User Reviews (12)

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  • thebigeasy55514 August 2006
    Wycliffe is a gritty,tense detective show set in Cornwall.The main character Charles Wycliffe is an old fashioned,grumpy detective dedicated to his profession. He is joined by a beer loving,maverick and an ambitious modern woman looking to climb the ladder as best she can. Wycliffe relies solely on conventional means to solve his cases and usually stays within the realm of the law to catch the culprits. At times his work can stray into his home life.He can be relaxing at home with his wife and daughter when he gets an urgent call. The stunning scenery of Cornwall is used to great effect.It's a real joy to see Wycliffe speeding around the tight,winding roads in the pursuit of gathering evidence or tracking down a suspect. He also appears to be quite fond of the classic detective garment of a long trench coat
  • A thoughtful series that uses the scenery of Cornwall with great effect. Jack Shephard has acted many roles in British cinema, the first role that made me notice him was in the hammer horror, Dracula. Wykliffe gave him an opportunity to show his range of acting skills and demonstrate hi well honed jazz skills. Jimmy Yuill and Helen Masters perform well together and spark off one another with good effect. Jimmy Yuill in particular has gone on to act in other TV dramas that has shown his range of skills. The slow moving tempo of the series and the way it takes its time to develop characters makes Wykliffe one of the best police drama series. It is eminently watchable.
  • When I first began watching this series I had some doubts about continuing. None of the characters are flashy or brilliant or exciting. Subdued would describe most of them, with only the occasional momentary emotional outburst supplied by a suspect or relative of the victim. Not very much happens: the investigators drive to and from interviews with suspects and neighbors, they discuss the case over beers in the pub, they get moody and down about not solving the case, and someone drives fast on a narrow country road, occasionally going into the trees. Even the opening, with its exciting Cornish music, shows inspector Wycliffe grumpily lifting his cell phone to his ear as the music swells.

    And yet, I have grown to really enjoy the series. As others have mentioned, it provides stunning views of the Cornwall seacoast, and it portrays quite well the various types of people one would find in such isolated, poor rural communities. I look forward to joining the team with each episode -- the dour. knowledgeable leader DS Wycliffe, his two contrasting, highly effective senior investigators DI Kersey and DI Lane saying a few pithy things here and there, the young heavy set dependable computer whiz DC Potter, cheerful DS Dixon, and the somewhat gruesome, grumpy autopsy doctor Franks. They don't say very much, but in their various ways let us know how much they like and respect each other, despite their different styles and skills. Even when they have disagreements, these are mostly expressed with grimaces, pointed looks and other facial clues, and eventually the make peace with each other with half-completed sentences.

    And that's fine with me! I feel that detective shows have become frantic, using excitable, histrionic acting, fast cutting, odd camera angles, loud driving music, and special effects to lure in and keep distracted viewers. With this show I can settle in with a bowl of popcorn, watch the murder be discovered (it's almost never shown happening, nor is there much if any gore), ride along or sit beside these plodding, thoughtful detectives as they work hard at understanding the people involved and how this tragedy has happened. As often as not, the perpetrators are people, not just villains, who took a wrong turn somewhere or were driven by circumstances to commit a terrible crime. And then the case is solved, and the episode ends, and I can go do something else, without the feeling that I have to binge watch to find out what happens next.

    All in all, a very calm, interesting, enjoyable way to spend an hour!
  • Rupert175 January 2015
    Must say watching episodes of Wycliffe recently I found them very enjoyable. The much-respected Penguin TV Companion only gives 2 stars out of 4 for the series – I believe it to be better than that. I think Wycliffe may not be as punchy as Morse or quirky as Frost, but the stories and settings are interesting and the supporting actors in each episode give strong performances. The acting talent in Britain shows great depth.

    I think that Jack Shepherd's performance as Wycliffe is considered by some to be too dour and laconic, but that's the way the character presents. There are plenty of other crime shows with more flamboyant and outgoing characters available for viewing. It's the difference between many of the main characters that makes them attractive or not, depending on individual taste. I like his personality and the way Shepherd portrays him.

