Cribb (1980–1981)
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Murder Old Boy? 

Inspector Jowett is invited by florid ex-school fellow Russell Haygarth to attend a reunion weekend, where Jowett quickly tires of his old class-mates' japes. Discovering that Haygarth is a... See full summary »


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Episode complete credited cast:
Alan Dobie ...
David Waller ...
William Simons ...
Russell Haygarth
Terence Edmond ...
Petra Davies ...
Edgar Wreford ...
Montague Penn
Eric Dodson ...
James Archer
John Bryans ...
Dr. Partridge


Inspector Jowett is invited by florid ex-school fellow Russell Haygarth to attend a reunion weekend, where Jowett quickly tires of his old class-mates' japes. Discovering that Haygarth is a convicted swindler Cribb and Thackeray travel to warn Jowett and find that Haygarth is hoping to relieve the company of their money for a supposed donation to the school. That night he is found hanged - it is murder made to look like suicide. One of the party confesses that Haygarth seduced his wife and, given that none of the eminent men are what they seem, there is no shortage of suspects. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Crime | Drama | Mystery



Release Date:

3 May 1981 (UK)  »

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User Reviews

Chief Inspector Jowett's big moment in the "Cribb" Series
1 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

David Waller was a familiar face in British television and movies in his career - never a big name character actor but a dependable one. His best recalled performance (to me) was as that master politician Stanley Baldwin (in EDWARD AND MRS. SIMPSON) forced to manipulate a foolish monarch off the throne (he does so quite adroitly, but he does regret the necessity of it). But usually Waller played "Col. Blimp" types - conservative, authority figures who slow down or put up road blocks to the plans of other characters in the story lines. He was given the role, in the "Sgt. Cribb" series, of Chief Inspector Jowett, Cribb's supervisor. Except for the episode A CASE OF SPIRITS (where Thorley Walters played Jowett) Waller kept the role in the entire series.

In the series he was more than just the man who gave Cribb his assignments. Cribb's tragedy (if you follow the novels) is that he is a very sharp man, but he is lower class - he is not likely to ever get into an Inspector's job, even if he deserves it. Jowett is upper class, and he has gotten into a Chief Inspector's job. He is not brilliant (he needs Cribb for that) but he is careful and observes the statutory law

  • and he has the fine understanding of the social order to know just

what is expected to be covered up if anything has to be.

The reason Jowett has gotten as far as he did is that he's honest. In 1877 the Detective Branch at Scotland Yard was badly shaken by a bribery scandal that officially ended with three Detectives (two of them Chief Inspectors) going to prison, and the head of the department having to retire even though the jury found he did nothing technically illegal. The exact extent of the bribery scandal is still unknown (it is suspected that many others were bribed over the years, but only the four on trial were caught). Jowett never took a bribe, so he was promoted to Chief Inspector.

Usually Jowett appeared in the background of the stories (exception was A CASE OF SPIRITS, where he was one of the believers in paranormal phenomenon). But in MURDER OLD BOY? he is brought forward into the plot (like Thackeray was in THE HORIZONTAL WITNESS). Jowett is sent an invitation to a reunion of his public school class. This by itself is nothing, but Jowett is disturbed by the person who sent the invitation: a man named Russell Haygarth (John Carson), who has had a checkered career to say the least. So Jowett asks Cribb and Thackeray to go to the local village and check into the inn there, and do some outside inquiries while he attends the reunion.

It is a smallish reunion. Only three other men from the Public School Class attend: a doctor (boasting of his surgical standing), an actor (who is constantly suggesting that Sir Henry Irving, Richard Mansfield, and William Terriss are taking tips from him about performances), and a solicitor. The doctor used to bully Jowett, and seems prepared to resume this. As for the school, it has had better days. The headmaster is a young man (Terence Edmond) and there is a house matron (Petra Davies) but little evidence of any fresh students. In fact, the reunion is (suspiciously) occurring during a holiday week - when no students would be there to be seen.

The bulk of the episode finds Jowett recalling the less pleasant aspects of being a public school boy, due to the bullying of the surgeon. He also does demonstrate that while not Cribb's equal as a detective in finding clues he is sharp in his own way (his suspicions about Haygarth are proved right). Cribb also finds out that Jowett's three fellow alumni have things to hide as well, and that the school is on it's last legs (Thackeray actually is shocked that Jowett is connected to such a second-rate public school). The crisis comes after Haygarth makes a pitch for funds to save the school. Shortly afterward he is found murdered.

The conclusion is one of the better ones in the series, especially for those episodes written for the series. And Jowett is last seen, after the others have left, enjoying the remaining days of his vacation with the school matron.

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