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Hope Springs (DVD Review)

29 May, 2010 By: John Latchem

Street 6/1/10
$49.99 three-DVD set
Not rated.
Stars Alex Kingston, Annette Crosbie, Sian Reeves, Christine Bottomley, Paul Higgins, Vinette Robinson, Ronni Ancona, Alec Newman.

The 2009 BBC series “Hope Springs” offers a decent ensemble piece that oscillates between black comedy and serious crime caper.

The show stars Alex Kingston, best known in America as Dr. Elizabeth Corday for seven seasons on the hit medical drama “ER.” She has also made a splash in the past few years as River Song, an enigmatic potential love interest for the title character of “Doctor Who.”

“Hope Springs” is typical fish-out-of-water fare, involving a quartet of female ex-cons who get out of prison and plan one final heist before escaping to Barbados. Their plan hits a snag, however, when their overweight accomplice has a heart attack at the airport before she can give them their fake passports. Their quickly improvised back-up plan involves taking a train to Scotland, where they wind up in a run-down hotel in a village called Hope Springs. Their leader, Ellie (Kingston), decides to use some of their loot to buy the hotel, establish themselves as legitimate and get new passports with which to flee the country.

Two forces are working against them. One is her husband and his criminal buddies back home, from whom Ellie stole the money, and needless to say they want payback. The other is intrigue in the town itself, which is embroiled in a murder case related to a larger scheme that involves the hotel.

The DVD set includes all eight episodes of the series, which was canceled after its first season. The only extra is a text-based biography of Kingston.

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