Stephen Walby, a quiet and introspective young man, has spent his entire life exploring the local moor and writes articles on its ecology for a provincial newspaper. His primary source of income is as a furniture restorer where he works with his embittered father. Stephen's mother deserted both of them many years before, and the trauma of that experience stills haunts him as an adult. After meeting and conversing with a beautiful blonde artist working on the moors, he subsequently discovers her brutally murdered body. When Detective Inspector Mandible investigates, Walby becomes the D.I.'s prime suspect - especially when he discovers that Stephen's four year marriage has never been consummated. Written by
This TV adaptation, airing around the same time as Rendell's Wexford tales, was extremely strange and atmospheric, centring on the murder of a number of blonde women on the wild moors.
Colin Firth - pre-Darcy fame - is Stephen Whalby, a loner who often takes long walks on the moor. His wife, Lyn (Emma Croft) is long-suffering and something of a doormat. When the murders start to happen Stephen is the one who finds the bodies. Quickly the police (led by Manciple, George Costigan) start to regard him as a suspect, but can Whalby convince them of the truth? With twists and turns you might not see coming, this was a superior piece of TV drama. It kept up the tension throughout its 2 or 3 episodes, and kept the viewer guessing. Colin Firth in particular was in fine form in this drama and I hope it appears on DVD soon.
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