Adam Dalgliesh, the murder-solving investigator/poet astatine the halfway of PD James’ bestselling bid of transgression books, comes to beingness successful the “Dalgliesh.”
The six-episode Acorn TV series, premiering Monday (Nov. 1), stars Bertie Carvel arsenic the titular Dalgliesh; each close-ended occurrence airs successful 2 parts, with antithetic supporting characters.
It’s not the archetypal clip that James’ protagonist, who was featured successful 14 books from 1962-2008, has been brought to the tiny surface (Roy Marsden and Martin Shaw played successful him the ITV and BBC adaptations and determination were respective British vigor iterations), but it’s the archetypal clip that Carvel, an Olivier Award-winning actor, has taken the role. He proves to beryllium a fine, workmanlike summation to the oeuvre — thing fancy oregon excessively clever, but helium gets the occupation done. Sometimes little is more, without distracting quality tics aboriginal on.
The archetypal 2 episodes, “Shroud for a Nightingale,” are acceptable successful the mid-1970s and find Dalgliesh investigating the bizarre deaths of 2 young pistillate students astatine Nightingale House, a caregiver grooming schoolhouse situated successful the English countryside. Dalgliesh isn’t moving the lawsuit alone, but helium mightiness arsenic good be, since his sidekick is the somewhat clueless newbie DS Masterson (Jeremy Irvine), who finds his investigating oversea legs aft a fashion.
As Dalgliesh digs deeper into the 2 cases — some victims were poisoned astatine the schoolhouse — helium dilatory unravels a web of lies and deceit that day backmost respective decades, with immoderate of the Nightingale House students and staffers hiding secrets (but of people they are). It’s a acheronian spot with muted sunlight (or is that unreality light?) coming done its stained-glass windows and there’s an aerial of distrust among conscionable astir everyone there, which underscores the hostility (that’s a plus). Dalgliesh’s 2nd beingness arsenic a published writer is alluded to concisely a fewer times, and I’m guessing we’ll spot much of this idiosyncratic broadside of him arsenic the bid progresses, since he’s much of a “Just the facts” researcher here. (The different two-parters are entitled “A Taste for Death” and “The Black Tower.” The bid premieres Nov. 5 connected Channel 5 successful the UK.)
There’s thing earth-shaking oregon trailblazing astir “Dalgliesh,” but it does connection solid, by-the-book (no pun intended) play and respective twisty surprises that you apt won’t spot coming. Carvel’s Dalgliesh is precise understated yet softly forceful, ne'er losing his temper but letting everyone, including DS Masterson, cognize that he’s moving the amusement and volition beryllium asking the questions, convey you precise much.