1 9 8 2 (UK)
5 x 60 minute episodes
Victorian England is the setting for this BBC dramatisation of the famous mystery thriller by Wilkie Collins, often called England’s first detective novel.
Young drawing master Walter Hartright (Daniel Gerroll) meets a mysterious woman dressed all in white on Hampstead Heath one moonlit night in 1849. He is astonished when she refers to a family in Cumberland as he is to take up an appointment with them at their family home in Limmeridge the next day
He is perturbed to learn that the strange woman has escaped from an asylum and is further shocked when he finds she bears a striking resemblance to one of his two new pupils, Laura Fairlie (Jenny Seagrove), who is heir to a fortune.
The plot thickens as Walter and Laura fall in love but find their plans blocked by the villainous Sir Percival Glyde (John Shrapnel) and his evil cohort Count Fosco (the final acting role from Alan Badel, who died in March 1982, after completing his work on the series but before it aired).
Diana Quick costarred as Laura’s devoted and resourceful half-sister, Marion Halcombe. Ian Richardson played looney Uncle Frederick, who was super sensitive to noise, movement, light and life itself.
The five-part series – aired on Wednesdays and repeated the following Sundays – was dramatised by Ray Jenkins.
Sir Percival Glyde