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Death at the Opera 

Mrs Bradley revisits her alma mater and during a school performance of the Mikado, one of the lead singers is murdered.

Director:

James Hawes

Writers:

Simon Booker (screenplay), Gladys Mitchell (novel)
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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
Annabelle Apsion ... Mona Bunting
Roy Barraclough ... Dr Simms
Elaine Claxton ... Miss Ferris
Peter Davison ... Inspector Christmas
Monique De Villiers Monique De Villiers ... Clementine Dingwall Main
Neil Dudgeon ... George Moody
Amy Marston ... Agnes Delamere
Carli Norris ... Prunella 'Plum' Fisher
Ken Oxtoby Ken Oxtoby ... Mr Jenner
Diana Rigg ... Adela Bradley
David Tennant ... Max Valentine
Susan Wooldridge ... Mrs Simms
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Storyline

Visiting her alma mater, Hadleigh Heights, to give an address, Mrs. Bradley finds herself investigating the death of Miss Ferris, who is found in her dressing room just prior to her appearance in the student production of the Mikado. Mrs. Bradley and her chauffeur George suspect that the dead woman may have had a secret lover, in the form of another member of staff, likely female. They also learn that a member of staff has changed their identity. When a second staff member dies, supposedly by suicide, Mrs. Bradley looks to the students for a solution. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 January 2000 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter Davison (Inspector Henry Christmas) and David Tennant (Max Valentine) are both well known for playing the Doctor in "Doctor Who". Davison played the Fifth Doctor in Doctor Who (1963) from March 1981 to March 1984 while Tennant played the Tenth Doctor in Doctor Who (2005) from June 2005 to January 2010. Tennant married Davison's daughter Georgia Moffett on 30 December 2011, making him his son-in-law. See more »

Quotes

George Moody: [reading the plaque in the main hallway of the finishing school] "Home, Harmony, Humility."
Mrs. Adela Bradley: Hogwash.
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Soundtracks

Life is a Bowl of Cherries
(uncredited)
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User Reviews

 
Fabulous hats
31 August 2014 | by hotangenSee all my reviews

The title is odd, since there is no murder or anything else taking place at the opera. In fact, this being a star vehicle for Diana Rigg, the murder mystery is irrelevant. Rigg plays Mrs. Bradley, a celebrity private eye, who does her detecting in opulent 1920s settings. She's a wealthy widow with a chauffeur-driven Rolls who wears a different stunning costume and hat in every scene. Also odd, the 61-year-old Rigg is wearing a hairstyle that Louise Brooks wore when she was 22, but according to Rigg, this dark bob was necessary to provide the proper background for the hats and bejeweled headbands.

Another oddity is her youngish chauffeur, whose role is ambiguous. Unlike Dr. Watson, George is an employee, not a friend or colleague and his role serves no purpose other than to be the means by which Mrs. B imparts information to the viewer. Also, the hints that his relationship with the stylish but elderly Mrs. B is romantic is slightly repellent.

Rigg is an actress I like, a lot, but as Mrs. B, her smug faces and rolling of eyes and little winks to the audience fail to have the effect the script writers intended, which supposedly was to endear her to us by having her snicker up her fox furs at bourgeois respectability. Her liberal attitudes - not especially unusual in the early 20th century among the upper class, according to biographies of Idina Sackville etal - are today the common attitudes of the middle and lower classes and the cultivated raciness of Mrs. B in the 1920s is no longer daring or eccentric.

Only 4 episodes in this series were filmed, indicating a lack of interest on the part of the BBC audience. Unfortunately for Mrs. B, in order to interest today's audience she would have to take off her clothes and crawl under the bed covers with George. Wonder why the producers didn't think of this.


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