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School teacher Chris Bevan is a dutiful husband to his dull wife, Josie, and ingrate daughters. His best friend knows Chris' heart always belonged to Marian, his vibrant, flippant fiancée, who mysteriously disappeared years ago. Suddenly he sees her in a shop and can't help following her. He gives up as she has a new identity, as wife of plumber Bernie Sullivan. Bernie's real passion is Houdini-era 'real' magic, while in fact she's his terrified captive, forced to replace his late assistant. Furthermore one of Bevan's daughters has a phone-relationship he forbids, deeming it dangerous on principle, ignoring this is real and ties in to Marian's plight. Written by
For some reason the cast list here on IMDb shows only a secondary portion of the cast.
Stephen Tompkinson stars as the nervy teacher with a vulnerable family and a mysterious missing woman in his past. As is usual with Tompkinson his performance seems wooden and simplistic at the start but before too long you begin to empathise with his predicament and by the second half the strength of his performance comes out.
Owen Teale is the villain of the piece. Can't say too much without spoiling but a truly creepy performance.
Kelly Harrison plays the Marian of the title. An excellent performance showing her as a vibrant young teenager in flashback and an automaton under the control of Teale in the present time. All her body language conveys the anguish of captivity so well.
Samantha Beckinsale (still ever reminiscent of her father the late Richard Beckinsale - so much more so than sister Kate) is standard fare as Tompkinson's wife but does a sound job at showing an increasing unease at the revelations emerging.
Special mention must be made of the young actress who played daughter Olivia who had to show both as a normal 13 year old and some rather unusual goings on later.
All in all a very tense piece. So many of these ITV 2-part, 3-hour TV Drama Marathons leave you waiting for the end. In this one the 3 hours passes quickly and it's well worth catching up on if you can.
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