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Lovejoy: Series 5

Score: 85%
Rating: Not Rated
Publisher: Acorn Media
Region: 1
Media: DVD/4
Running Time: 777 Mins.
Genre: TV Series/Drama/Comedy
Audio: English
Subtitles: English SDH

Lovejoy: Series 5 actually shakes things quite a bit in this show's second-to-last season. Sure, there is the normal selection of antique conning and deviousness that makes Lovejoy what it is, but before the season even gets some momentum, two of its main characters will leave the show and others will fill their shoes.

At first, everything seems fine, but before the second episode is up, Lovejoy (Ian McShane) learns that Alexander Felsham (Pavel Douglas) is back in town. Lovejoy is worried that Alexander is there to woo Lady Jane (Phyllis Logan) and repair their relationship, but it's actually worse than that. Alexander tells Jane that he has lost all of their money and she is forced to sell Felsham Hall and leave. While Lovejoy and Jane have been building up to a relationship for years, the previous season seemed to find that seed finally taking root. Now, with that prospect removed, a new love interest appears.

Charlotte Cavendish (Caroline Langrishe) has just moved into the area to take over her father's auction hall, and Lovejoy's first run-in with her involves the fact that she is auctioning Felsham Hall, a place Lovejoy has temporarily converted into his business' showroom. It seems each season of this show starts with Lovejoy having to find a new place to live and/or set up his business, and since he had a place on Lady Jane's land at the end of last season, naturally this dilemma would happen again. Thankfully, this issue is quickly handled when Charlie Gimbert (Malcolm Tierney) ends up being the new owner of the stately manor and agrees to continue to let Lovejoy run his business in one of the buildings near the main house. Of course, with Charlie once again Lovejoy's landlord (something we haven't seen since Series 1), you can expect a few running themes of Lovejoy not paying his rent again.

Another new face joins Lovejoy, Tinker (Dudley Sutton) and Eric (Chris Jury) at Lovejoy Antiques. Beth (Diane Parish) is a local university student who wants to work for Lovejoy in order to earn some credits. Lovejoy agrees to pick her up for the free labor and everyone soon realizes that she has a knack for the business. Well, it soon becomes apparent that young Beth is there to replace Eric as he also leaves the show to help run his uncle's pub.

Both Eric and Lady Jane have been staples in the show from the start, but the new blood seems to change the dynamics just enough to keep things from getting stale. Beth seems to show a budding talent at "reproducing" old art and documents, while Lovejoy and Charlotte's relationship moves quite a bit faster than with Lady Jane.

As for the adventures that await Lovejoy Antiques this season, the group will have to deal with everything from warring Chinese secret societies to a cop who is convinced Lovejoy is smuggling and altering antique furniture, even to hunting down an old Celtic cross and trying to uncover its history while traveling around Wales. This season has Lovejoy trying to sell a pair of geese statues, as well as clear an old friend of a crime he didn't commit, but as always, the season ends with Lovejoy taking a trip across the world, this time, to North Carolina.

In the season's last episode, an American woman with the last name of Lovejoy shows up at a local auction. Her goal is to buy early American antiques, and when some items that are tied to The Lost Colony on Roanoke Island end up being stolen, Lovejoy suspects his possible long-distance cousin. The trip takes him to the States where he learns that she is part of a rich family who is fascinated with Roanoke and the mystery that surrounds it. Oddly enough though, none of the stolen pieces appear to be at the museum that the American Lovejoy family is opening.

Like the past season releases, Lovejoy: Series 5 doesn't come with any special features. Of course, given that this particular set of episodes dates back to 1993, the idea of keeping anything for extras is understandable, but it would have been nice to see a retrospective or some interviews with the cast as they talked about the season, especially given the number of changes that took place in this set in particular.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Related Links:

DVD Movies A Place to Call Home: Season 1 DVD Movies Case Histories: Complete Collection

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated