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Bedlam: Season 1

3.8 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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...

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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

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 8, 2011
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005F96UQ4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,244 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Loved the show, even the non-answers of the season ending episode 6. Not an over-the-top horror gorefest as so many are these days, but enough spookiness to satisfy. The 'ghost of the week' premise is a bit weak, but the underlying plot into which these hauntings are tied is intriguing. There's been development of the characters over the six-episode arc, but the characters still are left with enough ambiguity that anything could be happening with them, and any one of them could be involved in the major over-arching plot. Hoping we get a second series.

However, the DVDs have a major drawback -- you cannot skip over the commercials. You have to sit through 4 minutes before you can get to the show. While I appreciate BBCA's desire to sell other shows -- making me sit through commercials for a show in which I have zero interest EVERY TIME I want to watch this show, pretty much guarantees I will not be purchasing any more DVDs from them.

Unless it's a season 2 of this show. And even then, I may have to think about it.
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By JTL on October 19, 2015
Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I absolutely loved the first season of Bedlam. The story was engaging and suspenseful without being overdone. The character development was well paced and I think the actors they had clicked in a great way. I'm usually not into paranormal suspense drama type shows but the style they used to portray the different spirits for this was different and exciting. The only disappointment is that there aren't more episodes with the same cast after season 1.
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There is not very well made horror on tv much. With the exception of Ryan Murphy American Horror Story, I find myself missing it. Came across Bedlam from the recommendation of a friend and am glad I followed up. Great young actors and the creepiest setting make for good tv. Sorry to see that it came and went without giving many answers to the first season. Curious, does anyone know what happened in season 2?
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I love Theo James, but I wasnt "crazy" about this series. It was nice to finally see him in role using his lovely British accent, but the ever changing cast of characters, the residents of Bedlam, left me dizzy. Theo's character sees and communicates with dead patients from the mental hospital. These ghosts plague the current residents of the former insane asylum.
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It seems like it's been quite a while since we've had a good ghost story on television. Ironically, though, "Bedlam" debuted on BBCAmerica on the same week as FX launched Ryan Murphy's "American Horror Story." So, all of a sudden, I had two to check out and the shows couldn't be more different. "American Horror Story," for those that haven't seen it, is a spectacularly over-the-top freak show designed to push the boundaries of television and of reason. I have yet to decide whether I think it is brilliant or if it is convoluted rubbish--but one thing is certain, I can't tear my eyes away from it! "Bedlam," unfortunately, plays it much more conventionally and safe. The show has a terrific hook, though. It is set in a creepy former mental institution currently being renovated into luxury apartments. The building itself is disconcerting and scary and has a convenient adjacent grave site. A great selling point to prospective inhabitants! The hospital environment allows for plenty of unruly spirits to linger about and it would be easy to develop this premise into something dark and scary. I, however, think the show misses the mark in its first season.

Instead of evolving a complex mythology, each of the six episodes represented in the season has a self-contained haunting. At the beginning of an episode, we're introduced to a new character that we've never seen before but is somehow living there and is best friends with one of the lead actors. They have some sort of ghostly interaction and the spirit is released (literally) within the last five minutes to the other side. It's so formulaic, you can see every beat coming a mile away.
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After reading some of the reviews, I was surprised no one mentioned that most of the episodes in season 1 are less about the scary ghosts, and more about how the ghosts are related to the living. This show is primarily a metaphor about wrestling personal demons. The ghosts are previous residents of a mental institution, and most( not all) met with an unjust death. We then are introduced to the living characters who are either hiding terrible secrets of bad life choices, or are struggling with making a life choice. The plot intertwines the fates of the living and the dead and Jed, played by Theo James, acts as the medium guide until the truest course plays out. Yes the show is formulaic and soap opera-ish. The characters are all twenty somethings trying to figure out how to be adults. The creepy uneasiness of the show supports the anxiety the characters are going through. It's still a ghost story show, it just runs a little deeper than thrills and chills. If you are predominantly into scares and gore, this probably isn't the show for you. If you like twenty something dramas and the supernatural, you'll love it.
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