1 9 9 1 (UK)
6 x 50 minute episodes
Whilst on holiday on the English coast in Norfolk (to sort out the effects of his deceased Aunt Jane), Scotland Yard detective Commander Adam Dalgliesh (Roy Marsden) becomes embroiled in the hunt for a serial killer called The Whistler amidst a backdrop of mystery and intrigue surrounding the running of Larksoken, a local nuclear power station.
In fact, the serial killings don’t have anything to do with the main plot. They are gratuitous setups for the main murder. There are so many red herrings, you’d think the herring fleet had just arrived in Norfolk!
In the end, nobody really solves the crime. The killers – there are two of them – confess, each in their own grisly way.
The pace is slow, and there are too many subplots, but the acting – especially from Susannah York, Gemma Jones, James Faulkner and Tom Georgeson – is excellent, and the atmosphere is intense.
Devices and Desires was the sixth televised adaptation from Anglia Television of a PD James story featuring Dalgliesh.
Commander Adam Dalgliesh
Dr Alex Mair
Chief Inspector Terry Rickards
Det Sgt Stuart ‘Jumbo’ Oliphant
Dr Toby Gledhill
Detective Constable Price