Alleyn Mysteries: Season 1, Episode 4

Death at the Bar (9 May 1993)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 43 users  
Reviews: 2 user

During a display of dart throwing in a Cornish pub a man's hand is impaled by a dart, and he dies shortly afterward from cyanide although no one can explain how.


(screenplay), (novel)
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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
William Simons ...
Alan Gilchrist ...
PC Oates
Abel Pomeroy
Paul Bigley ...
Sebastian Parish
Robert Legge
Norman Cubitt
Mark Anstee ...
Will Moore
Carol MacReady ...
Mrs. Ives
Brian Rawlinson ...
George Nark
Anna Cropper ...
Violet Duffy
Peter Gale ...
Dr. Mordent, Coroner


After an evening of darts and vintage brandy, a distinguished, although amorous, barrister succumbs to rigor mortis in a cozy pub. Every witness swears that the freak accident was caused by a dart that punctured the victim's finger. But to Inspector Roderick Alleyn, the "accident" is really a clever case of murder and everyone in the bar has a motive! Written by Daphne O. Klemme <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery



Release Date:

9 May 1993 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


Chief Inspector Alleyn: Time to look under a few stones to see what's underneath.
Inspector Fox: I thought it was time for lunch.
See more »


The Very Thought of You
Music and Lyrics by Ray Noble
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User Reviews

Top Winterbottom
19 October 2006 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

I watch a lot of these BBC-produced mystery series. Its one of the few things from the TeeVee side that I can stand, though regular readers of my comments are used to me being disappointed by many of them.

Its because the BBC formula is fairly strict and apparently based on solid market research about how viewers want to spend their time unwinding after a work day. The problem is that these are mysteries and the way the mystery component is handled is dreadful, ordinarily. What they turn into is a storytelling form that has a surprise ending that we know is coming.

We aren't given enough clues to guess; we aren't supposed to. We are just supposed to enjoy the dessert when served. So what it boils down to is whether the writer and filmmaker merge into competent storytellers.

The director in this case is Michael Winterbottom, someone who knows his business. That makes this one of the very best made of any BBC mystery episodes. It really is superb and I recommend it. I came to this particular one because of Winterbottom, despite knowing that Ms Marsh's stories are inherently uncinematic. But this story is not hers and the combination of writer and director is quit sublime.

The way the story is told is a matter of flashes back and forward, blinking vision, confusing snippets, seeing and not seeing.

Winterbottom is a solid talent and he has given us something quite masterful where you have no reason to expect it.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.

4 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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