26 September 2023

Rosemary & Thyme, The Complete Collection

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Reviewed by Rama Gaind.

Directors: Brian Farnham, Simon Langton, Tom Clegg, Brian Farnham, Gwennan Sage, Via Vision Entertainment.

Cast: Felicity Kendal, Pam Ferris, Ryan Philpott, Daisy Dunlop.

It would be fair to say mysteries have a habit of growing around Rosemary Boxer (Kendal, The Good Life) and Laura Thyme (Ferris, The Darling Buds of May).

Rosemary has a vast knowledge of plants and is a tutor at a university of horticulture until she is fired. Thyme is an ex-policewoman at a crossroads in her life since her marriage ended and is forced to leave her home and beloved garden.

Following a chance meeting, these two gardening enthusiasts put their green fingers to good use solving crime. While they plan to use their expertise for major gardening projects, right from the start it seems that suspicious deaths and strange goings-on have a habit of following them around.

This six-disc special collection set (with special featurettes) contains all three series and takes us travelling from the gardens of England to the Italian Riviera, the south of France and Spain.

In the first episode of Series 1 titled ‘And No Birds Sing’, expert botanist Rosemary Boxer is hired by an old friend to investigate why trees in the grounds of their home are becoming diseased. While at the hotel where she is staying, Rosemary befriends Laura Thyme, a former police officer who is staying at the hotel, after leaving her home on learning her husband abandoned her for a younger woman. Seeking to forget her husband, Laura willingly agrees to help Rosemary solve her botany problem, but plants soon are the least of their concern when a murder occurs.

In episode three ‘The Language of Flowers’, the two gardeners find themselves travelling to a mansion-turned-health-spa, when a member of the Caldecott family is murdered. They suspect the motive has family ties to it.

A Series 2 episode ‘Orpheus in the Undergrowth’ sees Laura and Rosemary being called on by an old friend to help create a memorial garden in Notting Hill, based around the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice. A recovering alcoholic dies in mysterious circumstances.

‘Agua Cadaver’ is one episode in Series 3 that takes Rosemary and Laura to the hills of southern Spain. A noted scholar of Spanish Islamic history has invited them so they can help to restore an old Moorish garden inspired by the Alhambra. However, events take a turn when they come across the body of a young woman in the hills, who has been pushed to her death.

An engaging collection that sees the two sleuths plant the seeds for a brighter future that leads to murder most foul. They certainly have a talent for investigation!

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