Murder, She Wrote: Season 9, Episode 5

The Dead File (15 Nov. 1992)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Crime | Drama
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 52 users  
Reviews: 3 user

Jessica appears in a comic strip accusing various people of wrongdoing and triggering a lawsuit -- but the author insists he had nothing to do with it and his inker is killed in his studio.


(as Anthony Shaw)


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Title: The Dead File (15 Nov 1992)

The Dead File (15 Nov 1992) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Paige Kindle
Stan Hatter
Jerry Bozell
Robin Gammell ...
Roger Melton
Kris Kamm ...
Teddy Graves
Sergeant Martha Redstone
Dayton Whiting (as Patrick MacNee)
Mark Roberts ...
Russell Yorke
Rodney Kageyama ...
Ben Watanabe
Sid The Doorman
Mark Eric Howell ...
Neal Kaz ...
Van Driver


Jessica is no more amused to be the model for fictional 'Hatterville' detective Jessica Fox than its creator, cartoonist Stan Hatter, when two forged editions falsely accuse NYPD's former narcotics lieutenant Peter DiMartini and tycoon Roger Melton, who both intend to sue for a fortune. Then Ben Watanabe, Stan's 'letterer', is murdered, staged as a suicide, in the private studio where he works with talented apprentice Teddy Graves. Sergeant Martha Redstone is too easily satisfied with simplistic assumptions, so Jessica solves the case herself. Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

15 November 1992 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Loosely Based on Berke Breathed and Bloom County
30 June 2012 | by See all my reviews

Berke Breathed was a 'Pulitzer prize-winning' cartoonist who did a comic strip called Bloom County, blatantly ripped off from Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau. I'm not sure which one of these men this episode of Murder She Wrote might be based on, but my guess is Breathed.

Whereas Doonsebury did possess humor and political knowledge and deadpan Charlie Brown deliveries, Bloom County strived too hard to be funny. At its worst, it WAS funny, but that was hardly most of the time.

So here we have Fierstein as a cartoonist and someone is submitting doctored comic strips of his, implicating obvious figures in various scandals.

Jessica herself is portrayed as an accuser of sorts.

It took a while to figure out what exactly was going on, as in the span of an hour program, the ramifications had to be established rather quickly, making Jessica appear rather blustery.

People (very strangely) went to her asking why she was making these accusations in the comic strip for which she had nothing to do.

Amazing to think of gangstah rappers doing the same thing in hip-hop songs and they are considered societally inferior.

As I said, it takes a while to follow the charges of slander and how upset people can get. Then there is a murder and the show is back to its usual pace.

Definitely an intriguingly different episode, with Fierstein as a many-times-married cartoonist and Susan Kellermann (Latka's mother on Taxi) as the policewoman.

And how did things go in the real life version with Berke Breathed? He won a Pulitzer and eventually just vanished, while Trudeau's Doonesbury is still running today.

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