Thursday 22 April 2010

The Ambassador's Boots

A while back, in posting about The Secret Adversary featuring Francesca Annis and James Warwick as Agatha Christie’s Tommy and Tuppence, I enquired about the TV series Partners in Crime, in which the duo starred. Happily, ITV 3 has been screening some episodes from that series, and (once I realised) I managed to record some of them.

The first that I’ve seen is ‘The Ambassador’s Boots’. This is a story with a nice central idea, somehow typical of Christie. An ambassador’s boots are taken, but then returned. What can this signify?

The mystery is put to Tommy and Tuppence Beresford, who are running a detective agency, and they investigate with their customary enthusiasm. Annis and Warwick really did work very well together, splendid piece of casting. The ambassador has a mysterious valet, who commits suicide, and an advert placed by the Beresfords in a newspaper attracts a prompt response from a helpful young woman – whose story is interrupted by an unlikely foreign villain armed with a gun. When I say that the Beresfords’ young assistant Albert rescues them by capturing the foreign chap with a lasso, you will gather that the mood is insistently light-hearted, but the programme is none the worse for that.

The supporting cast in this hour-long episode was excellent. T.P. McKenna played the ambassador, Clive Merrison (known in recent times for his radio portrayal of Sherlock Holmes) was the valet, and Jennie Linden (best known as Ursula in the film of Women in Love) the helpful young woman.


Anonymous said...

Martin - Thanks for this reminder of that fun story. As you say, the mood is light, but it's still a good tale, and I smiled as I thought of it. Thanks

seana graham said...

I remember when these were aired in the U.S. some years ago. I remember liking them, though I don't think Tommy and Tuppence ever got a real foothold here. It would be fun to see them again.