Northern Lights Collection

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"A classic comic pairing"—London Evening Standard (UK)

Boyhood rivals now grown up, Colin (Robson Green, Reckless) and Howie (Mark Benton, Career Girls) are still competing: over jobs, cars, even Christmas decorations. They’re so bent on besting each other that they jeopardize everyone around them, especially their long-suffering wives. Seen on BBC America, this set includes four stories of loyalty and betrayal, small-minded rivalry and big-hearted love. "Warm and witty"—Guardian (UK). 12 episodes and 2 movies, 12 hrs, 4 DVDs, SDH.


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Disc 1
Christmas Lights
Colin and Howard seem inseparable. Married to a pair of sisters, they not only work as drivers for the same delivery company, they also live next door to each other. Life gets more complicated after Howie wins a promotion and is soon confronted with a tough dilemma over staff cutbacks. Meanwhile, Colin finds a seasonal opportunity to outshine his old pal.

 
Northern Lights
Episode 1
Things start to go wrong at the company’s annual dinner dance when Colin and Jackie are seated with friends, but Howard and Pauline have to sit at the management table. Matters get worse when Colin hits the dance floor with the wife of the new regional manager.

 
Episode 2
The two friends talk about starting a new company together—until Howard gets an offer to return to his old job. As Howie gets back behind the wheel of his company car, Colin finds a gig driving a taxi. Despite hurt feelings all around, both find they need each other more than ever.

 
Episode 3
Colin and Howie attend their high school reunion, triggering an old animosity for one, and an old romance for the other. When Colin learns that Howie is continuing to see his childhood sweetheart, he feels torn between loyalty to his friend and doing the right thing by Pauline.

 
 
Disc 2
Northern Lights
Episode 4
Colin decides it’s time for him to get a promotion, too. He takes charge of the company’s soccer team to prove to his bosses that he has the necessary leadership potential and decision-making capabilities. Howie backs him, only to find out just how ruthless his friend can be.

 
Episode 5
The death of his estranged father creates tension between Colin and his brother and sister. When his father-in-law also suffers a major heart attack, he is forced to rethink what family really means to him.


 
Episode 6
When Howie and Pauline decide to move to the country, Colin does his best to sabotage their plans. First, though, the two families take a short fishing trip together. Howie soon discovers that the countryside isn’t as relaxing as he had expected, especially when he and Colin have a near-death experience.

 
 
Disc 3
City Lights
Episode 1
The two friends are innocent bystanders in a pub during a gangland killing. Thanks to Colin, their faces are quickly on the front page of the local newspaper, where they are identified as the key witnesses to the crime—a very interesting fact to the killers, who are soon in hot pursuit.

 
Episode 2
Both families go into the witness protection program, cut all ties with their past lives, and take on new identities. But Jackie finds part of Colin’s old identity so disturbing that it makes her question whether she can ever really trust her husband again.


Episode 3
Holed up together in a London safe house, tensions rise between the two families. Colin and Howie find an outlet when they secure part-time jobs. However, Pauline’s need for a distraction puts everyone in danger.



Episode 4
Howard and Pauline continue to drift apart as she looks for love and comfort elsewhere. Desperate to get her back, Howie agrees to follow Colin’s advice. Meanwhile, the gunmen searching for the two families finally make a breakthrough.


 
Disc 4
City Lights
Episode 5
Howard is convinced that Pauline is having an affair, but Colin tries to assure him it’s all in his imagination. Eventually, the two friends track her down to a local hotel. Unfortunately, they’re not the only ones who have been staking out the establishment.

 
Episode 6
Handcuffed and locked in a filthy trailer, Colin and Howie finally come face to face with their pursuers. Back at the safe house, Pauline refuses to tell the police who she has been in contact with, setting off a conflict with her sister more intense than anything between their husbands, who are now in mortal danger.

 
Clash of the Santas
Separated from his wife, Howard volunteers as a stand-in Santa at the shopping mall—and ends up getting invited to represent England at an international Santa competition in Lithuania. He gets to take an elf with him, and Colin agrees to fill the role. Accustomed to playing Santa at the school Christmas fair, Colin is determined to be more than just an elf. His usual desire to outdo Howie ultimately leads him into the dark side of the competition.
"A classic comic pairing"—London Evening Standard (UK)

 
"Warm and witty comedy drama"—The Guardian (UK)

 
"Family entertainment at its best"—The Sunday Times (UK)
<b>For <em>Christmas Lights:</em></b><br><br>
British Comedy Award Nomination for Best TV Comedy Drama (2005)

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Disc 1
Christmas Lights
Colin and Howard seem inseparable. Married to a pair of sisters, they not only work as drivers for the same delivery company, they also live next door to each other. Life gets more complicated after Howie wins a promotion and is soon confronted with a tough dilemma over staff cutbacks. Meanwhile, Colin finds a seasonal opportunity to outshine his old pal.

