Based on book 2 (of 5) of the Agatha Christie novels, this limited British TV series chronicles the adventures of Tommy and Prudence "Tuppence" Beresford as the duo take over operations of a London detective agency. Each installment of the show follows one of the mini-mysteries from the "Partners in Crime" short stories, seeing the newlyweds hot on the trail of missing jewels, poltergeists, poisoned chocolates, and more. Written by
Three of the stories in the original PARTNER IN CRIME mystery story anthology were not made into TV shows; they were "The Man Who was No. 16," "The Adventure of the Sinister Stranger," and "Blindman's buff." See more »
As a lifelong Agatha Christie fan, and devotee of Joan Hickson's late 80s/early 90s Miss Marple adaptations, I had hoped that these early 80s curios would help fill my need for more Agatha. I can't imagine that these stagey productions would have met with the great lady's approval. Slow moving (especially when Tommy and Tuppence are on screen), and so lacking in dramatic tension that I am surprised more than a couple of episodes were ever screened.
Francesca Annis is dreadfully OTT and arch. Her stage make-up makes her look like a doll or a clown in some sequences. James Warwick is very wooden and emotionless. Reece Dinsdale's comedy cockney is even more annoying.
Tommy and Tuppence are totally unlikeable, and their laboured attempts at flirtation and humour fail at every attempt. Every witticism and remark in the script clunks to the floor under the deadly delivery of Annis and Warwick.
There's a nice range of guest appearances from some actors who went on to great things (Anita Dobson as a maid who bites the dust after two minutes on screen), but the supporting roles are obviously less significant to the two leads. As a result, anyone who tries to bring a bit of life to things (Liz Smith and Joan Sanderson, for example) are shot down as soon as they appear on the same set as Tommy and Tuppence.
The studio sets and studio lighting have aged very badly, and the whole production feels dated.
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