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When Cecily Branksome retires back to her old home town over her husband's objections she becomes involved with her boorish old boyfriend and a 30 year old murder.


Sandy Johnson


Ruth Rendell (story), Alex Ferguson (adaptation)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Janet Suzman ... Cecily Branksome
Edward Hardwicke ... Hugh Branksome
Joyce Redman ... Mrs. Jones
Richard Johnson ... Arnold Cottle
Danny Spring Danny Spring ... Young Bartender
David Trevena David Trevena ... Man in Toilet
Edward Clayton Edward Clayton ... Landlord
David Huntington David Huntington ... Rupert
Griff Mellhuish Griff Mellhuish ... Ralph
Shari Hughes Shari Hughes ... Alice
Maxime Allan Maxime Allan ... Rose
Joanna Jeffrees Joanna Jeffrees ... Ellen


Back in her childhood hometown, Cecily Branksome finds that a park bench in her father's honor has been replaced by one placed there in memory of Rupert Moore, a reputed murderer. To get even, she decides to out the man's mistress, the woman he killed his wife for. It had all happened long ago and her husband begs her to drop the whole thing, but she insists on going on. Aided by an old friend, Arnold Cottle, her pursuit turns to obsession. Little does she know the true story of Rupert Moore and his lover. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery








Release Date:

21 February 1997 (UK) See more »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Hugh Branksome: You can't hang a man for being an artist. You can only hang his paintings.
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User Reviews

Not A Murder Mystery
18 January 2015 | by roedygSee all my reviews

This story reminds me a bit of Jack London's Moonface where he explains why he utterly hates the man he plans to murder.

Edward Hardwicke plays a seriously-hen pecked husband of a revolting rude chain-smoking bully of a woman played by Janet Suzman. She sells their home and buys a tumble down holiday home all without even mentioning it to him.

Her old boyfriend, played by Richard Johnson comes to visit. He is unbelievably rude, ordering a feast, then imposes upon her husband to pay for it. He openly flirts with her and sticks his hand between her legs. He keeps belittling the husband. The poor husband is constrained by the rules of politeness. He can't bring himself to throw the crude, rude, disgusting man out, who has not even the sense to keep his mouth closed when eating.

The question is, will he finally get up the nerve to kill the pair of them, and if so how? I was very eager to see them both come to a sticky end. I had to look away I found Johnson so revolting. He did this with all kinds of subtle actions. He was just infuriating. It may be brilliant acting, but it was by no means pleasant to watch.

There is a secondary distracting plot that makes almost no sense about a commemorative seaside bench that was burned and replaced. The wife is obsessed with this and wants to get revenge against the party honoured in the replacement. There is a dotty old lady who sits on the bench and hallucinates every day about a beach party long ago.

The ending makes no sense and gives no sense of closure.

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