The two detectives investigate a string of bizarre, seemingly accidental deaths occurring over three decades which somehow or other all involve the same man.




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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Mel Martin ...
Penny Highsmith
Veda Warwick ...
Florence Alderman
Steven Geller ...
Young Patrick Alderman
Daphne Alderman
Jonathan Cullen ...
Patrick Alderman
India Martin ...
Diana Alderman
Colin Buchanan ...
Dick Elgood
Susannah Corbett ...
David Royle ...
Mandy Burton
Geoffrey Wilkinson ...
PC Wedderburn
Jonty Marsh


Dick Elgood (Keith Barron), an old fiend of Dalziel's ('Warren Clarke'), unofficially reports two strange incidents which nearly kill him and asks Dalziel to investigate. The subsequent investigation by him and Pascoe ('Colin Buchanan') exposes a chain of bizarre, accidental deaths stretching back nearly three decades but not a single shred of evidence to suggest foul play! Each of the, seemingly unconnected deaths, have somehow or other benefited Patrick Alderman ('Jonathan Cullen') even though it could not be proven that he had any connection to the deaths. The trial leads to Penny Highsmith ('Mel Martin'), an old flame of Dalziel's, but goes cold when she is shown not to be involved. The case is eventually closed with the death, in mysterious circumstances, of Dick Elgood, the victim of yet another weird accident. Written by Mark Smith <>

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Crime | Mystery | Drama





Release Date:

28 June 1997 (UK)  »

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User Reviews

17 October 2016 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

This is one of my favorite episodes. Lots of twists and turns that seem to come together at various points, but then you get led down a different path.

Unlike most copper shows, this on does not gently lead you by the hand, and I love that at the end you're left to draw your own conclusions.

Were all the deaths a remarkable, seemingly impossible set of coincidences, or was there a guiding hand behind all of them?

Common sense tells you it HAS to be a single person at work, but it seems impossible.

Was it Patrick? Or his Mom? Or both? Or unrelated in any way. Or were some related, others not?

It leaves you with a range of possibilities, and never fills in the gaps. Some people might find it frustrating...."Well who DID do it, and how?"

I found it refreshing.

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