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  • Before I begin, I have to confess that I have not seen the original series, so although I always aim to judge a film/series/episode on its own terms I can't compare. I saw this Bouquet of Barbed Wire because I was attracted to the cast which I have to admit are great on paper.

    However in general, I found Bouquet of Barbed Wire disappointing. It isn't completely awful though, it is strikingly filmed and the music is quite fitting with the mood.

    Of the cast, three really stood as excellent. Trevor Eve is never less than good, and here although his character is dozy is no exception. Hermione Norris is brilliantly understated, a style of acting she excels at, and Imogen Poots really holds her own against these two actors.

    My feelings on Tom Riley were mixed. There are times where he is very effective and appropriately seedy, but there are others where the performance feels over-egged. Nicholas Farrell gives his all and does have some gleeful moments, but his character seemed over-the-top to me at times, while Jemima Rooper was underused in my opinion.

    To me, the writing was rather trite and often unintentionally funny, particularly in the final episode. The character of Prue gets the worst of it. I was never particularly gripped by the story either, Prue and Gavin's relationship never came across as believable and some scenes don't flow from one to another coming across as jumpy. And please don't get me started on the scene with the balloon pilot being oblivious to his passenger jumping out.

    Of the episodes, episode two was the best, with the pacing at its most relaxed and the black humour at its most effective. Episode 1 was rather slow, while the final episode particularly with the overdone, melodramatic ending was a real let-down. I have to say I didn't care for the characters, Cassie was the only one who I came close to caring for. Gavin especially seemed like a typical boyfriend character with not that much to him.

    All in all, the cast is great, the series was disappointing. 5/10 Bethany Cox
  • I recorded all 3 episode of this series then ended up watching them back to back as it turned out to be so gripping! The casting and performances of the main characters was excellent, although I do think that that Peter should have been played by someone slightly more attractive. The actor who played Gavin was perfect for the part, as you have to be very good looking and sexy to get away with the darker aspects to that character. I can't really say much more without giving away the plot, other than to say do give this a go. Gripping, sexy, well made, well acted, good story. What more could you ask? By the way I did see the original series and read the book as a teenager, and really enjoyed the story back then but can't remember enough about it to really compare the two TV versions.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I do realize that the few who would care to read a review of this version of Bouquet Of Barbed Wire are either as old as I am (to have seen the original) or are fans of Brit TV, with time on their hands. To you, the following.

    The reason that I gave up so much time in my life, watching this, was because of my absolute fascination with the original, and because of my curiosity about an attempt to remake a gem.

    It's not that I am some "original is best" snob that makes me title the review as such. It's just a fact that the original was a better constructed, less convoluted, and far better acted TV event. While I like Trevor Eve, he seems better suited to bland but steady detective roles than to the complex character of Peter, the jealous father, whose petty but intriguing vanity requires a strong actor. Sadly, the same is true of Imogen Poots, who is sorely miscast in the role of Prue. Juno Temple, for example, would have been compelling to watch.

    The original roles were played by Frank Findlay and Susan Penhaligon. While Penhaligon's further career may seem, in hindsight, not as brilliant as one might have expected (given her shining performance in the original Bouquet of Barbed Wire) she remains, nonetheless, even in the many lesser roles that she delivered, by far a more interesting and engaging actor to watch than Imogen Poots--whose range seems not to extend beyond either smiling or weeping.

    When it comes to the question of Trevor Eve trying to come close to Frank Findlay's performance in the delivery of Peter, it's an even sadder comparison because Findlay was blessed with an immediately perceptible authority, in every role, that forced his audience to patiently wait to see and observe how he went about his work. Mr. Eve, in contrast, at least in this role, just seems to flounder about, from start to finish--as if, somehow, he'll manage to get it right, in the end.

    It seems hard to get hold of copies of the original, these days, and the remake is a completely disappointing and unsatisfactory substitute. Almost a double offence, if I didn't have the memory of the original solidly seared in my memory.

    Ironically, the entire misadventure of the remake goes to prove the quality of the original, because the novel on which both are based is not high literature, just simply a briefly popular novel published in 1969.

    Whereas the original television production was almost an accidental success, in that the right combination of actors deliver a dramatic rendition to equal and even surpass the popular attraction of the book, the remake obviously lacks a comparable impetus. The original London Weekend Television series occurred just seven years after the publication of the novel. The remake appears over thirty years after the LWT production. Given the wan and pallid delivery of the remake, it's painfully obvious that everyone involved in the 2010 production was focused on trying to somehow rekindle a long dead ember of interest that had completely been sated in the better version of 1976.

    Christopher Lee is said to have been disappointed by the very idea of a remake of The Wicker Man, suggesting instead that a sequel would be more appropriate, because the original had indelibly hit the mark. Such is the case with Bouquet Of Barbed Wire--a sequel would be far more appropriate than a watery pathetic attempt to remake a gem.