Helen West (2002)
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Shadow Play 

Mr. Lycett is obsessed with the daughter he 'lost' many years before when his wife and child left him without warning. As a result he tends to follow young girls who resemble her leading to... See full summary »


Coky Giedroyc


Frances Fyfield (books), Shelagh Stephenson (adapted for television by)


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Amanda Burton ... Helen West
Conor Mullen ... Chief Supt. Bailey
Robert Pugh ... Lycett
Jessica Oyelowo ... Rose Darvey
Anthony Howell ... Dinsdale Cotton
Nicholas Woodeson ... Brian Redwood
Rita Tushingham ... Margaret Mellors
Scot Williams ... PC Williams
Georgina Bull Georgina Bull ... Witness
Angela Morant ... Magistrate 1
Peter McNicholl Peter McNicholl ... Boy One
Leanne Everitt ... Girl One
Lucy Briers Lucy Briers ... Clerk 1
Simon Lowe ... Riley
Gary Powell Gary Powell ... Sgt Morgan


Mr. Lycett is obsessed with the daughter he 'lost' many years before when his wife and child left him without warning. As a result he tends to follow young girls who resemble her leading to numerous arrests for lewd behavior. He's always represented himself in court and he's always managed to get the case thrown out. Helen West prosecuted him in the most recent charge but his breaking into tears led the judge to dismiss the case. He's something of a pariah in the community but gets along quite well with his neighbor Margaret Mellors. When he learns that Margaret knew where his wife and daughter went to, he makes her pay. Meanwhile, Helen's boss asks her to have a chat with her clerk Rose Darvey, who seems to be sleeping her way through the most recent class of police cadets. Helen isn't quite comfortable with the requests and feels that Rose's private life is none of her business. Helen is far more concerned with the files that seem to be going missing at the office. In any event, ... Written by garykmcd

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Drama | Mystery

User Reviews

You're a British mystery series - act like one!
25 June 2017 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

No wonder this only lasted one season. And the sad thing is, the stories are quite good.

This episode had several plots going on: Rose the secretary's erratic behavior and her love life; one Mr. Lycett, who since his wife and daughter fled has been dragged to court several times for following young girls but has always been able to have his cases dismissed; and someone stealing files from the office. And on a side note, we have Helen's situation with her boyfriend.

The problem is that none of these plots came to any kind of a boil until 1 hour and 15 minutes into the episode. Until then we had Helen cooking, her boyfriend somewhat flirting with another woman, Mr. Lycett walking around town, Rose and her new policeman boyfriend - until finally everything came together. And when it did, it was good.

But was it worth the wait? This show was murderously paced, with nice but unexciting performances (basically because the actors didn't have much to work with).

A British mystery-suspense series is something special to us in America anyway - Poirot, MI5, Rumpole, Inspector Morse, Endeavor - foisting something like this on us is a disappointment.

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Release Date:

13 May 2002 (UK) See more »

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