1 9 8 0 – 1 9 8 1 (UK)
14 x 60 minute episodes
Debuting on 20 July 1980, Robert Morley introduced a seven-part anthology of plays from Granada Television about men and women charged with murder.
The stories related the tales of Marie Marguerite Fahmy (Barbara Kellerman), who shot dead her Egyptian husband in 1923 at London’s Savoy Hotel; Kate Webster (Elaine Paige), a maid who killed her employer Julia Thomas in Richmond in 1879; Ruth Ellis (Georgina Hale), the last woman to be hanged in Britain; Mary Pearcey (Joanna David), who murdered her employer and baby in 1890; Charlotte Bryant (Rita Tushingham), who was hanged for poisoning her husband with weed-killer; Madeleine Smith (Elizabeth Richardson), a respectable spinster who was accused of killing her lover in 19th-century Edinburgh (the case was famously found to be “not proven”) and ‘baby farmer’ Amelia Dyer (Joan Sims), convicted in 1896 of the murder of several children in her care.
The series returned in 1981 with a further seven episodes debuting on Friday, 10 July 1981, with the tale of Hawley Harvey Crippen (John Fraser), the meek little American doctor with a coarse, loud-mouthed nymphomaniac wife with ambitions for a career on the music hall stage. When Ethel Le Neve (Hannah Gordon) became his typist, the scene was set for one of the most famous murder cases of the century.
Further episodes presented the stories of Frederick Seddon (Michael Jayston), who murdered his lodger Eliza Barrow by poison gained from soaking fly papers; George Joseph Smith (Kenneth Haigh), the “brides in the bath” murderer; Ronald True (Christopher Cazenove), convicted of the murder of a prostitute in 1922; Edith Thompson (Gayle Hunnicutt), whose involvement in a love triangle ended in death for all three people involved; Neville Heath (Ian Charleson), the handsome charmer who brutally murdered two women in 1946, and Sidney Harry Fox (Tim Brierley), accused of murdering his mother in 1929.
Other stars of the 14 hour-long dramas included Joan Hickson, Carol Drinkwater, Phyllis Calvert, Geoffrey Bayldon, Michael Ripper, Mark Wingett, Christopher Ellison and Ronald Lacey.
Murder at the Savoy Hotel | Not for the Nervous | Lucky, Lucky Thirteen! | Killing Mice | Don’t Let Them Kill Me on Wednesday | Miss Madeleine Smith | Suffer Little Children || Miss Elmore | The Root of All Evil | My Perfect Husband | A Smile Is Sometimes Worth a Million Dollars | The Darlingest Boy | Make It a Double | A Boy’s Best Friend