Skip the foggy Dublin streets and go directly to the QUIRKE Mega TV Page or read the prologue below. Either way, put the teakettle on for some Barry’s Tea first!
Quirke, a BBC mini-series filmed on location in Ireland, offers us one of Gabriel Byrne’s most iconic performances.
The series is comprised of 90-minute treatments of the first three novels in the Quirke series: Christine Falls, The Silver Swan, and Elegy for April. This BBC/Irish production began shooting in November 2012 and completed production in February 2013. It aired in the UK and Ireland in 2014.
Andrew Davies (Bleak House and House of Cards for television, Bridget Jones’ Diary) and the Irish playwright and director Conor McPherson (The Eclipse) adapted the Quirke crime novels, written by John Banville under the pen name of Benjamin Black, which are set in 1950’s Dublin.
Gabriel Byrne is Quirke, a pathologist who, once presented with a mysterious death, uses all of his skills and his understanding of human nature to discover the answer. His personal life is complicated by a troubled childhood, issues with alcohol, complex family relationships, and his own dour personality. Like all great detectives, even those who do not think of themselves as sleuths, Quirke is always searching for the truth and he does not fear “those mean streets,” even when he should. Mr. Byrne’s portrayal is as close to the bone of his own experience as we are ever likely to see. There are times when the words Quirke speaks are uttered as naturally as dinner table conversation or a talk with a close friend–always the sign of great acting and great writing–and the natural cadence of Mr. Byrne’s Irish accent and the timbre of a voice roughened by smoke and drink add a further realistic touch to this fictional creation.
Others in the stellar cast include Aisling Franciosi as Phoebe, Nick Dunning as Malachy Griffin, Michael Gambon as Judge Garret Griffin, Colin Morgan as Jimmy Minor, and Stanley Townsend as Inspector Hackett. Shot in Dublin and places nearby, such as Howth, there is so much architectural detail, smoky fog, and period costuming to delight us that we might almost forget the darker aspects of that decade: the authority of the Church, the social strictures, the lack of opportunity leading to massive emigration. A perfect time and place for a man like Quirke to cut to the heart of the mystery lying on his table.
The Quirke Mega TV Page provides trailers and video clips, promotional stills and screencaps, and interviews and reviews of the series, all designed to pique your interest in this fascinating look at one of Gabriel Byrne’s greatest characters. Make yourself a cuppa tea (preferably Barry’s), find a cozy corner, dim the lights, and take a trip back in time for a visit with Quirke.