Malice Aforethought (Mystery!/WGBH/PBS)
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