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Murder Most English: A Flaxborough Chronicle 

Flaxborough, near the sea, near the countryside, seems such a nice town, so quiet, so charming. But underneath its placid surface, all kinds of scandalous things go on.






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Series cast summary:
Anton Rodgers ...  Detective Inspector Purbright 7 episodes, 1977
Christopher Timothy ...  Detective Sergeant Love 7 episodes, 1977
John Comer ...  Sergeant Malley 5 episodes, 1977
Moray Watson ...  Chief Constable Chubb 5 episodes, 1977
Brenda Bruce ...  Lucilla Teatime 4 episodes, 1977
James Grout ...  Jonas Bradlaw 2 episodes, 1977
John Normington ...  Gordon Periam 2 episodes, 1977
Peter Sallis ...  Rodney Gloss 2 episodes, 1977
Caroline Blakiston ...  Mrs. Helen Carobleat 2 episodes, 1977
Antony Carrick ...  Dr. Rupert Hillyard 2 episodes, 1977
Lynn Farleigh ...  Doreen Periam 2 episodes, 1977
Michael Robbins ...  Pumphrey 2 episodes, 1977
Gary Watson ...  Ross 2 episodes, 1977
Milton Johns ...  George Lintz 2 episodes, 1977
John Tordoff John Tordoff ...  Warlock 2 episodes, 1977
Lesley Dunlop ...  Eileen 2 episodes, 1977
Adam Bareham Adam Bareham ...  Curate 2 episodes, 1977
John Carson ...  Rex / ... 2 episodes, 1977
Gillian Martell Gillian Martell ...  Sylvia Staunch 2 episodes, 1977
Erin Geraghty Erin Geraghty ...  Hotel Maid 2 episodes, 1977
Derek Waring Derek Waring ...  Dr. Meadow 2 episodes, 1977


Flaxborough, near the sea, near the countryside, seems such a nice town, so quiet, so charming. But underneath its placid surface, all kinds of scandalous things go on.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

8 May 1977 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(7 episodes)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Producer Martin Lisemore died in an accident during the production. Bill Sellars took over as the producer after the death of the first producer but refused credit. See more »


Featured in Chain Reaction (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

Very dry, very English humour
17 December 2018 | by enochsneedSee all my reviews

If ever a TV show encapsulated English humour - wry, self-deprecating, sometimes macabre - this show did. The humour here is often so understated you can miss it completely: a man who fell to his death is described by a relative as "very down-to-earth... in a manner of speaking"; describing the social mores of Flaxborough Inspector Purbright says the inhabitants can tolerate anything but "flagrant unostentation", while two roads in the town are named 'Edward Crescent' and 'Abdication Avenue'.

I think Richard Harris made a genuine attempt to capture the idiosyncracies of Colin Watson's fictional world, but with only a handful of 50-minute episodes to do it in, a great deal is lost. Thankfully, the books are now, in 2018, being re-issued so they can savoured once more - they are not to be rushed like an airport thriller. The series also stands as the final achievement of BBC producer Martin Lisemore. In a too-brief career Lisemore gave us (among others) the 26-episode adaptation of Anthony Trollope's 'The Pallisers' (1974), and 'I, Claudius' in 1976 - classics by any standard. He was tragically killed while working on this project.

Anton Rodgers makes a great job of Purbright - patient, placid, dogged, and with a wicked line in penetrating interviews with suspects. Christopher Timothy (not yet James Herriot) is the eager young sidekick who hates dead bodies, but has a way of inviting unwitting confidences as he appears so naive.

If you decide to give this series a try, my advice is: listen carefully; be patient while the story develops, and; be prepared to ignore the dated technical standards and studio settings. It's not perfect, but still worth watching.

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