Spafford brings his analytic skills to bear on criminal and civil cases presented by attorneys and clients. Spafford has taught at all levels of public education. Currently he teaches English Composition and Literature at the university level and high school subjects in a maximum security prison in Indiana. A professional entertainer for more than twenty years, Mr. Spafford is an accomplished magician, singer-songwriter, and stand-up comedian.
Are you an author? Help us improve our Author Pages by updating your bibliography and submitting a new or current image and biography. Learn more at Author Central. Previous page. Kindle Edition. Next page. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Learn more about Amazon Prime. Get fast, free delivery with Amazon Prime. Books By John Spafford. Reservoir Road May 29, Get it by Tuesday, Oct Gas Money Apr 27, Any lingering chance of careers in textiles and automotive hardware was doomed when Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine became the first publication to buy a Levinson and Link short story.
Although it would take four years to sell another story, the joint direction of their lives had been established. They contributed to Penn's humor and literary magazines. They wrote film criticism for the Daily Pennsylvanian. They founded the university's Highball humor magazine. They scripted "Mask and Wig" musicals. They even were allowed to collaborate on a senior thesis, which turned out to be four television scripts. After graduation, Link was drafted for a two-year hitch. Levinson enlisted in a six-month reserve program and worked at a Philadelphia television station.
The partnership continued by mail. When Link returned as a civilian, the boyhood chums headed for New York and found that the heyday of the live anthology drama was over. They supported themselves by selling short stories to Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, Playboy and other publications. Their American TV debut was auspicious. TV Guide called it one of the best shows of the —59 season. Levinson and Link were both twenty-four years old.
Encouraged, they traveled to California in the summer of The work wasn't fulfilling, though, so Levinson and Link decided to split their time between the theater world of New York and the television world of Los Angeles. Before giving up on this arrangement and settling permanently in California, they would write a play titled Prescription: Murder. It would introduce a character named Lieutenant Columbo.
More about that in the next chapter I promise. Their television credits started to mount. In , they began a fruitful association with director-turned-TV-host Alfred Hitchcock. Five years later, the actor would play a similar role in the TV movie version of Prescription: Murder. They liked the name well enough to use it for a detective series. Hoping to do more serious work for television, Levinson and Link turned their attentions to the unrealized possibilities of the TV movie. This is where they would do their finest work. At a time when the networks wanted the safe entertainment of Gomer Pyle, The Lucy Show and The Beverly Hillbillies, Levinson and Link decided that television could and should have a social con-science.
The Project Gutenberg eBook of Oswald Langdon, by Carson Jay Lee.
They became known for breaking new ground for the medium. The Whole World Is Watching dealt with student unrest. My Sweet Charlie told of the relationship between a Southern teenage girl and a black New York lawyer. That Certain Summer starred Hal Holbrook as a divorced man coming to terms with his homosexuality.
The Gun raised questions about handguns in our society. The Storyteller examined the effects of TV violence on children. Prototype was a thoughtful science-fiction drama about a Nobel Prize—winning scientist Christopher Plummer concerned about the government's plans for the humanoid he created. The Guardian , a drama aired by paycable service Home Box Office, raised troublesome issues about safety in big cities. With the advent of Columbo as a series, Levinson and Link became the executive producers of most of their TV projects. Levinson and Link never did abandon the mystery.
The team finally made it to Broadway with Merlin, a musical about one of the mutual interests that first brought them together—magic. The partnership came to a premature end on March 12, Dick Levinson died of a heart attack at his Brentwood, California, home. He was fifty-two. He was a classic coronary candidate. He smoked constantly. He was an obsessive worker. He was the one always at the typewriter. He ignored all the warning signs. But three years before his death, Dick Levinson may have made the most prophetic comment about their legacy: "If we're remembered for anything, it may say Columbo on our gravestones.
This time out, the story was called "Enough Rope," and veteran character actor Bert Freed, later a regular on ABC's brief series version of Shane , had the distinction of becoming the first actor to play Columbo. The partners would give different origins for the name Columbo. We've told different stories in interviews. It may have just popped into mind. It may have come from a restaurant in Philadelphia called Palumbo's. Or it came from Columbus.
I met Bert Freed at a party a few years ago and told him he was the first actor to play Columbo. He didn't remember playing it. It was just another cop role to him. The character was flattened out by the director, so none of the comedy and none of the subtle values were played.
They found a producer. The producer found a cast—an excellent one. Ray Fleming, the suave psychiatrist who cooks up the ideal way to kill his wife. Mitchell, who was nearing his seventieth birthday, had been one of Hollywood's busiest supporting players. In alone, he had memorable roles in Gone With the Wind, Mr. But it went on tour for twenty-five weeks in the United States and Canada, and it made a fortune.
