I don't know if I've mentioned this, but I have a real thing for mysteries. I know they're not particularly mentally challenging, high-brow etc, but more than anything else on TV I enjoy a good episode of CSI or House. I can devour Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie and well-written modern mysteries such as The Oxford Murders in the matter of a day. Long travel journeys always require an Agatha Christie murder mystery on my i-Pod and I delight in the beautiful costumes in old-school murder mysteries such as the star-cast adaptation of Death on the Nile or Gosford Park. I don't know exactly what it is which appeals to me so much; it must be the cocktail of secret and mystery, beautiful people and clothes (you know it's so much more tragic when a beautiful young girl dies in a beautiful dress), the eerie low-light settings and haunting stories which rarely fail to surprise.
However there's always a little regret after finishing a great mystery; of course you can rewatch/read/listen again (which I normally do) to pick up on the clues you originally missed but there will never be that unknown answer for which you race through the mystery to discover and that final surprise. That's why when I discovered the 'powerful drama series' Cape Wrath (known as Meadowlands in America) in the 4oD archives and found myself engrossed through the 78 minutes which make up the first episode, I was delighted and eager to start watcching the second episode, but I didn't. Instead I have been restricting myself to one episode a day and am both dreading and looking forward to finding out the ending of the 7th episode.
It's a fantastic mystery; the acting is superb and it has all of the other elements I mentioned which I think create a 'beauteous mystery'. And like all good mysteries, it raises questions which probably won't be answered, and does get the watcher thinking. For instance, there is a character called Jezebel:
On the Channel4 Cape Wrath microsite (which is where all these images are from), the above picture is labelled 'Beauty Incarnate'. Jezebel is seen in Meadowlands as the most beautiful resident, but her mother says that she is only beautiful as long as people say she is. In this alternate world, Jezebel is seen as the epitome of beauty and that in itself is an interesting thought, of how society creates our perceptions of beauty.
It's just a shame there isn't a second series.