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Category:    Home > Reviews > Mystery > British Telefilm > TV > Malice Aforethought (Mystery!)

Malice Aforethought (Mystery!/WGBH/PBS)


Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: C-     Episodes: B-



A long married doctor (Ben Miller) is bored with his wife and maybe his life, until a sexy, younger woman (Megan Dodds) shows up.  He wants to be with her badly, but wants to keep his wealth and status in society.  The answer: keep giving her (Barbara Flynn) hypodermic shots that are supposed to help her, but are killing her in Malice Aforethought.  This WGBH Mystery! installment is in two parts and runs about 150 minutes.


What is different about this show from many other installments of the series is its interest in the characters and how they interact with each other, instead of the mystery being front and center.  One reason is simply because no one knows the crime is taking place for the longest time.  Andrew Payne did the teleplay adaptation of the Francis Iles novel, nicely paced and a nice change of pace from the detective series within the show.  In one way, it could be argued this was more of a murder story than a mystery, but it more than qualifies for the genre when all is said and done.  This is intelligent, well acted and not as stuffy as it could have been.  If you are looking for some real twists that are not forced for a change, catch Malice Aforethought.  Peter Vaughn also stars.


The letterboxed 1.78 X 1/16 X 9 image looks good, but is not anamorphically enhanced, sadly loosing fine detail from the lush production being broadcast in digital High Definition on PBS stations nationally.  However, it is clean and color correct, so it is a pleasant viewing.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo has healthy Pro Logic surrounds and well-recorded dialogue.  Extras include a link to the website for Mystery!, a text page on other WGBH DVDs and a text page reminder of closed captions.  That is very little and though the show is good, maybe more on the omnibus nature of the series would have been a good idea.  Fortunately, the story is good.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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