Marriage should be an adventure. Every day. Filled with excitement, fun and…international espionage??
Meet Tommy and Tuppence Beresford. (Tuppence – what a great name!) An ordinary middle-class couple in 1950s Britain whose marriage has become a bit stale. Then one day, a notebook left by a train passenger leads them into the world of Cold War espionage, thanks to Tommy’s uncle, Major Carter, who works for British Military Intelligence. Add in Tommy’s wartime companion Albert Pemberton – who lost his hand in Word War II and now works as a school science teacher, but longs for more excitement – and you have the makings of a perfect crime-solving team. OK, maybe not perfect. Tommy and especially Tuppence have a penchant for getting in over their heads, but their unorthodox ways and disobedience of Uncle’s orders get them results denied to the professionals, and Uncle is always there to get them off the hook.
This is cozy crime, but not without real moments of danger. Tommy and Tuppence’s meddling sometimes brings them close to death, but this also brings them closer together. Their determination to rescue one another (and the sight of one another in a variety of disguises!) brings out the romance their marriage has been lacking. Their occasional marital spats also provide moments of humour. Tuppence is the more adventurous of the two. Tommy would rather be at home, keeping bees or selling wigs (or whatever his latest money-making fad is). Their differences in approach mean that sparks can – and do – fly. But their adventures prove to them (and to us) that they do love each other really.
This six-part series covers two Tommy and Tuppence stories. In The Secret Adversary, a woman has been kidnapped by a criminal gang with links to Soviet Russia. But who is Mr Big? In N or M? we are in more familiar Agatha Christie territory, as Tommy (with Tuppence following, despite Uncle’s orders) is sent to a seaside hotel where any of the guests could be a Russian spy. The last episode leaves things open for further series, which I sincerely hope there will be.
Comedian and children’s author David Walliams does a great job playing it straight as Tommy. Jessica Raines as Tuppence is full of life and ’50s glamour, with her cut-glass accent and red lips. And James Fleet (The Vicar of Dibley) gets to enjoy a rare action role as Uncle. Partners in Crime is Sunday night viewing at its best, and I can only hope the BBC make more. Agatha Christie’s Partners in Crime is now available on Acorn TV. The first two episodes are up, with the final four airing once a week.
“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My
feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me
to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”Want to help us spread the popularity of Romance in Entertainment? Share this article with your friends!