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Ordeal of Innocence. Comments of the Sarah Phelps adaptation for TV. SPOILER
The title is there to describe the troubles of the young children who are protected by an overpowering mother. They are all innocent of the real world that they are trying to escape to. Each of the children (as grown-ups of varying ages) had a reason to want to kill their adopted mother, Rachel. Having been challenged to prove their innocence of the crime to each other, the four surviving children and the housekeeper find it difficult to come to terms with the news that the killer that has lived under the same roof as them for so long. In a desire for revenge they feel that they are unable to commit the crime they have all been accused of, so they collectively decide to lock away the killer in the same way he shut away his son, which resulted in his death. They stage the apparent suicide of Rachel’s killer in the lake in the garden on the morning of his wedding to his secretary. But as the final seconds of the film reveal, Rachel’s killer still is alive but his surrounding may not be to his liking.
As a TV film in three parts, it was captivating and had all the suspense of a mystery and thriller. The identity of the murderer was kept hidden until very near the end of the film and leaving the children, now adults, to take revenge in an adult way – that could develop if the story were to continue. Congratulations to Sara Phelps; but this is not an Agatha Christie play.
@taliavishay-arbel interesting comments. I have read the story a few times and recently to have it fresh in my mind when I watched the adaptation. My review is on Sarah Phelps' adaptation; SPOILER - Rachel has tried to stop the children from experiencing the real world and goes out to 'collect' them and bring them back to her world. So, I think my thoughts on the innocents of the children stand up.
I really enjoyed the tv series. I think there has to be some leeway given to screen writers, and to expect every adaptation to be direct carbon copy of the original is unreasonable. To see how X director and X screen writer interprets ideas is a lot of the fun. Obviously it's subjective but that, too, is part of the fun and exploration. And also, if the writer here had written the script and it had been aired under a different title, don't you think people would have been accusing her of plagiarism to a large extent?
But she didn't give it another name and she didn't say I was inspired by ACs book and the bare bones were too close to the Book, Not only would she have had to give it another name she would have to have changed the Characters names and more of the outline, if she had done that and I been on my own I would have not watched after Episode 1. I would have rather watched one of the things I have yet to watch, It would have taken more than Bill Nighy to make me want to watch Further, I watched all 3 Episodes because it was Agatha Christie, that is what The BBC and SP relied upon.