10 user 1 critic

Gaudy Night: Episode One 

While Peter is on a governmental mission, Harriet attends a reunion at Oxford and is recruited to find the author of a rash of vicious poison pen letters there.


Michael Simpson


Philip Broadley (dramatisation)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Harriet Walter ... Harriet Vane
Edward Petherbridge ... Lord Peter Wimsey
Richard Morant ... Bunter
Sheila Burrell ... Dr. Baring
Carol MacReady ... Miss Martin
Dilys Hamlett ... Miss Devine
Caroline John ... Miss Burrows
Merelina Kendall ... Miss Lydgate
Charmian May Charmian May ... Miss Hillyard
Auriol Smith Auriol Smith ... Miss Barton
Charlotte West-Oram Charlotte West-Oram ... Miss Pyke
Nina Edwards Nina Edwards ... Miss Chilperic
Desmond McNamara Desmond McNamara ... Padgett
Eileen Bell Eileen Bell ... Carrie Sadler
Lavinia Bertram ... Annie Wilson


Harriet Vane attends a reunion at her Oxford College and is asked by the Warden to investigate a series of poison pen notes that several members of staff have received. She takes up residence in the college and receives one of these notes herself. In the cloistered environment of the school, there is any number of possible suspects. In the absence of a motive however, it is difficult to determine if the culprit is a member of staff, a student or even if it is a man or a woman. When Lord Peter Wimsey visits the college - as much to see Harriet as for anything else - he agrees to assist in the investigation. What he finds is that one member of the staff had reason to seek vengeance. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

13 May 1987 (UK) See more »

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Did You Know?


The poem that Harriet quotes from in conversation with the Dean is The World Is Too Much With Us by William Wordsworth. See more »


[Harriet calls Peter to talk at a restaurant with a dance hall]
Lord Peter Wimsey: Tell me, what's the matter?
Harriet Vane: I'm not sure I should.
Lord Peter Wimsey: Tell me or tango.
Harriet Vane: You know I can't tango!
Lord Peter Wimsey: You've no choice then, have you?
See more »


Pop Goes the Weasel
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User Reviews

This series makes Lord Peter and Harriet come alive!
3 April 2004 | by nouveauphoenixSee all my reviews

This is a terrific series ,that does Dorothy L. Sayer's wonderful characters, justice. The time frame for the episodes, is the 20's , a little after WW1. The costume and set design are extensively researched. The best part, of course, is that the actors really know these characters, capturing the feeling and nuances of the books .This is a trio collection, which includes "Strong Poison"(in which Lord Peter meets Harriet, while she is on trial), "Have His Carcase" (in which a body is found on an isolated beach) and "Gaudy Night"(in which, a murder is committed at the university). I strongly recommend seeing them in order, as it will give you a sense of continuity , and an understanding of the relationship between Lord Peter and Harriet. This is a rare instance, where the movie will make you want to read the books.

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