Acorn Media / Region 1 / Released March 30, 2010
Ian Carmichael was in his element in this entertaining 1970’s period crime drama series, considered by many to be the very personification of the debonair private detective Lord Peter Wimsey. With the couple of mysteries (five were made in total) just released on DVD we can certainly agree on his consumate playing skills.
Created by Dorothy L Sayers during the golden age of British crime fiction Wimsey is a man of independent means and a proper English gentlemen – in a kind of distant cousin of Bertie Wooster kind of way.
This BBC series (which aired between 1972 and 75) takes us back to the roaring 1920’s where Wimsey manages to get involved in murder at every turn. This first set includes the first two stories from the series; In Clouds of Witness Wimsey finds himself in rather murky waters when his brother Gerald is accused of murdering his sister’s future husband. Meanwhile, in The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club Lord Peter is caught in the middle over a bequest to an upmarket club. Aided by his loyal manservant Bunter and with a police contact in the shape of Mark Eden’s DCI Charles Parker, Wimsey uses his upper class foolery to get one over on those he is investigating who always underestimate him. Incidentally the stories each span across several episode.
The series has that classic 1970’s BBC feel, gorgeous set design and costumes and some high quality guest stars in these first two stories including the likes of Clifford Rose, David Langton, Anthony Ainley, Anna Cropper and Terence Alexander.
The three disc set also features an interview with the late Ian Carmichael and a bio of Dorothy L Sayers.