Thursday, 13 May 2010

The Man in the Mist


I’ve watched another in the Partners in Crime series from the 80s, featuring Francesca Annis and James Warwick as Tommy and Tuppence Beresford. This episode was 'The Man in the Mist', and involved the murder of an actress who is about to marry and is seeking a divorce from a reluctant husband.

The idea of the original stories which formed Partners in Crime was that Agatha Christie would conceive a mystery in the style of a popular whodunit writer of the 1920s, and Tommy and/or Tuppence would, in effect, detect in the manner of the writer’s sleuthing hero. It was a clever idea, and as far as I know has never been done in quite the same way before or since (if I’m mistaken on this, please don’t hesitate to point it out – I’m aware of plenty of mystery parodies, such as Gory Knight, but not an extensive series of linked stories forming a single book in the manner of Partners n Crime.)

In this particular story, Tommy takes on the role of G.K.Chesterton’s legendary Father Brown, and spends the episode dressed improbably as the little priest. He also leads a re-enactment of the circumstances surrounding the crime which help to reveal how it was done.

This was an enjoyable episode. It’s very light entertainment indeed, comfort viewing if you like, but done very well. Of course, the plot has limitations, but I enjoyed it. And the verve with which Annis and Warwick play their parts is central to the pleasure.

4 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Martin - The Partners in Crime series is really fun, isn't it? I confess, I haven't seen that particular episode, but if it's as enjoyable as the others, I'm sure you had a good time with it.

Clarissa Draper said...

I remember that episode. I should go back and re-watch those. Anyway, I'm reading your book now and loving it. You mentioned in chapter three that your character has been to Beatrix Potter's house, have you been there? I think it would be a lovely place to visit.

CD

Uriah Robinson said...

This series was one of my favourites on TV maybe because I could spend all day looking at Francesca Annis. She returned to the small screen many years after Partners in Crime, starring with Neil Pearson in the crime series Between the Lines, and more recently in Cranford.

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks for your comments.
Clarissa,yes, I've been there and it is indeed lovely. In fact I was once interviewed there by Radio Cumbria, much to the bewilderment of passing tourists.
Uriah, I share your admiration for her!