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  • I read a few other reviews, of this series, & felt like saying that they seemed to miss the point. Being familiar with the original novel "The Secret Adversary" (which was made into a full-length TV feature after these) as well as the "Partners in Crime" short stories I believe that those involved with this series captured the spirit the author intended very well indeed.

    The tone of the original stories was much lighter than that of other Agatha Christie novels and the playfulness & risque humor (which come across clearly in the dramatizations) came right from the characters in the books. I also believe the overly stylized performances were perfect for the period & mood of the pieces. The acting actually comes across more as a good staging of a Bernard Shaw or Oscar Wilde play in the style of the early 20th century than as a current modern TV program & I for one completely enjoyed the contrast.

    2 side notes: I've purchased these on DVD as well as the sets of the Poirot series & while the Poirot are exceptional (wonderfully made & acted) I actually enjoy re-watching the "Partners in Crime" Series more because the emphasis is much less on the crime than on the characters, compared to the Poirot series which always seems to need a twist (right out of Christie) and some kind of action/chase sequence (not so much from Christie).

    Also, I'd personally love to see James Warwick and Francesca Annis reprise these roles 20 years on, since there were several novels ("By the Pricking of my Thumbs" and "Postern of Fate" are the two I remember) which caught up with Tommy & Tuppence later in their lives.
  • Delightful adaptation of Agatha Christie's light Tommy and Tuppence stories.

    These productions are rich in period detail, delightful lead performances, and charm and whimsy to spare. This isn't typical Christie fare; it's light as a soufflé and as bubbly as champagne. James Warwick and the stunning Francesca Annis make a yummy twenties couple who solve crimes and flirt with each other. The scripts are sometimes padded out to flesh out Christie's admittedly thin short stories, but always done with humor, style and flair. The whole series has a wonderful Noel Coward type feel to it that will appeal to those who appreciate the style of the 1920's. I just wish that the producers would bring the leads back for Christie's later Tommy and Tuppence novels.
  • This is a must have DVD for every Agatha Christie fan ! It is just as i imagined Tommy & Tuppence from the short stories. There is a lot of humor and Annis and Warwick are superb as are most of the rest of the cast. The whole series has an intimate feel about it that i liked very much. Every episode is a spoof on one of the famous detectives of the time the stories were written like Sherlock Holmes, Father Brown etc. as Agatha Christie intended. It would be nice if ITV decided to use Warwick and Annis again for a follow up on this series, they could use the novels about Tommy and Tuppence this time as they are written about the couple when they are older. It would be a good idea to do this instead of remaking Miss Marple or Poirot movies.
  • I am a huge Agatha Christie fan, and of the TV series "Agatha Christie: Poirot". I wanted to see this series for the lovely Francessca Annis and I really love it. It is entertaining and light-hearted, it is not as complex as Poirot and Marple and that is not a bad thing really. James Warwick and Francessca Annis are perfect as Tommy and Tuppence, and Reece Dinsdale is amusing as Albert. The period detail is splendid, Annis looks stunning in her costumes and the scenery is beautiful. The music is playful and fun, and the dialogue is nice. The mysteries are suspenseful and keeps to Christie's style decently enough. If anything, this series should've lasted longer in my opinion, it is not the best mystery series out there, but it is pleasant to view. 9/10 Bethany Cox
  • mart-456 March 2008
    Absolutely and gorgeously great. The fact that it was made almost 25 years ago only adds a peculiar charm to the production. I even love the old video feel to it - feels almost like watching something 'live', not the edited scenes shot over several sessions. They didn't usually pay too much attention to period details in the early 80s, but this show is a refreshing change, even though a modern viewer might be distracted by the sometimes too obvious studio sets. Annis and Warwick are so good that the characters might easily have been written especially for them. The acting style might appear a bit theatrical for some tastes, but they have found the key to playing the protagonists the way actors did in the twenties and thirties. I trust times and people were more "artistic" than they are nowadays, therefore I feel secure that they did take the right direction and succeeded remarkably well. Perhaps one wouldn't be allowed to create such characters in a modern hi tech TV series, but back then it seems they just had a lot of fun doing what they did.

    Tremendous fun to watch, and fortunately available on DVD.
  • I remember first watching these episodes on PBS Mystery back in the mid '80's and waited 20 years to find it on DVD. And well worth the purchase price. I love the atmosphere of these stories - terrific 1920's flavor and beautiful filming of rural England. The mysteries themselves are not very challenging, you'll figure most of them out well before the ending, but the chemistry between the two leading actors is really what makes the show. It's so nice to watch a program about a young husband and wife who really do love one another and enjoy adventures together.

    Warwick looks every bit the solid young Englishman, and Francesca Annis, looking ten years younger than the 37 she actually was, is perfect as a bright and plucky young flapper. And do love the old cars in this.

