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Television series

Bedlam: Season One

Has nothing to do with football, everything to do with ghosts.

Rod Lott December 21st, 2011

Bedlam Heights has an occupancy problem. Seems so few people wish to rent an apartment in a building that was once an insane asylum. Fewer when they learn the place is haunted by the ghosts of its former residents.


The renovation is the project of Warren Bettany (Hugo Speer, "The Full Monty"), whose lovely daughter, Kate (Charlotte Salt, TV's "The Tudors"), serves as landlady. It's a family affair, because the building has been in the family for 300 years. When Kate is almost drowned by an evil spirit, her ghost-busting cousin, Jed (Theo James, TV's "Downton Abbey"), decides maybe it's best he extend his brief visit and work as a handyman.

Jed possesses the power to see ghosts and glimpse their pasts, and he receives warnings to help Kate and other via messages on his mobile phone. (Unfair! That's not offered by my calling plan.) In these six episodes comprising the freshman run of the BBC's hit "Bedlam," he monitors all the strange goings-on, from a run-over cat in a woman’s kitchen and art defaced with handprints, to the requisite spooky child to messages carved into the walls.

Interspersed with the scares are doses of “who’s bedding whom?” Thus, “Bedlam” turns a bit soapy, but works up enough a foreboding lather than I didn’t mind. Besides, it’s only a tad more relationship-driven than "Being Human," the BBC brother it most resembles, and Salt is as winning a heroine as these things get. Plus, it’s far less campy than our own “American Horror Story.” A second season will be welcome. —Rod Lott

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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