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Malice Aforethought (2005)

Dr. Edmund Bickleigh is married to a particularly overbearing woman who reminds him at every turn that he is living in her house. But the good doctor has outside interests to help him cope:... See full summary »

Director:

David Blair

Writers:

Anthony Berkeley (novel) (as Francis Iles), Andrew Payne (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ronnie Masterson Ronnie Masterson ... Miss Janet Wapworthy
Phyllis Ryan Phyllis Ryan ... Miss Adele Peavey
Fiona O'Shaughnessy ... Florence
Barbara Flynn ... Julia Bickleigh
Ben Miller ... Dr. Edmund Bickleigh
Megan Dodds ... Madeleine Cranmere
Peter Vaughan ... Widdicombe
Lucy Brown ... Ivy Ridgeway
Kate O'Toole Kate O'Toole ... Mrs. Ridgeway
Gemma Reeves Gemma Reeves ... Beryl
Joseph Beattie ... Denny Bourne
Orla O'Rourke ... Gwynfryd Rattery
Richard Armitage ... William Chatford
Niall Buggy Niall Buggy ... Rev. Hessary Torr
Ger Ryan ... Constance Torr
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Storyline

Dr. Edmund Bickleigh is married to a particularly overbearing woman who reminds him at every turn that he is living in her house. But the good doctor has outside interests to help him cope: many of the town's female population seems to have had intimate relations with him. When a new arrival to town becomes involved romantically with Edmund, he decides maybe it was time his wife wasn't around much longer. He puts in place a plan to become free to remarry -- after all he has a cabinet full of lethal (and mostly legal) drugs on hand. But it's an old lover that proves his savior, at least for a short time. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey,com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Mystery | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

PBS [United States]

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 April 2005 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Ireland

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(2 parts)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Version of Mystery!: Malice Aforethought (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great story where you actually side with the "bad" guy
12 April 2005 | by JBoze313See all my reviews

So, you can't help feel sorry for Dr. Bickleigh...his older wife constantly puts him down, bosses him around, and is a general pain in the butt. He isn't a saint himself, he chose to marry her and also to have numerous women on the side. All the while tho, you can't help but root for Bickleigh and hope that he gets away with his actions. A horrifying idea really, since his motives are quite evil. Even worse, when you watch the film, you start to think to yourself that his motives aren't that evil at all, and you almost understand why he does what he does. Maybe, in the same situation, you might think of plotting the way he does as well.

Odd how a film can make you feel the opposite of what you should feel morally and reasonably. But this story does just that, and to me that's a sign of a good story when it can affect you on that level.

The cast is wonderful, and the settings are gorgeous- you never once feel as if you're watching a modern day tale merely set in the early part of the century, you just feel like you're there with them in a small British town, nearly a century in the past.

Ben Miller, who I only saw once before in a British comedy series called The Worst Week of My Life, was great as Bickleigh. He played the part so well, he was the real reason you rooted for him even when he was acting in such vile ways. He did a good of making you sympathize with the character and you easily found yourself understanding why he did what he did.

The plot was interesting, nothing too fancy or complicated, but a few twists were thrown in. I had no idea what the final outcome would ultimately be, and in the end, I was partly smiling to myself due to irony of it all, and I was also partly upset because it didn't seem as believable as the rest of the story. It seemed too easy the way things turned out, and after all that happened, it doesn't make sense that this would be his downfall- especially since there were some logical holes with the way things turned out. (I'm trying to explain this without spoiling any of the plot!) Anyhow, a nice piece of storytelling here, which is usually the case with the Mystery! films.


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