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Bribery & Corruption: Part One 

A recent college graduate believes he loves the wife of his father's former friend, but young Nicholas does not know that she's having an affair with his father.


Mike Vardy


Guy Meredith (adaptation), Ruth Rendell (short story)


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Episode complete credited cast:
James D'Arcy ... Nicholas Hawthorne (Aged 22)
Fiona Mollison ... Emma Sorensen
Damian Zuk Damian Zuk ... Nicholas Hawthorne (Aged 16 / 17) (as Damien Zuk)
Tim Woodward ... Nick Hawthorne
Janet Dale Janet Dale ... Delia Myerson
Abigail Cruttenden Abigail Cruttenden ... Annabel Lynes
Hugh Simon ... Hotel Maitre D'
Paul Freeman ... Julius Sorensen
Cara Konig Cara Konig ... Sonia
Tony Spooner Tony Spooner ... Shears
Lawrence Mullin Lawrence Mullin ... Murray
Ravi Kapoor ... Det. Sgt. Khan
William Chubb William Chubb ... Det. Insp. Macarthy
Des McAleer Des McAleer ... Edwin
Robert Oates Robert Oates ... Fishmonger (as Bob Oates)


Nicholas Hawthorne has been in love with Emma Sorensen since he was a young teenager. Now 22, he is a graduate engineer looking for a job as a boat designer. He's been raised by his father and all in all has had a good, if somewhat sheltered, life. Soon after Nicholas sees Emma's husband, Julius, in a posh restaurant with an attractive young woman, Emma is found dead, floating in the bay and the police don't think her death was an accident. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

17 January 1997 (UK) See more »

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Did You Know?


Hotel Maitre D': [Condescendingly] Will there be anything else, sir?
Nicholas Hawthorne: [Bitterly, referring to the dozing Annabel] Yes, I'd like to call this lady a taxi, among other things!
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User Reviews

Not A WhoDunit
18 January 2015 | by roedygSee all my reviews

This is an unusual murder mystery because the culprit confesses half way through.

The story is primarily about three suspects, all men, all besotted by the same woman (Fiona Mollient). The main character is a shy handsome teenage boy (James D'Arcy). His father (Tim Woodward) is a brutish lout, who for some inexplicable reason, the ladies adore, including the next door neighbour who does not seem to be put off by his rude rejections. Finally the woman's wealthy husband (Paul Freeman). We watch how all three deal with being accused with murder and being suddenly rejected. Then we watch them play cat and mouse with the culprit.

The police are bungling. It is up to the suspects to solve the crime. You get to know the characters quite well. Your attitudes toward them change quite a bit over time as various secrets are revealed.

There is a villainous manipulative young lady (Abigail Cruttenden) whom I hoped would meet an early demise. She made the habit of dating young men, getting them to take her to an expensive restaurant then gorging herself on the most expensive foods and wines on the menu, thus humiliating the boy because he could not pay.

There is prostitute (Cara Konig) who is totally selfish, not a drop of compassion or social responsibility in her body. What do you expect from a hooker, but this woman turned her callousness to high art.

There are two gut-wrenching suicides. They are extended scenes, not perfunctory scenes in drama. They will linger in the back of your mind.

I repeat, this is not a whodunit. It does not have the detachment a murder mystery usually does where the emphasis is on solving a puzzle. This is about how a murder tears people apart emotionally.

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