Murder Most Horrid

Season 1 Episode 3

He Died a Death

Aired Unknown Nov 28, 1991 on BBC Two
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Episode Summary

He Died a Death
Backstage at a London theatre, rivalry turns into suspicion, when one of the cast is murdered during a performance.

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Kevin R. McNally

Kevin R. McNally

Inspector Turner

Guest Star

Stephen Moore (I)

Stephen Moore (I)

Basil Hampton

Guest Star

Kevin Allen

Kevin Allen

Simon Pleasance

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • 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.

  • QUOTES (2)

    • 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 (0)


    • 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).

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