In Victorian times Detective Sergeant Cribb works for the newly formed C.I.D; Its the time of Jack the Ripper and the streets of London are full of vagabonds and neer do wells and Cribb does his best to crack his cases without the benefits of modern day crime detection (no fingerprints, no forensics crew) helped only by the doleful Constable Thackery (William Simons).
Cribb is excellent, Alan Dobie, who had premiered the character in a one off play – Waxwork the year before, has a real laid back style. Based on the series of books by Peter Lovesey, Cribb was a series full of intricate plots (often incorporating real life events such as Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men In A Boat and the arrival of elephant Jumbo at London Zoo).
Episodes revolve around such subjects as a long distance walking race (Wobble To Death), bareknuckle fighting (The Detective Wore Silk Drawers), the world of spiritualism (A Case of Spirits) and even terrorism (Invitation to a Dynamite Party).
There’s also plenty of well known faces cropping up including the likes of Andrew Burt, Michael Elphick, Linda Robson and Elizabeth Spriggs.
UK / ITV – Granada / 1×75 minute episode 13×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 23 December 1979 – 10 May 1981
Producer: June Wyndham-Davies / Novels: Peter Lovesey / Executive Producer: Peter Eckersley
ALAN DOBIE as Sgt Cribb
WILLIAM SIMONS as Constable Thackery
DAVID WALLER as Insp Jowett
WAXWORK (23 Dec 79)
SEASON ONE 13 April – 25 May 1980
1. SWING SWING TOGETHER (13 Apr 80)
2. ABRACADAVER (20 Apr 80)
3. THE DETECTIVE WORE SILK DRAWERS (27 Apr 80)
4. THE HORIZONTAL WITNESS (4 May 80)
5. WOBBLE TO DEATH (11 May 80)
6. SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW (18 May 80)
7. A CASE OF SPIRITS (25 May 80)
SEASON TWO 29 March – 10 May 1981
1. MAD HATTER’S HOLIDAY (29 Mar 81)
2. THE LAST TRUMPET (5 Apr 81)
3. THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE (12 Apr 81)
4. THE CHOIR THAT WOULDN’T SING (26 Apr 81)
5. MURDER OLD BOY? (3 May 81)
6. INVITATION TO A DYNAMITE PARTY (10 May 81)