Partners in Crime (1983-84)
dir: Paul Annett / Christopher Hodson / Tony Wharmby
James Warwick & Francesca Annis as Tommy & Tuppence Beresford
Reece Dinsdale as Albert Batt
Arthur Cox as Inspector Marriott
Partners in Crime is a pretty faithful adaptation of the short story collection by Agatha Christie, beginning in much the same way: now married and retired from the Secret Service, Tommy and Tuppence are left with little to do. Enter Scotland Yard's Inspector Marriott, who gifts them with a private detective agency seized from a shady type. And so they solve cases alongside faithful assistant Albert Batt (a former bellhop who helped Tuppence in The Secret Adversary), but under the same name as that shady type: Mr. Blunt, and secretary Miss Robinson.
As before, the big selling point here is Annis and Warwick as Tuppence and Tommy, and while their chemsitry pops as always, I like seeing the show handle the sex lives of a young, energetic couple. A number of episodes even have the two of them forgetting the case for some (BBC-appropriate) foreplay - in one episode, they forget to follow up a clue entirely because the excitement of investigation led to late-night schtupping. In another, the slow activity at the office leads to an attempted afternoon delight. Annis gets the added bonus of playing a clotheshorse: her wardrobe, especially her hats (an obsession of Tuppence's) are simply divine.
But the secret weapon, funnily enough, comes within the first forty seconds. The opening credits are freshly made for each episode, the artwork adjusted for the storyline. Feast your eyes on 'em:
Tomorrow, we'll take a look at the other Tommy & Tuppence series, also titled Partners in Crime - this one just last year.
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