Charles Dickens' final and perhaps darkest novel is chillingly adapted for the screen in this highly-acclaimed BBC series. Fuelled by hatred and opium addiction, choirmaster John Jasper (Matthew Rhys) has visions of strangling his debauched nephew Edwin Drood (Freddie Fox) and being with the object of his desire and obsession, Drood's beautiful fiancé Rosa Bud (Tamzin Merchant). As events unfold Jasper's sanity is pushed to the limit and when Drood disappears all may not be what it seems in this highly atmospheric gothic mystery.
Satisfying Conclusion to Dickens Last Incomplete Novel
- The Mystery of Edwin Drood review by CV
Charles Dickens in his final and incomplete novel attempts the genre of mystery excelled in by his rival, Wilkie Collins. The story has the expected twist (completed by a contemporary author) and makes for a satisfactory ending. The film itself creates the eeriness of the cathedral at night which, if I remember correctly, looks like Rochester Cathedral itself which is where Dickens imagined the drama to take place. Dark, shadowy and lofty interiors are contrasted with the wilderness of the heath by the Medway estuary. It is well cast and that of Jasper was spot from what I remember of the novel.
However, Collins still remains supreme in this genre: there is so much more ingenious plotting and his characters are so much more interesting - you never know who you can trust and they are less polarised than Dickens's. You still get the usual Dickens stereotypes in this film, including comedic characters and only that of Jasper seems to carry the main force and weight. Watch 'The Woman in White' and I hope one day they will make a film of 'No Name', also by Collins which was banned for its subject matter at the time!