Set in Gallowshields on Tyneside between the 2 World Wars, this story follows the life of ex-sergeant Jack Ford and the Seaton family as they deal with the aftermath of the Great War, the Great 1920s Depression and trade union activists.
The Doll has always been one of my favourite Durbridge penned dramas. Getting hold of a copy hasn't been easy, but worth it.
It is great throughout, the story is wonderful, terrifically complex, but wonderfully intriguing. It's very much a psychological thriller, all sorts of tricks and deceptions cunningly used throughout. The success of the whole thing in my opinion rests with Anoushka Hempel, noted for so many major talents, possessing such pure beauty, it was her acting that makes this so engaging. Phyllis had to captivate Matty, but Hempel manages to captivate an audience. Her character is elusive, intriguing, fascinating, no wonder Matty's life was turned around. John Fraser does a great job as the baffled Matty, Cyril Luckham is of course fabulous as Sir Arnold.
The usual Durbridge tricks on show, the picture in the photo shop window, mistaken identity, Durbridge fans will love it. The conclusion is very much unexpected, you'll have been taken so far off course, that you just don't see it coming.
Melissa (1977) will always be my favourite of Durbridge's TV adaptations, but this is a close second. It begs the question why this was available in Germany and Australia, not here in The UK, have we lost the ability to appreciate great TV from a bygone era?
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