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The mysterious murder of an environmental activist leads her straight-laced father, an Inspector of the local police force, through a haunting revelation of the murkiness of the British Nuclear Policy of the eighties. Written by
Bryn Coope <email@example.com>
UK TV Drama has never again scaled the heights set by Edge of Darkness and Dennis Potter's "The Singing Detective" in the mid-1980s. Those two series have narratives, dialogue, style and acting that few filmmakers can match.
Troy Kennedy Martin came up with a complex, magnificent script, that balanced the bleak with the entertaining. All of the major characters come across as believable, and often enigmatic.
The plot evolves ingeniously from being a local murder case to a universal ecological parable throughout the 6 episodes. It defies categorisation, combining lyricism with tense action sequences. The "Northmoor" episode is as tense an hour of TV as there's ever been. Joe Don Baker gives a virtuoso performance as the truly larger-than-life maverick CIA agent, Darius Jedburgh whose motives are ambiguous to say the least. Charles Kay and Ian McNeice are wonderfully entertaining as Pendelton and Harcourt. Even Tim McInnerny's character with just a few minutes screen time is superbly written and played. It is, however, Bob Peck who should receive the most acclaim for what is to my mind one of the most complex, emotional and well-judged performances ever as Yorkshire policeman, Ronnie Craven. Craven gets caught up in a sinister and fascinating chain of events involving the death of his environmentalist daughter, played very well by Joanne Whalley-Kilmer. Bob Peck's early death was saddening- he deserved another role of this magnitude. Other factors that add to the genius of EoD are the atmospheric Eric Clapton/Michael Kamen score, the gritty direction, photography and the sheer attention to detail in every department.
It's truly a shame that few people today working on TV drama are willing at least to try to experiment and create television as artistic and exciting as "Edge of Darkness." It should go without saying that anyone who's not seen it should buy the video- you won't regret it. Rating:- ****** (out of *****)
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