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Category:    Home > Reviews > Mystery > British TV > The Sculptress (Mystery!/WGBH)

The Sculptress (Mystery!/WGBH)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Episodes: C



In an unusual misfire from the PBS/WGBH series Mystery!, a serial killer who becomes known as The Sculptress (1996) with Pauline Quirke as the convicted Olive Martin, would seem like an open and shut case.  Then a freelance writer (Caroline Goodall) is commissioned to write a book and visits Olive in prison.  This starts to give her nightmares, but she starts to wonder if there is more to the case than the ruling and imprisonment.


The Minette Walters book this two-parter (presented almost as a TV movie) won an award, but this TV version is very problematic for so many reasons.  The acting is mixed, locations dull, case filled with so many things we have seen before as the serial killer cycle was pretty tapped out at this point and even the “quality television” series cannot do anything about that.  This may have also been a move to be more commercial, but it just never works.


The 1.33 X 1 image is fairly good, with Diana Rigg’s taped openings slightly blurry, while the episodes fare just slightly better in color and definition.  As a matter of fact, it has less color than the Rigg intros.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has no real surrounds, though the sound can be punchy at dramatic moments and the music score is particularly predictable and lame.  Except for the usual weblinks, there were no extras.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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