In Victorian England, Sally Lockhart receives an anonymous note sending her on a mysterious quest. Her father has recently died and feeling suffocated living with her elderly aunt moves in ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
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Mrs. Rees
Kay Lyon ...
Ellen
Robert Putt ...
Porter
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Mr. Higgs
...
Samuel Selby
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Major Marchbanks
Tilly Vosburgh ...
Mrs. Thorpe
Chloe Walker ...
Adelaide
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Mrs. Holland
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Maharajah
Matthew Cureton ...
Young Marchbanks
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Storyline

In Victorian England, Sally Lockhart receives an anonymous note sending her on a mysterious quest. Her father has recently died and feeling suffocated living with her elderly aunt moves in with newfound friends, a photographer and his sister. She is soon made aware that the mysterious Mrs. Holland is out to kill her. In the end, she realizes the solution to the mystery is rooted in events that occurred long ago when she lived with her father in India and a recurring dream she has had ever since. Written by garykmcd

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based on novel | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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4 February 2007 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Quotes

[Mr Berry has just stolen the clue to the treasure from Sally]
Mrs. Holland: Oooh, Mr Berry. This calls for a celebration. There's gin in the cupboard.
Mr Berry: I signed the Pledge in Dartmoor, Mrs Holland. Alcohol is the cause of madness, hallucinations, softness of the brain and moral decay.
Mrs. Holland: I think the damage is already done in your case.
Mr Berry: Yeah, I was *formerly* very wicked - but I intend to lead a good life from now on.
Mrs. Holland: Always excepting the odd murder or two.
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Connections

Followed by The Ruby in the Smoke (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

A bit disappointing
27 December 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I haven't read "The Ruby in the Smoke" which probably explains my reaction to this film. Anyway, for the other uninitiated amongst you, this is the basic plot - young Sally Lockhart (Billie Piper) is living with her aunt after her father's ship sank. It turns out there is more to this death than it seems, as Sally receives a cryptic note, eventually leading her to a man named Marchbanks who gives her a notebook and tells her she has an enemy called Mrs Holland (Julie Walters, at her villainous best). This leads Sally through a maze of clues and memories, finding out the fate of her father and the truth of her own origins, and the truth of the elusive eponymous ruby.

I feel this would have done very well as a television series, but as a film it merely felt rushed. The characters introduced promised to be interesting, but weren't really properly developed, and I had trouble keeping up with all the twists in the plot, which were rushed by in seconds. Sally seemed like a fascinating character, but her character development was left to a few scenes of her standing up to her aunt and demonstrating her ability for dealing with figures. This left the film feeling somewhat sterile - more of a puzzle than a story.


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