The quiet life of Oxford professor James Westgate (Bob Peck) is shattered when he is introduced to Penny (Miranda Richardson), the wife of his crass new colleague (Barry Foster). Westgate recognises her as his childhood sweetheart, and the two resume their friendship. Westgate is bored with his mundane college life, including his German friend Boris who experiments on animals in the lab, and the attentions of a shy male student who claims to be in love with him, so he is only too happy to be diverted into joining Penny in her search for missing archaeologist Pilkington (a fellow Oxford colleague). As Westgate's obsession with his childhood friend grows, he is drawn into a tangle of misunderstanding, intrigue, and murder. Barry Foster imbues his character with comic ineptitude.
The film uses heavily the 4th movement from Schubert's Trout Quintet to great effect.
Awards and nominations
Best Actress (nomination): Miranda Richardson - BAFTA TV Awards