cross (Stanley Tucci, Road to Perdition) who was originally charged with the murder, but successfully defended by Hoffman.

As the case twists and turns, it transpires that Jessica was involved in lurid affairs with numerous prominent men, who have now all been cast into suspicion.

Much of the fun in watching Murder One was never knowing who to believe, particularly as the plot revelled in its ability to toy with the viewer, while throwing in twist after twist to keep them tuned in.

However, it also boasted a terrific cast, not least in Benzali, who had already shone as a legal whizz in NYPD Blue, as well as the wickedly malevolent Tucci, who has made a career out of providing scene-stealing support turns.

Here, Tucci was in his element, while his scenes with Benzali provided some truly electrifying confrontations that came steeped in intelligence.

To reveal too much more about the intricacies of the series would be to ruin the fun, save to say that fans of the TV run will probably have fun rediscovering the delights it has to offer, while newcomers can't fail to be impressed.

It makes for truly compelling viewing, and paves the way nicely for the October release of the second series, for which Benzali was replaced with Anthony Lapaglia (of Without A Trace fame).

Murder One: Case One, on DVD, comes with an intriguing look behind-the-scenes of the groundbreaking series with a 25-minute documentary entitled 'Making the Case: Season One.

Actor, Jason Gedrick, and director, Randy Zisk, also provide fascinating insights into the show through commentaries on selected episodes.

Steven Bochco’s first novel, Death By Hollywood, is also available from Bloomsbury Publishing on September 6, priced £6.99.

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