Sunday, August 18, 2013

Classic British tv mystery series: spot on!

Got late summer TV blahs? Missing the intrigues of Downton Abbey? Desperate to hear some Cockney or Manchester or plain old British Posh? Jonesin' for a British mystery?  Or some high British camp? Dick Barton, Special Agent, is your ticket up and out. Bored after his return from the Second World War, commando captain Dick Barton (Tony Vogel) turns to solving crime, aided by buddies Jock and Snowey (James Cosmo and Anthony Heaton.) As only a British Gentleman can, Barton faces the dastardly and devious to maintain decency in post-war England. Touted as the grown up version of Enid Blyton's Famous Five children's adventure series, Dick Barton is a retro romp.
Daedalus is now featuring the Dick Barton: Special Agent Collection: "32 thrilling episodes" of the 1979 TV adaptation of the enormously popular British radio series. Best of all, the Daedalus price is $7.98 (new) for the 2 disc set ($34.95 new on Amazon. No really. It’s time to rethink your book and entertainment purchasing).
Ian Carmichael as Dorothy Sayers' hero Lord Peter
While you're at it, browse Daedalus's other great British TV mystery series:
  • The start of it all, The Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries: Set 1 and Set  2.  One of the finest mystery series ever filmed, its success on PBS's Masterpiece Theater inspired Masterpiece Mystery! British comedy actor Ian Carmichael plays Lord Peter to perfection in these original BBC adaptations of the Dorothy L. Sayers novels. (Daedalus has the fantastic Sayers books, too.)
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Alec Guinness (above left) is still the best George Smiley! His creator, John le CarrĂ©, thinks so. BTW, have you read his latest, A Delicate Truth?
  • Maigret: Complete Collection (Michael Gambon, Brenda Blethyn, Minnie Driver, Michael Sheen) Okay, it’s written by Belgian Georges Simenon, and set in France, but English actor and BBC mainstay Michael Gambon is spot-on in this 1992 Masterpiece Mystery!
  • In case you missed it, Endeavour: Series 1, including the pilot and all four episodes, is also available. That's the "prequel" to Inspector Morse, in which we get to see the opera-loving curmudgeon in the early days of his police career.
That should suffice until the Fall Season begins!
Alec Guinness again
Michael Gambon as Maigret


  1. By now I have mostly given up watching TV, but I did become a fan (long after the original broadcasts) of The Sandbaggers, a British spy drama from that same era, which one fan site calls "the best damned television show you never saw."

    During the show's brief run (20 episodes), its creator mysteriously disappeared.

    1. Nice...a real-life mystery! But M. Maigret dislikes cold weather!

  2. Ooh, I'll have to track that one down.