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25 November 2018


Robin Carmody

Do you like the P.D. James Adam Dalgliesh adaptations? (I'm going through those at the moment.)


Not a great PD James fan, so never much liked the adaptations. I can't believe in her poetry writing detective.

I should have mentioned another awful adaptation of Ordeal by Innocence when they parachuted Miss Marple in to solve the crime. A total mess.

I enjoy the Poirot adaptations because of the polished period features - lovely cars and clothes and interiors.

Robin Carmody

I see. Since posting the above I completed 'Cover Her Face' - the thing about those is the sheer bleakness and sadness and repression of the lives depicted, the sort of thing that makes you swear off all the resentment you might have felt at the current hegemony of pop culture and Americanisation among that class.


I'm enjoying Mrs Wilson at the moment.


Excellent acting by Ruth Wilson, Fiona Shaw, and Iain Glen. Keeley Hawes has been lurking as well, so can hope she will soon appear in full glory.

Suspense story but the suspense isn't over yet another mutilated female body or bodies.

The look of it. It has that soft light look of solid BBC drama, with muted tones. Also the early 60s, before the culture changed. The men still wear hats, the women gloves and hats. Formality heightens drama. As does manners and repressed emotion. A dramatic widow should appear in a black hat and veil.

Still, that kind of society may be more picturesque than enjoyable to live in, and I for one would have welcomed our new jeans and rock music overlords.

Robin Carmody

'Cover Her Face' was written in 1962, the first of the Dalgliesh novels, and it already feels like something of a stretch to move the setting to the mid-1980s when the TV version was produced. Not much later it would have *had* to be done as a period piece, I think; certainly, the updated Jennings reprints and Blyton TV adaptations of my own childhood around 1990 wouldn't have worked within a few years. The next one they made, 'The Black Tower', was only a decade old at the time of production and feels like the product of a different era, with drug smuggling and Art Malik.

But those P.D. James works, as I said on Facebook, are the "hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way" of their field, just as the Northern English side of Classical British Television is the "all the lonely people, where do they all belong".


Early 60s to me is "period" while late 60s isn't, I suppose because they're in my life span.

""hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way" of their field, just as the Northern English side of Classical British Television is the "all the lonely people, where do they all belong"."

Good summing up! And many crime stories are "Smack your bitch up!" Perhaps we could do with "As long as a I gaze on Waterloo Sunset, I am in Paradise."

Robin Carmody

Relevantly to the early 60s, listening to David Rodigan's invariably excellent 1Xtra show (the one first broadcast on Sun 25 Nov and on BBC Sounds for some time to come) he mentioned that he had a Shadows EP and then said "don't even go there" and just mumbled while the artist he was interviewing seemed wholly baffled by the reference: clearly, he's still on the run from the very last years when there actually were hundreds of steam-hauled branch lines, the world he is among the youngest - along with his antithesis, Hitchens Minor; they might actually have met in Oxford later in the decade - actually to remember.

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