    The supporting characters played by actors Jimmy Yuill and Helen Masters as the two inspectors are great foils for Jack Shepherd's Wycliffe and add balance to the show. There are times when these two are at odds with each other's methods, but respect and a level of affection remains between them and is done realistically without the histrionics some other shows seem to think add colour to the narrative. And although office politics are a source of excellent humour in Frost, in Wycliffe it is portrayed realistically and in a way that enhances the story and has the ring of truth.

    Maybe it's not as high profile as some others, but it is worth watching just the same.
  • Despite the occasional slow tempo, Wycliffe is a wonderful detective series. It is gritty and tense, but there is something somewhat charming about it as well. The series is beautifully photographed, and the scenery is exquisite. The music, especially the main theme, is lovely and has a pleasant Cornish lilt to it. The series is well scripted and well constructed in terms of story lines as well, with the writing focused, thoughtful and sensitive and the story lines having their fair moments of grit and tension. And the acting is great, Jack Shepherd is superb as Wycliffe, who is quite old fashioned and conventional, and Helen Masters and Jimmy Yuill are also great as well developed supporting characters. Overall, a fine detective series, perhaps not the best out there, but it is very atmospheric thanks to the scenery and main theme music. 9/10 Bethany Cox
  • hgallon26 April 2006
    "Wycliffe" is a windswept and rain-sodden Police drama. It is set in Cornwall, the most westerly county in England. Standard dress for plain-clothes detectives appears to be a scruffy grey polo-neck sweater and waterproofs.

    The series centres around Detective-Superintendent Wycliffe, whose family life occasionally intrudes into the plots, and two subordinates: a woman Detective Inspector who has been pushed too fast into a senior rank, and a disillusioned male colleague.

    Even looking piratical, the Police appear to be intruders into a comparatively isolated community. Some of the office politics which occasionally feature, deal with Wycliffe's aversion to the latest fashionable management trends from London being foisted onto his force.

    "Wycliffe" is well worth watching the series for the scenery alone, and hearing the slow local accents.
  • Wycliffe ran for five years, gathering quite a loyal fan base. Jack Shepherd is strong in the title role, Wycliffe is intelligent, thoughtful and cool, if lacking a sense of humour somewhat. Aided by his competent team including DS Lane and DI Kersey, they solve mysteries in and around Cornwall. The Cornish setting is glorious and adds massively, gives the show a cosy feeling.

    At times it can feel a little slow paced and a bit beige, you'll see more floral sofas then you can imagine. That said it can be very gritty and dramatic, without going overboard. Highlights include episodes such as dance of the Scorpions and Land's End, I think it gets better as it progresses.

    It has dated a little, but still has lots to offer the mystery fan. If like myself you enjoy the likes of Hetty Wainthrop you're sure to enjoy this. 7/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I found this series to be quite enjoyable although, as one other reviewer noted, it could be somewhat slow at times. The character development is very good as we see the all-too human side of them: Jack Shepherd's Wycliffe is a family man who is not your typical gung-ho copper although he is very good. Helen Masters plays a professional Inspector who happens to be quite good-looking and also has personal problems with men outside of work (has trouble maintaining a dating life which seems fairly common for police). Jimmy Yuill plays my personal favorite as the DS with lots of personal problems: drinks too much, smokes too much and has temper issues but to me is also 'good police.'

    It's a shame that (as I read from a Jimmy Yuill biography) the show ended on a sour note cast-wise as they decided to quit the series rather than continue without Mr. Yuill...classy in my opinion.
  • Dr_Coulardeau23 September 2017
    Warning: Spoilers
    This is an old series, for sure, with old computers (I still have one from 1998) and old portable telephones and hardly any internet. It was England in its Major and post-Major time: it had been clearly cleaned up of some of the working class and trade union privileges and restructured along some privatized lines, and Blair was not going to change all that, and he was even going to deepen it with the entrepreneurial approach of anything like here police work.

