Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
7.4/10
113
3 user

Southern Double-Cross 

In Australia, Jessica may be the legal owner of a valley that the sheepherders and miners are arguing over, and may be the cause of the disappearance of Jessica's lawyer.

Director:

Walter Grauman

Writers:

Peter S. Fischer (created by), Richard Levinson (created by) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Briony Behets ... Melba Drummond
Donald Burton ... John Molen
Lisa Darr ... Rhonda Brock
Alastair Duncan ... Sgt. Colin Baxter
Sofie Formica ... Linda Molen
Spencer Garrett ... Nicholas Derby
Trevor Goddard ... Boyd Hendricks
Kendrick Hughes ... Donald Jarvis
Peter Lavin ... Roo Drummond
Nick Tate ... Tim Jarvis
Adam Wylie ... Boy
John Garwood ... Bartender
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Storyline

All Kookaburra Downs, Australia awaits Jessica, the heiress of her great uncle Eamonn McGill's trust, about to expire a century after his death. The land (the whole valley) is what the sheep farmers want to continue leasing. Her lawyer was killed in an attempt to make her miss the deadline. Mayor Tim Jarvis is blackmailed by a bauxite mining company eager to buy it via the town council. Tim's son Donald Jarvis, who embezzled town funds in his name to pay gambling debts to a loan shark, calls a meeting with Jessica. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 April 1996 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Very careful effort was made to not show car number plates and drivers close up in the cars as to not give away that almost all vehicles used were from the US, i.e., left hand drive, not right hand drive as would be found in Australia. See more »

Goofs

A road sign depicting a road that has a lane going in either direction shows one wider arrow and a narrower arrow in the opposite direction. These signs do not exist. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Tim Jarvis: So, the bauxite mine will not only get some of you layabouts jobs, it's gonna put Kookaburra Downs on the map so to speak.
Melba Drummond: And to hell with our sheep, right? Sheep-men have been supporting Kookaburra Downs for two centuries, Jarvis!
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Murder down under
4 January 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Have always been quite fond of 'Murder She Wrote'. It is a fun and relaxing watch that makes you think as you try to unwind in the evening. If one wants more complex, twisty mysteries with lots of tension and suspense 'Murder She Wrote' may not be for you, but if you want something light-hearted and entertaining but still provide good mysteries 'Murder She Wrote' fits the bill just fine.

Never cared for "Southern Double Cross". Saw it again recently to see if my dubious memories were the same or if it would be better on re-watch. After re-watching, "Southern Double Cross" is not just a tie with "Something Foul in Flappieville" as the worst episode of Season 12 it is too one of the worst episodes of 'Murder She Wrote', not just as bad as remembered but actually worse. Due to that all the problems had with the episode were still there and worse, and then found more to dislike.

"Southern Double Cross" is not irredeemable. The way it's way is typically slick and stylish. The music has energy and has presence but also not making the mistake of over-scoring, while it is hard to forget or resist the theme tune.

Best of all is Angela Lansbury. Great as ever and really rises above weak, beneath her material.

Otherwise, "Southern Double Cross". The rest of the acting is risible with no exceptions (a strong contender for the show's worst supporting cast), only Lansbury is good here. There is no tension whatsoever in the interaction, a severe lack of emotion and charisma, a few are over-the-top and the line delivery throughout is clunky. Lets not get started on the accents, which are far too broad and overdone to pass as an Australian. Not even the Irish accents in the Irish-set episodes were this bad.

Furthermore there is not one interesting character or one to care for, they never rise above stereotypes that are even broader than the accents and almost borderline insulting. The dialogue is far too heavy in exposition, very little of which is intriguing and is instead stilted, sometimes needless and takes ages to get to the point.

When it comes to the story, it's very dull and takes too long to get going. A lot of it is absurd, parts actually illogical, is far too obvious (the identity of the murderer was not a surprise at all, the only thing surprising about it is how it took Jessica so long to figure out it was them) and lacks any kind of tension. Despite being well shot, the scenery is clearly glaring stock footage and studio back-lot rather than the real thing.

Overall, a mess apart from a few things. 3/10 Bethany Cox


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