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Levinson and Link suggested rewrites. Their suggestions were ignored by the management. The play was making money, wasn't it? Why fool with it? Meanwhile, history was repeating itself on stages all across the country. In Detroit and Fargo, it was the same darn thing.
That impish cop was stealing the show. Then Cotton would come out to take his bow as the lead, and the applause would drop off a bit. Cotton was the lead, but Mitchell was getting the big ovation. We didn't realize how effective the cop character would be. We threatened to slap an injunction on it because he wouldn't let us make changes.
It wasn't right. Later, we rewrote it the way we wanted it, and that's the version that was published by Samuel French. Levinson and Link returned to television. In the eighties, he became best known as Dr. That shows you how bright I am. Wevinson is here to see you. Wink is with him. Director Don Siegel Invasion of the Body Snatchers was excited by the script and called the writers in for a meeting.
Siegel was assigned a feature film, so seasoned director, producer, studio executive Richard Irving was brought in to replace him. Fortunately, he worked well with Levinson and Link. Professional and gentlemanly, Irving was not about to exclude the duo. He sought out their advice on changes in the script. Would it be all right to change the setting from New York to Los Angeles? It would cut down on production costs. Yes, that was acceptable. Writers are supposed to be the doormats of Hollywood. Irving made it a welcome mat for Levinson and Link.
It was only logical to him that they help in transforming Prescription: Murder from a play into a TV movie. But it came to me so well developed that it was an easy movie to direct. There were no big holes, no big questions. You only hope that you get something that well written. Thomas Mitchell had passed away in December of Peter Falk, an actor Levinson and Link knew socially, had seen the script and was interested. Many critics compared him to John Garfield. And he had starred as sloppy but brilliant lawyer Daniel J. O'Brien, like the police lieutenant Falk portrayed in the film Penelope, contained elements of his eventual Columbo characterization.
Levinson and Link, however, thought the forty-year-old actor was far too young for the role. They wanted Lee J. Remembering the sly leprechaun charm of Thomas Mitchell, they added Bing Crosby's name to their list of suggestions. When one considers the context, though, the team's suggestions are perfectly understandable. But Cobb couldn't do it.
Crosby turned it down it was reported that a series commitment would have interfered with his golf game. Falk's name came up again. It was Irving who believed that Falk was right for the part. He convinced Levinson and Link that the actor could do a "passable" job as Lieutenant Columbo. On the night of February 20, , they watched to see if the director was right. WRAY, A. Synopsis—High-priced psychiatrist Dr. Ray Fleming has guests completely baffled.
The game is Botticelli a variation of "Who-Am-I? Everyone concedes defeat. The historical personality Ray is pretending to be is exceedingly obscure. The party is in honor of Ray and Carol Fleming's wedding anni- versary. The phone rings. It is Ray's mistress, aspiring actress Joan Hudson. She has to see him. Ray tells his enraged wife that he must see a patient. Carol suspects the truth. Six months ago, she warned him to end his extramarital affairs or face divorce and drastically reduced finances. Since that ultimatum was issued, Ray has been plotting his wealthy wife's murder.
He's talked Joan into helping him stage the perfect alibi. The Flemings are going on an anniversary trip to Acapulco. Ray plans to strangle Carol before leaving their apartment, arranging things to look like the work of robbers. He'll put jewelry and other items in his suitcases, disposing of them while on a fishing trip in Mexico. Joan will arrive after the murder. They will stage a fight on the airplane, and Joan—dressed in Carol's dress, hat and sunglasses— will storm off the plane and return to the apartment.
She'll leave Carol's dress in a bag left for the dry cleaner. So Ray will be in Mexico when the murder is supposed to have happened. Everything goes according to plan until Ray returns home. Casually sauntering about the apartment, he notices a police outline on the floor and boards on the broken window. Carrying a raincoat and smoking a cigar, Lieutenant Columbo emerges from the bedroom. When Ray walked into the apartment, he made no effort to call out to his wife.
Wouldn't he at least want to know if she was home? Worse, Ray showed no signs of panic when he saw evidence of a break-in and attack. Columbo observes Ray's reaction when he tells him that someone tried to kill Carol. Yes, she's barely alive. She's in a coma and doctors don't hold out much hope. If she could only regain consciousness long enough to identify her assailant. Ray and Columbo head for the hospital, where they're told that Carol has died. Columbo sees Joan leaving Ray's office and is suspicious when casual questions upset her. The fateful game begins in earnest, but Ray is sure that Columbo, no matter what his suspicions are, can't prove anything.
