A four-part BBC mini series based on the novel by Michel Faber, The Crimson Petal and the White
is set in Victorian London. At the heart of it is Sugar, a young prostitute on the lookout for a better life. Her path crosses with that of William Rackham, a businessman with no small measure of success, and events soon begin to spiral out of control. Sugar might just have a way out.
Inevitably, the screen adaptation diverges from the exact plot of the book, but the quality of the screenwriting here is genuinely excellent. Added to that, the production values stretch the budget far beyond the norm.
It’s a captivating drama. Spread across four episodes, The Crimson Petal and the White feels like a labour of love for those involved, not least the terrific cast. Headlining here are Romola Garai, brilliant as Sugar, and The I.T. Crowd’s Chris O’Dowd. In supporting roles, you’ll easily spot Richard E. Grant and Gillian Anderson, too.
Overall, it’s a fine piece of work. The story is interesting, the adaptation is strong, and the execution of it very good indeed. And best of all, it shines a light on a terrific piece of literature, that deserves a wider audience. Both the book and TV series are both worth a purchase. --Jon Foster
United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 0 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital Stereo ), English ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (1.78:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: 2-DVD Set, Cast/Crew Interview(s), Deleted Scenes, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: If you dare enter this world, you had better tread carefully. Such is the advice of Sugar, the heroine of the hit BBC2 sexually charged thriller, The Crimson Petal and The White. A compelling Victorian tale of revenge, The Crimson Petal & The White tells the story of Sugar, an alluring and intelligent young prostitute. Sugar longs for a better life and when she secures the patronage of successful businessman William Rackham, she begins to hatch a scheme that will free her from her life in the slums. However, as their worlds become more entwined, Sugar's plans set in motion a series of events that will change both their lives forever. It is an engrossing drama with a twist that viewers will want to watch again and again. ...The Crimson Petal & the White - Season 1 - 2-DVD Set ( The Crimson Petal and the White )