The Shrine is the twelfth, and final, of 12 episodes using the original Alan Bennett scripts but with new actors, except that this and An Ordinary Woman were brand new scripts.
It centres around Lorna (Monica Dolan – Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa), whose partner, Clifford, died when his motorbike crashed.
She loved him, but she’s struggling to feel anything else at this time, which is understandable in a time of grief, and as such, Alan Bennett’s great writing shines through when she’s asked if she wants counselling and replies, “Why, do the RAC do that?”
Also, when she’s asked about putting flowers on the area where it took place, she declines as “he didn’t like flowers”.
Along the way, there were no witnesses to the incident, which she thinks is why the inquest has been delayed; she meets a vicar who’s also a biker, “I’m the Rev who revs”, she wants to keep the tyre tracks sacrosanct, so he’s no longer forgotten and doesn’t understand at first why other traffic still whips by rather than stopping to remember him… but then realises that no-one else knew him.
Meanwhile, after making the point that it’s no longer a crime scene, but a shrine, she notices a new set of flowers laid there… but who from?
The Shrine has a great performance from Ms Dolan and is another episode that’s well worth your time in watching.
The Shrine: Talking Heads is on BBC1 on Thursday July 9th at 8.30pm. The series is not yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
However, you can also the Original Talking Heads series on DVD.
The entire series is now available on the BBC iPlayer.
Director: Nicholas Hytner
Writer: Alan Bennett
Lorna: Monica Dolan
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.