Season 3 Episode 5

Blackmail and the Fourth Estate

Aired Unknown Jun 01, 1992 on ITV



  • Trivia

    • List Of Suggestions:

      Team 1: Miss Scarlett with the Knife in the Kitchen (0)
      Team 2: Professor Plum with the Insecticide in the Billiard Room (2)

      Team 1: Professor Plum with the Insecticide in the Dining Room (2)
      Team 2: Professor Plum with the Insecticide in the Library (3)

    • The body is found by Miss Scarlett.

    • Dudley Sutton, who plays David Stringer, is best known as Tinker Dill in the show Lovejoy.

  • Quotes

    • Professor Plum: (his confession) Yes, I killed him. He came here so full of conceit, not looking for the truth. He would lie, cheat and threaten for a lurid headline. He would destroy honourable lives for the sake of one moment's titillation for his readers. He upset us all- and he blackmailed me. It is true that a project I worked on had been used without adequate safeguards. Regrettable, but... Stringer was going to ruin my reputation. So I decided to poison his wine. I knew he'd be back for the bottle. What was it? Oh, a cocktail of insecticides. It seemed somehow... appropriate.

    • Mrs White: (during cross-examination) I don't have any memory of a bottle of wine. I mean, that man had bottles of wine everywhere. I'm glad someone stopped him before he drank the house dry, quite frankly.

    • Nigel Dempster: (during cross-examination) It was hinted by Stringer that you'd had an affair with Reverend Green. Would you kill for love?
      Mrs White: (shocked) Please. I can't believe that's a serious enquiry to find out who killed your colleague, Mr Dempster. Simply looking for salacious gossip as far as I can see.
      Richard Madeley: I'm sorry, Mrs White. I have to step in here. Would you kill for love?
      Mrs White: A woman of my age has no need to kill for love.

    • David Stringer: Doc, fancy a drink? We can have a chat about research and United Agriculture.
      Professor Plum: Why? You've already made up your mind.
      David Stringer: Oh, sure. I've got an expert who'll say you recommended an unsafe product. 'Mad Prof Kills Thirty Thousand'. It's a nice headline. What was it? A compound of arsenic and dioxin?
      Professor Plum: You wouldn't dare to print lies!

    • David Stringer: Funny finding you here.
      Mrs White: Don't know what you mean.
      David Stringer: Your former mistress died in that fire. Arson, wasn't it? I was court reporter.
      Mrs White: I was innocent.
      David Stringer: That's not what the police thought. Mrs Peacock know about the fire, does she? Insured, is she?
      Mrs White: I was innocent!
      David Stringer: Of course you were. Still, you know what they say, don't you, eh? There's no smoke without fire. I'm sorry. Tactless of me. Everybody at church?
      Mrs White: Except the Professor. He doesn't believe.
      David Stringer: Does the vicar?
      Mrs White: I beg your pardon?
      David Stringer: Bit of a gambler, I hear. Up to his ears at the bookies.
      Mrs White: Do you take delight in upsetting people, Mr Stringer? Liars and scandalmongers have made his life hell in the past.
      David Stringer: Now, now, calm down. I've heard something else about the Reverend and his... shall I say, penchant for the mature ladies of this parish. Wouldn't want that little story to come out now, would we?

    • David Stringer: (on phone) Charlie, it's a great story. Country house. Sex, military scandal, mad professor, arsonist and a tart. All I need is the dirt on the Rev Green of this parish and I'm home and dry. Dig what you can for me.

    • Colonel Mustard: You've got a nerve.
      David Stringer: Do you want me to tell the story or...
      Colonel Mustard: Or I pay you to keep quiet? I'd die first.
      David Stringer: Like your six soldiers.
      Colonel Mustard: I've killed better men than you with my bare hands.

    • David Stringer: Before I thrash the Colonel at snooker, how about a different game? You'll love it.
      Reverend Green: What game, Mr Stringer?
      David Stringer: I pose a problem, you give the right ethical answer. Easy one first. Yours, Colonel.
      Colonel Mustard: Go on.
      David Stringer: Gulf War. Undercover operation goes very wrong. Six of our non-existant chaps- all Sten guns and balaclavas- get taken alive, delivered back to our own HQ, missing parts and mercifully dead.
      Colonel Mustard: So war's not very pretty.
      David Stringer: The CO who cocked it up and covered it up gets a gong. Now is that right ethically, Colonel? (to Professor Plum) How about a scientific one? A company sells something that kills the people who use it, yet it was verified harmless by an eminent scientist. Now, is that scientist guilty of murder or the company who sold it? Eh, Doc?
      Professor Plum: You're here to write about the Grange. I suggest you do that and leave the house guests alone.
      David Stringer: Just something to think about, Doc.

  • Notes

  • Allusions

    • In the title of this episode, the term 'the fourth estate' is a traditional British term for the press, the first three 'estates' being the Lords, the Commons, and the Clergy.