A series of six effective and concise chillers commissioned by ATV from producer Nicholas Palmer and writer Nigel Kneale - who had just left as a staff writer for the BBC - transmitted on ... See full summary »
A poor boy of unknown origins is rescued from poverty and taken in by the Earnshaw family where he develops an intense relationship with his young foster sister, Cathy. Based on the classic novel by Emily Bronte.
This adaptation was clearly produced for BBC television on an absolute shoestring, with no outdoors shots at all; judging by the number of horses that are heard arriving just off-screen, it must have been quite a stretch for the budget to produce the single shaggy beast that Heathcliff grooms inside the stable! But the production proves, as so often in the BBC's history, that it's talent that counts.
The script, courtesy of the vastly capable Nigel Kneale (the same of "Quatermass" fame), conveys the story effectively and succinctly, despite discarding most of the second half of the book. The actors are more than equal to their parts, in particular the leading couple and Patrick Troughton as a memorable Hindley, and the sound effects department do their level best to evoke a landscape always just off-screen or around the corner. It's powerful stuff: I never cared for Emily Bronte, but I was moved by this.
I believe this broadcast was a one-off repeat of the 1953 "Sunday Night Theatre" adaptation.
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