Ruth Rendell Mysteries: Season 11, Episode 9

The Fallen Curtain (6 Aug. 1999)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Richard Brazier has a mental block about his abduction as an eight year old and is haunted by what may or may not have happened.



(adaptation), (novel)
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Title: The Fallen Curtain (06 Aug 1999)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Max Brazier ...
Richard (aged 8)
Gregg Prentice ...
Barbara Ewing ...
Jean Clayton
Edna Doré ...
David Daker ...
Stanley Clayton
Clare Matthews ...
WPC Givens
Carl Ferguson ...
PC Murray
Ian Puleston-Davies ...
PC Carter
Martino Lazzeri ...
Laura Sadler ...
Vincent Brimble ...
Peter Harding ...
Inspector Bannister
Philip Croskin ...
The Man
Richard (aged 18)
Tracey Murphy ...
Sally Spense (aged 18)


When Richard was 8 years old, he disappeared for several hours leading to panic at home and a frantic search by the police. When he turns up unhurt everything is fine until he mentions he went for a ride with a man in his car. His mother assumes he was molested, even though there is no physical evidence to corroborate that. By the time he is 18, Richard is haunted by those events, even though he still remembers nothing. When he visits the site where his troubles all began and sees a young boy playing there, he invites the lad to go for a ride in his car. Slowly, he begins to recall the events of that fateful day Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

6 August 1999 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


Young Richard and older Richard are played by real-life brothers Max Brazier and Ben Brazier. See more »


Mrs Parks: [to police about her missing child] I don't know whose fault it is, but it's someone's fault.
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User Reviews

Disturbing and depressing.
15 February 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The story starts out with a boy getting dropped off to visit his grandma but is dropped off a block away because the mother dislikes her mother-in-law (something most people would not do regardless). The boy is told to run directly to grams house but being an 8 year old he detours at the first alley he sees which leads to a field where he can play. We are made to assume that he gets picked up by a pedophile and next thing we know we are in a scene with the police and the parents doing an investigation for the missing boy.

The boy shows up soon thereafter but looks dazed and confused. We are to assume he has been abused but he can't remember anything. Probably blocked it out.

The rest of the show (I wanted to turn it off as it was painful to watch) is him ten years later and he certainly hasn't recovered. He blames himself for the abduction.

Now it gets more disturbing and depressing. He finds what we are to assume is THE car that he was abducted in on a used car lot so he buys it. Then he goes to the lot where he was abducted and finds a boy playing there so he basically starts reenacting his abduction as it starts to come back to him. After some time we find out that the man who abducted him as a child did nothing to him physically (the recollections keep updating); just wanted to have some time playing (a bit disturbing in it's own right). Granted it's a stretch (finding the car and having a boy playing in the same lot etc.) but I almost felt good when the protagonist realizes he was not abused.

Ahhhhhhh but then you realize he's just done the same thing to another innocent lad and this one doesn't block it out. The last scene is the police showing up at the 18 year old's house...he will now get arrested. What a depressing ending. On one hand I was happy to see him okay but yet he didn't realize he was actually abducting a child himself???? Just plain awful...I gave it an 8 because while painful to watch it did make me think.

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