Murder Most Horrid

BBC Two (ended 1999)
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  • Episode Guide
  • S 4 : Ep 6

    Dinner at Tiffany's

    Aired 4/2/99

  • S 4 : Ep 5

    Elvis, Jesus, and Zack

    Aired 3/26/99

  • S 4 : Ep 4

    Confessions of a Murderer

    Aired 3/19/99

  • S 4 : Ep 3

    Whoopi Stone

    Aired 3/5/99

  • S 4 : Ep 2

    Going Solo

    Aired 2/26/99

  • Cast & Crew
  • Dawn French

    Various characters

  • Timothy Spall


  • Ray Winstone


  • Jim Broadbent

    Selwyn Proops

  • Hugh Laurie

    Jerry Bryce

  • show Description
  • Started in 1991 as a pilot, "Murder Most Horrid" has become a classic Dawn French comedy. As various characters, Dawn French embarks on a different mystery every episode - but there not to be taken too seriously. In some way or another she is involved with murder - either commiting the crime herself or even getting bumped off herself! Four series of the show have been produced, and aired in 1991, 1994, 1996 and with the last airing in 1999. The series was made by TalkBack productions, and has won two 'British Comedy Awards' for 'Best Comedy Drama' and also 'Best Comedy Series'. BBC2 Broadcast History: • Season 1 - 14th November to 19th December 1991 - BBC2, Thursdays, 9pm • Season 2 - 3rd March to 7th April 1994 - BBC2, Thursdays, 9pm • Season 3 - 10th May to 14th June 1996 - BBC2, Fridays 9pmM • Season 4 - 19th February to 2nd April 1999 - BBC2, Fridays 9pmmoreless

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (3)

    • Opening Narration: "Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds." Eew. Shakespeare really knew what he meant when he wrote that. Though in olden days, he would have written it in big italic feather pen writing, I expect. Probably. This week -- corruption. Not funny. Not clever. Not hygienic.

    • Judy Talent: It's a long walk from Tinseltown to Bummerville -- and I took a taxi!

    • Opening Narration: "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players." Shakespeare really knew what he meant when he wrote that. But then he would, being in show business. This week, illusion and delusion. We take a peek up the skirt of Dame Theatre and look at her pants in all their tinselly glitteriness.

    Notes (2)

    • The book signed by Verity Hodge in the market place given as a gift to Dawn French's driver. This was put up for auction on eBay in 2007 (Auction closed 01.03.07). The jacket of the book covered the book "The Stars Of Show Jumping" by Judith Draper (ISBN 0 09 174521 7), published in 1990.

    • The village square featured in this episode was actually Brightwell Park Farm in Watlington, Oxfordshire. While the interiors where filmed at Bray Studios in Windsor.

    Trivia (4)

    • In the opening sequence, the following books are shown on the bookshelf prior to Dawn French pulling down the volume of Shakespeare: The Coroner's Verdict by Alan Fraser, M.D. Forensic Evidence by Prof. Eric Newborn A Career in Pathology by Trevor Puckle, MSc Autopsy in Perspective, Second Edition by Dr. Paul Burn Teen Studs from Hell by Al Watson

    • Visual references to the Masonic-type secret society are scattered throughout the episode. For example, the coffee mugs of all of the policemen at the police station are embossed with a Masonic symbol (protractor and square), and the playing cards being held by the people sitting in the pub have a checkerboard symbol on the back.

    • In the opening sequence, the following books are shown on the bookshelf prior to Dawn French pulling down the volume of Shakespeare: The Revenger's Tragedy by Tourneur Hamlet by William Shakespeare The Insider's Guide to Rio de Janeiro Vendetta by James McCallum Fashion Frenzy: The Story of C&A by Joan and Eric Freebody

    • In the opening sequence, the following books are shown on the bookshelf prior to Dawn French pulling down the volume of Shakespeare: My Life in the Theater by Sybil Thorndike The Theater in My Life by Edith Evans The Theater the Theater by John Gielgud Krankies Big Summer Fun Book My Life My Life by Topol Sybil Thorndike, Edith Evans, John Gielgud, and Topol are all famous actors, which fits in with the plot of the episode.

    Allusions (6)

    • Astrud Gilberto: One of the dinner guests, on hearing that Maria is from Brazil, asks her if she knows Astrud Gilberto. Astrud Gilberto is a Brazilian-born singer who is most famous for her rendition of "The Girl from Ipanema."

    • The Girl from Ipanema: The Girl from Ipanema is a Grammy-award winning song (probably his most famous) by the Brazilian songwriter/performer Antonio Carlos Jobim. The episode title refers to the country of Maria's birth, although the song itself is not performed during the episode.

    • Pantomime: It's revealed that Reg had lost the part of Widow Spanky in Jack and the Beanstalk to Tony. The "Jack in the Beanstalk" is not the fairy tale, but a pantomime (or "panto"). English "pantos" are generally performed at Christmastime and are a form of entertainment with its roots in the music hall tradition. Some are takeoffs on famous fairy tales. Panto traditions include a main female character being played by an actor in drag (Widow Spanky in this case), the principal boy being played by a woman, and audience participation, particularly in such dialog as "Oh yes you were!" -- "Oh no I wasn't!" which is the dialogue between Judy and Reg when the revelation is made.

    • Fiddler on the Roof: One of the purported autobiographies on the bookshelf in the opening sequence is My Life, My Life by Topol. Chaim Topol is an Israeli actor whose most famous performance (at least internationally) was as Tevye in the film version of Fiddler on the Roof. His "autobiography" refers to the song from Fiddler on the Roof, "To Life," which begins "To life, to life, l'chayyim. . ."

    • The Mousetrap: The play in which Judy Talent is starring, The Catflap, is a takeoff on Agatha Christie's play The Mousetrap. Not only are the title and plot similar (both plays involve characters holed up in lonely house with a murderer on the loose), but The Catflap's 27 years and 14,922 performances allude to The Mousetrap's record-setting run (it's been running since 1952).

    • Episode Title: "Dinner at Tiffany's" This title is a spoof of a famous 1961 romance-drama Breakfast at Tiffany's.

    Show More Allusions
  • Fan Reviews (1)

    By twells7297, Jul 08, 2012

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