Lets face it, there have been many adaptations of Henry James' classic novella over the years, each having their own merits. When I first heard that the BBC had a new adaptation to be broadcast set in post World War 1 Britain my first thought was, Sarah Waters' 'The Little Stranger' has sold its film rights and so the Beeb can't produce it. But after watching this I now think differently.
If you were to think that this was a by the numbers adaptation just set in a more modern period, you would be wrong. There are some alterations to the original story, but that doesn't detract from the tale, but adds a new development. 'The Turn of the Screw' is one of my favourite all time works, and so I am always a bit dubious when watching a screen version of it, especially as I have read the book so many times over the years. Depending what mood I am in I either read it as a straight forward supernatural tale, or as a psychological thriller with a deranged governess. Sandy Welch has here obviously taken some time over this and has incorporated both approaches into this version, giving it that fresh uneasiness that you have when you first read the story. Purists may be put off by this, especially as there are some scenes of a mild sexual nature; but these add to the thing as a whole.
Beautifully filmed, with some unusual camera shots, and wonderfully acted throughout - especially by the chid actors, there are some twists here, like the governess being in an asylum, and you are left with doubts of whether she is mad, or whether indeed there are supernatural forces at work. All in all this a good drama to watch that will definitely get under your skin.