Armchair Thriller: Quiet As A Nun (ITV Drama, Maria Aitken)

In Quiet As A Nun investigative TV reporter Jemima Shore (Maria Aitken) 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 (James Laurenson). 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.

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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.

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

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

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

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.