Place Of Execution is a 2008 television mini-series, which spans over three episodes. The series is definitely a mystery, but it focuses on two parallel storylines. The first follows Detective Inspector George Bennet (Lee Ingleby), as he attempts to unravel the disappearance of a missing Derbyshire girl. The second follows journalist, Catherine Heathcote (Juliet Stevenson), as she films a documentary about the historic case. During Catherine’s scenes, the viewer explores the case through the eyes of an older George Bennet (Philip Jackson).
The mystery slowly unravels, as we begin to discover that there are many parallels between Catherine and her daughter, Sasha Heathcote (Elizabeth Day), and the 1963 case. We also begin to learn that DI George Bennet knows more than he initially tells. Quick into the documentary’s development, Bennet pulls out and attempts to end all relations with Catherine. Is the case drudging up too many terrible memories, or is he hiding something potentially incriminating? Does he know, yet continues to hide, the identity of Alison Carter’s (Poppy Goodburn) murderer?
All eyes soon turn to Alison’s step father, Philip Hawkin (Greg Wise), who is disliked by pretty much everyone in town. Matters only worsen for Hawkin, when horrendous photographs are discovered and potentially expose Hawkin’s perverted relationship with Alison. Of course, Hawkin has an alibi and attempts to convince the detectives that the photographs have been manipulated to frame him as the culprit. Once Catherine gets a whiff of the news, she attempts to acquire the photographic evidence, only to discover that it has recently been destroyed in a fire.
Upon the discovery, Catherine immediately suspects George of wrongdoing and attempt to dispose of the evidence. In flashbacks, we also discover that the young detective doubted the evidence, but still allowed it to be presented against the defendant in the courtroom. This very evidence led to the downfall of Hawkin, who is severely punished for the crime, but the mystery still lingers. Was Philip wrongfully punished for the crime and what does George Bennet know that Catherine and the rest of the world does not?
As the mystery finally unfolds, we see that nothing is what it seems. Everything is different and the conclusion is entirely unpredictable. So, how is the mini-series overall?
Place Of Execution Review
All in all, I did like Place of Execution, although I found it to be a bit slow from time to time. The older scenes were undoubtedly spot on and definitely felt legitimate and realistic. The acting is brilliant, with Greg Wise, Philip Jackson, Lee Ingleby, and Juliet Stevenson leading the way. Although some of the character’s behaviors are awkward and erratic at times, they’re generally easily ignorable.
The mystery is truly why Place of Execution excels. It remains intriguing and will keep the viewer guessing from the beginning to the very end. And of course, the conclusion is brilliant, well thought out and definitely unpredictable. Although Place of Execution isn’t perfect, it is still a fun watch. A 7.5 out of 10 is deserved. The series is currently available on Amazon and it well worth checking out.