Welcome to Bedlam Heights, a hip newly converted apartment building in the heart of Leeds. The high quality rental apartments offer stylish 21st century living, but behind the facade lie unimaginable horrors, for this former pre-Victorian asylum is haunted by the ghosts of its dark and violent past. Kate, who lives and works at Bedlam Heights, thinks anyone who believes in ghosts is a fool. Overly self-confident but ultimately self-destructive, she is surprised by the unexpected arrival of Jed - her adopted cousin. Jed is unique. With a history of mental illness, and he´s a troubled man who sees visions of the dead, the past and ghosts. He's convinced Kate is in danger from the spooks of Bedlam, but unbeknownst to him, Kate and friends Molly and Ryan, the truth will be far more terrifying...
Spooky things are afoot in this six-part Sky Living/BBC America series. Once upon a time, Bedlam Heights was a mental hospital. Now it's a luxury apartment complex in Leeds, much like Stephen King's Outlook Hotel, in which the dead tend to stick around. At first, Kate Bettany (Charlotte Salt), the sales agent, doesn't notice anything unusual (Bedlam has been in the Bettany family for generations). Her adopted cousin, Jed (Theo James), however, catches glimpses of the spooks, but keeps mum for fear he'll upset Kate and her housemates, closeted computer tech Ryan (pop star Will Young) and underemployed Molly (Ashley Madekwe), who think he's crazy anyway, as does Kate's father, Warren (Hugo Speer, Young's Skins
costar), the property manager. That changes after Jed saves Kate from a vengeful ghost, but their problems are only just beginning. Soon, a tenant goes missing, Kate and Jed embark on risky romances, Molly's new friendships turn sour, and Ryan runs into a patient (played by Rita Tushingham) who never left the premises. By the end of the season, the manipulative Kate and secretive Warren seem like the crazy ones, rather than Jed or any of the abused patients from centuries gone by, most of whom are just seeking justice for past mistreatment. The white-knuckle finale ends with everyone's relationships--and fates--up in the air. With its mix of attractive young people and unruly spirits, Bedlam
plays like Melrose Place
meets The Shining
with a side of The Ring
, since the black-eyed poltergeists communicate through computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices. Though the melodramatic elements won't be to all tastes, Bedlam
is a cut above most American attempts at the supernatural soap opera genre. --Kathleen C. Fennessy