Confronting the actress on a movie studio set, a seemingly angry Columbo tells Joan that she's the weak link. He'll get to Ray through her. The next day, Ray sees a body being pulled from Joan's pool. Columbo tells him that, rather than betraying their guilty secret, Joan took her own life. He asks Ray to confess. After all, Joan is dead, and she was the reason he murdered Carol. Ray laughs at him. The girl was nothing, he says. If there was a motive, it was his wife's money. And now Columbo can never touch him. The weak link is gone. Is that right? It's a voice from the door.
It's Joan, alive and ready to tell all she knows. Columbo has staged this suicide scene to show Joan what Ray is really like. With awareness of the situation dawning on his face, Ray looks at Columbo and realizes that his only mistake was in underestimating the sloppy lieutenant. In their book, Stay Tuned, Levinson and Link recount their sitting down to watch Prescription: Murder to see if they had fixed the play's mistakes.
The details were soon forgotten. Instead, they found themselves enchanted by Peter Falk's wonderfully quirky performance. The mystery plot worked fine, yet it was the actor's portrayal that made their TV movie something special. Twenty years later, Prescription: Murder still holds up very well. Barry makes a smooth villain, but it's Falk's Columbo that demands our constant attention. Peter didn't tumble to the character at first.
He was playing a straight cop. When he realized the possibilities and started playing them, he went way past our expectations. It's a very stylish film. MCA also issued a home video version in Columbo is billed as "TV's favorite detective," and, for once, an advertising puff contains a measure of accuracy. Levinson was basically correct in saying that all the components were in place.
There's no car. There's no dog. But Prescription: Murder established a formula that would be duplicated again and again, with only slight variations. You start with the concept that Columbo is an inverted or open mystery. In other words, instead of the traditional whodunit, we get to see the murder committed. We know who dun it. Columbo is a howzhegonnacatchhim. It was a daring idea for television, yet mystery fans can tell you that the literary device was being used long before Columbo showed up. Anthony Berkeley Cox, writing under the pseudonym of Francis Iles, used the open mystery in the novel Malice Aforethought.
The character of Lieutenant Columbo also had definite literary ancestors. The fawning manner we got from Petrovich in Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment.
I'm just a humble civil servant. You know, my wife, she gives me one every morning, and I just can't seem to hold on to it. That was a terrific script. Levinson and Link had clothed Columbo in an overcoat. Falk read the script and thought it said raincoat. He brought in a beat-up favorite from his own wardrobe. And he's very good at looping.
But in the middle of a scene, there'd be this great ruffling noise. It was that raincoat. The sound guys would go nuts. The clothes all belonged to Falk, and he wore the same suit, shoes and raincoat for all forty-five Columbo outings. But they only had them in blue and white. I asked them if they could dye one of them, and it became that brownish tan. I wore the same suit for the whole series. Still, the ratings were good enough to put Prescrip- tion: Murder among the ten highest-rated TV movies made to that date.
Universal, one of Hollywood's busiest studios, offered Levinson and Link a contract that they turned down and then accepted. The real surprise, though, was Falk's performance. We had a humble guy, but Peter stressed that. Mitchell was a hit more brusque. There's a great similarity to Peter and the character: the energy, the perfectionist, the charm, the forgetfulness. Peter is a forgetful person. He was always forgetting his car keys.
In a large way, it's him. It was all used to magnificent advantage in Falk's characterization. My feeling is that it just wouldn't have been the enormous hit it became. Without him, it wouldn't have been the same. You can't discount how wonderful Peter was in that role. It was one of those fortuitous accidents of chemistry. He wasn't interested. The actor was pursuing feature projects, and he still had a bad taste in his mouth from the cancellation of The Trials of O'Brien. In hindsight, maybe the concept wasn't as good.
Maybe I was on screen too much. I certainly didn't say that at the time. As pleased as they were with Falk's interpretation, Levinson and Link didn't have any desire to see Columbo go to series. It was a world premiere movie, and we were content to leave it at that. Network executives had a plan that might make a Columbo series more palatable to Falk. Would he do Columbo if it rotated with two other series as part of a Mystery Movie package? Instead of doing twenty-four one-hour episodes, he'd be looking at six ninety-minute shows.
The concept appealed to Falk. Levinson and Link, however, were still not sure it could work as a series. Besides, Universal television boss Sid Sheinberg had them working on a rewrite of the pilot episode for a series loosely based on the Clint Eastwood film Coogan's Bluff which, ironically, was directed by the man originally interested in Prescription: Murder, Don Siegel. It would be called McCloud. They also were developing their own series, The Psychiatrist. They asked for a Columbo pilot. But there's already a pilot, right? Prescription: Murder, right? That proved how successful the character and the formula could be, right?
