The New TV Version of ‘An Inspector Calls’ is a Fine Adaptation of J. B. Priestley’s Stage Play

I was concerned that tonight’s BBC1 adaptation of ‘An Inspector Calls’ might turn out to be a travesty of the stage play, given the irritating pollution of so much recent TV drama by self-indulgent directorial over-production.

I need not have worried. Full marks on all counts: acting, casting, filming, editing, even the sumptuous location were all just right.

To begin with I didn’t think I was going to like the insertion of flashbacks; but they were used sparingly, in a way which helped to deepen the story and characterisation, rather than as the usual cheap reminders for viewers with limited concentration.

The only thing I could have done without was the addition of the actual suicide scene just before the end. It subtracted from the impact of Priestley’s masterstroke, the shock of that last phone-call; because now we already knew what it was going to say.

By placing the action in a sumptuous stately home environment, the production made the cruelly exploitative callousness of the Britain’s Edwardian upper class feel powerfully relevant to the hypocrisy of our present-day wealthy masters.

Overall a model for such adaptations. Bravo!

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The New TV Version of ‘An Inspector Calls’ is a Fine Adaptation of J. B. Priestley’s Stage Play

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