    The series is situated in Cornwall, which is a strange choice because of the very particular particularisms of this region of England. Cornwall was the heart of the old Celtic England, a lot more than Ireland and Wales and at the geographical center if Brittany was taken into account. The most Celtic heritage in England is situated in Cornwall and concerns Ireland and Brittany, slightly Wales and King Arthur's England around this center. It is Tristan and Iseult. And strangely enough the Celtic heritage in Cornwall has been entirely erased by history, and it is true Tristan and Iseult was first written down at the end of the eleventh century under William the Conqueror, not in Celtic or even old Anglo-Saxon languages but in Norman French. Some old Welsh Triads have kept in old Celtic Gaelic language some elements of this very old story, tale, romance, epic even.

    But the series explores the Cornish particularisms of the deeper old population of this area that has become a great touristic destination in England and has thus been "invaded" by a whole set of entrepreneurs from the Cornish landed upper class or from England with all it brings along including various criminal traffics like drugs and some others. The series reveals the deep hatred existing in the countryside among the old farming families that can use a gun to solve a problem like others used toothpicks to clean up their teeth. And fishermen are not much different along that line. At the same time in such large families that at times look like clans or tribes, there is an extremely strict hierarchy that leads to absolute power in one man or woman in these clans and these individuals, when confronted with the modern world, with tourists from outside and with entrepreneurs from England, can react like schizophrenic people. The term is used a couple of times though today this term is no longer acceptable and should be changed to psychotic. But psychotic they are for sure.

    That is the main interest of the series. The exploration of such deep inherited social structures that are dysfunctioning in modern times.

    The second interest is the police itself, with its various strata and hierarchies, with the ambitions of local bosses who want to get into the Home Office or simply to some bigger city like Bristol and of course London. These ambitious police social climbers are climbing by using their "underlings" as steps to go up the police social ladder, and what's more, with the newspeak of entrepreneurial understanding of anything that brings together more than two people and that is nowadays referred to as Human Resources. In this conception, men and women are just pawns on a chessboard, with the particularity of having psyches that may react in a strange way and have to be brought down under control, by retiring the concerned individuals, by framing them if necessary.

    The various and successive plots, one plot per episode, are always well sewn up with a twist at the end that generally is more in the method to bring the criminal down rather than to reveal his or her identity we have often subsumed before. It thus is a rather entertaining and intriguing thriller of a series that can be watched from root to land's end with interest and pleasure.

    Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU
  • Solid police procedural with engaging stories. Not a lot of tech but more old school investigation which is a welcome relief. No virtue signaling PC crap which I like even more.
  • jayg_5830 December 2018
    Well, it's old 4:3 format. That's a shock after HD. Typical British gray, dreary small town stuff, which is actually why I watch these. My problem is that as a retired investigator, I find the lack common sense investigative technique in most of these shows abit appalling. This one is much worse than average. "She finds it hard to get up in the mornings." "Fine, thanks, we'll be in touch." What!!!! An eight year old would have asked "why?". Not these guys. And they pursue leads that should mean nothing, but information appears from nowhere. Oh well, I watch it for the foreign color, not any semblance of real police work. If you can stand old TV, it's not bad.
  • I watched a lot of the series up to Season three.

    The stories are really interesting and the actors are good.

    My disappointment comes in the end of episodes and in the summation of why a killer killed makes me mad.

    These cops makes excuses as to why people do bad things. The latest one "305 Crazy for You" was of a woman that heard voices and was a mental case. They excuse every bad thing she does Ms Lane even hugs the woman that stabbed a cop. They let the "mental" criminal act out to get sympathy from the viewer that "this person does not know what they are doing".

    This makes me sick. Wycliffe stories always giving criminals the excuse as to why they killed. Evil people do bad things and it does not matter if they are nuts, on drugs or going through something like a divorce. Sometime when a person is found guilty the ending of the episode does not show them going to jail or what happens. In fact Wycliffe and his group talk to suspected criminals like they are their best friend. They have tea with them, tell them how much they need their help, knowing these people are the killers or covering up for the killer. They don't use guns and when another cop shoots they are reprimanded.

    Society has to stop making excuses for killers. Keep them in jail and don't let them out because the jails are full, build more prisons.

    This series is supposed to be in Cornwall England but even in the US people get paroled only to come out and kill again.

    People of today have no brains and they scare the cops so they can't do their job like in New York and Ferguson.

    So society becomes pacifist while the criminals kill the rest of us.