The network didn't see it that way. Although baffled, the team agreed to concoct a story for a second two-hour Columbo movie. Because of other commitments, writing a full script was out of the question. They suggested the task be given to a talented young Universal contract writer named Dean Hargrove. Sheinberg took their recommendation. That sent him back to Hargrove, who was looking at ways to establish himself as a producer. I only had a couple of producing credits at that time, and I asked him if I could be the producer for the pilot.
I had a two- or three-page story notion by Levinson and Link. I liked the story, so I was very happy. The most familiar part of Lieutenant Columbo's "uniform" was purchased by Peter Falk on 57th Street during a rainy New York day in To this day, Falk swears that the television script for Prescription: Murder specified a raincoat—not an overcoat—for the unkempt lieutenant. Although the switch to a raincoat would seem natural enough for the change in locations from New York to Los Angeles, Levinson and Link always maintained that their star was mistaken.
Falk wore the same raincoat throughout the NBC run of Columbo, but there were two or three stand-in coats. I've been known to say I put out a saucer of milk for it every night. The body is pushed into the ocean, and Leslie makes it look like a kidnapping. She's fashioned a ransom note from letters cut out of the newspaper.
She's also taken a tape recording of her husband, Paul, talking about a business deal and clipped out one key phrase: "They got me. So is a representative of the Los Angeles police force. Leslie opens the door to find Lieutenant Columbo looking for a pen he just dropped. FBI agent Carlson will only barely recognize Columbo's presence. A computerized tape recorder in Leslie's office makes the call from the phantom kidnappers. Columbo notices that she doesn't ask her husband if he's all right. That bothers him. Leslie, a licensed pilot, is to drop the ransom money from a plane.
Going through with the phony arrangement, she removes the money from her bag and throws the empty pouch from the plane. The FBI finds the bag, of course, but no kidnappers. Something else bothers Columbo. Why would criminals making a fast pickup take ransom money out of a bag and leave the bag behind? It doesn't make any sense. When Paul Williams' body is discovered, Columbo takes over what is now a murder investigation. The ever-watchful lieutenant closely observes Leslie's reactions.
After being completely cool and composed during the kidnapping, she breaks down in front of friends and strangers. She never asks where the body was found or how Paul was killed. At the funeral Columbo sees Margaret Williams—Paul's teenage daughter from his first marriage—slap her stepmother, whom she despises. Columbo is not done with bothersome details. The driver's seat in Paul's car was pulled way up, as if someone much shorter drove it last.
The bullet entered Paul's body at a 45degree angle and was fired at close range, which probably means that Paul was standing and the killer was sitting. And the gun used was a. Why a. Most criminals use a. Maybe the killer didn't want the bullet to travel through the body. Maybe it was done somewhere, like a living room, where no traces could show. Comparing notes with Margaret, Columbo discovers that Leslie had a motive for murder.
She could always make Paul do what she wanted. She had convinced him to end his distinguished career as a judge so they could start a law firm together. His reputation built her practice. After getting that, Leslie told Paul that she thought he was a dull, tiresome old man. She wanted to be partners in name and business only. He stood up to her. Margaret suspects the truth. Columbo tells her there's no real evidence, just several inconsistencies. Leslie is hounded by Columbo and Margaret. The teenager promises to go away and leave her stepmother alone—for a rather substantial price.
Leslie is only too glad to agree. With Margaret will go the only real piece of incriminating evidence. Columbo is waiting at the airport. Margaret had made the deal at his request. He reasoned that the only way to catch Leslie was to force her to use the ransom money. Her lack of conscience, he tells the shrewd lawyer, is her only weakness. She couldn't conceive of anyone not taking that much cash to forget a murder.
It has been suggested that the unique nature of Columbo may have been the reason NBC wanted a second pilot. Network executives may have just wanted to have been convinced that the success of Prescription: Murder wasn't a fluke. Whatever the rationale, programming history repeated itself. Ransom for a Dead Man, like Prescription: Murder, was a success in the ratings and the reviews. In many ways, it's a better TV movie than Prescription: Murder. Irving had to look for ways to translate Prescription: Murder from a stage play into a TV drama.
While that transition was smooth, Ransom for a Dead Man had the advantage of being designed as a movie. Using Levinson and Link's established formula and cunning story idea, Dean Hargrove concocted scenes that took fuller benefit of the medium. Levinson particularly liked the scene in which Leslie Williams takes Columbo for an airplane ride.
The detective, obviously airsick, tries to continue his interrogation. Now, if you're going to have people talking in rooms a lot, you'd better change the rooms. They put Falk in a private plane. Well, that's a great innovation. He could play the airsickness and the questions. Abroms' editing and Billy Goldenberg's thrilling musical score—refined it. But in both movies, Irving helped shape Peter's performance. The shooting of Paul Williams was shown through a stylized sequence of cuts in Ransom for a Dead Man.
