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The Shadow Line and Stephen Rea

Marie-Louise Muir | 13:09 UK time, Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Yes I know everyone's raving about it, but I'm just not convinced by the universal praise being heaped on "The Shadow Line", the BBC 2 conspiracy series. Prime Suspect creator Lynda La Plante, who I interviewed earlier this week, told me she thinks it's "boring". I wouldn't go that far. Slow, mannered, knowing, but also frustrating.

I am a huge fan of many of the actors in it - Christopher Ecclestone, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sir Antony Sher and Stephen Rea. Rea, in particular, is a fabulous actor but I can't take him as Gatehouse in that silly hat, gloves and overcoat. He's constantly arriving at people's doors, silhouetted through the glass and back-lit like a Marvel character. Yes, I know, someone on Facebook put me right with "through a glass darkly", which is referenced throughout, Corinthians rather than the Ingmar Bergman film, but does everyone he visits have to have a glass-fronted door?

Anyway, at least he wasn't wearing the coat and hat in the hospital bed last week. I don't know, I know I'm being overly critical. My 20 something self back in the 'cough' 1980's (mid! 1980's) had a devotion to him like no other. When I was asked to help him with his lines for the Field Day Theatre Company production of "Saint Oscar" in the Foyle Arts Centre building in Derry , I do confess now that it was me, not him, who lost the place in the script several times.

All that said about "The Shadow Line", the record button is set for the last episode on Thursday night to find out how it ends. Finally.






  • Comment number 1.

    dear marie-louise dont agree with your comments about stephen rea!! totally brilliant acting the whole point was his hat gloves and appearing at doors!! he was cool and in controll made his character more believable!! so have faith it was deliberately slow but with so many twists and turns was truely brilliant and mr. rea made all seven shows amazing ans brill acting to boot!! cheers LORD ROCK xx


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