Dalgliesh: Shroud For A Nightingale puts Bertie Cavell in the lead role, and me at the spellchecker each time I’m typing “Dalgliesh“.
(Edit: Just realised, I originally put Dalgliesh, then changed it to Dalgleish, and back to Dalgliesh…. I am confused.Dom!)
NOTE: I’m posting this review after each respective episode has been shown, and I’ll discuss elements within the episode, but obviously won’t reveal who did the deed.
Set almost 40 years ago, at the Nightingale House Hospital, it’s time for the nurses’ training, which involves putting a tube down the throat of the not-too-willing a participant Heather Pearce (Beccy Henderson), before pushing air down it to aspirate the stomach (which looked pretty gross. I hope it was CGI for this, but obviously in the ’70s, it won’t have been), but a situation develops which leaves the poor nurse training subject writing about in pain, making me feel like very Halloween-style.
Sadly, this leads to the first death, due to a strong, corrosive stubstance, everyone later learning that a bottle of disinfectant has gone missing. Naturally, cops Dalgliesh and his No.1, DS Charles Masterson (Jeremy Irvine), are concerned because a member of the Cabinet is booked in for an operation there later that month and they won’t want any of this shenanigans going on.
Along the way, some people at the hospital are responsive to questioning, while others are belligerent. But who did the murders since everyone has access to the posion, and there’s no particular known motive?
Is it the cleaner? Is it Morag, the nurse for whom no-one has particularly high regard, or is it Professor Plum in the library with the candlestick? Given the cause of death, probably not the latter… but overall, while this passed an hour reasonable fine, and it was well-acted, it wasn’t massively exciting and felt quite pedestrian.
I will say that Bertie Carvel is seen driving quite a cool classic car, although I don’t know what it is offhand. If you know, please let me know in the comments.
If you like the type of detective drama that’s exactly like the type you find at 8pm on ITV on a Sunday, running for two hours, this will be right up your street. Yes, this plays out over two nights and on weeknights, since the Sunday night primetime dramas are rather oversubscribed on BBC1 and ITV, and from this Sunday also include Close To Me on Channel 4.
UPDATE Episode 2: Adding this in after episode 2 has been broadcast, I don’t have anything to add, really, that wouldn’t be spoilery. Safe to say that whatever you thought about part 1, the same can be said for part 2. That’s it. Go home. You’re already home? Good.
Dalgliesh: Shroud For A Nightingale concludes tomorrow night on Channel 5 at 9pm, with more episodes every Thursday and Friday for the next two weeks also. The series is not yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
If you miss it, you can watch the each episode on My5 after transmission.
Episode 1 Score: 5/10
Episode 2 Score: 5/10
Series Directors: Lisa Clarke, Jill Robertson, Andy Tohill, Ryan Tohill
Producer: Georgie Fallon
Writers:Stephen Greenhorn, Helen Edmundson
Novel: PD James
Music: Andrew Simon McAllister
Chief Inspector Adam Dalgliesh: Bertie Carvel
DS Charles Masterson: Jeremy Irvine
Matron Mary Taylor: Natasha Little
Helen Rainer: Sally Scott
Josephine Fallon: Siobhán Cullen
Dennis Lerner: Paul Mallon
Gordon Halliwell: Patrick Regis
Nurse Christine Dakers: Helen Aluko
Darren Wilkes: Sami Amber
Maureen Burt: Alex Kristoffy
Theresa Nolan: Maeve Smyth
Shirley Burt: Robin Kristoffy
Henry Carwardine: George Robinson
Dominic Swayne: Fra Fee
Eric Hewson: John Hollingworth
Nurse Pardoe: Alice Nokes
Miles Kynaston: David Pearse
Heather Pearce: Beccy Henderson
Henry Yates: Kieran O’Reilly
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.