 
Northern Lights
Episode 1
Things start to go wrong at the company’s annual dinner dance when Colin and Jackie are seated with friends, but Howard and Pauline have to sit at the management table. Matters get worse when Colin hits the dance floor with the wife of the new regional manager.

 
Episode 2
The two friends talk about starting a new company together—until Howard gets an offer to return to his old job. As Howie gets back behind the wheel of his company car, Colin finds a gig driving a taxi. Despite hurt feelings all around, both find they need each other more than ever.

 
Episode 3
Colin and Howie attend their high school reunion, triggering an old animosity for one, and an old romance for the other. When Colin learns that Howie is continuing to see his childhood sweetheart, he feels torn between loyalty to his friend and doing the right thing by Pauline.

 
 
Disc 2
Northern Lights
Episode 4
Colin decides it’s time for him to get a promotion, too. He takes charge of the company’s soccer team to prove to his bosses that he has the necessary leadership potential and decision-making capabilities. Howie backs him, only to find out just how ruthless his friend can be.

 
Episode 5
The death of his estranged father creates tension between Colin and his brother and sister. When his father-in-law also suffers a major heart attack, he is forced to rethink what family really means to him.


 
Episode 6
When Howie and Pauline decide to move to the country, Colin does his best to sabotage their plans. First, though, the two families take a short fishing trip together. Howie soon discovers that the countryside isn’t as relaxing as he had expected, especially when he and Colin have a near-death experience.

 
 
Disc 3
City Lights
Episode 1
The two friends are innocent bystanders in a pub during a gangland killing. Thanks to Colin, their faces are quickly on the front page of the local newspaper, where they are identified as the key witnesses to the crime—a very interesting fact to the killers, who are soon in hot pursuit.

 
Episode 2
Both families go into the witness protection program, cut all ties with their past lives, and take on new identities. But Jackie finds part of Colin’s old identity so disturbing that it makes her question whether she can ever really trust her husband again.


Episode 3
Holed up together in a London safe house, tensions rise between the two families. Colin and Howie find an outlet when they secure part-time jobs. However, Pauline’s need for a distraction puts everyone in danger.



Episode 4
Howard and Pauline continue to drift apart as she looks for love and comfort elsewhere. Desperate to get her back, Howie agrees to follow Colin’s advice. Meanwhile, the gunmen searching for the two families finally make a breakthrough.


 
Disc 4
City Lights
Episode 5
Howard is convinced that Pauline is having an affair, but Colin tries to assure him it’s all in his imagination. Eventually, the two friends track her down to a local hotel. Unfortunately, they’re not the only ones who have been staking out the establishment.

 
Episode 6
Handcuffed and locked in a filthy trailer, Colin and Howie finally come face to face with their pursuers. Back at the safe house, Pauline refuses to tell the police who she has been in contact with, setting off a conflict with her sister more intense than anything between their husbands, who are now in mortal danger.

 
Clash of the Santas
Separated from his wife, Howard volunteers as a stand-in Santa at the shopping mall—and ends up getting invited to represent England at an international Santa competition in Lithuania. He gets to take an elf with him, and Colin agrees to fill the role. Accustomed to playing Santa at the school Christmas fair, Colin is determined to be more than just an elf. His usual desire to outdo Howie ultimately leads him into the dark side of the competition.
  • Behind the scenes of Northern Lights
Packaging:Boxed set
Run Time:713 minutes plus bonus programming
Format:Widescreen
Number of discs:4
Language:English
Subtitles:No
Color or B&W:Color
 
CC:No
SDH:Yes
Region Code:1
 
Aspect Ratio:16:9
Rating:NR. Contains partial nudity.
"A classic comic pairing"—London Evening Standard(UK)

 
"Warm and witty comedy drama"—The Guardian(UK)

 
"Family entertainment at its best"—The Sunday Times(UK)
For Christmas Lights:

British Comedy Award Nomination for Best TV Comedy Drama (2005)

Hang on!

4 Stars

Joel Gordon from WI on 12/13/2013 10:21:00 AM wrote:

Robson Greene and Mark Benton are well-cast as lifelong mates, wholly into their characters as Colin and Howard. The family fun plots with quirky twists in disc 1 bring smiles and a tear, resplendent with the cultural mores of northern England's family life. Then, disc 2 takes a plunge into a bath of bathos with a pseudo-serious plot structure which makes our heroes eye witnesses to a mob killing with a price on their heads. Witness protection program, move to Shepherds Bush, Howard's wife strays, and while the actors strive with weak material, it feels like fish outta water. All in all, a fine deal and enjoyed the viewing very much. Oops! Haven't watched discs 3 and 4 yet, to be fair. Cheers, Joel