DVD Review: The Syndicate: All Or Nothing



Every so often you hear a story about a group of co-workers or relatives that all chipped together to buy a bunch of lottery tickets when the pot resembles the cost of an NFL franchise. They’re all smiles as they all cling around the monster check wanting everyone know that they’re going to live their dreams after they split up the cash and quit their jobs. But what if the group didn’t want to leave their workplace, but were eager to swap roles? The Syndicate: All Or Nothing is the third installment of the BBC One series about what happens when a group of people pick the lucky number. This time the winners are found in the countryside.

Hazelwood Manor has seen better days. The English estate is in a serious need of help as the cash flow has dried up. Lord Hazelwood (Brideshead Revisted‘s Anthony Andrews) and Lady Hazelwood (Chariots of Fire‘s Alice Krige) are in a deep financial hole. They owe over six million Pounds. They end up considering the most horrible of fates, allowing Americans to turn their family estate into a golf course and resort. The staff likes working for Lord, but can’t stand the Lady. They have dreams of winning the lottery with groundskeeper Godfrey Watson (Lenny Henry) as the guy in charge of figuring out the hot numbers. He has an issue understanding the emotions of people around him. He’s mostly focused on things such as making sure he sets up the right combinations. On the night of an elaborate dinner party for the Americans to help seal the deal, the staff hits the big numbers. They are now more liquid than their elite bosses. This turns into a comical turn of events that quickly gets serious when the daughter of one of the maids vanishes after a fight with her boyfriend. D.I. Baker (Enchanted April‘s Polly Walker) arrives to investigate the disappearance as it appears this is more than her running off in a huff. At the same time, the members of the syndicate decided to keep their money together and enter into a partnership with Lord Hazelwood to co-own the manor. Although they quickly learn as partners that everything they cleaned around the house was authentic. Plus there’s family members that want the golf course deal to happen. Between the missing girl, the deal to buy the estate and other issues, this syndicate might fall apart in an ugly way.

The Syndicate: All Or Nothing is the perfect show for fans of Downton Abbey and Midsomer Murders. You get to hang out on a classic English estate and see the little details of life inside such a vast place. We see how things work in a contemporary house owned by the titled class. Yet there’s that harsh reality of what do you do when you don’t have a good revenue source. The Lord is in bad health so he can’t do more than enjoy the view. Like Midsomer Murders, there’s a chance of a homicide in at the estate. Casting also makes this six episode series move swiftly. Anthony Andrews has a role that bookends nicely with his time at Brideshead Revisited. Lenny Henry hits the right notes as Godfrey with an oblivious nature to what’s really going on in the room. Krige is brilliantly bitter as she doesn’t want the help becoming her landlords. For those who love their English estate drama, The Syndicate: All Or Nothing is as addictive as playing the lottery.

The videos is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The transfer brings out the details of the estate that needs a restorative facelift. The audio is Dolby Digital stereo. You get to hear the sounds of the house. The episodes are subtitled.

No bonus features.

Acorn Media presents The Syndicate: All Or Nothing. Starring: Lenny Henry, Alice Krieg & Anothony Andrews. Boxset Contents: 6 episodes on 2 DVDs. Released: November 15, 2016.

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