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Masterpiece/Mystery - Laura Wise

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November 10th, 2013


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06:58 pm - Masterpiece/Mystery
To American friends, the words of my title may sound familiar. For decades, the Public Broadcasting Service had two flagship British imports. On Sunday nights was Masterpiece Theatre; on Thursday nights was Mystery!. Yes, you need the exclamation mark.

I loved them both, but I always had a special place in my heart for the Thursday night detectives. And I loved the original Edward Gorey credits for Mystery! with a love that is deep and true, as well as updated versions like this one, for Inspector Lynley.

An article in The Observer today tells me that David Suchet has filmed his last episode as Hercule Poirot. That got me thinking about my favorite Mystery! series.

Poirot would not, I'm afraid, be one of them -- although I have no objection to those televised workouts for the "little grey cells." I started wondering about what had been aired, and here's a list from 1980 to 2006, which must have been when the Thursday night airings folded into Sunday. Anyway, I remember that 1980 Rebecca -- JEREMY BRETT as Maxim de Winter, my friends -- and I remember Morse, and Campion, and the Granada Holmes series too, so vividly. These were hours of pleasure I can't quite do justice to.

Who have been your favorite television detectives? You need not restrict yourself to English ones. Or even English versions of Belgian ones. ;)

Off to watch Father Brown now, but may you have all the clues you need to start your week perfectly!

(17 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:chase820
Date:November 11th, 2013 01:30 am (UTC)
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I like Peter Ustinov's Poirot, because he looks so much like my dad (sans mustache).
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:November 11th, 2013 11:30 am (UTC)
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What a great link. :)

(My own father sounds like Matlock, bless.)

Happy Monday, Chase!
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From:janus_74
Date:November 11th, 2013 01:59 am (UTC)
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I like almost anything they've televised that's historical mystery; so Marple, Poirot and Foyles War. We've also started watching some of the modern stuff on Sunday nights, which is usually good fun.
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From:laurawise
Date:November 11th, 2013 11:31 am (UTC)
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LOVE Foyle's War. (My appreciation for Michael Kitchen knows no bounds.) But I've missed most of the new series, so I'll need to catch up on that....

Hugs and a great Monday!
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From:roguedemon
Date:November 11th, 2013 02:28 am (UTC)
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((Hugs)) Sorry I've been kind of absent lately. I hope you dream of British detectives and spies tonight, and may good things happen this week!
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From:laurawise
Date:November 11th, 2013 11:32 am (UTC)
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Hugs hugs, my friend, and good days for you, starting with this one.
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From:mamculuna
Date:November 11th, 2013 03:37 am (UTC)
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Yay for Lynley, Poirot, Morse (!), and Foyle (who I hear has a new series but I haven't seen it). On this side, have to mention Columbo and Monk, but I'm sure there are others I'm not calling to mind right now.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:November 11th, 2013 11:33 am (UTC)
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I couldn't get past the casting for Inspector Lynley -- I want him to be a blond avatar of Wimsey, as Elizabeth George wrote -- but I do love Morse (and Lewis!) and Foyle.

Columbo is a great choice, too. :)

Cheers and a delightful day!
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From:gwynnega
Date:November 11th, 2013 03:46 am (UTC)
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I remember enjoying Morse a lot. There's Holmes, of course, though I'm much more fond of various film adaptations than of the Jeremy Brett series.

::hugs::
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From:laurawise
Date:November 11th, 2013 11:35 am (UTC)
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I seem to remember that you're a Rathbone+Bruce Holmes fan, yes? And a Holmesian in general! But there are so many cool film interpretations. :)

Cheers and a great Monday! Hugs!
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From:gwynnega
Date:November 11th, 2013 06:26 pm (UTC)
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I'm a huge Rathbone fan. I also love Arthur Wontner as Holmes, and am also a fan of the much-maligned The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes.
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From:kathyh
Date:November 11th, 2013 10:02 am (UTC)
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OMG! Someone else who remembers Jeremy Brett as Maxim de Winter. I utterly adored that series and am very woeful that it isn't on DVD. Joanna David and Anna Massey were both perfect too and then there was the gorgeous music...

I loved Jeremy Brett as Holmes and saw him play him on stage too at our local theatre which was a huge treat. Campion was great fun and the early Morse episodes were so atmospheric you could nearly drown in them.

The detective my heart truly belongs to is, of course, Lord Peter. Edward Petherbridge may have been a tad too old to play him but I loved that series, and if there has ever been a more perfect Harriet than Harriet Walter I haven't seen her.

There are also very good radio versions of Whose Bodyf and The Nine Tailors with Gary Bond, but I don't think they are available commercially.

Father Brown was very enjoyable :)

Edited at 2013-11-11 10:02 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:November 11th, 2013 11:41 am (UTC)
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I was wee when I saw Jeremy Brett's turn as Maxim de Winter, and it has affected me for years. :) And yes, Joanna David impressed me very much as the heroine.

I love the first three Petherbridge adaptations, but Gaudy Night disappointed me. However, YES, Harriet Walter in that series IS Harriet Vane. Perfection!

Cheers and hugs, K! Happy day!
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:November 11th, 2013 08:46 pm (UTC)
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What a great list, L! Actually, there's a meme for you: 30 Days of Detectives. :))

Cheers and hugs!
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From:stateless82
Date:November 12th, 2013 12:19 am (UTC)
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I started naming them, but it's way too long a list, even if I take out the ones other people have mentioned- but the abbreviated version would have to include Ellery Queen, everyone on Due South, Simon Templer, Spenser, Baretta (though I'm not sure I'd want to watch it now), Jim Rockford (of course), Dale Cooper (Twin Peaks), Mary Spaulding from Intelligence(the old Canadian show, not the new one), and others to be thought of as soon and I click post.

I really want to say Nero Wolfe, but even though I liked the show, the casting never matched what was in my head. Wolfe should be more Sydney Greenstreet-ish.

[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:November 12th, 2013 12:59 pm (UTC)
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Of course Jim Rockford! And Ellery Queen!

I'll say to you what I said to BlueSwan -- this could be a meme, 30 Detectives You Love. You wouldn't have to post every day. ;)

Cheers and hugs, S!

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