Masterpiece: Triple Feature (PBS) [4-Disc]
(Iain Glen, Ruth Wilson, Claudie Blakley, David Bamber, Francesca Annis, Imelda Staunton, Keir Charles, Lara Rossi, Lydia Leonard, Russell Tovey, Sharon Small, Stephen Rea, Vincent Regan, Andrew Burnap, Becky Ann Baker, Blythe Danner, Campbell Scott, et al / 4-Disc DVD / PG-13 / 2021 / PBS)
Overview: Enjoy these three acclaimed dramas from Masterpiece on PBS: Mrs. Wilson with Ruth Wilson; Flesh and Blood featuring Imelda Staunton and Francesca Annis; and The Chaperone starring Elizabeth McGovern and Haley Lu Richardson.
DVD Verdict: Mrs. Wilson: Alison Wilsons husband Alec is dead, when a woman arrives claiming to be his real wife. Alison must try and find out who her husband really was; but it soon becomes clear that Alec died holding his secrets close to his chest.
Another great performance by the mesmerizing actress Ruth Wilson who plays the naive third of four wives, Alison Wilson, of the real life bigamist Alexander Wilson, real or imagined, slight of hand is how this cheating husband lived at least four separate lives.
Alexander Wilson was an English writer, spy and MI6 officer. Alexander Wilson the author fooled his four wives by writing under the names Alexander Wilson, Geoffrey Spencer, Gregory Wilson, and Michael Chesney.
The story line is based on real events of Ruth Wilsons own family tree so who better to play Mrs. Alison Wilson but one of her own grandchildren, Ruth Wilson.
This is a dramatic reenactment of how the lives of the bigamist Alexander Wilsons wives and many children from his four concurrent (and illegal) marriages and parenthood suffered at the hands of a man who although very loving and family orientated, abandoned them all while serving a six (6) month term of hard labor in prison.
Mrs. Wilson is not only well written, but exceptionally acted by all who participated in this 3 episode TV mini-series. Indeed I thought that the third and closing episode was superb and allowed the audience to understand and appreciate the pain and suffering that bigamist Alexander Wilson (left behind by suddenly dying of a heart attack for his four (4) wives to deal with upon his sudden death).
Flesh and Blood: In this dark yet deliciously witty thriller, a band of adult siblings is thrown into chaos when their recently-widowed mother announces her love for a new man and family tensions quickly escalate - right up to the point of bloodshed.
The plot centers on Vivien, a recently widowed mother of three adult children, Vivien longs for love and affection, and she is ready for new adventures.
When Mark, a retired surgeon and widower, comes along, she decides to marry him. Her children are not happy about it, and when Vivien also plans to sell their childhood home, a lovely house by the sea, the siblings decide to investigate his past life. Was his first wifes death really an act of suicide, and what if their new stepfather only is after their mothers money?
In contrast to Viviens sudden happiness the three siblings are going through a bad patch. The oldest sister has neglected her marriage for her new job as a hospital manager, and her husband has left her. Jake, the brother, is deep in debt due to gambling problems, and is fighting hard to get his family back.
The youngest sister has a long term affair with her boss, who has promised to leave his wife, and marry her, but will he ever do that?
The main character of the drama, however, is not a member of the family. It is Mary, the loveable, but prying next door neighbor, played by the excellent Imelda Staunton.
She is an old friend of Vivien, and perhaps her feelings for Vivien are more than just friendly? Anyway, Mary is not happy to lose her old friend either. Will things work out in the end? My lips are sealed.
The Chaperone: Norma Carlisle (Elizabeth McGovern) accompanies future star Louise Brooks (Haley Lu Richardson) to New York. Discover who these women are, and who they eventually become. Written by Julian Fellowes, based on the novel by Laura Moriarty.
The story takes place when the teenage Louise Brooks (Haley Lu Richardson) leaves Wichita for New York City. She has been accepted to a major dancing academy and has no doubt that she will be asked to join their dancing troupe.
She is, as required at the time, accompanied by a chaperone, Norma Carlisle (Elizabeth McGovern). The spirited Louise and the proper Norma seem to have little in common other than wanting to be in New York City.
But we soon learn that there is more to Norma than meets the eye. A couple of surprises explain Normas earlier behavior in her interactions with her husband (Campbell Scott) as well as her later behavior as the story progresses.
McGovern and Richardson share most of the screen time along with some brief appearances by Amanda Otto, Blythe Danner and Geza Rohrig I continue to be impressed with Richardson who came to my attention, in 2016, in Split and The Edge Of Seventeen. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.