It was an important step for Columbo. Future episodes either wouldn't show the murder or would depict it in a highly sanitized way. Falk was fond of the entrance Hargrove conceived for Columbo. He'd show up and everybody would turn to him for the answer. I thought it was important in the opening of Ransom for a Dead Man that no one turn to me for anything. I was just a local. All these FBI agents had their job to do. I couldn't know anything except maybe the name of a certain street. I wanted to be ignored.
You can't interrupt. There are important people doing things. The more celebrated approach is to have the great detective arrive and everyone turns to him for the answer. No-body wanted to know this guy's opinion. There's a lack of pretension. You expect something quite different from a great detective.
The great detective arrives and, instead of people turning to him, their attention is on this major kidnapping. What's he doing? He's looking for this engraved pen that he's dropped. That's a nice quality. It's amusing, but it's also a very humanizing thing. It's not humor just for its own sake. It says something about the character. There's a contrast between his position and the reality.
It made him very likable. Cynthia opens up about the past. Ross does Elizabeth a favor. A mysterious benefactor reciprocates. The search is on forMark, who knows where secret riches lie. George starts plan C against Ross. Gerry's new soulmate has a surprising background. Leslie suffers the pangs of heartbreak. Louisa has another go with Sven and Margo takes a stab at the medical profession.
Naresh executes a diabolical plan. Aafrin tries desperately to stop it. Ralph finally puts twoand two together. Simla's populace turns out innocently for a picnic. George maneuvers Poldark toward checkmate. The law hunts down free traders. Carolinechooses between Unwin and Dwight. Francis goes missing. At wits' end, Louisa orders her children to put food on the table. Larry bites the bullet and goes hunting. Meanwhile, Margo, Leslie, and Gerry pursue their various love interests. Lord Hawthorne wants Adam arrested for setting him afire.
Alice and Aafrin's affair teeterson exposure. A marriage descends into sadism. The dead and presumed dead return. Smugglers make Ross an offer. Ross makes Francis an offer. Verity reappears. Ross andGeorge engage in a frank discussion. Demelza risks her neck before a blessed event. In the series opener, Louisa Durrell and her four headstrong children arrive penniless on the Greek island of Corfu in They soon fall in with the locals and a menagerie of animals. Sooni confronts Aafrin and receives a shock. Madeline tries to line up a key ally for Ralph.
Lord Hawthorne's interest in Leena deepens dangerously. George tries plan B against Ross. Jud pays a steep price for treachery. Francis has a meeting of minds with his cousin. Demelza breaks difficult news. Sooni and Ian compare notes to solve the mystery of Kaira's murder. Aafrin intrudes on a domestic scene. The Maharajah arrives with his latest flame, a familiar face.
In the Season 2 premiere, George plots against Ross, who fights all attempts to save him; Francis takes a desperate step; and Demelza tries to influence a hanging judge. Aafrin saves his friend's life, but gets a gruesome payback. Ralph's ambition faces a roadblock. Sooni feels family pressure and Madeline extracts the truth. Three years have passed since last season. Aafrin is secretly fighting for Indian independence from inside the civil service. Does Ralph suspect his disloyalty?
Michael Gambon stars as Winston Churchill in this dramatization of Churchill's life-threatening stroke in , when he was prime minister. His illness was kept secret from the world. Romola Garai plays the remarkable nurse who cared for him. In the series finale, Lewis and Hathaway investigate a bomb attack that killed an eminent mathematician - a notorious philanderer with many enemies. When a bomb is discovered at his brother's home, the case moves in another direction. Lewis and Hathaway anticipate more murders when they find an alchemic image purposefully left at the scene of an Oxford dean's bludgeoning death.
A tattoo on his body and those of two more victims leads to a frantic effort to prevent another murder. Learn if Lewis, who needs to prove himself to a new boss, and Hathaway can establish a connection between the remains of a body discovered in a well and the death of a young artist. Hathaway finally gets to know his estranged father. Endeavour, occupied with unexpected strife in his personal life, finds himself drawn to a woman he's investigating. The grisly murder of a man who works in fashion causes a shake-up in Oxford's criminal underworld. Endeavour ventures into the disparate worlds of Oxford scientific academia, the city's vast parks, night school, and the Oxfordshire countryside when a Dutch au pair goes missing.
