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The Level

Score: 87%
Rating: Not Rated
Publisher: Acorn Media
Region: A
Media: Blu-ray/2
Running Time: 288 Mins.
Genre: Thriller/Drama/TV Series
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD MA
Subtitles: English SDH

Features:

  • On Set & Behind the Scenes
  • From Page to Screen
  • Where Truth Meets Fiction
  • How They Do Like To Be Beside the Seaside
  • What's Location Catering Like?
  • Why Are Murders and Cop Drama So Popular?

The Level is a thriller starring Karla Crome (Prisoners' Wives) as Nancy Devlin, a cop working for the National Crime Division, a group that focuses on organized crime. Late one night, she gets a call from Frank Le Saux (Philip Glenister), her former best friend's father, hauling company magnate/part-time drug smuggler, and a man she has idolized since her youth, asking her to meet him immediately near the woods. Before he is able to tell her what's happening, Frank is gunned down and Nancy runs for her life, taking a bullet in the process. The thing about Nancy and Frank is this - she's been covering for him with the NCD for years, keeping him off the books and off of their radar - not for money, but simply because he helped her as a child when she didn't want to go home to her abusive household and he is her hero. After all, living with her wife-beating cop father Gil Devlin (Gary, Lewis, Outlander) and her mentally ill mother Teresa (Suzanne Packer) wasn't a piece of cake.

Now Nancy is getting threatening texts on the burner phone she used with Frank, so the killer is looking for his missing witness, and all the while Nancy must deal with her gunshot wound while not revealing it to anyone. What else could go wrong? Oh yeah, the NCD could get called in to investigate Frank's murder and since he was from her hometown of Brighton, she could get assigned to the case. Nancy gets paired with a brooding, handsome cop named Shaun "Gunner" Martin (Noel Clarke, Chasing Shadows), but they don't trust each other and, to make matters worse, her partner at the NCD, Kevin O'Dowd (Robert James-Collier) soon joins the team to help. When some key evidence goes missing, evidence that could expose Nancy as the missing witness, she begins to believe that there is a mole on the team, but who could it be?

At Le Saux's funeral, Nancy is awkwardly thrust back together with her childhood friend, Hayley Svrcek (Laura Haddock), a woman going through a divorce with two young kids, but more importantly, someone who mistakenly believes that Nancy abandoned her when they were teens and her parents sent her off to rehab. It seems Hayley liked bad boys and rehab was one way to get her away from her thug/druggie boyfriend Shay Nash (Joe Absolom), but apparently also to separate her from Nancy. What's more, Shay Nash is back in the picture and is now a "respectable" businessman bent on winning Hayley back. That can't be good for anyone concerned.

As Nancy and Hayley reconnect, they discover plenty of things that were kept hidden from them all those years, including some pretty earth-shattering revelations that help shed light on the real Frank Le Saux. As Nancy tries desperately to stay one step ahead of the killer, while also trying to solve the case and keep from showing that she's been badly injured, it seems that guilt doesn't lie on the shoulders of just one person. While the series wraps up nicely and the mystery is solved, it opens up a whole new can of worms and definitely leaves the possibility that this series could go on for another season, which would be great.

First off, the case takes the viewer between scenes in London and the scenic beach-side town of Brighton, which is absolutely quaint and lovely and needs to be viewed on Blu-ray. The scenery is lovely and simply pops on high-def. While I'm not sure why the show is called The Level, aside from the fact that absolutely no one involved is "on The Level", it is a solid thriller that will surprise you at many a turn and take some pretty dark twists during its course. There are a handful of special features included, but they are mostly talking about behind-the-scenes matters like location, catering, and screenplay writing. Take them or leave them, but the series stands on its own, for sure.

If you are looking for a British thriller with some nail-biting moments, great acting, and plenty of surprises, check out The Level.



-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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