13 Steps Down (TV Mini-Series 2012) Poster

(2012)

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7/10
Decent ITV thriller
Tweekums21 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This two part thriller from the pen of Ruth Rendell contains two fairly unappealing protagonists; Mix Cellini, a man with obsessions with model Nerissa Nash and John Christie, a serial killer who operated in the area many years before; and his landlady Gwendolen Chawcer who hasn't got over the man she loved fifty years previously. In the opening episode we see Cellini getting a job at the gym Nerissa attends in an attempt to get closer to her and Mrs Chawcer tries to get back in touch with the man she loved after she learns that his wife has recently died. At first things are just a bit creepy but when Cellini brings gym receptionist Danila Kovic home it becomes clear that he has potential for extreme violence when she makes a negative comment about Nerissa.

In the second episode Cellini must take further action when he believes Mrs Chawcer and her friends Olive and Queenie are about to discover what he did to poor Miss Kovic. He also starts to get even more fixated on Nerissa when she visits his house; it turns out that she is the Niece of one of Mrs Chawcer's friends but he is convinced she is there to see him despite the fact that she is obviously repulsed by him. As the episode nears its end Cellini becomes even more unstable and it is clear that more people will be hurt if he isn't caught quickly.

While this wasn't 'must see TV' it was a decent way to pass a couple of hours. Actor Luke Treadaway does a fine job as Cellini, making the character distinctly creepy without being a pantomime villain. Geraldine James is also good as the unpleasant Mrs. Chawcer; while her character might be unsympathetic she is funny at times… the time she asks her friend Olive about the 'thing' (thong) she found under her bed was hilarious! There isn't a huge amount of violence to be seen but the scene where Danila is killed is fairly brutal and may disturb some viewers, there are also a couple of sex scenes although both are fairly short and neither is particularly graphic. As the end approaches the tension increases nicely leading to a good, and pleasantly understated conclusion.
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8/10
A satisfyingly frightening villain
mmsbk29 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Luke Treadaway does, I think, a great job in this. His character, deeply flawed and damaged from childhood abuse unfolds in a believable and quite frightening way. His acting is good enough to even have you feel sorry for the child he was, despite his hideous behaviour to women as an adult. Geraldine James is Miss Chawcer, fossilised and acerbic and not without pathos of her own. Her high handed, upper middle class attitude to the working class and ( at first ) pathetically aspiring Mix is a clear pointer to trouble to come. Ruth Rendell is very good, very practiced at this kind of thing and both actors brought this less-than-pleasant aspect of Englishness to life brilliantly. The actress playing Mix's obsession, model Nerissa Nash was, to my mind the weak link. Very beautiful and well able to portray vulnerability, I found her responses to Treadaway's psychopath less than convincing. She appeared somewhat worried and nervous rather than terrified. Wonderful atmospherics, almost Gothic in tone. Loved that aspect .Also, the clever and sad little episode with Nerissa's would-be saviour.

The ending , with the Christie lookalike added nothing,and was frankly a bit silly. Overall, damn good .
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3/10
Boring.
kirsty_supernatural29 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I watched this because I enjoy mysteries but this put me off ever reading Ruth Rendell. I found Mix sad rather than disturbing and Nerissa, his obsession, a rather stupid young woman. There wasn't a single likable character in the whole thing and I only forced myself into watching to the end because my DVD player was broken. Frankly a lot of the storyline and a couple of the characters seem to be pointless. This could have been an excellent fictional drama on the worst consequences of stalking but instead ends up as a dull portrayal of a stereotypical serial killer obsessed young man and a model portrayed by an actress who could not make you care about her character. Even at twenty-five I feel the viewing public should not be subjected to acting as terrible as hers simply because she looks nice. I've given it three stars because at least it is not reality TV.
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2/10
Thirteen steps down from mediocre
Mark Harrison20 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The story centres around a guy who is obsessed with a model and a serial killer who lived near to his address. The plot basically goes nowhere but the predictable. He stalks the girl and in doing so murders a couple of people then finally gets caught. Seriously that's it! This takes all of two hours to tell because most of the time is spent on making sure the boxes are ticked on political correctness. We have to endure the obligatory and unnecessary four letter swear word and a few interracial relationships because hey that's what cool people who write TV drama these days insist on feeding us. Maybe in order that we don't go off and vote for Donald Trump or something. The result is a badly acted cobbled together and disjointed piece of social propaganda written around a poor plot which makes almost no sense. Unless you really have nothing to do I would miss it.
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