Powerful British Crime Drama: Without Motive on DVD
Chances are excellent that until you get through the ninth episode of Without Motive, you’ll not have guessed who the serial killer is (there are 12 episodes). This new DVD release from Acorn Media includes the complete first and second series of Without Motive, a program that follows the devastation a serial killer leaves in his path. It is not only the murder victims who represent devastation—there is also the effect following a case for two years has on police department personnel, their families, and the public.
Seldom is seen a story about a police investigation that is so heavy with errors and politics, except when the point of the story is to denigrate the police. However, Without Motive does not vilify the police department when errors are made; instead it emphasizes the pressures presented by an extremely frustrating case, and presents its cast of characters as flawed human beings. Politics, prejudices, and presumptions all contribute to weaknesses in the investigative team. Although a mystery/thriller, Without Motive is more a character study, or an anthology of character studies.
Series 1 of this intense police procedural follows the investigation of the sadistic murders of women in England and Wales, ending when the killer is convicted. Series 2 picks up with a copycat who is using the details of the convicted killer’s crimes to spread his own terror—this time going after victims who were close to the investigative team. Are these killings revenge for the conviction? Viewers might expect that Series 2 would be a pale imitation of Series 1, but Series 2 is actually stronger. Taken together, the two series that comprise Without Motive are a tense, forceful saga that witnesses the murder of women, the destruction of families, and the humiliation of police officers. Gripping, gritty, and absolutely absorbing, Without Motive is a merciless production with no happy endings. It is so compelling, viewers will find themselves racing through Without Motive, and—when not watching it—thinking an awful lot about it.
Without Motive was released as a four-DVD slipcased set on October 11, 2011. Viewers are advised that it contains graphic violence and strong language.