Let me first state that if you’re looking for high-tech special effects or modern-day filming techniques, this television mystery series is not for you. However, if you’re looking for a British police procedural set in the late 1880s that features good acting, very nice Victorian sets and wardrobe, with interjections of humor, then you’ll probably enjoy Sergeant Cribb as much as my husband and I do.
Peter Lovesey wrote the Sergeant Cribb mysteries, so it is a real treat that Peter Lovesey also had his hand in the writing of the scripts for these 1979-1981 television episodes. It ensures that the shows are as close as possible to the mystery novels. Unfortunately, there are only fourteen episodes.
Sergeant Cribb (I’ll refer to the shows by the USA title rather than the British “Cribb“) was produced in the late 1970s/early 1980s, by Granada Television. The series features Alan Dobie as Cribb, with William Simons (from the Inspector Alleyn television series) as his constable. The relationship between them is phenomenal. Cribb is able to be both a friend of sorts as well as a boss to Detective Constable Thackery. A lot of their interactions are quite humorous (on the dry side).
Don’t be surprised to find some actual events interspersed throughout the shows. I especially enjoyed the inclusion of Victorian England’s Golden Jubilee celebrations. Oh, and the episode featuring Inspector Jowell’s (Cribb’s boss, played by David Waller) boy’s boarding school reunion.
Sergeant Cribb and his constable somehow solve the mysteries that others are unable to solve. Cribb, it seems, has an innate gift for the world of detection.
(PS: For those you you who are Rosemary & Thyme fans, Peter Lovesey was a “story consultant” for many of the episodes.)
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