Mr. Hopjoy, a traveling salesman, has disappeared - to the relief of many husbands, the rage of innumerable creditors and the alarm of two mystery men from London, who know him as a spy. Is he dead? Chief Inspector Purbright investigates.



(dramatisation), (novel)

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Episode cast overview:
Moray Watson ...
Gordon Periam
Doreen Periam
Michael Robbins ...
Gary Watson ...
John Tordoff ...
John Bryans ...
Christopher Driscoll ...
Police Constable


DI Purbright and DS Love investigate the disappearance of a Mr. Hopjoy after receiving an anonymous letter saying the man had disappeared. The search of his house reveals a number of suspicious elements including blood and a carboy that once contained acid. As they look into his background, they learn that he was frequently absent for days at a time and was, to put it mildly, a libidinous fellow. He lodged with Gordon Periam, a tobacconist who, the pipe smoking Purbright notes, doesn't smoke. Periam is missing however, as is Hopjoy's car. While the results of the forensic examination of the house is still outstanding, Purbright learns from his Chief Constable that Hopjoy was something of a spy and that two of his colleagues, Ross and Pumphrey, will be conducting their own investigation. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery



Release Date:

8 May 1977 (UK)  »

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Warlock: [introducing himself] Mr. Purbright? Warlock. Hang-'em-on-a-nail department. Forensics.
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User Reviews

An excellent debut to the series. Flaxborough comes to life.
1 January 2016 | by (Swansea, United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Detective Inspector Purbright and team are called in when a random tip off leads them to an ordinary looking house, Brian Hopjoy, a commercial traveller has disappeared, and evidence of a crime is found. Further investigations turn up a grim discovery, a body has been done away with in nasty fashion, dissolved in sulphuric acid and away down the bath. Purbright is made aware that the Security Services have an interest, Hopjoy was in fact one of their Agents. Enquiries lead Purbright to Gordon Periam and his bizarre new wife Doreen, friends of Hopjoy's .

Wonderfully seventies, made pre the mobile phone and skinny latte era, how different crimes were back in the 70s. Policing, ultimately, so different to that of today.

The mortician Warlock is a little irritating, a little too big on the 'hearty' theme, but that's a minor quibble, it's a brilliant episode, really engaging, well acted, interesting story, it flows really well. It has a particularly down to Earth feel about it, there is a realism in the direction, somehow honest. Anton Rodgers is excellent as the stiff upper lipped, tweed jacket wearing Inspector Purbright. John Normington is great value too, such an underrated actor.

A great entry to the series, 9/10

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