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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Contains One Memorable Scene

Author: Theo Robertson from Isle Of Bute, Scotland
24 August 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It wouldn`t be obvious at the time but the heroine of QUIET AS A NUN is Jemima Shore a character who had her own series in the the early 1980s and was played by Patricia Hodge ,whilst here Shore is played by Marie Aitken


This ARMCHAIR THRILLER is slightly more memorable than most because of the atmosphere generated that climaxes in a memorable cliffhanger to one of the episodes . Jemima is investigating a catholic run order that has a legend of a nun who was locked into a room in a tower and left to die . Late one night Jemima goes into the tower where the nun supposedly died and sees a nun rocking back and forth in a rocking chair , the nun is aware of Jemima`s presence and turns - The nun has no face . Jemima screams and falls down the tower steps

A very scary cliffhanger . However Jemima Shore isn`t associated with the supernatural genre so anyone expecting ghosts and spirits is going to be very disappointed as it`s revealed in SCOOBY DOO tradition that the nun with no face is entirely human and is involved with a scam with her lover

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A medieval convent is haunted by a spectral Black Nun

Author: Prof-Hieronymos-Grost from Ireland
19 May 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Investigative journalist Jemima Shore (Maria Aitken) has a successful career on TV exposing pertinent social and political issues of the day. She's a busy woman with little time for socialising and as such has no qualms about having an affair with a married politician, the lack of ties suits her lifestyle. She is shocked one morning to read of the tragic death of a former school friend Miriam who had become a nun. Sister Miriam who having gone missing was found dead after having apparently starved herself to death in a locked room in a medieval tower on the grounds of her former convent's estate. Soon after she is given the opportunity to investigate at the convent at the behest of Mother Ancilla, who informs her of the details of her deceased friends case. Jemima is surprised to hear that her friend Sr Miriam was in fact a wealthy heiress, with not only a huge property and land portfolio in the centre of London but that she also owned the convents grounds. Mother Ancilla invites her to stay a little longer to reacquaint herself with her old school and some old friends there. She agrees and immediately she befriends a small group of schoolgirls whom it would seem were close friends with Sr Miriam. One very nervous asthmatic nun, Sr Edward, tells Jemima that she believes Sr Miriam was murdered by Mother Ancilla, but before she can tell the whole story she herself dies in suspicious circumstances, although the protective nuns tell her it was natural causes. The schoolgirls tell Jemima that the death of a nun is always preceded by a vision of The Black Nun, a faceless spectre that haunts the darkened corridors of the medieval convent. Sure enough she was seen on both occasions, Jemima investigates further but seems to be blocked by the nuns who aren't as open as she would like. There is also a rumour that Sr Miriam changed her will before her death, leaving it to property tycoon Alexander Sharbeck, if that is the case the grounds could be sold and the convent would be no more, a good reason for her untimely death perhaps? Quiet as a Nun is perhaps the best known entry in the Armchair Thriller series than ran from 1967-1980. This particular tale ran for six 30 minute episodes, in fact this was so successful, that it spawned its own TV series Jemima Shore Investigates(1983) with Patricia Hodge replacing Maria Aitken in the title role. The striking setting of a medieval convent has probably a lot to do with its popularity, for the dimly lit chapels, crypts and corridors along with candlelit religious statues really do add some nice atmosphere. The overall pacing is rather slow, as with most TV plays of the day and perhaps too much exposition is given to mundane matters instead of the concentrating on the real meat of the story, the murders? the missing will and the Black Nun. My overall feeling is that it missed some fine opportunities to make a really great production, there are just too many moments of silly conspiracy theories, characters are made more suspicious than they need to be with the result that you don't trust anyone, even with all the tragic events occurring there, we never see any police involvement, not even when one girl who knows the whereabouts of the missing will goes missing, presumably kidnapped my the mysterious killer or the Black Nun. There doesn't seem to be any hurry to find her either, we are lead to believe there might be a hidden underground passageway that leads from the crypts under the convent to the old tower where Sr Miriam died and that this is where the girl might be, but instead of going right away in daylight, they fall for the old horror cliché of waiting for nightfall, admittedly though this ploy makes sense for the production. The cast is decent David Burke of Dr Watson fame plays the adulteress politician rather well, British horror fans will also recognize James Laurenson who does a fine job too as the unscrupulous property developer and the demure Aitken also does a fine job. The nuns are a mixed bag acting wise. Perhaps the most memorable thing about the series as a whole is the striking credits where a creepy shadow of a man makes his way towards a large chair all to the very atmospheric theme tune written by Roxy Music's Andy Mackay. I watched this on its initial run and loved it, this time around it didn't make that much of an impact. The ending may surprise some, I found it a bit Scooby Dooish, overall though its not a bad nights viewing, although the 3 hour running time along with its slow pace will turn many off.

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The pick of the Armchair serials.

Author: Paul Evans from Swansea, United Kingdom
3 September 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Having watched the Armchair serials from start to finish, they're pretty good on the whole, there's the awful Circe Complex, which looks cheap and nasty, and at the other end of the scale there's this one, Quiet as a Nun.

The novel is a somewhat overlooked treasure, penned by Antonia Fraser. It was a very well made drama, Maria Aitken does a good job in the leading role, adding an English haughtiness to the character. The true star quality comes from Renée Asherson and Brenda Bruce, both are utterly charming in their respective roles. Susan Engel is utterly resplendent as Sister Agnes, so cool and sinister.

It's very watchable the whole way through, but without a doubt the best bit is the cliffhanger which rounds off Episode three, I can remember the first time I watched it, it actually gave me a nightmare! It was a superb, terrifying cliffhanger, an out and out triumph.

I've scored it an 9, which some may say is a little high, but I feel there is a definite quality running through this, and that cliffhanger!! The stuff of nightmares, 9/10

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6 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

The grandaddy of childhood fear

Author: philkessell from Somewhere in England
14 October 2005

One of those odd moments in time where it's just as scary later. It's old fear, folks. Many years ago they used to have Public Information Films on TV. This concept will mean nothing to anyone born after 1975, but to those of us unfortunate enough to have been lucid enough to understand what was going on in the mid 70s, everyone will remember their personal er, 'favourite'. Mine is my business.

The point is this - it's old fear. If you watch them with a clean slate, you wouldn't be affected. You'd laugh them off. This, however, you wouldn't. The sister of that Tory knob who masterfully pronounced Kevin Kline's fully made up name in 'A Fish Called Wanda' comes upstairs and....well you know the deal don't you? You watch it in 1978. You watch it in 2004. The reaction is the same, regardless of if you've seen it before. As an exercise, I tried it on someone younger. They were affected just the same way. Oh yes.

If you are are genuinely interested and have an inquiring mind, look it up...if you dare.

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