    Great way to spend an enjoyable 50 minutes of wholesome entertainment.
  • tday-117 April 2007
    10/10
    winner
    Being an Agatha Christie fan,it bothers me when someone adapts one of her works and never bothers to read the source material. This outing has an enjoyable cast,crisp direction,nice period touch in the sets,cars and costumes. Much to my amazement,they actually followed the original stories. Francesca Annis is fun as Tuppence,James Warwick muskies a great Tommy and Reese Dimsdale is fun as Albert,the office mainstay. It's a glance at English Life in the twenties in the upper brackets. Manor houses,servants,costume balls,things that are out of date nowadays but fun to look at. Too bad Francesca and James never reteamed for N or M,or By the Pricking of my Thumbs. The other adaptions I liked were "Why Didn't They Ask Evans?" with Francesca and James,and "The Seven Dials Mystery" with Jame Warwick,all of them excellent.
  • I received (sorry if I spelt it wrong) the DVD collection as an Easter present two years ago. I thought the whole lot was absolutely charming, exactly as i imagined Tommy and Tuppence and all the other characters to be. I think the costumes; especially Ms Annis's (Tuppence's) wardrobe. My own personal favourite episodes are "The Affair of the Pink Pearl" and "The King of Clubs", the one where they dress up as Sherlock Holmes (Tuppence) and Dr Watson.

    Although the plots are a bit slow to start, and some of the acting is a bit over the top, I still thought it was charming. I agree with some of the others; ITV should do the other Tommy and Tuppence stories with Francesca Annis, Tommy Warwick and Reese something or other back in their original roles.

    It's about time Tommy and Tuppence came back to our screens.

    Thank you for reading this
  • I remember watching this series when I was about 10-11 years old with my parents every Friday night at 9:00 on MYSTERY. Ever since that time, whenever I think of Tommy and Tuppence, I think of Francesca Annis and her male actor friend, as I truly loved this series and all of the lush period detail. The only downside was the effect the series had on my late mother, possibly more profound than I believed when she was still alive. Every time we were together in the family care and she saw a period automobile, she would cry: "Oo, look, Anthony! A Tommy and Tuppence car!" Despite this, PARTNERS IN CRIME has remained amongst my favorites of the original MYSTERY! TV series.
  • I really enjoyed this series - especially after suffering through the more recent version. They are perfect!
  • milesahead120 August 2016
    Warning: Spoilers
    I'm surprised that some reviewers find Francesca Annis's performance mannered - she's terrific!

    She's so much better in portraying Tuppence than Jessica Raine in the recent plodding remake.

    One reviewer is also under a misapprehension about her character's former job as a nurse - it's clear that she was working in that capacity during WW1 only (possibly in a voluntary capacity).

    Tuppence and Tommy are middle class characters who had fallen, temporarily, on hard times.

    A hugely enjoyable series.
  • I have grown fond of this series. The 1920s sensibility can so easily come across as dodgy to the modern viewer, and so can some of Agatha Christie's writing. The best way out is to play up the comical ingredients, and this show does so with plenty of elegance and wit. Tommy is just the right kind of dashing and just the right hint of gay. Francesca Annis's Tuppence is just effortless - which is no mean feat, combine as she must the character's and the time period's sense of guile, androgyny, wild fashion and childlike wonder coupled with the budding women's lib. It works! Not a heavy, cathartic sort of fare, but charming and uplifting in its own way. Well done.
  • NxNWRocks2 January 2021
    You could depend on British TV to produce solid dramas in the early 1980s, and this show is similar to the Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes and Joan Hickson Miss Marple in terms of attention to period detail, particularly Tuppence's awesome clothes.