The death of an artist in a house-fire leaves Oxford police baffled. Then, when a young housewife dies seemingly of a mysterious "tummy bug" that has sickened half the police force, Morse's investigation leads him to an inner-city supermarket. In the series finale, the press links Harry with Jimmy's demise. Suppliers refuse to sell and stockholders are up in arms. Meanwhile, the store's 20th anniversary sale approaches. With his memory failing, Wallander draws on primal instincts to crack a decades-old submarine mystery. But is it finally curtains for Kurt? Josie takes on a new role and an old one.
Whiteleys' troubles lead Jimmy and Mr. Crabb to take a big risk. Found out, Jimmy takes desperate measures. A knife-slashed corpse takes Wallander on a chase for the victim's missing daughter. Increasingly forgetful, he breaks a cardinal rule of policing. The Whiteleys deal starts to look bad. A reporter confronts Jimmy.
Grove undertakes a good deed and a new project before retiring. Harry and Mae also retire. The case of a missing Swede in South Africa leads Wallander down a dangerous path. Worst of all, he's having blackouts. A former employee is laid to rest. Kitty and Frank reach an understanding and Grove confronts Tilly. Jimmy thinks he's a hunted man, even as he makes the deal of his life. In the season finale, Sidney seeks oblivion and his friend Sam seeks forgiveness. A dead girl's parents seek revenge. Amanda seeks Sidney. Also, Leonard finally takes a stand.
Jimmy comes up with a plan to save Harry's bacon. Gordon gives in. One couple breaks up and another ties the knot. Plus, a love triangle meets an unfortunate end. Will Gary go to the gallows? Will Geordie go to prison? Are Sidney and Geordie'scrime fighting days over? The case of a suspicious death takes a surprising turn. Grove and Josie make a new start. Frank is in the doghouse. Movie mogul Harry courts trouble with a mob boss and a press lord. An apparent suicide leads Sidney to perform an exorcism.
Gary goes on trial. Leonard bets on a longshot. Margaret makes her move and Amanda confronts her lost love. Frank turns into prey at a swank junket for the press. Josie arrives to console Grove. Harry faces a choice: settle a gambling debt or bankroll the Dolly twins' dream job.
Sidney and Geordie answer a false alarm, which turns into a real murder investigation. Amanda gets into trouble. Things get more serious with Margaret. To Gordon's horror, Harry and Jimmy make a high-risk deal. A professor dies in a suspicious fall.
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A government agent warns Geordie to back offthe case. Meanwhile, Sidney is warned off an old flame but finds a new prospect. Wheeler-dealer Jimmy Dillon makes his cocky entrance. The Groves are at loose ends. Harry has a run-in with the Queen of Time. The Dolly sisters mar Mae's fashion show. Sidney is suspected of murder. But then so are a fellow priest, a photographer, anda classmate of the victim. Geordie makes up his mind about who will hang.
After six passionate and poignant seasons, the curtain comes down on "Downton Abbey. Two romances get complicated. Molesley and Spratt try out new jobs. Thomas takes a fateful step. Patmore provokes a scandal. Isobel puts her foot down. A car race gives Mary flashbacks. Patmore opens for business. Hughes tricks Carson. Things get serious for Edith. Robert gets a surprise gift. The hospital war reaches a climax. Violet goes on the warpath. Daisy tries to foil a romance. Prospects are looking up for Mary and Edith. Thomas feels trapped.
Thomas makes Andy a generous offer. Spratt rescues Denker. A powerful politician comes to dinner. Robert upsets the family. Mary gets suspicious. Miss Baxter faces a dilemma, Anna and Mary rush to London, Daisy continues to press her case, and a former maid comes to lunch. A wedding dress drama takes a disastrous turn, a handsome volunteer helps Edith meet a deadline, and the hospital debate gets nasty. Wedding plans hit a snag, pigs lead to trouble for Edith and Marigold, Thomas gets a hint, Anna has a secret appointment, and Violet and Isobel lock horns over health care.
Extortion and downsizing threaten Downton Abbey and change is afoot at the hospital. Hughes poses a delicate question. Daisy speaks her mind and Anna and Bates wait for the word. Thomas Ricoletti is surprised to see his wife dressed in her old wedding gown because, just a few hours before, she took her own life. Ricoletti's ghost now appears to be prowling the streets of London with an unslakeable thirst for revenge. From fog-shrouded Limehouse to the bowels of a ruined church, Holmes, Watson, and their friends must use all their cunning to combat an enemy seemingly from beyond the grave.
In the Season 1 finale, Madeleine gets a shock. Ramu's fate is in Ralph's hands. Aafrin makes two fateful decisions, and Ian becomes a local hero. While Simla citizens look on, Ramu is tried for Jaya's murder. Leena and Ian come to his defense. Sarah is humiliated. A murder victim is found and a suspect confesses. Ian finds a cause and Aafrin is blackmailed.
