Jamaica Inn (ITV 1983, Jane Seymour, Trevor Eve)

Period drama serial. Shaken by her parents death, Mary Jellan heads for the mysterious Jamaica Inn to stay with relatives. She is shocked to discover that the Inn is a house of disrepute harbouring thieves, drunks and criminals.

But nothing shocks her more than the stories about the “wreckers”, a ruthless band of killers who roam the coast looting and murdering. Suspecting there is a link between her fathers death and the “wreckers” Mary is determined to uncover the truth.

Despite some day for night shooting at the start that gives the whole piece a rather murky look this is a classic slice of HTV big budget drama. The broadcast dates above refer to the ATV Midlands region of the ITV network who elected to show it over two nights rather than as the planned three parter – this actually worked quite well as it allowed the momentum built up in episode two to continue straight on.

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The BBC mounted a lavish production Easter 2014.

production details
UK / ITV – HTV – Metromedia – United Media – Jamaica Inn Productions) / 3×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 9-10 May 1983

Writer: Derek Marlowe / Story: Daphne Du Maurier / Design: Ken Jones / Costume Design: Lorna McNab, Gillie Brock / Supervising Executive Producer: Patrick Dromgoole / Producer: Peter Graham Scott / Executive Producers: Hilary Heath, Stephen Bankler-Jukes / Director: Lawrence Gordon Clark

JANE SEYMOUR as Mary Yellan
PATRICK McGOOHAN as Joss Merilyn
PETER VAUGHAN as Squire Bassatt
JOHN McENERY as Francis Davey
VIVIAN PICKLES as Matha Yellan
JOHN ABINERI as Richards
BILL WALLIS as Blacksmith

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.