TV UK TV

Armchair Thriller: Quiet As A Nun (ITV 1978, Maria Aitken, James Laurenson)

Quiet As A Nun

In Quiet As A Nun investigative TV reporter Jemima Shore decides to look into the death of an old school friend, a Nun who she knew during her convent school years. The Nun, sister Miriam, was actually very wealthy and owned a number of London properties that includes the land on which the convent stands.

Jemima learns that Sister Miriam had recently contemplated changing her will to leave the convent land (and land surrounding it) to a housing project led by the charismatic Alexander Skarbeck. Then a second nun is found dead…

Quiet As A Nun is one of the best remembered of the Armchair Thrillers. Thanks in no small part to its generally chill filled atmosphere, especially the scary Nun without a face.

The popularity of this and the fact that the Antonia Fraser novels were pretty popular meant a series, Jemima Shore Investigates, followed (with Patricia Hodge taking the lead role). Maria Aitken is excellent in the lead and the cast also includes a very young Patsy Kensit as one of the convent schoolgirls.

production details
UK / ITV Network – Thames / 6×30 minute episodes / Broadcast 11 – 27 April 1978

Writer: Julia Jones / Novel: Antonia Fraser / Production Design: Bill Palmer / Producer: Jacqueline Davis / Director: Moira Armstrong

Armchair Thriller Serial Four

cast
MARIA AITKEN as Jemima Shore
RENEE ASHERSON as Mother Ancilla
BRENDA BRUCE as Sister Elizabeth
DAVID BURKE as Tom Amyas MP
JAMES LAURENSON as Alexander Skarbeck
DORAN GODWIN as Sister Lucy
MARGARET D’ARCY as Sister Clare
KATE BINCHY as Sister Edward
LINDA SLATER as Dodo
SARAH WEBB as Margaret
MICHELE WINSTANLEY as Blanche
PATSY KENSIT as Tessa
CATRINA HYLTON as Mandy
MARY HEALEY as Beatrice O’Dowd
JAMES APPLEBY as Joe
SUSAN ENGEL as Sister Agnes
SYLVIA COLERIDGE as Sister Boniface
RONALD MAYER as Dr Mayhew
ELVI HALE as Lady Polly
JOHN BRYANS as Sir Charles
HELEN BRINDLE as Novice