Meanwhile, the British Club performs Oscar Wilde. In the Season 1 finale, Alison tries to escape her troubles before the jig is up. Miriam experiences despair and joy. Pat is freed from tyranny and Laura's secret is out. A mountaineer makes trouble. Aafrin and Alice try to check their growing attraction.
Ralph's covert appointment is thwarted by tragedy. Frances welcomes an evacuee. Laura follows her sister's footsteps. Spencer is shunned. Teresa gets bad news and makes a confession. Ralph plays politics at his engagement bash. Eugene tells Cynthia a shocking secret. Adam and his mother make a surprise visit. Frances plans an air raid shelter and Steph hides a secret that threatens the farm. Kate gets shattering news. The viceroy gets a royal welcome.
A crucial piece of evidence is missing. Aafrin sends Alice on an urgent errand. Ian gets bad news. Alison takes desperate steps to pay a bill. Claire asks Spencer out. Pat makes a speech but pays the consequences. Sooni gets into trouble. Witness-tampering runs riot. Ramu confronts Armitage at the annual fair. Dougie confesses to Sarah. Pat endures abuse. Alison's dog has a close call.
The local doctor faces up to his fate. While Aafrin fights for his life, Ralph confronts the gunman in jail. Sarah is suspicious of Alice's past. Adam goes missing. Frances tries to revive the group with a jam-making project. The British arrive at their summer headquarters in northern India for a season of parties, romance, and trouble - including attempted murder. Sir Arthur and Woodie close in on the Wyrley Ripper. But have they found their man? Jean makes her decision. Sir Arthur and Woodie get a shock after they order their driver to "follow that carriage!
Julian Barnes' novel begins with famed author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle asked to clear a man convicted of animal mutilation. In short order, he realizes that there's more to the case than meets the eye. When Verity makes her move, Poldark is blamed and events spiral out of control. An epidemic leads to tragedy. A shipwreck is both a blessing and a curse. A mysterious smelting company challenges the local copper barons. Poldark confronts the same cardsharp who swindled Francis. Poldark and Demelza start a family and Demelza plays matchmaker. The miners riot.
Francis takes desperate measures to recoup his losses. The community awaits news of the fish harvest. Poldark's copper mine struggles. Demelza must get used to a new way of life. Poldark's battle with the local gentry deepens. He faces one turning point with Elizabeth and another with Demelza. Determined to open his risky copper mine, Poldark seeks backers. Verity's big chance leads to a showdown. After fighting in the American Revolution, Poldark returns to Cornwall and finds wrenching change. In the season finale, the store throws the sale to end all sales. Cupid also makes some final decisions.
In the season one finale, Henry's love for Anne Boleyn has given way to anger and distrust. Henry instructs Cromwell to rid him of his second queen. Sensing her loss of favor, the queen's enemies gather. The store takes a big gamble. Victor hits on a survival strategy. Gordon and Grace test the waters. And Grove snaps out of it. Wolf Hall - Episode Five. With Anne pregnant again and away from court, Henry begins to take notice of Jane Seymour.
Anne hears of this and threatens Cromwell to make terms with her before her son is born. But has she overplayed her cards? Harry and Victor spiral deeper into despair. So do Mardle and Grove. Serge and Violette fly high after a crash. Wolf Hall - Episode Four. Anne gives birth to a baby girl, failing to produce Henry's longed-for male heir.
Cromwell demands the nobility and church swear an oath acknowledging Anne as lawful queen, but will Thomas More agree?
Gordon's debut as store deputy skirts scandal. Kitty confronts her attackers. Doris wrestles with a dilemma, then takes a tragic step. Wolf Hall - Episode Three. With the cardinal dead, it falls to Cromwell to orchestrate a marriage between the king and Anne Boleyn. The king rewards Cromwell for his loyalty, but he is being closely watched by his enemies. When Locksley makes a surprise move, Harry ups the stakes. Princess Marie makes her own move. Victor and Violette are caught off guard.
Wolf Hall - Episode Two. Cardinal Wolsey has been forced to move to York. Cromwell remains in London, seeking to return the cardinal to the king's favor. As Cromwell's relationship with Henry deepens, there is unexpected news from the north. Surprising accomplices turn up in the search for Kitty's assailants.
Agnes and Henri call it quits, and Harry and Nancy reach an understanding. Wolf Hall - Episode One. In the series opener, Cardinal Wolsey is stripped of his powers after having failed to secure the annulment of the King Henry's marriage to Katherine of Aragon. His hopes of returning to the king's favor lie with the ever-loyal Thomas Cromwell.
