Ruth Rendell Mysteries (1987– )
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But sometimes I watch something completely random, or nearly so. There are many failures, of course, which makes the successful surprises so much sweeter. This is billed as a Ruth Rendell mystery. It must be based on a story by her, but it is hardly a mystery. In fact it is sort of a parody of the genre, and not at all unsubtle.
It is in fact rather bizarre. I usually do not mention the story in comments, but I see this is not well populated in IMDb. It is not good enough for me to ask you to seek it out.
An elderly couple come back to the town they left 35 years previously. The wife is bonkers, both characters drawn very cleverly and unusually. They meet an eccentric old man, the wife's former lover. For reasons that are not easily synopsized, the wife and the former lover decide to reinvestigate an old murder. They do this over the objections of the husband.
Its quite clever how it is set up initially, with many of the trappings of a classic British mystery with our capering Tommy and Tuppance like couple snooping around. But the thing slowly devolves into something close to Lynch. The husband tries to poison his wife to stop her. The old boyfriend takes over. There's a bench-burning. It really is odd, but very well done. Very well, in the way it creeps into throwing back at you what you expected.
The story revolves around images: visions, art and misinterpretation.
And the actors! The wife was the screwee in "Draughtsmans' Contract" and again in "Singing Detective," both remarkable characters. The husband was the long time Dr. Watson. The screwy old man played a similar role in a 1967 (!) movie with Anthony Quinn. The "woman from the past" was the sexual object in "Tom Jones." Someone was thinking here.
Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
Wexford is a slightly better series by Rendell http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0166458/episodes