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Detectives on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown 

When the lead star of 'The Gourmet Detective' mystery show is mysteriously bumped off. A bunch of various detectives from television shows from the seventies are teamed up with a television detective of the nineties to solve the crime.

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Bonehead / Gourmet Detective
Peter Richardson ...
Foyle / Jason Bentley
Dave Spanker
John Forgeham ...
Sara Stockbridge ...
Virginia Fiol ...
TV Executive
Howie Nicol ...
TV Director
TV Producer
George Antoni ...
Writer (as George Yiasoumi)
Emma Bernard ...


The lead star of a Detective series called "The Gourmet Detective" is found shot dead during an after show party. The only clue is a spangly boot which leads the commander and chief of the local police force to suspect that the perpetrator of the crime is a seventies style criminal. Informing modern day "nineties" copper David Spanker that he must team up with a crew of various TV Detectives from the seventies. Spanker reluctantly has to follow orders. The assembled team of maverick police Detectives comprise of "Shouting" George of "The Weeny", Bonehead and Foyle of "The Bullshitters" and the suave, flamboyant Jason Bentley. But as the law of hackneyed Detective show's dictates. Attempting to solve the mystery proves stressful. As the five ego's and separate crime fighting methods clash. Solving the brutal slaying might be the least of the Detectives problems in this hilarious and anarchic spoof. Written by Robert McElwaine

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Release Date:

22 April 1993 (UK)  »

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Spoofs The Sweeney (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

A superbly realised parody of TV Detective show conventions
7 October 2016 | by (Clydebank, Scotland) – See all my reviews

From the outset, "Detectives on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" pretty much follows in a similar vein to the Comic Strip Presents... previous, seventies detective series spoof: "The Bullshitters." Especially considering the maverick duo of Bonehead and Foyle were brought back for this hilarious outing. It's straight forward premise concerns the murder of master TV sleuth and chef, "The Gourmet Chef" after the filming of one of his cookery shows has ended. With a spangly boot found at the scene of the crime, it is left to the Police forces commander and chief to call in seventies coppers, "Shouting" George of "The Weeny", Bonehead and Folye who make up "The Bullshitters as well as the flamboyant, sophisticated, David Bentley. The purpose of which is to assist contemporary Geordie detective, David Spanker crack the case as it appears to be a seventies style crime that needs to be solved by seventies style crime-solvers. Inevitably the clash of styles and egos proves to be problematic at best.

With a neat although not entirely fresh concept DOTVNB showcases much of what was best about The Comic Strip Presents....when it was at it's most ingenious. Inspired casting, some clever and amusing set pieces with a wonderfully funny musical number to set the comedic ball rolling, it never really let up up until it's satisfying conclusion. The entire cast bounces off one another superbly and seem to be genuinely enjoying themselves in each of their individual roles, with the most enthusiastic turn coming from a an aggressively, load mouthed and abrasive Jim Broadbent who parodies the late John Thaw's Jack Reagan superbly. Peter Richardson and Keith Allen are once again reliably effective as the swaggering Bonehead and Foyle with the former also donning a silk suit with frills to play the smooth talking charmer Jason Bentley with considerable aplomb .

The hilarity that ensues as the mismatched members of the team figuratively butt heads and the natural chemistry that flows, especially in the amusing pub scene nearer the end would be close to impossible to match. If there is a flaw however that at only half an hour in length (the majority of Comic Strip episode were about an hour long) it perhaps seems to end after it's only just got started. Never the less, that aside it's still difficult to fault what is essentially an effortlessly constructed piece of lampoonery. Not one to miss if you can get a hold of it to watch.

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