Masterpiece Theatre

Season 12 Episode 23

On Approval

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Mar 13, 1983 on PBS

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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  • In the Edwardian era, on a Scottish island, two men (both in need of money) and two women (both rich) attempt an experiment in living together - platonically, of course.

    If you want to know what could have been made of Frederick Lonsdale's comedy of (mostly bad) manners, try the 1944 movie version directed by Clive Brook (who also stars as the Duke). It's hilarious. Alas, the same can't really be said of this television production, which lacks the manic edge of the film and instead concentrates on "poshness" to keep our interest. It's not enough - these are not stately personages, for all their elevated station, and there's no pace to the production, and little edge to the playing. One might have supposed that Penelope Keith would be a good substitute for Beatrice Lillie, who played Maria in the film, but her performance doesn't really come off. Lindsay Duncan, as the sanest member of the quartet, is charming.