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Ruth Rendell Mysteries Set 3

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					"The Ruth Rendell Mysteries, Set 3,"is the latest installment of the popular British
mystery television series, based on the work of Rendell, an English master of the twisted
suspense thriller. It presents us five new psychological crime dramas based on the
author's best-selling, bounteous, award-winning fiction, including one based on her Harm
Done - An Inspector Wexford Mystery. The first-rate series was made by Granada TV for
Britain's Independent Television (ITV). But a warning note: there are no subtitles, and
Rendell's well-bred characters speak softly.

The episodes are:

"Going Wrong."Guy (James Callis--Battlestar Galactica: Season 4.5;Bridget Jones's
Diary); and Leonora (Josephine Butler) are wild teenagers, and she makes promises. But
life doesn't work that way, does it, and handsome Guy, who's made himself rich in the
interval, just can't accept it. He goes too far. The longest of the episodes, at nearly three
hours, and slow on its feet.

"Harm Done." Detective Chief Inspector Wexford (George Baker), a man of few words,
has his hands brim-full. A pedophile has returned to town (from prison) to live with his--
the pedophile's -- daughter, on a roiled-up council estate. Also,there's an odd series of
abductions of teenagers, returned unharmed. And a wealthy couple's toddler daughter has
disappeared from her bedroom. About an hour and a half long.

"The Fallen Curtain." Based on an Edgar-award winning short story. Teenager Richard
Clayton (Ben Brazier) remains strangely haunted by a few unaccounted-for hours when
he went missing as a boy. Barbara Ewing costars as his mother, whose hysterical reaction
is no help. A bit less than an hour long.

"The Lake of Darkness." The book on which it's based (The Lake of Darkness)won an
Arts Council National Book Award. This is the most fully-realized of the episodes, at a
bit more than an hour and a half long, and it's value-packed. Good acting, shocking turns
of plot. Boring bisexual accountant Martin Urban (Jerome Flynn) can't believe his luck:
he's won the lottery, and met the beautiful, mysterious Francesca (Sadie Frost, An Ideal
Husband) at virtually the same time. But luck always turns, doesn't it, especially in Ruth
Rendell's work.

"You Can't Be Too Careful." A rather light-weight, short, two-character study. A
security-obsessed woman (Serena Evans) takes on a new flatmate (Jane Hazlegrove)
from the office. She shouldn't have: these are two women who were never meant to live
together.

By and large, Rendell's works are unsettling; she knows how to ratchet up suspense, and
they end up in places you never expected. Furthermore, these scripts appear to be fairly
faithful to their origins. The author's work is, perhaps, an acquired taste; but one that lots
of readers and viewers have acquired.

				
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posted:6/11/2010
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