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Someone's watching you ...,
This review is from: Ghost Stories from the BBC: The Stalls of Barchester / A Warning to the Curious [DVD] (DVD)[See my review of Volume 1 for general comments on this series.]
The Stalls of Barchester is up there with James' best stories, but for some reason I don't remember this adaptation as one of the most gripping. It tells the story of a cleric who crosses a moral boundary due to ambition, and thereafter becomes increasingly entrapped by supernatural retribution. A Warning to the Curious is one of the best adaptations of the whole series. The title alone is the key to James - "don't meddle", but of course, as in the best tradition of ghost/adventure stories, they always do. The action uses superb location filming of the correct setting, James' beloved Norfolk coast. Surprisingly, but very effectively, the main role is played by Peter Vaughan, probably best remembered as Grouty, the Mr Big of Slade Prison in Porridge. The script varies from James by adding the element that the main character is almost penniless, and thus desperate for some sort of success even at the risk of his life and sanity; the same device was used in the more recent production of View from a Hill. (Don't take my word for this, watch it when the BBC release ALL the M R James productions, not just a selection!) A classic BBC horror production. (I'm almost sure that I first saw A Warning to the Curious by candlelight during the Winter of Discontent powercuts, which added to the atmosphere!)
Stop press 1 Aug 2012 - belated release of a fifth disc, with the two remaining MRJ stories, but also all five discs as a box set.
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Initial post: 1 Jun 2012 17:59:21 BDT
Henry Higgins says:
I'm sorry but I can't resist this. How many hamsters did it take to keep your telly going during those powercuts?
In reply to an earlier post on 2 Aug 2012 22:03:25 BDT
Bob Sherunkle says:
What I meant to say was that I watched it at a time when the power was on, but by candlelight to keep the mood going ...
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