Campion: The Complete First Season (DVD)
Behind his distinctive owlish glasses and gentle, deceptive naivete, Albert Campion conceals a passion for excitement and danger. Peter Davison (
) plays Margery Allingham's enigmatic sleuth, with Brian Glover as his loyal but slightly shady manservant in these classic mysteries set in the 1930's.
Do you take the long road? asks a gruff restaurant manager of a hapless drifter. Thus is launched one of the serpentine mysteries written by
, featuring a genteel 1930s sleuth named Albert Campion (played by Peter Davison, a former
), whose bland good manners mask a macabre humor and a relish for solving crimes. All of Allingham's stories take the long road, winding their way through a collection of eccentric personalities, improbable murders, and unexpected narrative twists.
centers around the attempted theft of a 1000-year-old golden chalice from the upper-class family entrusted with it care, encompassing witchcraft, a vast criminal organization, strange rituals, and a murderous horse.
takes Campion and his cantankerous manservant Lugg (Brian Glover) into the British countryside, where they encounter a childhood bully, enigmatic letters, a human corpse replaced by a dead pig, and some very important ice cubes. In
, Campion and Lugg investigate a murder among an upper-crust family of bickering middle-aged siblings and their imperious mother. And in
the normally unflappable sleuth loses a bit of his objectivity when murder strikes among some good friends, the bohemian enclave that's built up around a deceased artist who decreed that every year after his death one of his 12 last paintings should be unveiled. During a sudden blackout at the annual event, someone stabs an abrasive young artist with a pair of ornate scissors. Campion's interplay with the crusty Lugg, a former burglar with an almost impenetrable Cockney accent, is the series' strongest element. The roundabout plots poke fun at the conventions of murder mysteries while providing all the comfortable pleasures of the genre.
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