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  • Warning: Spoilers
    'Callan' star Edward Woodward was the original presenter of this light-hearted Thames panel game. Jon Pertwee inherited it following his retirement from 'Dr.Who' in 1974 ( "Welcome to Whodunnit!", he said, in the first show he did, "Or if you like 'Dr.Whodunnit'!" ). His relaxed, urbane manner made him particularly suited to the job.

    Each week, a dramatised murder would be shown ( the title then burst onto the screen, accompanied by a nerve jangling theme tune, which included the sound of a gunshot ), and an invited panel of celebrities ( whose number included Wendy Craig, Terry Scott, Arthur Mullard, Lindsay Wagner, George Savalas, Jimmy Jewel, Norman Bowler and Jack Smethurst ) could request a replay of a particular moment, question the suspects ( only the killer was allowed to lie ), and from the answers deduce the identity of the killer. Tough guy actor Patrick Mower seemed particularly adept at this; perhaps he should have become a real-life sleuth! Lance Percival ( who co-wrote the mystery segments with Jeremy Lloyd ) cropped up occasionally as a bumbling 'Clouseau'-style French detective. Two of Pertwee's 'Dr.Who' co-stars - namely Nicholas 'Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart ' Courtney ( he had a particularly bizarre exit - poisoned by a dart placed in one of his dancing shoes! ) and Katy 'Jo Grant' Manning - made one-off appearances.

    'Whodunnit' went out in the old 'Opportunity Knocks' slot of 6.45 on Monday evenings. Some of the murders were surprisingly well-plotted; you had to be observant to spot the clues. One episode ended with the revelation that no actual murder had taken place. The victim had committed suicide, but made his death appear like murder. As Pertwee asked the killer to identify himself, a door opened in the wings, and out walked the ghost of the corpse! A bizarre televisual moment to be sure, but then the show was full of them. Another murder took place on a sci-fi movie set. Putting his tongue in his cheek, Pertwee remarked: "In case you think, you've seen me here before, you haven't. I never visited this place on my travels!".

    It was played for laughs, but was tremendous fun. I.T.V. made a similar series in the '90's - 'Cluedo', hosted by Chris Tarrant - but it was nowhere near as good. Having the same suspects each week quickly palled. L.W.T.'s 'End Of Part One' did a funny parody in which the host ( Fred Harris as Jon Pertwee ) was murdered during the opening moments of the show, leading to other hosts ( also playing Pertwee ) taking over.
  • Dawnfrancis7 January 2004
    This is a very little remembered series but good fun all the same. Jon Pertwee really seemed to enjoy himself and it shows in the banter between the panelists. I actually still have the book of this series and would love to view these episodes again.
  • Shahusta5 November 2019
    The British are obsessed with murder shows and panel shows. This murder-panel show was one of my childhood favourites.

    Many episodes can be viewed on YouTube.
  • I was very young when this was on - 7 or 8, I guess, but I did enjoy watching.

    The one thing that used to crack me up was Jon Pertwee referring to Patrick Mower as "Blood'ound" every time he was on. To this day I still refer to Patrick Mower as "Blood'ound" because of this show. We'll be watching Emmerdale, Patrick Mower will come on screen, and I'll say "Look out, it's Blood'ound".

    I guess you had to be there.

    Bottom line - they don't make shows like this any more, and I am wholehearted agreement that this show needs to be issued on DVD or Blu- Ray for us old'uns to relive our halcyon days.
  • I can remember this especially Jon Pertwee's style, panache and use of many safari suits when presenting this panel show. From what I can remember this was one of Jon Pertwee's best roles (His turn at being the Doctor being his best role) and I can remember his in jokes with the panel about his time as the doctor or "a past life of his" as he used to describe it. The program had the same format every week, in both half's a set murder performed by bit part actors leaving lots of clues the Jon would quiz the panel of the famous, did they pick up on the clues and of course who was the person who done the crime. Classic 1970's TV which I remember was shown early evening on a Monday plus I remember it on an afternoon during primary school holidays.
  • When will we be able to purchase these episodes on DVD/VHS? When my family and I lived in New Zealand for 2 years, I saw 6-7 episodes (re-runs of course) and thought they were GREAT. I would love to see more and would be willing to purchase these if they ever released on DVD/VHS. Any idea on who to contact to get these? Finding out who owns these is rather difficult in the U.S. I was able to tape some episodes and bring them back here with me. I would be willing to share some of the credit information with IMDb if they are interested. One of the episodes I have has David Rappaport (from "The Wizard" TV show in 1986-87) playing a clown from one of his earliest TV parts.