Period crime drama series Partners In Crime was set in the 1920’s and followed young married couple Tommy and Tuppence Beresford who set up in business as private detectives tackling everything from murder to the theft of priceless jewelry.
There had been Agatha Christie productions on TV before of course, going right back to the 1930’s (and not to mention the hugely successful 1960’s and 1970’s cinema outings for Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot) but Partners In Crime, made for the ITV Network, was really one of the first times a full series had been made.
In The Secret Adversary (made as a feature length try out) Tommy Beresford (Warwick) and Tuppence Cowley (Annis) meet up just after the end of World War One and find themselves caught up in a British secret service mission in which they have to track down a highly top secret document that was taken off the Lusitania just prior to its sinking.
After the lavishness of The Secret Adversary the series settles down into a more studio bound ten part series. Warwick and Annis are nicely personable leads too and the 1920’s high society settings adds greatly to its charm.
It’s fair to say that the characters, who not as well known as Marple or Poirot, provide a nice counterpoint to their stories. Partners In Crime was more Edgar Wallace in tone than anything with secret crime gangs and the like well to the fore.
Guest stars included the likes of Peter Barkworth, Honor Blackman, Alec McCowen and Donald Houston (all The Secret Adversary) as well as Dulcie Gray, Graham Crowden, Lynsey Baxter, Denis Lill, Anne Stallybrass and Christopher Scoular.
2015 saw the arrival of a high profile 6 part BBC series starring David Walliams and Jessica Raine that updated the action to the 1950’s.
UK / ITV – London Weekend Television 1×120 minute episode 10×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 9 October 1983 – 14 January 1984
Producer: Jack Williams / Stories: Agatha Christie
JAMES WARWICK as Tommy Beresford
FRANCESCA ANNIS as Tuppence Beresford
REECE DINSDALE as Albert
1. THE SECRET ADVERSARY (9 Oct 1983)
2. THE AFFAIR OF THE PINK PEARL (16 Oct 1983)
3. THE HOUSE OF LURKING DEATH (23 Oct 1983)
4. THE SUNNINGDALE MYSTERY (30 Oct 1983)
5. THE CLERGYMAN’S DAUGHTER (6 Nov 1983)
6. FINESSING THE KING (27 Nov 1983)
7. THE AMBASSADOR’S BOOTS (4 Dec 1983)
8. THE MAN IN THE MIST (11 Dec 1983)
9. THE UNBREAKABLE ALIBI (18 Dec 1983)
10. THE CASE OF THE MISSING LADY (1 Jan 1984)
11. THE CRACKLER (14 Jan 1984)