Alleyn Mysteries (1990–1994)
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Dead Water 

Alleyn's old French teacher, the landlord of an idyllic Scottish island is receiving death threats because she's blocking its development as a health spa.


John Woods


T.R. Bowen (screenplay), Ngaio Marsh (novel)


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ewen Bremner ... Walter McNabb
Jane Lapotaire ... Elspeth Cost
Eleanor David ... Margaret Ballantyne
Margaret Tyzack ... Emily Pride
Lynsey Beauchamp ... Miss Godwin (as Linsey Beauchamp)
Patrick Malahide ... Chief Inspector Alleyn
T.R. Bowen T.R. Bowen ... Brigadier (as Trevor Bowen)
Andrew Melville Andrew Melville ... Bill McNabb
Andrea Gibb ... Cissie McCulloch
Jimmy Yuill ... Angus Findlay
James Cosmo ... Major Keith Ballantyne
Belinda Lang Belinda Lang ... Agatha Troy
Richard Dempsey ... Patrick Ferrier
Robert McIntosh Robert McIntosh ... Alistair Cruickshank
Mona Bruce Mona Bruce ... Dulcie Cruickshank


Emily Pride, Alleyn's cantankerous old French teacher, is the landlord of Portascarrick, an idyllic Scottish island with Pixie Falls, a small waterfall, which, according to local Celtic tradition, holds healing powers and can render miraculous cures. Some of the locals have vested financial interests in commercializing it and turning it into a mystical health spa. Miss Pride is dead set against the development and warns local merchant Elspeth Cost and others involved in the project that it must stop or their leases will be terminated. When she starts to receive death threats for her opposition,she asks her old pupil for help... and a gun. Written by

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Crime | Drama | Mystery








Release Date:

1 April 1994 (UK) See more »

Filming Locations:

Scotland, UK See more »

Company Credits

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Did You Know?


The beads used throughout the programme are crystal but when Miss Cost retrieves them from the rock pool and holds them up they are clearly akin to pearls. See more »


Emily Pride: [to Alleyn] For someone who's not exactly disgraced himself in the intelligence service, you're very transparent, Roderick.
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User Reviews

Lots of cultish and fantasy beliefs in healing
14 February 2017 | by ctyankee1See all my reviews

The story is a mystery. Inspector Alleyn goes to a island to help a friend, an older woman named Mrs Pride from way back. She inherited some land from her sister and wants to travel to the island to make some changes.

The island has a spring which is advertised by a woman that lives there named Elspeth Cost. Ms Cost has promoted this spring as a healing spring and sells artifacts connected to the spring like statues of a woman in green clothing that is said to appear, water in bottles from the spring and more. There are cult like worshiping sessions with children dressed in green and certain words spoken like they are waiting for a supernatural happening.

The people that live there do not like Mrs Pride's idea because the spring brings lots of visitors and the town which is small and could stop people from coming and they won't make any money.

Mrs Prides life has been threatened while there. Alleyn wants to to leave. His girlfriend the artist is with him and jealous of the time he spends away from her.

Alleyn is trying to find out who wants to kill Mrs Pride. Mrs Pride wants Ms Cost to stop using the spring in a way to fool people that it heals them. It is personal for Mrs Pride her sister had a lot of faith in Ms Cost promotion of healing and did not get medical care and then died.

Mrs Prides does not want to close the spring she just wants it open for people to visit.

So the mystery goes on and has a surprise ending.

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