Arts

Something of the night Premium

29 May 2014 | by John Morrish

Television

 
QuirkeBBC1 An originaL setting can enliven a run-of-the-mill drama. A central character with an unusual profession helps too. And then there’s star power.Quirke (BBC1, 25 May) had all these. Set in Dublin in 1956, it featured Gabriel Byrne, so brilliant in the American series In Treatment, as one of those charismatic, mysterious figures who only has one name. He does, however, have a title. Dr Quirke is a pathologist in a busy city hospital. He is a man with a conscience, a human sympathy not always associated with his profession, and what we nowadays call “baggage”.  Extra-marital pregnancies, unwanted babies, orphanages, adoption and the role of the Catholic Church in managing that unfortunate reproduction line were at the heart of the plot, but writer Benjamin B




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