P.R.O.B.E.: The Devil of Winterborne (Video 1995) Poster

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Fantastic horror suspense on a shoestring budget.
snowgrouse10 March 2002
I saw this film very late at night on the Sci-Fi channel and was hooked. I saw it was made on video and expected it to be some amateur rubbish, but then noticed the fantastic actors and remembered them from Doctor Who. Caroline John gets to do more with Liz Shaw than she was ever allowed on Doctor Who, Louise Jameson is lovely as always, and Peter Davison gives a fantastic performance as the haunted choolmaster (I had goosebumps all over). I challenge anyone who doubts this man's (or any of the other performers') acting talents to go and see this flick. Also, it was strong enough to rekindle my interest in Doctor Who--and I still love it, years after seeing it.

Mark Gatiss' screenplay is very good, I'd love to see him get the chance to write more stuff like this. League of Gentlemen fans might also check this one out to see the strengths of his acting (and Reece Shearsmith is very good in this one too).
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Enjoyable and engaging enough to overlook a few flaws
Will Howells18 January 1999
Packed with guest actors, _The Devil of Winterbourne_ is a welcome addition to the P.R.O.B.E. range of videos. Mark Gatiss's script is well-written with sufficient ideas and twists to keep the viewer interested throughout. Caroline John is competent in the central role, and clearly keen to develop her character; Louise Jameson, Terry Molloy, and Geoffrey Beevers all ably help the story along but Peter Davison stands head and shoulders above the rest as the headmaster with a dark secret.

The three principal schoolboys, although blatantly too old, come across fairly well, by the end of the story overcoming some dodgy performances early on: one of them in particular has an annoying habit of Clearly Enunciating In Extremis.

There are only a couple of flaws leading up to an intriguing ending to what is an enjoyable video.
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Fair borderline fantasy that outlasts its welcome
galensaysyes19 November 2002
This is a really odd spin off of "Dr. Who," featuring one of the Doctor's companions thirty years farther on, played by the same actress, but unrecognizable as the same character. Her partner is...another companion! oh, no, just the actress who played her. Gee, and here's the Doctor! no, just the actor, now playing a bad guy...or maybe he's the Doctor pretending to be a bad guy? So this story is set in a universe in which several of the inhabitants look like characters from the series, and once in a blue moon one of them actually is. It's not the universe of the series, because it includes sexual doings at a boys' school, at least between students, and probably (I took to be the implication) between students and masters; not "Dr. Who" territory at all. The story concerns a black-magic cult, but one without magical powers; this isn't really fantasy. A couple of fantastic elements peep in but are best ignored, since they rather contradict the whole. This seems to be a fan production, but professionally acted, and nearly professional technically (except for the sound). The actors are good, especially Liz Shaw and the Doctor-who-isn't-the-Doctor, and the story is intriguing, but the climax is overdrawn, and the whole thing leaves an impression of having been rather crummy. I'm not sure why.
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