Monday, 1 August 2016

The Passenger - DVD review

Although, as a schoolboy, I watched several Francis Durbridge serials on television, I missed The Passenger, which was screened in 1971. I've now caught up with it belatedly thanks to a Pidax DVD. It's a German enterprise - (Durbridge was always very popular in Germany) but there's an  English language option. And the first thing to say is that this is a very enjoyable example of Durbridge at the top of his form.

In the first of the three episodes, we're introduced to David Walker (played by David Knight) and his business partner Arthur Eastwood (that reliable character actor Arthur Pentelow). They are contemplating a sale of their business, but when Walker goes home early, he catches his wife in bed with her driving instructor. He walks out, and decides to head north. While driving, he gives a lift to a pretty young woman called Judy. She disappears mysteriously, and is soon found dead. Walker duly becomes the prime suspect.

I liked the way Durbridge switched the suspicion around from one character to another. DI Martin Desnon, played by that very consistent and appealing actor Peter Barkworth, leads the hunt for the killer, and his estranged wife Sue (Joanna Dunham), who worked for Walker's company, plays a key part in events, especially after Walker dies, apparently having committed suicide in a fit of remorse over Judy's murder.

I thought I'd figured out the solution to the mystery, but Durbridge had other ideas. I must say that I'm quite attached to my solution, while I thought his left one or two loose threads! Never mind. I really enjoyed this one. There are also some good bonus features, such as an interview with Durbridge's son. If you are a Durbridge fan, this is a must-buy.


Val said...

Love Durbridge ...great review.
Any idea where to purchase ?

Martin Edwards said...

Hi VAl. Amazon is your best bet, I think.

Val said...