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The Worsted Viper 

Mrs. Bradley and George travel to a seaside resort town for the wedding of George's daughter and are faced with a ritualistic serial killer.


James Hawes


Simon Booker (screenplay), Gladys Mitchell (novel)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Isla Blair ... Myrtle Quincy
John Bowe ... Reverend Baines
Matthew Burgess Matthew Burgess ... Constable Sharp
Rebecca Callard ... Cecily Moody
Peter Davison ... Inspector Christmas
Neil Dudgeon ... George Moody
Charlotte Francis Charlotte Francis ... Temperance Baines
Katy Lown Katy Lown ... Polly
Eddie Marsan ... Ronald Quincy
Jason O'Mara ... Jasper Hicks
Alex Palmer ... Lester Hicks
Pooky Quesnel Pooky Quesnel ... Delilah Hicks
Diana Rigg ... Adela Bradley


Mrs. Bradley and chauffeur George visit a seaside village to wish Inspector Christmas a happy retirement and find themselves investigating the murder of Chastity Baines, the daughter of Reverend Baines. Wrapped around the dead girl's neck is a worsted viper with her ring stuffed in its mouth. The circumstances remind Mrs. Bradley of her first case involving a cult led by Black Jack Briggs that killed virgins. George's daughter lives in the villages and he is shocked to learn that his daughter is engaged to be married. Things become serious when she is kidnapped and may be the cult's next victim. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Mystery | Thriller


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

6 February 2000 (UK) See more »

Filming Locations:

Padstow, Cornwall, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Jason O'Mara's character is referred to in dialogue as Jake Hicks but Jasper Hicks in the end credits. Jake is an abbreviation for Jacob, not Jasper. See more »


Mrs. Adela Bradley: How well do you know your guests?
Myrtle Quincy: [Taking offense] Enough. This is a respectable hotel!
Mrs. Adela Bradley: It is? Oh, well.
Myrtle Quincy: I beg your pardon!
Mrs. Adela Bradley: Respectibility... terribly overrated.
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You're the Cream in My Coffee
Written by Ray Henderson, the lyrics by Buddy G. DeSylva and Lew Brown
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User Reviews

Murdered, She Was
9 May 2006 | by tedgSee all my reviews

This was the last of four, and by this time the producers knew they had a dead fish on their hands. They tried quite a few things. They turned Rigg's hair red. They increased the level of obnoxiousness in her character, including more time when she spoke directly to the audience. And more of that talk was "character foible" rather than plot comment.

And this time they worked in as many extreme plot devices as possible: the loyal chauffeur's daughter threatened; a twist in the identity of the hooded villain; stronger hints of romance for our detective and sexual swapping elsewhere; an impossibly cute little girl and ancient mysticism.

The plot is one of those that depends on a certain person ordering scrambled eggs in the middle of the day, then slipping on a lemonpeel as a motorcycle goes by and certain other accidents all aligning miraculously.

They really pulled out all the stops on this. I guess even with all they tried, the reports came back: we hate this, it is horrible, kill it.

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.

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