From Keeping Faith to This Country: the best TV shows of 2018 (so far)
One of the criticisms of the adaptation is that Wilkie Collinss 1859 classic has been given a non-too-subtle millennial makeover. This week the dialogue wasnt quite as egregious as in past instalments. Nonetheless, a few lines would have felt perfectly at home on a Saturday morning repeat of Scooby-Doo (We need to find out what really happened at the counts house).
Welcome back, Jeremy Clarkson TV just hasnt been the same without you
Bake Off: the Professionals lacking in warmth and wit, review
Britains Best Home Cook: an overegged attempt to recreate Bake Offs glory days – review
University Challenge winners and contestants: what happened next?
he spookiness grew even spookier as the BBCs adaptation ofWilkie Collinss Victorian classicThe Woman in Whitereached its penultimate hour. The dastardly bromance between Sir Percival (evil with vast luxuriant moustache) and Count Fosco (evil with fountains of curls) hurtled towards a dreadfully logical conclusion, as the pair hatched a scheme to solve the formers money woes.
Whats on TV today: Bake Off: The Professionals, The Durrells and The Woman in White
Friday Night Dinner, review: this gentle sitcom should be required viewing for anti-Semitic trolls
Another dangling question was why Sir Percival was so keen to have Anne packed off to the asylum and ultimately killed in the first place. What terrible secret was she party to?
Keeping Faith: the Archers meets Twin Peaks in Welsh TVs unlikely crime sensation
Actually, all wasnt quite saved. With some light bribing Marian and Walter had sprung Laura out of the institution. But her wicked/dunderheaded uncle Frederick Fairlie (Charles Dancewith silly hair) refused to believe that his poor, supposedly-dead niece stood before him. This must be Anne Catherick and if she wasnt immediately taken from his presence, he would inform the police.
After a spell in solitary confinement Victorian madhouse solitary confinement at that Lady Glyde was understandably not quite herself. The abusive asylum staff had yelled at her that she was Anne Catherick and she was too deep into PTSD to resist. And while she recognised Marian during the rescue mission, she was unable to speak up for herself until her final face off with her uncle. Im not Anne Catherick Im Lady Glyde, she said, receiving a dismissive harrumph from foolish Sir Frederick.
The acting on the Woman in White has ranged from powerfully understated (Buckley) and feverish (the hyperventilating Vinall) to pantomime (Scott, whose moustache came close to literally twirling this week). But it somehow all slots together a testament to the performers and also to a fast-paced yet never over-stuffed script by Fiona Seres.
The episode also stepped beyond the gothic thriller territory of the first three instalments and embraced its inner police procedural as the death of Sir Percivals less-than-enthusiastic wife Laura aroused the suspicions of Lauras half-sister Marian (her suspicion being that Laura wasnt quite dead in the first place). All of that, and the anachronistic soap opera-speak was dialled down too characters were, praise be, no longer beginning every second sentence with okay.
A coward as well as a cad, Percival (Dougray Scott) initially feigned horror at the prospect of bumping off either or both of the pair (a horrendous question!). But he quickly came around to the perspective of Fosco (Riccardo Scamarcio). Marians fever was employed as a ruse to lure Laura to London. The next we saw of Vinall she was in a coffin, about to be lowered into the earth. Theyd gone ahead with it!
The Crown season 3: Helena Bonham Carter and Jason Watkins confirmed to join cast
If you would like to add a comment, please register or log in
How Britain can win Eurovision in 10 easy steps
Prince Harrys Story: Four Royal Weddings, review – a fascinating look at the man who has met his perfect match
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?: how a TV quiz made trivia a national event
We urge you to turn off your ad blocker for The Telegraph website so that you can continue to access our quality content in the future.
Emilia Fox: daughter wont be following in family footsteps because she doesnt believe acting is a job
The partners in slime were keen to have Laura out of the picture. Her fortune would clear Percivals debts and, as bonus, bag Fosco a tidy inheritance. If only she had an uncanny lookalike lately detained at the pleasure of the Victorian mental health system. By enormous coincidence, the series had already introduced us to eponymous Woman in White Anne Catherick (again played by Olivia Vinall).
From male model to Al Capone: Tom Hardys life and career in pictures
We rely on advertising to help fund our award-winning journalism.
From Friends to The Crown: the best TV shows on Netflix UK
BBC sexed up Woman in White to swap odious corpulence of fat Count Fosco for boyband heartthrob
© Telegraph Media Group Limited 2018
Britains Got Talent episode 4: have we met the hipster Michael Bubl?
Is this the end of the road for Nordic noir?
How is it, wondered Marian, the proto-feminist of the piece, that men crush women and go unpunished?
I understand why people kill: Actor Ben Whishaw on political scandal, sex, lies and being gay
Steakgate: a blow-by-blow account of the fracas that got Jeremy Clarkson fired
Marian refused to swallow the official line that her half-sibling had suffered a weak heart. She and Walter sought out scrivener/proto-Sherlock Holmes Erasmus Nash (Art Malik) and then set off to piece together the puzzle of Lauras death. They scoured every asylum within villain-commuting distance of London and at last tracked down Laura. All was saved!
Eurovision 2018: every contestants act, ranked from worst to best
When Fosco finally thought to close the door, Marian had no option but to scale the roof and dangleTomb Raider-fashion from a rampart, the better to catch the rest of the exchange.
Laura was packed off to the asylum in Annes place while her double was lured to a sticky end by Count Fosco (posing as a doctor). But the heiress was ultimately rescued courtesy of some top sleuthing by Marian (Jessie Buckley) and back-from-Honduras Sir Hunkalot Hartright (Walter to friends and played by ex-EastEnder Ben Hardy).
There was some impressive physical acting here from Jessie Buckley, who until now has mostly communicated with darting gaze and pursed lips. Unfortunately, her clambering coincided with a downpour from which she obviously contracted a fever giving Fosco and Percival just the excuse needed to whisk away Laura. Sometimes you wonder why you bother.
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? review: Jeremy Clarkson on the money while contestants flop
A woman suffers a life-changing ordeal yet is dismissed as delusional and mad. In the age ofMe Too, The Woman in Whites contemporary resonances dont need spelling out though writer Fiona Seres and director Carl Tibbetts were happy to do so anyway.
Syria: The Worlds War – a striking reminder of the human cost of the conflict, review
The episode began with a suspicious Marian eavesdropping on Sir Percival and Count Fosco as they discussed at the top of their voices essentially their plans for Laura (they might as well have put up a sign: Please Do Not Disturb Murder of Wealthy Wife Being Considered).