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Gaudy Night: Episode One 

While Peter is on a governmental mission, Harriet attends a reunion at Oxford and is recruited to find the author of a rash of vicious poison pen letters there.


Michael Simpson


Philip Broadley (dramatisation)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Harriet Walter ... Harriet Vane
Edward Petherbridge ... Lord Peter Wimsey
Richard Morant ... Bunter
Sheila Burrell ... Dr. Baring
Carol MacReady ... Miss Martin
Dilys Hamlett ... Miss Devine
Caroline John ... Miss Burrows
Merelina Kendall ... Miss Lydgate
Charmian May ... Miss Hillyard
Auriol Smith Auriol Smith ... Miss Barton
Charlotte West-Oram Charlotte West-Oram ... Miss Pyke
Nina Edwards Nina Edwards ... Miss Chilperic
Desmond McNamara Desmond McNamara ... Padgett
Eileen Bell Eileen Bell ... Carrie Sadler
Lavinia Bertram ... Annie Wilson


Harriet Vane attends a reunion at her Oxford College and is asked by the Warden to investigate a series of poison pen notes that several members of staff have received. She takes up residence in the college and receives one of these notes herself. In the cloistered environment of the school, there is any number of possible suspects. In the absence of a motive however, it is difficult to determine if the culprit is a member of staff, a student or even if it is a man or a woman. When Lord Peter Wimsey visits the college - as much to see Harriet as for anything else - he agrees to assist in the investigation. What he finds is that one member of the staff had reason to seek vengeance. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


Did You Know?


The poem that Harriet quotes from in conversation with the Dean is The World Is Too Much With Us by William Wordsworth. See more »


[Harriet calls Peter to talk at a restaurant with a dance hall]
Lord Peter Wimsey: Tell me, what's the matter?
Harriet Vane: I'm not sure I should.
Lord Peter Wimsey: Tell me or tango.
Harriet Vane: You know I can't tango!
Lord Peter Wimsey: You've no choice then, have you?
See more »


Pop Goes the Weasel
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User Reviews

Flawed but excellently cast
15 November 2006 | by TinaRheaSee all my reviews

The adaptation is a disappointment, especially since the producers gave an extra hour to Have His Carcase, by far the weakest of the three books, rather than to Gaudy Night, which needs more time, and then spent part of their severely limited time in flashbacks to the previous episode. It's a pity to lose the subplots, including Peter's nephew, and so many fine scenes. Alas, the scene on the river could not possibly be done properly except when one can read Harriet's thoughts. Bits do remain of the best of the book, the atmosphere of academic peace and the conversations about what one should make of one's life; I hope the film inspires more people to read the book itself. What they did film, however, is well done, and excellently cast. I am very fond of Miss Devine, and it was a delightful surprise to find that I am also very fond of the actress who plays her here.

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Release Date:

13 May 1987 (UK) See more »

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