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    A five-part vintage crime drama about a mysterious death on an ocean liner.

    Aboard the Carthena, on its way from Sydney to Southampton, a passenger walks on the dark deck, unaware his death is only seconds away. It's a death which will set in motion a criminal investigation stretching from England to Australia.

    In London, Ruth Cobb receives a visit from the Southampton police, informing her that the dead man was her brother, Stuart. DC 'Birdie' Partridge and his sergeant believe it was an accident, or suicide, but the feisty Ms Cobb is adamant that it was murder. The official report suggests her brother was drunk and depressed after a row with his girlfriend - but the Stuart she knew was gay, and teetotal.... 

    Sensing a conspiracy, Birdie disobeys orders and starts probing further - and he soon finds that in Ruth, he has an amateur sidekick who is equally keen to uncover the truth. But the more she pursues her enquiries, the more she puts herself in danger. Can Birdie stop Ruth from becoming the next victim?

    Created by screenwriter and script editor Chris Boucher, whose TV credits include Shoestring, Juliet Bravo and Bergerac, this absorbing thriller stars Patrick Mower (Emmerdale) as Birdie and Helen Atkinson Wood (Blackadder the Third) as Ruth.

    Production credits

    Written by Chris Boucher

    Directed and produced by Gerry Jones

    NB: Due to its age, this serial contains some dated attitudes and language


    DC 'Birdie' Partridge - Patrick Mower

    DS Dunne - Geoffrey Matthews

    Ruth Cobb - Helen Atkinson Wood

    Martin Lennister - David McAlister

    Captain of the Carthena - Nicholas Courtney

    Australian driver - Anthony Jackson

    Daryl Kennedy - John Rowe

    Server in chip shop - John Warner

    Hotel receptionist - John Hollis

    Superintendent - Alan Dudley

    Mrs Flanders - Heather Bell

    Detective - Crawford Logan

    Jones - Derek Pollitt

    Minicab driver - Martin Friend

    Hotel landlord - Peter Tuddenham

    Garvey - Gregory de Polnay

    Inspector - Michael Godley

    Mr Dibley - Michael Tudor Barnes

    Shop assistant - Patience Tomlinson

    Bank clerk - Gary Cady

    Stuart Cobb - David Timson

    First broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 22 November-20 December 1981

    ©2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

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