Hello everyone! 🙂
Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!
This is what I got my Mum for Christmas in 2019. I got her the complete series of ‘The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries’ starring Diana Rigg of ‘The Avengers’ fame and Neil Dudgeon. My parents and I enjoyed this crime investigation drama series set in the 1920s. It had good old-fashioned murder mysteries. 🙂
It’s a shame that ‘The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries’ only lasted for one season. You think there’d be more than one season. They had a 90 minute pilot shown in 1998 and a full series of four episodes in 2000. Each of the five episodes featured in ‘The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries’ series have been very compelling.
The series has Diana Rigg as Mrs. Adela Bradley (no relation of course! 😀 ) with his loyal chauffeur Neil Dudgeon as George solving mysteries of blackmail, murder, sacrifice and mistaken identity. The series is based on the books by Gladys Mitchell. I’ve never come across Gladys Mitchell as an author.
The mysteries themselves have an Agatha Christie style to them with 1920s music in the background and murder involved. My Dad enjoyed ‘The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries’ for the classic 1920s music! 😀 He even told me musical tunes he recognised such as from Guy Lombardo. That’s just my Dad, right?
What makes ‘The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries’ unique apart from being short-lived and quite charming is the relationship between Adela Bradley and her chauffeur George. Mrs. Bradley relies upon George to help her out with solving the mysteries and doesn’t treat him as just a chauffeur during the series.
In fact, Mrs. Bradley values George’s friendship despite having a superior position. It’s nice to see the chemistry going on between Mrs. Bradley and George and Diana Rigg and Neil Dudgeon play their parts well. It’s clearly not like the ‘Campion’ series with Peter Davison and Brian Glover’s characters.
By the way, Mrs. Bradley has the habit of talking to us as the audience – breaking the fourth wall as such. This often comes out of nowhere when watching an episode. It’s like Mrs. Bradley knows she’s a fictional character in a fictional TV series based on a series of crime-solving murder mystery novels.
(sighs; to Deadpool) Don’t you just hate it when that happens, Deadpool?
Deadpool: “I have no idea what breaking this fourth wall means!” (turns to audience and winks) “I wonder if Mrs. Bradley knows where Francis is.”
(scoffs; to audience) That’s so Deadpool.
The five episodes are as follows. There’s ‘Speedy Death’ the 90 minute pilot episode as well as ‘Death at the Opera’, ‘The Rising of the Moon’, ‘Laurels Are Poison’ and ‘The Worsted Viper’ which are all 60 minute episodes. Most of the episodes are pretty good with compelling story and drama. 🙂
I wasn’t quite won over by ‘Laurels Are Poison’ as that was quite dark and bleak compared to lighter tones in the other episode. But saying this, it was still compelling like all the other episodes. My favourite stories have to be ‘Death at the Opera’, ‘The Rising of the Moon’ and ‘The Worsted Viper’!
That might have to do with the fact that Peter Davison guest stars in those three episodes, playing Inspector Christmas. No, that’s not a joke. That’s what he’s called. In his first appearance, he was in a few scenes. Then his second appearance was better. And his third…well, I was pretty shocked! Wow!
You’ll have to check out ‘The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries’ to see what I mean regarding Peter Davison as Inspector Christmas. The second episode of the series ‘Death at the Opera’ also featured David Tennant in it! I’m dead serious! David Tennant guest stars in one of ‘The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries’! 😀
This was pre-‘Doctor Who’ for David Tennant! He even appears in the same scene with Peter Davison at one point. And this was before David Tennant married Peter’s daughter Georgia Moffett. Seeing Peter and David together in ‘The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries’ before ‘Doctor Who’ was so surreal!
The series also features guest stars like John Alderton, Lynda Baron, Meera Syal, Felicity Montagu, Phyllida Law, Michele Dotrice of ‘Some Mothers Do ‘Ave Them’ fame, Kenneth MacDonald of ‘It Ain’t Half Hot Mum’ and ‘Only Fools and Horses’, Isla Blair, Rebecca Callard who’s been in the Big Finish audios of ‘Doctor Who’ and Jason O’Mara who’s been in Series 2 of ‘Monarch of the Glen’ as Fergal.
I’m very pleased my Mum enjoyed ‘The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries’. I got a good Christmas present for her in 2019. My parents and I enjoyed the series very much with Diana Rigg shining throughout in the title role along with Neil Dudgeon. A shame it didn’t last beyond one season, but it’s still a quaint good old TV show.
Thanks for reading!
Bye for now!
Sounds very intriguing this series, maybe audience’s weren’t quite ready for fourth wall drama back then if shown today i think audiences would be more forthcoming of the fourth wall interactions.
A excellent review Tim.
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Glad you enjoyed my review and thanks for the Deadpool cameo.
Interesting insight you have about ‘The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries’ being ahead of its time in being a breaking the fourth wall drama. I don’t know if audiences weren’t ready for it, but it’s interesting how they did it in this drama series. I would’ve liked there to be more seasons as it was pretty good throughout its five episodes.
Thanks for your comments, Simon.
Sorry you’ve been through a rough patch lately. There’s some ‘Doctor Who’ reviews on the latest stories featuring Nyssa to check out and cheer you up. There’s also a new ‘Star Wars’ review to check out on my blog. My review on the latest ‘Doctor Who’ episode ‘Spyfall – Part One’ will be on my blog later on today.