In the year of our lord 1974, 1980 & 1984.
Apparently released in the UK as a television series and then in the US as three separate movies that played in limited release. Which was part of the reason why I never got around to checking this out. Typcially if there's something I'm interested in, I make a point to get on it but with only one week to check out three separate one and a half hour films and 10bucks a pop, it just wasn't going to happen. But with a weekend to lay low and On Demand things seemed to line up and I'm glad they did.
For starters I'll try not to give away too many plot lines but the story revolves around pedophillia, murder, police corruption and told from the viewpoint of a different character in each of the films. 1974 by a young naive journalist Edward Dunford, who pursues the possibility of a link between the latest child victim found with swan wings stitched to her back and the disappearance and murder of children in previous years. 1980 follows a detective brought in to solve a different set of murders a few years after but with connections to 1974 (he originally worked on the investigation into the massacre that occured at the end of 1974). 1983 follows a morally challenged detective that is implicated in the corruption of the first two films and a Solicitor brought in to help a mentally challenged man that had been locked up for the murders of the young girls with an appeal. This last film deals more with the corruption and confirmation of the discoveries made in 1974 & 1980, with the detective trying to right his wrongs and the solicitor uncovering more of the corruption involved with the framing of his client. While the serial murders are an important part of this series, it isn't exactly what the movie is about nor do the movies get bogged down in CSI like themes. The murders more or less lead the main characters in 1974 & 1980 to uncover the dirt and filth laid down in this dreary english town by those that were in place to protect it. The law, the priest, the land developer
Each movie was filmed in a different format by different directors and with different style, yet somehow comes across as one consistent piece of work.
While you don't need to see the prior movie to enjoy the others, it would be helpful as it adds a different element to the viewing and understanding how each character is in so far over their heads and that all the digging they're doing is basically just shifting dirt from their own graves.