Four Oaks Mystery (ITV 1992, Mark McManus, Jeremy Brett)

The Four Oaks Mystery was a four part special that aired as part of ITV’s 1992 telethon. It featured one murder case investigated by four favourite ITV detective shows.

Although none of the four tecs meet, difficult in any case as the first story is a Sherlock Holmes Victorian set piece. The action begins when Holmes and Watson discover a gruesome double murder linked to a fortune in stolen jewels. A date with Moriarty means the case is left unsolved. Many years later Detective Inspector Van Der Valk picks up the threads of the case whilst investigating the murder of an Englishman found dead with a cache of antique jewellery.

Barry Foster as Van Der Valk. The numbers seen on screen were telephone numbers you could ring to pledge a donation amount.
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Next the action moves to Scotland as Taggart discovers links to the Amsterdam murder whilst investigating the murder of a young woman in Glasgow. Taggart himself barely appeared in this though it was mainly left to his subordinates. Finally it is left to Chief Inspector Wexford to bring all the strands together and actually solve the case.

Shown across the two nights of the Telethon this was a great bit of fun only let down by the short ten minute length of each.

In the Taggart episode Mark McManus only appeared on screen a couple of times.
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production details
UK / ITV / 4×10 minute episodes / Broadcast 18-19 July 1992

Writers: Ian Kennedy Martin, Alan Plater

Ruth Rendell’s Inspector Wexford was given the honour of solving the mystery.

THE EPISODES
SHERLOCK HOLMES (18 Jul 92) – A Granada production – Jeremy Brett as Holmes, Edward Hardwicke as Watson. Also with Phyllis Calvert.
VAN DER VALK (18 Jul 92) – A Thames Elmgate production – Barry Foster as Van Der Valk. Also with Jack Ellis, Anthony Valentine.
TAGGART (19 Jul 92) – A Scottish TV production – Mark McManus as Taggart, James Macpherson as Jardine) also with Lorraine Kelly, Paul Coia, Claire Grogan,
THE RUTH RENDELL MYSTERY (19 Jul 92) – A TVS production. George Baker as Wexford, Christopher Ravenscroft as Burden

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.