Ruth Rendell Mysteries (TV Series 1987– ) Poster

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Why no cast list
Sulla-211 August 2005
Why no cast list for this very popular TV programme of the 90's. It should really have been called ' Wexford ' The star, Detective Chief Inspector Reg Wexford is played by George Baker a very experienced and accomplished UK actor. The programme is set in rural England, probably Hampshire. Wexford is a good old fashioned reliable solid British Policeman. We are not talking here about gruesome murders or car chases. We are talking about traditional detection methods and a Policemen who has integrity and the trust of the public. In truth Baker looks that he is old enough to retire for the whole of the series. He is assisted by a younger Inspector Burden ( Christopher Ravenscroft)and his attractive wife played by Diane Keen.
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A Septic Oyster
tedg29 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Nearly all of my viewing is set up by recommendations from viewers, or separate, established agendas.

But sometimes I watch something completely random, or nearly so. There are many failures, of course, which makes the successful surprises so much sweeter. This is billed as a Ruth Rendell mystery. It must be based on a story by her, but it is hardly a mystery. In fact it is sort of a parody of the genre, and not at all unsubtle.

It is in fact rather bizarre. I usually do not mention the story in comments, but I see this is not well populated in IMDb. It is not good enough for me to ask you to seek it out.

An elderly couple come back to the town they left 35 years previously. The wife is bonkers, both characters drawn very cleverly and unusually. They meet an eccentric old man, the wife's former lover. For reasons that are not easily synopsized, the wife and the former lover decide to reinvestigate an old murder. They do this over the objections of the husband.

Its quite clever how it is set up initially, with many of the trappings of a classic British mystery with our capering Tommy and Tuppance like couple snooping around. But the thing slowly devolves into something close to Lynch. The husband tries to poison his wife to stop her. The old boyfriend takes over. There's a bench-burning. It really is odd, but very well done. Very well, in the way it creeps into throwing back at you what you expected.

The story revolves around images: visions, art and misinterpretation.

And the actors! The wife was the screwee in "Draughtsmans' Contract" and again in "Singing Detective," both remarkable characters. The husband was the long time Dr. Watson. The screwy old man played a similar role in a 1967 (!) movie with Anthony Quinn. The "woman from the past" was the sexual object in "Tom Jones." Someone was thinking here.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
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1/10
They made 48 episodes???
r_cantrell-5671722 September 2018
We read the reviews and thought it would be a great series. The first story was carried over 4 episodes. Could have been done in an hour and still not with it! After the first episode, we were stunned and underwhelmed. However, we continued to watch (and FF where possible) to get to the merciful conclusion of the storyline. The worst "police" we've seen in any series. No focus. No passion except when they overacted. We read that Ruth Rendell based Wexford on herself. Passionless (except when overacting), no real ability to reason or solve crimes - so how was she able to write if she's like her character??? We will not waste our time on the remaining 44 episodes.
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Long draggy stories, too many incidences
ctyankee130 November 2009
I watched many of the series. They are long and dreary. Most crime mysteries have anger, sadness humor etc. These have no humor and only the bad qualities of humanity, cheating spouses, perverts, no morals and no conscience. There is a lot of gore and sexual suggestion in the the Ruth Rendell episodes. I don't know if that is the way the stories were written but that is how they are in the movies. One particular episode I did not watch all the way through had 2 men kissing which I find offensive. In general there are too many topics, too many subjects, too many people who have reasonable guilt to do the crime. The crimes ending leaves the person thinking "Couldn't they come up with a better ending?" I would prefer Agatha Christie any day. Rudell movies are nor for kids they have very violent content along with all of the above.

Wexford is a slightly better series by Rendell http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0166458/episodes
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