Harry attends a fateful auction. Henri has a flashback. Edwards' new book instigates a crisis for Kitty. In the season opener, Harry and his family attempt to move on with their lives after the death of his wife, Rose. Henri returns from war but struggles to adjust to life back at home and an old enemy resurfaces. The Crawleys go to a shooting party at a castle in Northumberland and return to Downton for a joyful Christmas holiday. In the season one finale, Geordie's life hangs in the balance as Sidney defies the police to stop a killing spree.
Sidney's romantic life falls apart. Someone tries to derail Rose and Atticus's happiness. Patmore gets a surprise. Anna is in trouble. Robert has a revelation. Sidney and Geordie happen upon a murder while visiting London and show Scotland Yard a thing or two. Edith is found out. Mary finally shakes a suitor. Isobel and Lord Merton reveal their plans. Robert throws another guest out of the house.
A shocking murder reveals the depths of homophobia in Cambridge. Geordie crosses swords with Sidney. An ancient spark flares in Violet's heart. While police deepen their probe, Bates tells Anna the truth. A long and painful mystery is solved. Sidney investigates when an old woman dies shortly after telling him that someone wants her dead. The new curate delivers a surprising sermon. Rose makes a handsome new acquaintance. Something is wrong with Thomas. Edith's link to Marigold draws attention. Bricker and Robert lose control. Sidney's former flame throws an engagement party that leads to murder.
To crack the case, Sidney and Geordie must break a code of silence. In the season opener, it looks like suicide, but Reverend Sidney Chambers suspects murder. His biggest challenge is to enlist police in the hunt for the killer. Mary and Lord Gillingham put their love to the test. Bates also faces a trial. Cora makes a new friend. And Violet is reunited with an old one. Rose hits on a strategy to get a radio in the house. Sarah tutors Daisy. An art historian arrives. Anna makes a difficult purchase.
In the season opener, a working-class prime minister is elected and old attitudes start to change. Robert is snubbed by the village. Baxter tells all. And Edith plays with fire. The Worricker trilogy concludes with Johnny and Margot managing to stay ahead of an international dragnet all across Europe. In the season finale, Clemence returns, bringing emotions to a boil. Denise, Moray, Katherine, and Tom reach a mutual understanding. A ghost story brings Moray and Denise back together. A traveling photographer makes a big impression on Clara. In the conclusion, a suspect goes on trial for his life, while Elizabeth pursues the truth behind a mysterious death.
The future of Darcy's sister, Georgiana, also hangs in the balance. Moray and Tom raise the stakes in their battle for The Paradise. Denise pursues her own plan. Lovett suffers a crisis. Six years after "Pride and Prejudice," Elizabeth and Darcy plan a ball with fatal consequences. A family enemy takes charge of the case. An heirloom watch incites sales, seduction and sorcery at the Paradise. The protagonists find themselves in new roles. Thirteen years after Detective Lewis' first successful arrest, the case is re-opened for appeal. Lewis fears the worst but nothing can prepare him for a new string of murders resembling the original murders.
Denise faces her first personnel problem, while Moray sets a desperate plan in motion. Myrtle also confronts a crisis. The detectives discover murky motives while investigating the murder of Rose, an American Classics student. Hathaway gets to work on his first case as an inspector with his new partner, DS Lizzie Maddox. Lewis, struggling to adapt to retired life, jumps at the chance to investigate a complicated crime. Miss Marple investigates several suspicious deaths believed to have been caused by a gypsy curse.
Time has not stood still since last season's wedding disaster. Moray, Denise, and Katherine reunite under a new regime.
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Miss Marple finds work and lodging for an old family friend and her son at Greenshaw's Folly, the home of an eccentric botanist. All seems well, until the house's loyal butler dies unexpectedly. While staying at a lavish tropical island hotel, Miss Marple investigates the sudden death of a fellow guest.
Otto and Elizabeth's strange marriage becomes plain. Jean forms an unlikely bond with Margaret. A climactic series of events is kicked off by a swimsuit contest. The intertwined fates of doctors, nurses, spouses, and a police inspector converge. A procedure goes wrong for Otto, Charlie, and Jean.
Elizabeth and Mulligan meet for a showdown. Angela and Otto have an out-of-town trip with a chaperone. Brilliant surgeon Otto, married to Elizabeth, has eyes for new nurse Angela. Angela's sister, Jean, is engaged to Otto's colleague Richard. Inspector Mulligan snoops around. Poirot reluctantly attends the party of a wealthy financier where a "murder hunt" game may turn out to be a real murder. Belgian super sleuth Hercule Poirot investigates the shocking death of a Russian chess grandmaster.
Morse investigates the cases of a missing boy, a dead journalist, and an absconder from an open prison.