Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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Tinker, Tailor, Liar, Thief 

Jessica gets involved in a British Intelligence operation's cover-up of a double agent's murder.


Peter Salim


Peter S. Fischer (created by), Richard Levinson (created by) | 2 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Lloyd Bochner ... John Thurston
Kim Braden ... Daisy Collins
Kenneth Danziger ... Archie Potter, P.I.
Guy Doleman ... Corsair
Trevor Eve ... Julian Fontaine
Sharon Maughan ... Penelope Cadwell
Derrick O'Connor ... Mickey Dawks
Nick Tate ... Insp. Stillwell
Peter Dennis Peter Dennis ... Albert
Richard Davies Richard Davies ... Edward Cadwell (as Richard A. Davies)
Clement von Franckenstein ... Nigel Atkins (as Clement Von Franckenstein)
Sandy Allison Sandy Allison ... MacPherson
Diana Webster Diana Webster ... Landlady
Laurie Main ... Man


In London, Jessica meets an old friend, U.S. Embassy Vice Consul John Thurston, who introduces her in passing to Nigel Atkins from the Home Office. When Jessica later finds Atkins dead she immediately contacts the police but by the time they arrive, the body is nowhere to be found. Police inspector Stillwell later assures her that he's spoken to Atkins who is still quite alive and now on his way out of the country. It doesn't take her very long to figure out that she's in the of some type of intelligence operation. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

1 March 1992 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


There are multiple references to Jessica going to see "the new Sondheim musical." Angela Lansbury starred in the Stephen Sondheim musical "Sweeney Todd" on Broadway. See more »


American terminology used instead of English expressions by Daisy Collins (Kim Braden); 'Cat Pound' for 'Cattery' or 'Cat Rescue Centre' and Julian Fontaine (Trevor Eve); 'Service Elevator' for 'Service Lift' and 'Charade' for 'Charade with a long 'a' as in Charaade' See more »

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User Reviews

Jessica's body trouble
24 October 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Have always been quite fond of 'Murder She Wrote'. It is a fun and relaxing watch that makes you think as you try to unwind in the evening. If one wants more complex, twisty mysteries with lots of tension and suspense 'Murder She Wrote' may not be for you, but if you want something light-hearted and entertaining but still provide good mysteries 'Murder She Wrote' fits the bill just fine.

"Tinker, Tailor, Liar, Thief" is a fun, intriguing Season 8 episode, though a long way from being one of the best of the season or of the show. It is agreed that the characters are stereotypes, but more problematic is that outside of the slick photography and nostalgia-inducing fashions the production values do look reminiscent of 60s-era studio back-lot rather than the real thing.

Suspension of disbelief is needed too for Scotland Yard's attitude towards Jessica, this is not the first time she's been in England so they would have been well aware of her reputation, not seeming to be ignorant of who and what she is.

On the other hand, Angela Lansbury has still got it as Jessica. All the supporting cast give game support, including Trevor Eve and Sharon Maughan before the roles they're most famous for.

Mystery-wise, "Tinker, Tailor, Liar, Thief" is very intriguing and lots of fun. It avoids being too far-fetched and while it's quite complicated it's not incoherently confusing. The ending is very clever, not one that leaves one floored but its twist is pleasantly surprising.

The music has energy and has presence but also not making the mistake of over-scoring, while it is hard to forget or resist the theme tune.

Writing is tight, thought-provoking and typically amiable and the characters and chemistry are good fun.

Overall, above average but could have been better. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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