The Mrs Bradley Mysteries
|The Mrs Bradley Mysteries|
|Genre||Period crime drama|
|Created by||Gladys Mitchell (character)|
|Directed by||James Hawes and Martin Hutchings|
|Theme music composer||Ray Henderson and Matthew Scott|
|Opening theme||You're the Cream in My Coffee|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||5 (incl. 1 special)|
|Executive producer(s)||Mal Young|
|Running time||60 mins (inc. ads)
90 mins (special)
|Original channel||BBC One|
|Original run||31 August 98– 6 February 00|
The Mrs Bradley Mysteries is a 1998-99 British drama series starring Diana Rigg as Adela Bradley, and Neil Dudgeon as her chauffeur George Moody. The series was produced by the BBC for its BBC One channel, based on the character created by detective writer Gladys Mitchell. Five episodes were produced, including a pilot special. Graham Dalby provided the theme music You're the Cream in My Coffee and he appeared with his orchestra in two episodes. Stylish images of the 1920s are featured, including a classic Rolls Royce limousine and art deco fashions and jewellery worn by the title character.
The series was shown in the United States by PBS broadcaster WGBH as part of its Mystery! anthology strand, and introduced by Diana Rigg. The full series was also aired in Australia in 2011 by the Seven Network's station 7Two.
- 1 Episodes
- 2 References
- 3 External links
Pilot: Speedy Death
Mrs. Bradley, with her trusty chauffeur George, arrives at Chayning Court for the engagement party of her god-daughter, Eleanor Bing. Later that evening, Eleanor's fiance is found dead in the bath and his startling secret is revealed. The police are called in and conclude that his death was nothing more than a tragic accident. Mrs. Bradley is not so easily satisfied—why was there water on both sides of the bath, why was the window open, and why was the door unlocked? While the rest of the household attends the funeral, Mrs. Bradley launches her own investigation, using her prodigious charm and wit to help the local police catch a killer.
John Alderton as Alastair Bing; Lynda Baron as Mrs. MacNamara; Emma Fielding as Eleanor Bing, aka 'Mouse'; Simeon Andrews as Family Doctor; Tom Butcher as Bertie Philipson; Tyler Butterworth as Ferdinand Bradley; Emma Davies as Hermione Bradley; John Conroy as Henry Baxter; Sue Devaney as Mabel Jones; Tristan Gemmill as Garde Bing; Andrew Hallett as Constable; Roger Grainger as Funeral Vicar; Alec Linstead as Wedding Vicar; Carmela Marner as Pamela Storbin.
Episode 1: Death at the Opera
...is set at Mrs B's alma mater, Hadleigh Heights Academy for Young Ladies, where she has been invited to give an annual lecture. During the preliminaries—a student production of The Mikado—one of the teachers fails to make her stage entrance. She's dead, of course, though whether from murder or stage fright is a mystery. The principal's husband, Dr Simms, diagnoses a heart attack and sees no reason to call authorities. But Mrs B notices signs of a struggle, scratches on the inside door frame, and she soon turns up no lack of suspects and motives. The victim's lover was apparently art teacher Max Valentine, who is observed at a local nightspot dancing the tango with Mrs Simms. Then there is deputy principal Mona Bunting who seems to have been having affairs with the victim and Max. Unfortunately, she ends up asphyxiated in the school's kitchen oven. Things look very bad for Max when it is learned he is using an assumed name. Mrs B takes a shine to Plum Fisher, the deprived scholarship girl who found the first body.
Peter Davison as Inspector Christmas; Roy Barraclough as Dr Simms; David Tennant as Max Valentine; James Hurn as Alfie; Amy Marston as Agnes Delamere; Annabelle Apsion as Mona Bunting; Elaine Claxton as Miss Ferris; Susan Wooldridge as Mrs Simms; Monique DeVilliers as Clementine; Carli Norris as Plum Fisher; Ken Oxtoby as Mr Jenner
Episode 2: The Rising of the Moon
...takes Mrs. B. and George to the circus, where the girlfriend-assistant of knife thrower Castries is found dead in a Jack-the-Ripper-style slaying. Castries has a fierce temper and plenty of weapons. But Archie the clown also has a motive, since he lost top billing to Castries when Madame Marlene became circus manager. Archie seals the case against himself when he is caught red-handed standing over Madame Marlene's corpse with a bloody knife. He manages to escape by hijacking George and the Rolls. "Tell me," says George driving off with the fugitive clown, "where do you go when you run away from the circus?" But things are not what they seem, for at this moment, miles away, Mrs. B. is about to become victim number four just as she is discovering victim number three.
Peter Davison as Inspector Christmas; Meera Syal as Madame Marlene; Kenneth Colley as Archie; Francis Magee as Castries; Sheila Steafel as Celestine; Peter Gallagher as Little Bernard; Nikki McInnes as Lilly; Big Mick as Tom; Felicity Montagu as Ruby Larkin; Richard Baglow as Peter; James Baglow as Francis; Nick Woodeson as John Forrester; Janine Duvitski as Mrs. Cockerton.
Episode 3: Laurels Are Poison
...involves Mrs. B. and George in a case of pharmacological forensics, supernatural science, and the sociology of underwear. That is to say, the victim has been killed with poison, apparently by a ghost, and the key clue is a missing corset on the corpse. Of the last, Mrs. B. observes: "The tyranny of the foundation garment is one of the major obstacles to the full emancipation of women." The setting is the haunted country manor of Mrs. B.'s old friend Lady Isabel Marchmont. Also in residence are Isabel's pregnant daughter Lacey, grandchild Algernon, and creepy son-in-law Douglas. Strange as it may seem, Seth the gardener has a threatening hold over Lacey and Douglas. Meanwhile, something odd is going on in the pantry between Mrs. Parkin the cook and Alf the chauffeur, leaving the cook's daughter Jessie as the only denizen of the estate untouched by intrigue. Mrs. Parkin is the first corpse to turn up. Seth is the second. A heart-rending subplot involves the World War I experiences of all the men in the story, including George whose family learned of his brother's death from a letter written coincidentally by Douglas. Needless to say, the spectre that haunts the manor is called The Ghost of the Soldier.
Episode 4: The Worsted Viper
...ends the season with a double celebration: Mrs. B.'s esteemed colleague Inspector Christmas is being honored for services to a seaside town; at the same locale, George's daughter Cecily is marrying hotel clerk Ronald Quincey. The festivities are marred when the daughter of Reverend Baines turns up dead on the beach, a worsted viper tied around her neck and her hair roughly shorn. It reminds Mrs. B. of the case of Black Jack Briggs, involving similar murders centred on a religious cult. Another victim with a worsted viper appears, suggesting that this town has more to worry about than smugglers, adulterers, and chicken thieves. Add to that devil worshipers. Piecing together clues from the victims, the parish register, and letters to a local advice columnist called Miss Behavior, Mrs. B. concludes that the risk factors for sudden death are weddings and virginity, which point ominously to Cecily as the next target. In the course of the surprising solution, we learn how Inspector Christmas got his name.
Peter Davison as Inspector Christmas; Pooky Quesnel as Delilah Hicks; Isla Blair as Myrtle Quincey; Rebecca Callard as Cecily Moody; Jason O'Mara as Jake Hicks; Matthew Burgess as Constable Sharp; Charlotte Francis as Temperance Baines; John Bowe as Reverend Baines; Alex Palmer as Lester Hicks; Katie Lown as Polly; Eddie Marsan as Ronald Quincey.