I’m fast becoming a big fan of murder mysteries, so when I heard about one that takes place in the 1920’s in Melbourne, Australia, I was intrigued. When I found out that the lead was a smart and saucy woman who kicked a lot of ass, I was sold. So did Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries hold up to my expectations?
The Movie Itself (4/5)
One thing that I’ll say about the murder mystery genre is that it is hard to keep an audience interested in an everlasting series of murders being solved by the leading star. Each series needs to have it’s hook, and it’s gotta have its hook firmly planted in it’s audience early on to keep them interested. Miss Fisher’s did just that.
Let’s take a step back and introduce Miss Fisher, because to get what makes this show as interesting as it is, you need to have an idea about your heroine.
Miss Fisher is a woman who is vastly ahead of her time. She’s a well educated and incredibly sharp liberal and independent woman who is very gifted at solving crimes. The 1920’s were not the most progressive of times, and having such a loud and free lead character definitely stands out. What’s more, over the course of the first few episodes, Miss Fisher meets several close friends who will stick with her throughout the series. Each of these supporting characters has their own varying degrees of comfort with Fisher’s progressive stylings, giving them each a unique and fresh perspective – this is the hook that sets in deep.
Along with her stable of allies, Miss Fisher frequently finds herself in close proximity to the seedy goings on of Melbourne, and much to the annoyance (and a little to the pleasure of) the local detective, she always finds a way to help. These cases range from the semi wacky to the wildly bizarre, each with their own unique and interesting plot twists. No two episodes are exactly alike, and each are satisfying to solve along.
The acting is great, and adds to the overall feeling of the 20s in Australia. You will find yourself caring for these characters and a lot of the show’s value comes from watching these characters grow in the background while these mysteries each come to a close.
The closest comparison I can think of with this show is that it is very much like a lady-led Holmes series, and that is a very good thing. You should probably give it a try.
Visuals/Picture Quality (4/5)
While the series is presented in a 1080i transfer (Series 3 is in 1080p), don’t let that fool you into thinking this is a bad display. In fact, the show looks fantastic on Blu-ray, and, barring an occasional flicker here or there, you won’t notice a difference from 1080p offerings. The details are crisp and clear, and there are plenty of attractive looking locations and sceneries shown throughout the series.
Score/Audio Quality (4/5)
Similar to the video quality score, if you looked at this set on paper you might be expecting less than superior quality. Generally 2.0 tracks are a let down, however, given the show’s dialog focus and lack of big flashy action scenes, the audio track works quite well. Music from the 20’s sound great, and the discussions are all perfectly clear. This track will not disappoint anyone.
Special Features (3.5/5)
While this set features a decent share of features, they are conversions of a standard definition source, which is a bit disappointing. Thankfully, the features are pretty entertaining for those who want more information on the show.
- The Look – Several cast and crew discuss the challenges in making the 1920’s Melbourne era come to life on screen.
- Meet the Creators
- Set Tour
- Cast Interviews
- Vehicles of the Series
- Steam Train Experts
- Locations of Melbourne
- Photo Gallery
- St. Kilda Tribune PDF (accessed on BD enabled computers) – a mock newspaper
- Trailers for other Acorn releases
Most of these features are quite short, running at about 5 minutes or less, but they are still an entertaining watch. The Look is the longest running extra, at just under 20 minutes long. Once you’ve finished the first three seasons, these provide a welcome addition to the experience.
Acorn has brought Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries Series 1-3 Collection in a slipcase box that houses three individual series in their own amaray cases. Each series has it’s own single sided sleeve with discs that match in style to their sleeves. There are inserts for Acorn TV included. Overall, the set has a uniformity to them, and the slipcase box is both attractive and protective, which is always nice to have.
- Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
- DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Runtime 1881 Mins
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries Series 1-3 packs a lot of content across these three series. With 34 episodes of intriguing and fun murders to solve, there’s enough here to keep you entertained for quite some time. I would definitely recommend this series, especially if you like the Holme’s style of mystery solving.
You can pick it up here.
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.