Gently and Bacchus experience the inflated authority of their "social betters" firsthand when a beautiful young girl is found dead in the passenger seat of an upturned car registered to local aristocrats.
Ellen Mallam is found dead in a submerged car belonging to Hector Blackstone, on whose estate her father Billy works. Bacchus is instantly hostile as Hector's spoiler son James is known for drunk driving and, whilst Hector is affable, his aristocratic wife Alethea is a dreadful snob with whom Bacchus crosses swords. James has a cut on his forehead and seems upset by the death. Bacchus theorizes that he left Ellen to die, but Gently is less certain. One thing of which he is assured, however, is that the aristocracy will always hold sway. Written by
don @ minifie-1
The names of John Profumo and Christine Keeler refer to the 1963 Profumo Affair that rocked the British government. John Profumo, the Secretary of State for War in Harold Macmillan's government, and Christine Keeler, an aspiring 19-year model. The revelation forced his resignation and a widening scandal which resulted in the defeat of the Conservative Party in the 1964 elections. See more »
[Gently and Bacchus have already met Lord Blackstone who has said "just call me Hector". Now they are questioning Lady Blackstone]
We found your husband's car, Mrs Blackstone.
I beg your pardon?
You hard of hearing?
My wife prefers to be "Your Ladyship".
Well I wouldn't mind being Bobby Charlton.
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When a young woman is found drowned in an overturned car that belonged to Hector Blackstone, the local earl, Bacchus immediately suspects his son James. Bacchus has already arrested him twice for drunk driving and both times his family pulled strings to get him off he is determined he won't get away with it this time. When the girl is identified it turns out that it was Ellen Mallam, the daughter of one of the estate workers and friend of James. In fact James had seen her earlier that night when she sang at a local club. The case isn't quite that clear though as there was another person there that night who had an interest in Ellen; James's friend Anthony Baugh. Anthony was the son of the local shop keeper but the Blackstone's had paid for him to attend Marlborough School with James before they went to Oxford together. As the story continues there is a second death; was it murder or suicide and if it was the latter was the motive guilt over killing Ellen or grief over her loss?
This was another good story with a rather tragic resolution; Ellen wasn't murdered, nor was she left to die alone it was just a tragic accident where the person responsible tried to free her from the car and stayed with her to the end; only then did he leave to protect his family. This served to make the story all the sadder. Before the resolution there were plenty of suspects and motives; there was also the revelation that the relationships between them weren't what they close to let the outside world believe. Once again Martin Shaw and Lee Ingleby put in fine performances as Gently and Bacchus; the former being a solid voice of reason while the latter lets his prejudices show in ways his boss doesn't approve of. They are ably supported by Geraldine Somerville who plays the domineering Lady Blackstone and Roger Lloyd Pack who plays the more down to Earth Earl. There were some nice political references thrown in; James was a member of Oxford's Bullingdon Club; whose most famous members are David Cameron and Boris Johnson, Prime Minister and Mayor of London and at the end the odious Anthony is seen practicing a political speech that uses some of former Prime Minister Anthony, 'call me Tony', Blair's best known sound bites the latter had me laughing out loud! The original crash seemed like a reference to the events involving Senator Edward Kennedy at Chappaquiddick although that might just be a coincidence. So far this series has featured two good stories; I hope they continue to be this entertaining.
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