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.
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