I first came across the Lord Peter Wimsey TV series while surfing YouTube. It was an episode with Edward Petherbridge as Lord Peter Wimsey. It was surprisingly enjoyable.
I found out later that Lord Peter Wimsey is a fictional detective created by Dorothy L. Sayers in 1923. Her stories have been adapted for television in the 70s and 80s with Ian Carmichael and Edward Petherbridge as Peter Wimsey respectively.
Ian Carmichael and Edward Petherbridge approached the character quite differently. Carmichael’s Lord Peter came across loud and energetic. An adventurous nobleman. Edward Petherbridge’s Lord Peter seemed shy and thoughtful. A scholarly gentleman. I wonder who is closer to Sayer’s Lord? I had an opportunity to read Whose Body? after this and it was certainly Ian Carmichael who was closer.
There are 8 stories that have been dramatized for television and are available on Youtube. This playlist is organized according to the publication dates of the books.
1. Clouds of Witness
This story was published in 1926. The TV adaptation with Ian Carmichael as Lord Peter was aired in 1972. About 46 years apart.
Lord Peter finds himself with only weeks to save his own brother, the Duke of Denver, who is accused of murdering his soon-to-be brother-in-law. The solution was by no means straightforward. Clouds of witnesses indeed.
2. The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club
This story was published in 1928. The adaptation with Ian Carmichael as Lord Peter aired on TV in 1973.
A retired general is found dead at the Bellona Club, a London club for war veterans. His sister, who had a huge inheritance, passed away around the same time. Who died first? The answer meant a great deal to a number of people who may have a motive for murder.
3. Strong Poison
This story was published in 1930. The adaptation with Edward Petherbridge as Lord Peter was aired on TV in 1987.
Harriet Vane, a mystery writer, is on trial for the murder of her former lover Philip Boyes. Lord Peter Wimsey is convinced of her innocence and falls in love with her. After the jury fails to reach a verdict, Lord Peter Wimsey has 30 days until her retrial to investigate, and proposes marriage to Harriet should he save her. Would he succeed to do both?
4. The Five Red Herrings
The story was published in 1931. The adaptation with Ian Carmichael was aired on TV in 1975.
A talented but quarrelsome painter Lord Peter Wimsey met on holiday is found dead. It seems like an accident but a missing tube of white paint points to murder. Any one of six fellow artists with him may have committed the crime. But which one and why?
5. Have His Carcase
This story was published in 1932. The adaptation with Edward Petherbridge aired on TV in 1987.
Harriet Vane finds a recently murdered body on a rock on a deserted beach. Before she can summon help, the corpse is washed away by the tide. Together with Lord Peter Wimsey she investigates and discovers a complex plot involving a wealthy widow.
6. Murder Must Advertise
This story was published in 1933. The adaptation with Ian Carmichael as Lord Peter aired on TV in 1973.
An unpopular copywriter is found dead at Pym’s Publicity under suspicious circumstances. Did he fall down a spiral staircase by accident or is it foul play? Lord Peter goes undercover to find the truth.
7. The Nine Tailors
This story was published in 1934. The adaptation with Ian Carmichael as Lord Peter aired on TV in 1974
The discovery of a body in a freshly-dug grave sends Lord Peter on a hunt to uncover a conspiracy involving stolen emeralds, swapped identities and a World War 1 deserter.
8. Gaudy Night
This story was published in 1935. The adaptation with Edward Petherbridge aired on TV in 1987.
A series of poison pen letters, acts of vandalism and other unpleasant events plague Harriet’s old Oxford college. They threaten the hard-won reputation of women at the university. Harriet is invited back by the Dean and Fellows of the college to investigate discreetly. Lord Peter Wimsey had to assist.
Read the Books
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