1980, TV Show


Is there any chance the ...

Question: Is there any chance the Inspector Lewis series will have more new episodes? I have become a big fan of the lead actor and his new sidekick, despite having seen only one installment of the original Inspector Morse. Thanks for any information you can provide!
Answer: WGBH tells me that Inspector Lewis will be back with new mysteries next year, part of a very busy lineup that, as previously reported, will also include Kenneth Branagh as Swedish detective Kurt Wallander, plus the return of David Suchet as Hercule Poirot and, new to the role, Julia McKenzie as Miss Marple ... read more

I've enjoyed reading the ...

Question: I've enjoyed reading the Maisie Dobbs mystery books by Jacqueline Winspear, and I thought I had read somewhere that the story had been sold to the BBC to be made as a series of movies. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find where I read that. My hope is that the movies will be made and will eventually be broadcast on my local PBS station as part of the Mystery! series. Kind of a long shot, I know. I also know from reading your columns (which I enjoy very much, thank you) that you know a little something about the Mystery! series. Have you heard anything about the possibility of these movies being made? Answer: At the moment, I'm told there are no immediate plans to bring these stories to the Mystery! franchise. Which isn't to say a series isn't being developed from these books (I have no information on that), and there's no question it would be a great fit, especially for fans of the Foyle's War series. (For those not yet in the loop, the Maisie Dobbs novels are about a female ... read more

I am a huge fan of PBS' ...

Question: I am a huge fan of PBS' Masterpiece Theatre/Mystery! series. One of my favorites is The Inspector Lynley Mysteries. Sharon Small is excellent as Barbara Havers, and her chemistry with Nathaniel Parker as Inspector Lynley is one of the best on TV. Series 5, which aired in the U.S. this year (2007), was definitely the best so far, particularly In the Blink of an Eye. It is a sign of good TV when one keeps thinking about a show, and this episode haunted me for days. I was very much looking forward to Series 6, but I've heard rumors that the show has been cancelled by the BBC. It's bad enough that the writers' strike is ongoing and that reality shows are taking over the airwaves. Now this show is gone for good? Say it ain't so! Answer: My WGBH contact tells me that more Lynley episodes are on their way this summer — what actual season that constitutes, I'm not quite sure — but this will be the last batch. British series have a tendency to produce far fewer episodes than their U.S. ... read more

Hey Paula, Foyle's War, Shaq's Big Challenge, Burn Notice and Simon Schama's Power of Art

I'm beginning to think the fall season will come as a relief, a break from the congestion of summer's TV glut. Everyone's in the game these days, with a seemingly endless supply of new and returning shows on cable, while the networks keep launching reality concepts in hopes of finding the next breakthrough. (Sorry, CBS, but that Survivor rip-off Pirate Master isn't it.) Each week brings a fresh crop of contenders, so here's a sampling of the latest wave of the summer season, an eclectic mix of drama, reality and documentary. The good news? There's something for nearly everyone. Hey Paula Thursdays, 10 pm/ET, Bravo The hook: Getting a peek into the celebrity fishbowl of Paula Abdul's hectic life.Was I hooked? Hardly. Celebreality is the emptiest form of guilty pleasure, and this pathetic time-waster is no different. As perky Paula pouts and pr read more

Perhaps it's too soon, but do ...

Question: Perhaps it's too soon, but do you have any idea which new series will be airing on PBS' Mystery! this summer/fall? As one of the few who choose to report on the quality television airing on PBS, you tend to be my source for this information every year. I, for one, hope there are some new Inspector Lynley Mysteries on the horizon! Thanks for your help. Answer: You're in luck. I checked, and PBS was ready to release the titles for their "Summer of Mystery!" Starting June 3, here's what to look forward to: two new episodes of Jericho (the Robert Lindsay series, not the postapocalyptic thriller on CBS) and four new episodes each of Foyle's War (one of my faves), Miss Marple and, yes, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries ... read more

I enjoy your column very ...

