Modernity's classic conflict with the primitive wild is ablaze in this enthralling story of bloodshed in the battle between trees and pavement. Based on a Ruth Rendell novel, the story concerns a protracted fight by pro-environment extremists to stop a road from being built through a forest near Kingsmarkham. Detective Chief Inspector Wexford (George Baker) looks on in dismay as eco-terrorists and local bailiffs beat and maim one another, but he becomes directly involved when a weird series of daytime kidnappings--including the disappearance of his wife, Dora--are linked to a militant group.
As police procedurals go, Road Rage is a model of tea-sipping restraint: neither Wexford nor his close colleague, Mike Burden (Christopher Ravenscroft), ever loses his professional demeanor despite personal involvement in the case. Adapted for the screen by Baker, Road Rage is most interesting for its startling counterpoint between criminal monstrosity and heroic decency. --Tom Keogh