A supernatural drama telling the story of three different families living in the same house in 1968, 1987 and the present day, linked by the spirit of the young daughter of the 1960s family, who drowned in mysterious circumstances.
A young couple move into an apartment only to find the body of a young woman that had been missing for 2 years but never registered as missing which leads to a deeper investigation into what actually happened.
A council man becomes increasingly disillusioned over the years, but a heroic act gets him approval and becomes a front-runner for the mayor-ship of Manchester while trying to keep his own secrets buried.
25 years ago, Jane saw a man killing her mother. Today, she's a well adjusted wife and mother herself. While having a physical, she notices a doctor who looks like the killer and reports him. No one believes her - except one cop.
2012; Nearly a year after their son goes missing, Londoners Gabe and Eve Caleigh and their two daughters move to Crickley Hall. Gabe hopes a few months away from the city, will help his family heal. But it soon becomes apparent, their new home is haunted. 1943; Crickley Hall is an orphanage run by Augustus Cribben and his sister Magda. The orphans live in terror of the Cribbens, especially Augustus whose brutality knows no bounds. Nancy, the children's new tutor, is appalled by the abuse and determined to find a way to save them... Can these dark secrets of the past help the Caleigh's find their son? Written by
Disappointing TV adaptation of the James Herbet novel
THE SECRET OF CRICKLEY HALL is a three-part miniseries made by the BBC and broadcast on BBC1 in November 2012. Sadly, like with other recent literary adaptations (GREAT EXPECTATIONS and THE TURN OF THE SCREW for example), this seems to be a missed opportunity, merely going through the motions rather than trying hard to pass as quality drama.
I'm a fan of James Herbert, although I haven't read the particular novel this adaptation is based upon, so I can't comment on it. However, this miniseries covers very familiar 'haunted house' territory, jutting between modern-day family woes and a story involving an orphanage in WW2-era Britain.
The story fails to work very well because none of the actors seem very convinced in what they're doing. Suranne Jones bags the meatiest role of the grieving mother but I never felt much sympathy for her character's plight, indeed she's rather uninteresting when it comes down to it. The producers try hard to build interest by casting seasoned performers in supporting parts (Donald Sumpter, David Warner, Susan Lynch, GAME OF THRONES' Maisie Williams) but none of them contribute their best work.
The three hour running time means that much of the storyline is repetitive; there are only one or two incidents that occur in the 'past' storyline yet the child abuse stuff is repeated over and over again for lengthy stretches; not even a hamming Douglas Henshall can save it. The modern-day stuff is littered with plot holes and the ghostly stuff is silly and slightly twee rather than genuinely haunting.
A missed opportunity then - a shame, because once again it could have been great had more care between taken with the quality of the script and performances of the cast.
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