7.2/10
5
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Episode #1.7 

Inspector Bucket jails George for murder and tells Sir Leicester everything he has learned. Lady Dedlock denies to her husband that she is a murderess. Bucket solves the case but now searches with Esther for Lady Dedlock.

Director:

Susanna White

Writers:

Charles Dickens (novel), Arthur Hopcraft
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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Robin Bailey Robin Bailey ... Sir Leicester Dedlock
Suzanne Burden Suzanne Burden ... Esther Summerson
Jack Carr Jack Carr ... Jenny's Man
Peter-Hugo Daly Peter-Hugo Daly ... Lizzy's Man
Eileen Davies ... Judy Smallweed
Gabrielle Daye ... Mrs. Rouncewell
Brian Deacon ... Allan Woodcourt
Charlie Drake ... Smallweed
Denholm Elliott ... John Jarndyce
Lucy Hancock Lucy Hancock ... Attendant
Ian Hogg ... Inspector Bucket
Harry Jones Harry Jones ... Phil Squod
Sam Kelly ... Snagsby
Stephen Kemble Stephen Kemble ... Footman
Dave King ... Sergeant George
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Storyline

Inspector Bucket jails George for murder and tells Sir Leicester everything he has learned. Lady Dedlock denies to her husband that she is a murderess. Bucket solves the case but now searches with Esther for Lady Dedlock.

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Genres:

Drama | Crime

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Release Date:

22 May 1985 (UK) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Inspector Bucket investigates
9 June 2019 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Have always loved and respected period dramas/adaptations and watch as many as possible without fail. Regardless of how they fare as adaptations or how faithful they are to the source material, there are many (too numerous to list) that are good or more as standalones.

There will always be inevitable comparisons to which is the preferred adaptation of 'Bleak House', this or 2005. From a personal point of view, there is no real preference as both adaptations are outstanding in their own way. And not just as adaptations, but also on their own merits as well, which is every bit as important, actually for me even more important being someone who judges films and adaptations (or aims to) on their own. The book is compelling, atmospheric and rich in characterisation. It is a mammoth book, and one of Dickens' least accessible (from first-time personal experience, the law stuff took its time to get completely). Both are exceptionally well-made, tell the story extremely well indeed and brilliantly written and acted. The 2005 adaptation's characterisation is a little richer, but this adaptation is a little more atmospheric.

Not everybody will find the 70s-80s Dickens serial adaptations their cup of tea. They may find them slow, long and with a lot of talk. That isn't the case with me. Of the ones seen, they respect their source material (even with omissions and changes here and there), are detailed, very evocative and Dickensian and are well-made, written and acted. And that is the case with this 'Bleak House' exactly (great and faithful as an adaptation, without being too faithful).

This 'Bleak House' is the sort of series that gets better with every episode and to me that should be the case. And it certainly is the case, with the storytelling and characterisation getting richer with each episode. It was appropriate for the penultimate episode to be one of the narratively richer episodes and that's the case here.

Visually, the costumes and sets look beautiful and very detailed, succeeding also in capturing the bleak nature of the book. They are also full of atmosphere and don't come across as too clean. The music is a pleasing mix of haunting overtones and delicate chamber-music-like, and fit with each scene excellently, even if some may prefer the more understated quality in the 2005 adaptation.

Scoring highly too is the writing. The dialogue is intelligently adapted, there is a lot of talk but they weren't that tedious to me. The heartfelt tragedy, poignancy, sharp observations and nobility of Dickens' writing comes through loud and clear, the writing distinctively Dickensian in style. The characters are getting richer all the time and the attention to detail likewise.

There's a lot of characterisation and plotting going on, and the mystery surrounding the murder is always intriguing and enjoyable with the conclusion still surprising. Was always engaged by it and cared about the mystery being solved, despite the victim being so detestable. Things can unfold slowly but there is more going on here and it's more meaty, so the pace is not as draggy. The book is also huge and has so much to tell, so the pace was somewhat necessary.

Acting is very fine from all, with Ian Hogg's entertaining Inspector Bucket dominating. Diana Rigg is an aristocratic Lady Dedlock.

In conclusion, terrific penultimate instalment. 10/10


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