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A Sleeping Life: Part One 

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Tired of dealing with his older daughter's domestic problems, Reg Wexford is not really unhappy when a sudden death calls him away from home. The investigation of the fatal stabbing of ... See full summary »


Bill Hays


John Davies (originally developed for television by), Roger Marshall (adaptation) | 1 more credit »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
George Baker ... Det. Chief Insp. Wexford
Christopher Ravenscroft ... Det. Insp. Burden
Imelda Staunton ... Polly Flinders
Louie Ramsay Louie Ramsay ... Dora Wexford
Dave Hill Dave Hill ... Dep. Chief Constable Freeborn
Mamta Kaash ... Malina Patel
Patrick Drury Patrick Drury ... Chief Supt. Howard Fortune
William Simons ... Det. Insp. Michael Baker
Olivier Pierre Olivier Pierre ... Commissaire Pierre Laquin
Charon Bourke Charon Bourke ... Sylvia Fairfax
Niall Buggy Niall Buggy ... Victor Vivian
Ken Kitson ... Sgt. Martin
John Burgess John Burgess ... Dr. Len Crocker
Iain Mitchell Iain Mitchell ... Hetherington
Deborah Poplett ... Sheila Wexford


Tired of dealing with his older daughter's domestic problems, Reg Wexford is not really unhappy when a sudden death calls him away from home. The investigation of the fatal stabbing of Rhoda Comfrey soon takes Wexford and Mike Burden to London where they find out that there is more to the silent life of Rhoda Comfrey than it seemed. Written by Jasper P. Morgan

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »


Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

12 November 1989 (UK) See more »

Filming Locations:

Honfleur, Calvados, France See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

TVS Television See more »
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Technical Specs


| (3 episodes)


See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


When Reg Wexford is on the ferry going over to France, he is briefly seen reading a book by Barbara Vine. Barbara Vine is a pseudonym under which Ruth Rendell (creator of Wexford) has written some of her novels. See more »


Followed by The Ruth Rendell Mysteries: Road Rage: Part One (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

An excellent adaptation
8 August 2015 | by Sleepin_DragonSee all my reviews

I enjoyed all the Wexford novels and adaptations, A Sleeping Life stands out as being particularly clever and imaginative. It boasts a particularly explosive and loud opening, the scene where Roda is stabbed is certainly enough to grab the viewers attention. Sylvia Sims adds plenty of humour, Lillian Crown is more then a match for Wexford.

A complex plot unravels, a question of gender identity is asked, and answered. It compares very well to the novelisation, it's a very faithful work. Slow paced in parts some would argue, I find it an excellent drama, Baker's French scenes are particularly enjoyable.

A young Imelda Staunton plays Polly Flinders, it's easy to see how she is manipulated by the beautiful Malina Patel, again exactly as in the novel. I hope I don't offend anyone when I say I'd love to see the Wexford serials remade, they could do so much with them by bringing them up to date. I would dearly love to see the full set released commercially.

So relevant still today. 9/10

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