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P.D. James: Devices and Desires


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Product Details

  • Actors: Roy Marsden, Susannah York, Gemma Jones, James Faulkner, Tony Haygarth
  • Directors: John Davies
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Koch Vision
  • DVD Release Date: August 5, 2008
  • Run Time: 310 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00199PPCE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,322 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "P.D. James: Devices and Desires" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

A serial killer known as "the Whistler" has been terrorizing the women of London and Scotland Yard detective Adam Dalgliesh (Roy Marsden) gets caught up in the search in this adaptation of P.D. James’ best-selling mystery. With twists and turns around every corner, Dalgliesh must navigate through an assortment of bizarre suspects to stop the murderer once and for all. Will he solve the case before it’s too late?

Customer Reviews

I especially like Adam Dagliesh played by Ray Marston.
Eugene R. Kreibich
Dalgliesh, however, is redeemed because he deals with complex and often clever murders.
C. O. DeRiemer
The pace of the storytelling allows for the development of the characters and the plot.
Pat Kulinowski

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Koch Vision presents "DEVICES AND DESIRES" (4 January 1991) (310 mins/Color) -- the 1989 detective novel in the Adam Dalgliesh (Roy Marsden) series by P. D. James --- It takes place on Larksoken, an isolated headland in Norfolk --- Commander Adam Dalgliesh, having published his second volume of poetry, retreats to the remote Larksoken headland where his recently deceased aunt, Jane Dalgliesh, left him a converted windmill --- However, a psychopathic mass murderer, known as the Norfolk Whistler, is on the loose and seems to have arrived at Larksoken when Dalgliesh finds the body of the nearby nuclear power plant's Acting Administrative Officer during an evening stroll on the beach --- We then watch the effect a following series of interlocking plots have on each other --- Certainly one of the outstanding examples of P.D. James mystery writing.

Under the production staff of:
John Davies - Director
Thomas Ellice - Screenwriter
P.D.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gary G. Newman on May 9, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was very disappointed with the audio of this DVD. I turned the volume up on my TV to the highest level and was still unable to hear most of the dialogue even when the music didn't drown it out completely.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Pat Kulinowski on August 31, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Enjoyed watching real actors at work. The pace of the storytelling allows for the development of the characters and the plot. There is nothing like a Brit mystery!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David Bower TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 10, 2011
Format: DVD
This series takes Dalgliesh to the Norfolk area where his recently deceased Aunt Jane has left him her home which is a converted windmill. As one would expect, murder and mayhem precede him and compels him to use his considerable skills to help the local police unravel the mystery.

This particular series is not for general viewing by the entire family as there are several scenes with partial frontal nudity and rather graphic scenes of murdered corpses; I cannot recommend this one for children. From the perspective of British detective shows this one is good and holds ones interest through all six episodes.

As is usual liberties are taken with P. D. James' story line but all in all the series works pretty well. There are some lovely beach scenes that help establish a mood of isolation.

If you're a Dalgliesh fan you'll probably enjoy this one too.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By bethecondon on August 18, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Unlike many other works of P D James,this one is slow moving,probably because
Dalgliesh is not in charge of the investigation.It is also somewhat unrealistic
(even for fiction),as 7 women have been murdered at night,and women are still
going outside alone after the sun sets. The discovery of the main murderer seems
to have occured with little police input (it's a wonder the local "cop" was
not superceeded by an outsider).The technical production is good,except I do
miss not having Closed Captioning (British sound/pronunciation takes some
careful listening at times. Also,a spell out of the character names would have
been helpful). All this said,this DVD set is worth viewing and my remarks should
be considered along with more positive ones,such as those of "Mr Jim".
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Format: DVD
What to make of this mystery from the BBC that runs on (and on) for more than 300 minutes? In that time we have a terrorist plot against a nuclear facility on the coast of Norfolk; a serial killer called the Norfolk Whistler; a brother and sister relationship that is loyal to the point of, well, we won't go there; it's all our own nasty thinking anyway; a protest by a young activist against the nuclear plant because birds might be displaced; a copycat slaying that mimics the modus of the Whistler; and so much exposition the killer could die of old age before he'd be caught. There's also hanky panky in the grass, blackmail, government interference, family anger, unbridled ambition, all kinds of major relationship problems, wise old geezers and several glimpses of the uncovered breasts of female corpses. British necrophiliacs must be a big part of the BBC's audience.

In the middle is Commander Adam Dalgliesh (Roy Marsden), stern, moralistic and, in this story, nearly as passive as a muffin. He's taking a bit of time off from his job with the Metropolitan Police Service at New Scotland Yard. He's finished a new book of poetry and has come to stay in a converted lighthouse that he has inherited. Since he's on vacation and not the copper in charge of investigating the Whistler murders, he busies himself taking long walks, stumbling across corpses and meeting people. These include the attractive Meg Dennison (Susan George); the head of the nuclear plant, Dr. Alex Mair (James Faulkner); and Mair's sister, Alice (Gemma Jones). All are exceedingly well mannered, even when they're distraught. Dalgliesh knows the chief inspector in charge of the Whistler case, Terry Rickards (Tony Haygarth), who once worked for him.
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