Maelstrom (BBC One 1985, Tusse Silberg, Susan Gilmore)

In Maelstrom, yet another superlative drama from the pen of Michael J. Bird, Catherine Durrell, having just been made redundant, is surprised to discover she is one of the main beneficiary’s in the will of a Norwegian businessman named Jordahl.

Catherine travels to the Norway town of Olsen, to take a look at her inheritance which turns out to include two homes on an island and a fish factory. The rest of the Jordahl family make her more than welcome but there is a strangeness in the air over the whole situation.

Catherine discovers that Jordahl’s wife had committed suicide some time before and when she meets journalist Anders Bjornson she learns that he is sure that Jordahl’s death wasn’t accidental but a deliberate act of murder.

When Catherine decides to stay for a few weeks while she decides what to do with her new found wealth she moves into one of the farmhouses on the island.

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From the disconcerting opening titles.

Maelstrom was a change of scenery for Bird whose most famous series The Lotus Eaters and Who Pays the Ferryman were set in Greece. Also like his other series The Aphrodite Inheritance and Dark Side of the Sun there is a strong otherworldly vibe to the proceedings.

Christopher Scoular had also appeared in Dark Side of the Sun and well known genre faces included a short appearance from Paul Darrow and there was another Blake’s 7 connection with an appearance from Peter Tuddenham who, in that series, voiced computers Zen and Orac.

John Abineri and Lorna Lewis who both made brief appearances had both appeared together in Terry Nation’s Survivors. Star Tusse Silnberg is a Swedish actress who had been making a name for herself with appearances in Smiley’s People, Reilly: Ace of Spies, Gorky Park and The Company of Wolves. Star of 1940’s and 50’s British cinema Ann Todd also made an appearance.

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production details
UK / BBC One / 6×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 5 February – 12 March 1985 Mondays at 8.10pm

Writer: Michael J. Bird / Script Editor: Brian Wright / Music: Johnny Pearson / Production Design: Bob Smart / Producer: Vere Lorrimer / Director: David Maloney

Tusse Silberg as Catherine Russell
David Beames as Anders Bjornson
Susan Gilmore as Anna Marie Jordahl
Christopher Scoular as Lars Nilsen
Edita Brychta as Ingrid Nilsen
Anna Todd as Astrid Linderman
Peter Tuddenham as Bjarna Langua
Paul Darrow as Oliver Bridwell
John Abineri as Olav Tunheim
Lorna Lewis as Liv Albrigtsen
John Rowe as Mr Stoddard
Trevor Baxter as Doctor Albrigtsen
Sheelah Wilcocks as Gerda

1. AN ILL WIND (5 Feb 1985)
2. SHADOWS (12 Feb 1985)
3. IN POSSESSION (19 Feb 1985)
4. HOUSE OF SECRETS (26 Feb 1985)
5. INTO THE VORTEX (5 Mar 1985)
6. OUT OF THE DEPTHS (12 Mar 1985)

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.