    Francesca Annis does a very good job portraying Tuppence, even though she was about ten years too old for the role. Some of the stories are a bit weak, but I think the fault lies in the source material rather than with the show's crew.
  • This show is chock full of good dialog, engaging characters and tons of fun. Tommy and Tuppence are equal partners with tries at one upping each other which is unique for the time period. And the costumes! Tuppence has a fetish for hats and a wardrobe to die for. The period details are lovely as well.
  • As this is currently being repeated on UK television, I thought I'd chuck my hat into the ring with an opinion. I bought the DVDs a few years ago, and do enjoy them. I agree with some other reviewers that Franchesca Annis is indeed, a bit OTT, I also think that this should be forgiven - otherwise, the two of them are the most boring people on Earth. It was also the 80s - the perfect detail and devotion to authenticity that is demanded now, did not exist then. Theatricality was allowed, and this series certainly exploits that! If you can look past the 'staginess' of it, try to allow that TV audiences then were much more acquainted with television plays, then there is a lot of fun to be had here. Please just relax and accept that it is 'actorish' and overplayed in a lot of ways. It's still jolly fun chaps!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I used to love this series... but now I find it desperately mannered. Of the two leads, James Warwick has worn the best. (He went to Canada and became a director to avoid spending the rest of his life playing bright young things.) He also does a very good job of reading the stories in audiobook form. Francesca Annis is a lovely woman and a good actress, but her directors seem to think that everyone in the 20s spent their time posing around and being arch and brittle. Also, Tommy and Tuppence weren't bright young things - they had both served in the war, Tommy as a soldier and Tuppence as a nurse. (As did Agatha Christie.) The stories were intended as spoofs of well-known mystery writers of the day: the duo decide to imitate a different fictional detective for each case. ("This isn't a Father Brown type of crime!") This is largely lost in the TV version. I just started to watch the Sunningdale Mystery, intended as a spoof of a tec called "the old man in the corner". Apparently he sat in an ABC teashop, eating buns and drinking milk while solving crimes (and playing cat's cradle). In the TV version, as in the book, Tuppence drags Tommy to the teashop and cancels his order for a plate of ham, substituting a bun and a glass of milk. In the book, he then realises which detective he is meant to be; on the screen, no reason is given for this imposed change of diet. Watch the Miss Marples with Joan Hickson instead!
  • The series had potential but some of the episodes are directed in a bizarre fashion. The costumes are very good, James Warwick is watchable and gives the idea of what might have happened if Roger Moore had ever taken the acting lessons that he so desperately needed. Reece Dinsdale is amusing enough as a young cocl-er-nee type. The problem is that Annis' performance is so arch, brittle and OTT that it makes the entire thing unwatchable.

    The character she plays was a nurse and there is no hint of worldliness in Francesca's performance (although in fairness the scripts get the character completely wrong too). She is far too old for the role and her make up is extraordinary ( in a negative way).Its like watching an aging amateur drama diva in a lead role in a television series.

    Dodgy acting aside ( and Annis has given fine performances in several other productions)the series seems rather insubstantial and lightweight. It has not aged well.

    I had hoped to enjoy this and was rather let down by the whole thing.
  • chuffnobbler6 October 2006
    As a lifelong Agatha Christie fan, and devotee of Joan Hickson's late 80s/early 90s Miss Marple adaptations, I had hoped that these early 80s curios would help fill my need for more Agatha. I can't imagine that these stagey productions would have met with the great lady's approval. Slow moving (especially when Tommy and Tuppence are on screen), and so lacking in dramatic tension that I am surprised more than a couple of episodes were ever screened.

    Francesca Annis is dreadfully OTT and arch. Her stage make-up makes her look like a doll or a clown in some sequences. James Warwick is very wooden and emotionless. Reece Dinsdale's comedy cockney is even more annoying.

    Tommy and Tuppence are totally unlikeable, and their laboured attempts at flirtation and humour fail at every attempt. Every witticism and remark in the script clunks to the floor under the deadly delivery of Annis and Warwick.

    There's a nice range of guest appearances from some actors who went on to great things (Anita Dobson as a maid who bites the dust after two minutes on screen), but the supporting roles are obviously less significant to the two leads. As a result, anyone who tries to bring a bit of life to things (Liz Smith and Joan Sanderson, for example) are shot down as soon as they appear on the same set as Tommy and Tuppence.

    The studio sets and studio lighting have aged very badly, and the whole production feels dated.
  • jamespan20 June 2003
    I thought the settings and period costumes was excellent. But the acting was theatrical as all get out. I looked at it as a farcical comedy. I thought francesca Annis was beautiful but miscast as a partner of a detective series. The whole thing seemed like fluff. It made me wonder why this was made. Except I found out later it was a TV series. It was entertainment to watch but that's about all.
  • GarryQ21 February 2004
    Later in the 80s American TV took various Christie books and dropped them into contemporary settings. The result: a series of wooden movies. This series proves Britain got there first. Set in the 1920s/30s the main characters are stiff , they seem to be reading their lines. Remember the old joke about President 'Gerald Ford' (qv)? Well, neither 'Francesca Annis' (qv) nor (especially) 'James Warwick' (qv) seem able to walk and act at the same time. A deplorable series, with more ham than a pig farm. An insult to Agatha Christie.
  • vitasearle5 June 2011
    2/10
    Hammy
    I have to agree with Gerry, the acting was very hammy. So much so it spoilt the whole thing. Francesca Annis and James Warwick were not acting novices, so why they were so poor I cannot fathom, but the two of them seemed to be having fun doing a spot of spoofing of the am-dram form of over acting. I have read some of the books with Tommy and Tuppence in, and they seemed far fuller and more down to earth than portrayal here suggests. The potential, as always with any Agatha Christie book, was there, but unlike other productions, let down badly. This lead to the feeling that the hero and heroin were not even a real couple.I am running out of things to say to fill 10 lines of text on this production. By all means form your own opinion on this series, but don't expect to much, or to find that you vie for the couple to win over the baddies, none of them seemed real enough to warrant that to me.