Dalgliesh is a very modern mystery series, with the first few episodes coming out as recently as November 2021, published and produced by the Acorn network. It’s based off of the classic Adam Dalgliesh Mystery Series by P. D. James, in my opinion one of the best mystery authors of her generation.
As of the time of this writing, Dalgliesh only has six episodes out, with each episode covering half of one of James’s published works, but it has been officially renewed for at least two more series.
In the Acorn series, Adam Dalgliesh is a Detective Chief Inspector of the Metropolitan Police, and as such he is called in to other small communities when there is a problem that the local police either require assistance with or that are considered particularly important for other reasons. Because of this, the series so far hasn’t had much of a unified cast, with only Bertie Carvel appearing regularly in the title role of DCI Adam Dalgliesh.
As in the books, Dalgliesh is portrayed as an intellectual and private individual, who has never truly recovered from his wife’s death some time ago. A published poet, he prefers expensive cars, as shown by the Jaguar that he drives both in the books and in the show.
It has been quite a few years since I’ve read the original works that this series is based on, but from my memory, this particular adaptation definitely seems faithful. Considering that the originals that it has been based off of are strong classics at this point, I definitely view that as a strong endorsement.
As is often the cases for adaptations of older works, this is a period piece that the author meant to feel modern, and the show does a great job of maintaining the atmosphere of the ’70s, which would appear to be the era that most of the series will be set in – which might be a change for some of the later entries, as James wrote her novels from the 1960s until the early 2000s.
All told, this is a really good adaptation of a classic series – definitely something I would recommend to anyone who has an Acorn subscription, and one of many reasons to give the service a try.
A word of warning (a sentence I feel I’m saying a lot about these more modern adaptations) – the show is a bit less “Cozy” than some cozy mystery lovers might prefer. In particular, this one features significant swearing.