Question: I enjoy your column very much. Can you tell me when the next installment of the Inspector Lynley Mysteries will be airing on PBS? I have searched and am unable to find any confirmation that they will be airing the episodes that have already been filmed.
Answer: A new batch of four 90-minute Lynley Mysteries will turn up in September on Mystery! None are based on Elizabeth George's actual books (at least not judging by their titles: In Divine Proportion, In the Guise of Death, The Seed of Cunning and The Word of God). Given the shocking way George's last Lynley novel ended, I'm thinking these TV-movies will probably be happier experiences ... read more

Hot Summer
No “dog days” on TV this year

There’s no taking vacation from summer TV. Used to be everything went mostly dark between May and September. No longer. This off-season’s deluge of shows includes the usual glut of reality TV, much of it disposable — though some, like Bravo’s delicious Project Runway, are must-sees. Meanwhile cable networks deliver signature dramas and comedies nearly every night of the week. Even in normally sleepy late July, there are plenty of fresh and compelling choices. Here’s a sampler of the new series and specials, rated by whether they’re worth coming inside for. Work Out Tuesdays, 9 pm/ET, BravoReason to stay in: To see how the rich and famous get in shape, as cameras follow the buff trainers at an exclusive Beverly Hills penthouse gym.Worth watching? I’ve met barbells with more personality. Too little sweat, too much attitude fr read more

Summer TV is always bad, but ...

Question: Summer TV is always bad, but this year I find myself watching virtually nothing. OK, I have used the rerun schedule to catch a few eps of My Name Is Earl (but not if I already saw them), and I have rewatched some Grey's Anatomy episodes, but otherwise I watch nothing. I can't face Gilmore Girls reruns this year. Somehow Lost reruns don't cut it. I'd rather pull my fingernails out one by one than watch moronic reality shows. I don't have cable. Am I doomed until September? Is there anything out there on broadcast TV that is worth watching? Answer: Oh, David, this is so sad. I'm actually having a pretty good TV summer, but only because of the variety of cable choices, from Rescue Me on FX and The Closer on TNT to Hustle on AMC to HBO's Deadwood-Entourage combo on Sundays, with a chaser of The 4400 the same night. And in July there's the delightful new comedy-mystery read more

When will Series 4 of Foyle's ...

Question: When will Series 4 of Foyle's War air? I see Series 5 is in production.
Answer: I just found out that the next batch of Foyle's War episodes will air next summer (not sure if that constitutes Series 4 or 5, since the broadcast schedule tends to differ from there to here), so you'll have to wait a year for the U.S. broadcasts of this distinguished wartime mystery drama. This summer's Mystery! schedule, including new Miss Marple and Inspector Lynley whodunits, is already set ... read more

When are there going to be ...

Question: When are there going to be more episodes of PBS' Mystery! series? Please be specific. Thank you. Answer: I'll be as specific as PBS allows. What follows are the national airdates; I can't guarantee these shows will air on these dates in your particular market. But here goes: Mystery! returns April 30 with a new series of two two-hour mysteries, titled Jericho, starring Robert Lindsay as a Scotland Yard inspector in the 1950s. June and July will be filled with Miss Marple mysteries starring Geraldine McEwan. Titles include Sleeping Murder, By the Pricking of My Thumbs (which also features Agatha Christie sleuths Tommy and Tuppence Beresford, played by Anthony Andrews and Greta Scacchi), The Moving Finger and The Sittaford Mystery. On July 30 there's a two-hour movie titled Inspector Lewis (a follow-up to the classic Inspector Morse mysteries, featuring the late Morse's surviving crime-solving partner, played by Kevin Whately). And in September, there will be four new Inspector ... read more

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Premiered: February 05, 1980, on PBS
Rating: TV-PG
User Rating: (39 ratings)
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Premise: Whodunits, courtroom dramas and suspense tales make up this often brilliant anthology. It features adaptations of tales by myriad classic mystery writers, from Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie to Dick Francis and John Mortimer, with such notable figures as Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Adam Dalgliesh, Inspector Morse and Rumpole of the Bailey. Among its best episodes are several `Prime Suspect' cases (with Helen Mirren), which have also aired on `Masterpiece Theatre.'

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