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Category:    Home > Reviews > Mystery > British TV > Inspector Alleyn Mysteries - Set Two

Inspector Alleyn Collection – Set Two


Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: C-     Telefilms: B-



Acorn Media’s Inspector Alleyn Collection box sets continue with Set Two, which delivers four more full-length telefilms from the original novels by Ngaio Marsh.  The still very competent series that is also nicely produced and enjoyable with Patrick Malahide comfortably in the title role.  The telefilm shows this time include:


Death In A White Tie has yet another party that leads to a murder, this time for debutantes.  A person secretly up to blackmail is in attendance, but maybe not for long.  Or is that person really a murderer?


Hand In Glove has a “sleepy village” with a body that also turns up asleep – permanently!  Like the previous show, this is more par for the course in these mystery stories set in an earlier era, but again, the show’s quality manages to pull the shows above mediocrity.


Scales Of Justice offers the friend of a World War One military officer killed for trying to publish the papers of a fellow officer no longer alive.  Of course, the manuscript has been tampered with, but that will turn out not to be the only thing that has not been touched or manipulated.


Dead Water wraps up the set as Alleyn’s vacation trip to an island in Scotland turns up a dead body, so he has to put his plans of rest and relaxation on hold until he can figure out what kind of evil lies under the sun and in the land.


As you may notice, there were not any major stars like the last set offered, but these casts are pretty good and who knows who might be recognizable down the line.  Malahide gets a little better in the role and the show in general moves with more smoothness in place of becoming victim to the TV grind.  Though these are telefilms, that grind can still ruin such a show, but not here.  The series is still one of the best mystery TV shows from its period.


The full frame 1.33 X 1 image is very clean and come from quality prints, as the series was filmed.  Only the DVD format holds back the nicely produced images throughout, but this is as good as this will ever look in this format.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo offers Pro Logic surrounds and Ray Russell’s score fits nicely enough, with Anne Dudley responsible for the whimsical end theme.  Extras include cast filmographies and text on Miss Marsh’s life and work worth reading on DVD 1, with cast info repeated on later discs.  This was the same set of extras (save different cast members) as on Inspector Alleyn Collection – Set One, which is still the place to start of you have not seen the show yet.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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