The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries

The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries is a British detective television series, broadcast on BBC1, which was adapted from nine of the novels by Dame Ngaio Marsh, featuring the character Chief Inspector Roderick Alleyn. The pilot episode was shown in 1990, and two series followed, in 1993 and 1994. In the pilot, Simon Williams played the part of Alleyn. For the subsequent two series, Patrick Malahide replaced Williams in the role.

The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries
GenreCrime drama
Written by
  • Various
Directed by
  • Various
Country of origin
  • United Kingdom
Original language(s)
  • English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes9 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • George Gallacio
  • Raghav Shome
  • Diana Kyle
  • Michael Bartley
Production location(s)
  • United Kingdom
Running time90 minutes
Original network
Picture format4:3
Audio formatMono
Original release23 December 1990 (1990-12-23) –
29 August 1994 (1994-08-29)


In the pilot episode, the character of Alleyn was played by Simon Williams. William Simons was cast as Alleyn's right-hand man and "Dr Watson", Detective Inspector Fox, and Belinda Lang starred as painter Agatha Troy, Alleyn's love interest. Simon Williams was unavailable for filming following the pilot was made, so three years later, when a full series finally came to screen, both Simons and Lang reprised their original roles, but the role of Alleyn was filled by Patrick Malahide. Over the course of two series, eight episodes were broadcast, each focusing on a separate novel in the series. Both Malahide series were released on DVD in 2007, via Acorn Media.[1] In 2011, Acorn acquired the rights to the pilot, and in 2012, issued a repackaged version of the set containing the Williams pilot.[2] This set was also released in Australia.[3] Unlike the original novels, whose first story takes place as early as 1934, after World War I, the pilot and thus all subsequent episodes take place after World War II, with "Artists in Crime" being set in late 1948.



Pilot (1990)Edit

Episode # Title Directed by Written by Original airdate Year of Source Novel
1"Artists in Crime"Silvio NarizzanoTrevor Bowen23 December 1990 (1990-12-23)1938
After an artist's model dies in a suspicious incident, Alleyn and his down-to-earth assistant Fox investigate. Matters get complicated with a houseful of suspects, blackmail, another death, and Alleyn's growing attraction to the painter Agatha Troy.

Series 1 (1993)Edit

Episode # Title Directed by Written by Original airdate Year of Source Novel
2"A Man Lay Dead"Sarah Pia AndersonBarbara Machin18 April 1993 (1993-04-18)1934
Alleyn cancels his holiday with Troy to investigate a murder connected to a stolen chalice, but he's called when a second murder occurs at uncle's estate.
3"The Nursing Home Murder"Silvio NarizzanoKevin Laffan25 April 1993 (1993-04-25)1935
A member of Parliament who has taken controversial stands on Palestine and A-bomb development is murdered during a routine appendectomy.
4"Final Curtain"Martyn FriendHugh Leonard2 May 1993 (1993-05-02)1947
An egotistical Shakespearean ham actor gathers his dysfunctional extended family in his mansion on his 75th birthday for the reading of his will.
5"Death at the Bar"Michael WinterbottomAlfred Shaughnessy9 May 1993 (1993-05-09)1939
During a display of dart throwing in a Cornish pub a man's hand is impaled by a dart, and he dies shortly afterward from cyanide - although no one can explain how.
6"Death in a White Tie"John WoodsKen Jones16 May 1993 (1993-05-16)1938
Alleyn enlists the help of his friend Lord Robert "Bunchy" Gospell to uncover a society blackmailer. After Lord Robert is killed, a murder hunt follows among the world of titled heiresses, gamblers and adulterers.

Series 2 (1994)Edit

Episode # Title Directed by Written by Original airdate Year of Source Novel
7"Hand in Glove"Martyn FriendKen Jones10 January 1994 (1994-01-10)1962
A divorced and disliked man living in a nobleman's estate is found in a sewer ditch after someone rolled a concrete pipe on his head.
8"Dead Water"John WoodsTrevor Bowen1 April 1994 (1994-04-01)1964
Alleyn's old French teacher, the landlord of an idyllic Scottish island, is receiving death threats because she's blocking its development as a health spa.
9"Scales of Justice"Jim GoddardCyril Williams29 August 1994 (1994-08-29)1958
The publication of a war hero's memoirs and his dispute with a neighbouring fisherman about poaching leads to a murder.


  1. ^ "The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries". 14 May 2007 – via Amazon.
  2. ^ "Inspector Alleyn - The Complete Series". 18 June 2012 – via Amazon.
  3. ^ "The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries - The Complete Series (5 DVD Set) DVD" – via Amazon.

External linksEdit