Nowadays, many would find this mini-series overly talky, even for a TV drama. For example, in a scene of part one, actor Frank Middlemas grouses and weeps in self-pity for ten whole minutes! However, the sequence is straight out of chapter two of the novel, with most of the dialog included, and all in all, the whole mini-series is a very faithful adaptation. Yes, it may be talky, but the talk is good; few novelists were more philosophically ruminative than Dostoyevsky...
Some of the casting is first-rate. The other versions I've seen portray Raskolnikov as a somewhat demonic though poetical intellect--completely overlooking that, although a murderer, he can be often sensitive, sentimental, and even generous. John Hurt believably portrays all these qualities and he's a exemplary Raskolnikov, even if he is a little too old for the part. Timothy West is a brilliant Porfiry and his three scenes with John Hurt are model examples of nuanced and subtle acting and interacting.
This is a production for those who either love the book, or who want to love it.
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