The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Series 1 - Episode 1

The Mystery of Edwin Drood
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Radio Times
Review by:
Alison Graham

The Mystery of Edwin Drood is a curiosity known more for being Charles Dickens’s last, unfinished novel than for its dark story of drug-fuelled sexual jealousy and murder. Though, oddly, it became a musical.

In Gwyneth Hughes’s 2012 adaptation, Matthew Rhys (Mr Darcy in this Christmas’s Death Comes to Pemberley) is  restless, opium-addicted choirmaster John Jasper, who develops a fixation for the winsome Rosa, fiancée of his nephew, Edwin.

There’s an atmosphere of barely controlled simmering violence as people lurk in sepulchral shadows and brood. In fact everyone looks shifty and beetle-browed and there are fantasy sequences as Jasper, off his face, has the same thrilling nightmare about killing the foppish young Edwin (Freddie Fox). Concludes on Monday 30 December at 10pm.

About this programme

1/2. Psychological thriller based on Charles Dickens' unfinished final novel. Choirmaster John Jasper is a troubled man, frustrated by his life in the claustrophobic cathedral town of Cloisterham, addicted to opium as he seeks to expand his horizons and obsessed with the 17-year-old Rosa. The only thing standing between him and the girl is his own nephew, Edwin Drood. Matthew Rhys, Tamzin Merchant and Freddie Fox star in the first of this two-part adaptation.

Cast and crew


John Jasper
Matthew Rhys
Princess Puffer
Ellie Haddington
Rosa Bud
Tamzin Merchant
Edwin Drood
Freddie Fox
Rev Crisparkle
Rory Kinnear
Miss Twinkleton
Janet Dale
Mrs Crisparkle
Julia McKenzie
Ron Cook
Mayor Sapsea
Ian McNeice
Helena Landless
Amber Rose Revah
Neville Landless
Sacha Dhawan
Mr Grewgious
Alun Armstrong
Alfie Davis
Schoolgirl 1
Naomi Sheldon
Schoolgirl 2
Eleanor Yates
Josie Farmiloe


Diarmuid Lawrence
Executive Producer
Anne Pivcevic
Lisa Osborne
Gwyneth Hughes