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Category:    Home > Reviews > Mystery > British Mini-Series > TV > Melissa (1974/Acorn Media/British Mini-Series/BBC)

Melissa (1974/Acorn Media/British Mini-Series/BBC)


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



Uncovering another decent gem from the BBC library, Acorn Media has issued the entire 1974 TV Mini-Series adaptation of Frances Durbridge’s Melissa, the smart, twisted tale about a man whose wife turns up dead to his shock, which becomes a different kind of shock when he is accused of the killing.  We know he is innocent, which leaves the who and why of this mystery.


As he investigates on his own, things get worse, but instead of the usual bad formula you might find in such a plotting today, this takes its time to fill out the situation, characters and world in which this takes place.  The result is more mystery, suspense, clues and questions from the last golden age of British TV.


Peter Barkworth, Ronald Fraser, Moira Redmond, Lyndon Brook, John Horsley and Ray Lonnen make up the exceptional cast, delivering exceptional performances that just play on each other in a way that just increases the tension of each show.  I was pleasantly surprised by this, but since it is from the period of British TV it is, I should not have been.  You’ll enjoy it too.


The 1.33 X 1 image can be a bit rough, looking like a second-generation digital copy, but color is good there is a disclaimer at the bottom of the back of the case.  We have seen much worse in HD.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 sound is stereo-boosted mono and plays pack nicely, offsetting the image flaws somewhat.  The all-text extras include cast filmographies and Durbridge biography.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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