Monday 11 February 2019

The Murder Room - P.D. James on TV

The Murder Room is novel that P.D. James published in 2003, and it was brought to the television screens a couple of years later. Unaccountably, I neither read the novel (though a copy is to be found in my tottering TBR pile) nor saw the television show; I suppose the reason is that I was very preoccupied with my day job as well as my own writing at the time.

I was kindly given a DVD set at Christmas which contained the TV version (as well as that of Death in Holy Orders) and I've just caught up with it. Both shows feature Martin Shaw as Adam Dalgleish, rather than Roy Marsden, who made the role his own. But I felt that Shaw gave an excellent performance. He is an actor who made his name in tough guy roles, but he's very expressive, and a single glance counts for a thousand words.

I was equally impressed with the show as a whole. The script, by Robert Jones, was sharp, with some excellent lines (I'm not sure how many of them come from the book, which I'm now very keen to read). And the acting generally was of  a high standard, with Samantha Bond, Janie Lee, Anita Carey, and Jack Shepherd exceptional.

I loved the storyline, which focused on a museum with the eponymous murder room devoted to classic real life cases of the Golden Age - Wallace, A. A. Rouse, and so on. This is a subject I'm exploring at present in my work-in-progress, and I was fascinated to see what was made of it in the context of a twenty-first century whodunit. First-class viewing for mystery fans.

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