First Look: Arthur & George
by Aine Mulkeen
Spring has sprung and with it a whole host of televisual delights to look forward to – not least among them ITV’s sterling three-part adaptation of Julian Barnes’s Booker Prize shortlisted novel, Arthur & George.
The eponymous Arthur is none other than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, newly bereaved after the death of his wife, creatively slumping now that his creation, Sherlock Holmes, has sloped off into the Reichenbach Falls – and in urgent need of something he can get his formidable teeth into.
Handily for him, his attention is brought to the curious case of George Edalji, an unassuming young solicitor convicted of a series of gruesome animal mutilations dubbed The Great Wyrley Outrages. The game is very much afoot, and Sir Arthur gallops off in true Sherlockian fashion to prove the innocence of George, convinced that that he and his Vicarage-dwelling family have been the victims of racial prejudice.
And so begins a cracking first episode to the series, which boasts a betweeded Martin Clunes as Sir Arthur (sporting a terribly becoming moustache), Art Malik as George’s father (sporting a terribly unbecoming hair style), and Charles Edwards as Sir Arthur’s trusted sidekick, the sublimely named Woodie Wood.
Add to that some sinisterly cloaked trespassers, creepy encounters on countryside paths, and a doll that would give Chucky a run for his money – and you’ve got a first-rate adaptation of a first-rate book.
Don’t miss episode 1 of Arthur & George on Monday 2nd March at 9pm on ITV1.