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Armchair Thriller: Set 2



The trio of stories that comprises "Armchair Thriller: Set 2" doesn't hold quite the same kick as Acorn Media's recent "Rivals of Sherlock Holmes" release; both collect old, obscure British mysteries heretofore likely seen on these shores by PBS devotees only.

Among the four discs are three miniseries: "The Chelsea Murders," "The Circe Complex" and "Quiet as a Nun," with "Chelsea" being presented twice, including as a condensed feature. Since the unedited, six-episode series is long on procedural exposition, I'd recommend the shorter one, unless you're a hardcore BBC/ATV devotee.

"Chelsea" does manage its share of creepiness, thanks to a clown-masked serial killer. (We had you at "clown-masked," right?) Its standout sequence finds a lovely young woman being pursued in her apartment by the bad guy, shot in such a manner that Alfred Hitchcock would be proud. I don't care if this is decades old "? if you watch this scene while home alone on a dark and stormy night, you run the risk of wetting your pants.

"Circe" is a rather mannered heist story, while "Nun" will appeal to fans of American aging-sleuth series like "Murder, She Wrote" and "Father Dowling Mysteries." All are shot on video (except for the occasional on-location exterior), so there are noticeable limitations to fluidity and direction; to some, this approach is comfort food. "?Rod Lott

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