Ruth Rendell Mysteries: Season 11, Episode 7

The Orchard Walls (31 Dec. 1998)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
7.0
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A bright young teenage girl is 'farmed out' to relatives in the rural West Country during the Battle of Britain and makes many astute observations about life there.

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(adaptation), (novel)
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Title: The Orchard Walls (31 Dec 1998)

The Orchard Walls (31 Dec 1998) on IMDb 7/10

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
Mrs. Thorn
John McGlynn ...
Daniel
...
Jenny
...
Clara
...
Ella
Rupert Procter ...
Tom
Cherith Mellor ...
Mrs. Leithman
...
Dennis
James Bree ...
Vicar
Jon Glover ...
Radio / Pathe News Announcer (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Mother at Station
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Storyline

During World War II a London teenager, Jenny, is sent to spend the summer in the countryside where she will be safe. Staying with relatives she has not seen since she was a young child is initially daunting, but they are basically a kind family and they treat her well. One of her uncles is serving in North Africa and his very pretty wife is clearly unhappy. As events unfold, Jenny learns that she is having an affair. Jenny herself is at a age where romance is important and she develops a crush on a recuperating RAF pilot. As these complex relationships develop, tragedy ensues. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery

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31 December 1998 (UK)  »

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Quotes

Jenny: [Last lines as narrator/protagonist] 'Children should be seen and not heard.' That's what Mrs. Thorn would say.
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Connections

References Gone with the Wind (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

Observed
10 March 2008 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

They threw a lot of elements into this pot:

— A Heidi-like redheaded teenager in the flush of sexual wonder, played by an actress with the florid name of Honeysuckle

— Significant reference to and use of Romeo and Juliet (including the title)

— Ripe Cherries by the bushel, directly conflated with menarche

— An illicit love affair (that doesn't directly involve the girl) in the English country

These mix to make something tolerable that otherwise would be dreadful. The device is overused: the girl is sent to the country because of the war. She is the reporter, presumably writing as an older woman. We see what she witnesses.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


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