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BBC documentary series on four Victorian Gothic novels
NumptyB12 August 2005
I saw 'Nightmare' on its UK transmission and was gripped. Christopher Frayling presented four all-too short hours on the making of Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein', Robert Louis Stevenson's 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde', Bram Stoker's 'Dracula' and the inimitable 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' by Arthur Conan Doyle. Professor Frayling took as his starting point the nightmares or encounters with the nightmarish that inspired each author. The book that accompanied the series gives a good idea of the accessibility and suitably moody tone that prevailed as Frayling extolled genially about the famous Byron/Shelley party by that Swiss lake or how R L Stevenson's story hit a raw nerve in the London of Jack the Ripper. Episode four was my favourite of four gems - if only because of its subject - and this was the first time I gained detailed information about the Baskerville Hound's source legends. As a literary tour of Britain - and four wonderfully chilling tales - this series was exemplary and is long overdue release on video or DVD. Catch it if you can!
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