For 16 years Miss Bentley has been spending April at an elegant hillside villa on Lake Como. This year, 1937, her London society artist father has recently died and the only other ... See full summary »
London gentleman David spends a day and all his cash to bring his one-night stand a presentation folder at her office in Liverpool, only to be rather rudely ignored a minute later. After a ... See full summary »
In 1915, T.S. (Tom) Eliot and Vivienne Haigh-Wood elope, but her longstanding gynecological and emotional problems disrupt their planned honeymoon. Her father is angry because Tom's poetry ... See full summary »
Former police psychologist Rob helps to save young Chrissy when she is about to commit suicide by jumping of 21st-story balcony with her 4-year-old son Jake. When he persuades her to go on ... See full summary »
While a major in the U.S. Army, Joe Cheever has a fling with his commanding officer's daughter that results in a pregnancy. Cheever convinces the girl to have an illegal abortion. The ... See full summary »
Masquerading as a noirish thriller this is a redemption story Graham Greene would be proud of.
Sandy Welch's concise and poetic script captures London in a blaze of glory enhanced by David Morrissey's masterly direction, the set design, the camerawork, the music and perfect casting.
All in all the most enjoyable program I've seen from the BBC in years.
The characters circle round Patrick Vine (Paul McGann) like moths round a flame, drawn by his chilly charm, his intellect and his uncanny ability to enact the dark revenge fantasies of our basest moments. The script, at first light and funny, darkens as fun turns to murder and in the end it is Patrick who has to change, magically seduced back to life by Ellen, one of his clients, and London itself.
Patrick - flawed, pedantic, selfish, arrogant, dangerous to know, charismatic and charming - is played by Paul McGann in his most subtle and wily manner.
Sophie Okinedo as Ellen is a fantastic foil - like a child's, her great drooping face can turn from tragedy to comedy in a split second.
Susan Lynch does a gorgeous turn as the murderous vamp to end all vamps and Steven Mackintosh as Patrick's friend Sebastian gives a beautifully wry reading to his lines. Pam Ferris as Denise, a revengeful secretary, provides a solid comic foil to Patrick.
If you enjoyed the book Hawksmoor by Peter Akroyd (1987) or Stephen Poliakoff's TV two-parter Shooting the Past (1999) then you'll know what flavour to expect - a combination of wry sumptuousness and appreciation of human folly.
So thank you Catherine Wearing and everyone who worked on it!
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?