Cribb (1980–1981)
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The Choir That Wouldn't Sing 

Cribb and Thackeray go to the country to investigate the death of unpopular Captain Allbright who died as he was about to change his will in favour of birds' egg collectors to the detriment... See full summary »




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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Alan Dobie ...
William Simons ...
David Waller ...
Barry McGinn ...
Mr. Jessop
Gilbert Wynne ...
Albert Harris
Douglas Milvain ...
Mr. Wood
David Jackson ...
Henry Willing
Alan Downer ...
Joshua Pugh
Jeremy Clay ...
Walter Fenner
Ben Aris ...
Captain Allbright
Mrs. Gurney
Moir Leslie ...
Bernice Dawson
Mr. Strange
David John Duffy ...
Choir Boy
Paul Moloney ...
Choir Boy


Cribb and Thackeray go to the country to investigate the death of unpopular Captain Allbright who died as he was about to change his will in favour of birds' egg collectors to the detriment of his ward. The captain was running through woods at night and fell into a gravel pit. He sang in the local choir but the other members certainly aren't singing from the same hymn-sheet as far as Cribb is concerned. They claim to have been at choir practice but there are inconsistencies in their stories which lead Cribb to suspect a conspiracy. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Crime | Drama | Mystery



Release Date:

19 April 1981 (UK)  »

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User Reviews

When nobody is cooperating
1 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Captain Allbright, a wealthy landowner, has died under mysterious circumstances. He appears to have fled his home in the middle of the night, blindly running through the local woods, and fell to his death in a large stone and gravel pit. There are no signs of violence on his body, aside from the injuries sustained from the fall, as well as scratches on his face and hands, and torn clothing. But he is a wealthy man, and Chief Inspector Jowett is asked to look into it. So he sends Cribb and Thackeray to the village Allbright lived in.

What follows is not a totally unknown situation in Britain or any other country. Frequently locals prove very uncooperative with police (especially when the police come from a distant place). In my review of the movie KIDNAPPED, I mentioned the Appin Murder in 1752 of the "Red Fox" Colin Campbell in Appin Forest. Although James Stewart (of the Glen) was tried, convicted, and hanged for the murder, it is now recognized that family feuds (between the Stewart/Stuarts of Scotland and the Campbells) stemming from the Jacobite Revolt of 1745-46 of "Bonnie Prince Charlie" was at the root of the judicial murder of James of the Glen. The judge and jury were all Campbells. But the Stewarts in the area around Appin, to this day, know the actual killers of the "Red Fox", but refuse to tell it to anybody outside of their family. Similarly, the killers of William Clemens, Third Earl of Leitrim in 1876 were Irishmen who hated this particularly callous landlord. It was not until 1960 that a monument to the three killers was put up giving their names! Cribb and Thackeray find the same lack of cooperation in looking into the death of Captain Allbright. The locals just insist he was very ill, and in his fever and delirium he fled the safety of his bed and home, and ran amok until he fell to his death. It is a plausible scenario, but Cribb slowly finds inconsistencies about the story from the locals, most of whom claim they were at choir practice that night.

SPOILERS COMING UP The plot becomes a 19th Century version of Agatha Christie's MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, without the train. The Captain was preventing his ward from marrying a well liked local boy, and this led to the locals deciding to teach the old man a lesson - there was an old custom to frighten recalcitrant or nasty locals by chasing them through the forest, and the choir members did just that. Unfortunately, Allbright did not just get scared into changing his mind - he fell to his death accidentally.

Cribb takes the story back to Jowett, who is perplexed by this. It may mean hanging about ten people who were usually respectable, and for the murder of a person who behaved quite unreasonably. But Cribb does point out, the other version of the story (that Allbright ran through the forest while delirious) while odd is not impossible. Jowett sees the point - yes, it is not all that probably did happen that way.

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