The Secret of Crickley Hall: Review: Episode 3

Crickley 3Is it too late to save anyone from Augustus Cribben?

The final part of this adaptation veers away from the original James Herbert novel in places (certainly in terms of the fate of one of the children – which would have been nigh on impossible to do on television anyway) to create a rewarding hour that pays off all the various hints and plotlines of the opening episodes.

The scenes where Gabe and Eve learn the fate of Cam are truly heart-breaking. Suranne Jones and Tom Ellis capture the utter despair and anguish of the bereaved parents (and coming to that after watching a preview of the new series of Miranda just demonstrates how good an actor Ellis is). The two girls are also very good in their scenes, particularly with Donald Sumpter, whose Gabriel/Maurice is chilling in his simplicity when he’s explaining that Cribben only needs one of them…

And as for Douglas Henshall’s Cribben, he’s one of the true monsters in both time periods. The look he gives at the end as he refuses Nancy’s offer and returns to his study – there’s so much promised menace unspoken that a shiver runs down your spine.

Overall, this has been a thoroughly spooky and engrossing tale. Maybe Joe Ahearne could tackle one of Herbert’s David Ash series next?

Verdict: A well-acted and directed finale.  8/10

Paul Simpson


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