Moonstone, The

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0420110213

Paul Rhys as Franklin Blake, Kenneth Cranham as Sergeant Cuff, Bill Paterson as Mr Bruff and Jasmine Hyde as Rachel Verinder star in Episode Four of Doug Lucie's dramatisation of Wilkie Collins's detective masterpiece.

Franklin Blake returns from abroad determined to get to the bottom of the mystery of the missing diamond and persuade Rachel to talk to him again. In Yorkshire he makes a shocking discovery at the quicksand and then sets up an amazing re-enactment of the fatal night a year ago.

Opium plays an important part in the re-enactment as it was used widely for killing pain in mid-Victorian England and in Blake's case by accident to help him sleep after stopping smoking cigars. A strange medical man called Ezra Jennings enters the story and movingly describes how opium has helped him to combat a disease for many years (which sounds like cancer but is never explained).

After finally discovering who stole the diamond, the action moves back to London as the Indians have reappeared just as the Moonstone is likely to leave the Bank at the end of the year's pledge. A chase to a pub in the East End of London ends tragically for a man in disguise and the final postscript from Mr Murthwaite tells of the diamond's final resting place back in the forehead of the Indian deity.

Cast:

Franklin Blake - Paul Rhys

Rachel Verinder - Jasmine Hyde

Betteridge - Steve Hodson

Sergeant Cuff - Kenneth Cranham

Mr Bruff - Bill Paterson

Ezra Jennings - Peter Marinker

Mr Luker - Stephen Critchlow

Rosanna Spearman - Alison Pettitt

Mr Murthwaite - Paul Bhattacharjee

Lucy - Rachel Atkins

Gooseberry - Harrison Webb

Recorded on location by Lucinda Mason Brown

Original Music by David Chilton

Dramatised by Doug Lucie

Produced by Janet Whitaker

A Goldhawk Essential production for BBC Radio 4.