The Turn Of The Screw (BBC Drama, Michelle Dockery, Sue Johnston)

Continuing the BBC’s long running tradition of mounting a spooky ghost story for Christmas The Turn of the Screw is an adaptation of Henry James’ much loved novel. Updating the action to the 1920’s the story begins when young governess Ann (Michelle Dockery) is given a position at Bly, a large country house, caring after two children – Miles (Josef Lindsay) and Flora (Eva Sayer).

All is very lovely and perfect at first until Ann begins to be affected by ghostly visions, mostly of a man and a woman whom she does not know. As Ann investigates she learns that the previous nanny Miss Jessel (Katie Lightfoot) and her paramour, Peter Quint (Edward MacLiam), were both found dead in strange circumstance.

Ann soon develops an unhealthy obsession about the figures and begins to believe that they are a malevolent force actually targeting Miles and Flora. It becomes clear to her that only she can rid Bly of the couple – no matter whatever the personal.

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The Turn of the Screw is amongst the most famous of ghost stories and has been adapted numerous times before (most notably in the early 1960’s with Deborah Kerr in the lead, a prequel The Nightcomers (starring Marlon Brando) and as a US TV version in 1974) but updating the action to just post world war one is a very clever move allowing for nuances and thoughts of the mass grief that affected the nation after the end of the hostilities and allowing you to see just how Ann could be so enveloped by her obsession.

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Cast: MICHELLE DOCKERY as Ann; SUE JOHNSTON as Mrs Grose; KATIE LIGHTFOOT as Jessel; EDWARD MacLIAM as Peter Quint; DAN STEVENS as Dr Fisher; NICOLA WALKER as Carla; EVA SAYER as Flora; JOSEF LINDSAY as Miles; MARK UMBERS as Master; CORIN REDGRAVE as Professor; WENDY ALBISTON as Baines; SARAH BUCKLAND as Diane; NELLIE BURROUGHES as Abused Maid; HONOR CARGILL-MARTIN as Young Ann; CAMERON STEWART as Police Inspector

Writer: Sandy Welch / Novel: Henry James / Producer: Colin Wratten / Director: Tim Fywell

UK / BBC One / 1×90 minute episode / Broadcast Wednesday 30 December 2009 @ 9.00pm

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.