Inspector Alleyn Collection – Set Two
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
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