Subtitled A Flaxborough Chronicle and based on the comic novels of Colin Watson, Murder Most English is a quirky and thoroughly entertaining BBC series from prime era mid 1970’s. The much under rated Anton Rodgers plays Detective Inspector Purbright working for Flaxborough CID. Ably assisting him is soon to be James Herriott and TV heart throb Christopher Timothy as Detective Sergeant Love.
Things are not quite as they seem in well to do Flaxborough and Purbright and Love are soon getting mixed up with spies, damsels in distress and of course murder.
There are some great faces popping up too, everyone from Moray Watson, Christopher Benjamin, Brenda Bruce, Stephanie Cole and the wonderful John Comer (Sid from Last of the Summer Wine). Interestingly the first story is a one and a half parter and the next story begins midway through an episode, this actually works quite well as you are already drawn into the drama by that stage.
With excellent scripts from the always reliable Richard Harris and a tongue in cheek atmosphere Murder Most English is wonderful company. Rodgers is quietly excellent as Purbright – part Sherlock Holmes, part Columbo with his pipe smoking and his dogged style. The supporting players are top notch too particularly Moray Watson who plays Chief Constable Chubb.
UK / BBC Two / 7×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 8 May – 19 June 1977
Writer: Richard Harris / Books: Colin Watson / Script Editor: Betty Willingale / Production Design: Stanley Morris / Producer: Martin Lisemore / Director: Ronald Wilson
Anton Rodgers as Detective Inspector Purbright
Christopher Timothy as Detective Sergeant Sidney Love
Moray Watson as Chief Constable Harcourt Chubb
John Comer as Sergeant Malley
1. HOPJOY WAS HERE (8 May 77)
2. HOPJOY WAS HERE PART TWO / LONELYHEART 4122 (15 May
3. LONELYHEART 4122 PART TWO (22 May 77)
4. THE FLAXBOROUGH CRAB (29 May 77)
5. THE FLAXBOROUGH CRAB PART TWO ( 5 Jun 77)
6. COFFIN, SCARCELY USED (12 Jun 77)
7. COFFIN, SCARCELY USED PART TWO (19 Jun 77)