After what feels like an age, I finally managed to get my hands on a copy of this inexpressibly rare piece of television at long, long last. Earlier this year, whilst I was off work with a shoulder injury, I find my self trawling the net mostly with an eye to finding anything to do with my favourite author the late Robert Aickman. As most fans will know IMDb only lists the three TV adaptations - The Bells of Hell (non-extant now sadly), The Swords and The Cicerones. But further investigation of the site revealed the title of a television piece called 'The Hospice' directed by one Dominique Othenin-Girard (director also of Halloween 5 and The Omen 4). Of course, with no summary or much beyond a smattering of the cast, it wasn't possible to ascertain if this was indeed an adaptation of the Aickman classic of the same name. But weeks of research elsewhere on the net led me to realise that not only was it such an adaptation but that it was one of four Aickmans adapted for the screen for a nigh-on forgotten anthology series called 'Night Voices'(the others being 'Hand in Glove, The Trains and The Inner Room). Probably its few screenings (one of them on the Carlton Select channel late on in the nineties) were of a graveyard variety which would explain their anonymity as would the generally unfavourable reviews the few people who have seen them have thus given them on various TV forums.
Yet having seen 'The Hospice' I must say that I really rather enjoyed it. True the music was sometimes a little inappropriate and had a slight tendency towards intrusion but other than that it was a more than respectable effort with decent acting throughout ( particularly Shepherd and Dobie) and a real faithfulness to the original story that made it work with a real amount of what I would call 'weird vigour'. All in all then a real find. Now if I can only find the other three........
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