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Summary

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

Cast

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

What listeners say about A Walk in the Dark

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My 2nd Listen Was as Enjoyable as the First

A very good production & storyline typical of the era. What I call a ‘cosy listen’, one that I have enjoyed twice as much as the first time.
Just wish the female character was not portrayed as an agitated nag.

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Excellent Drama

I thought this was an excellent drama and I really enjoyed the full cast
Thanks

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  • Mark D
  • 13-03-21

Awful theme music

Story was meh, the whole thing was meh. Over acting and a cheesey plot. The awful theme music sounds like 80's action show. I normally like all the BBC stuff but this wasn't the best especially for that price an only 2hrs.

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  • Michael Mueller
  • 13-08-21

Chris Boucher pays bills

This is a ho-hum entry of fairly formulaic writing with very little substance. Nothing remarkable or interesting in this. The writing is bland, the acting isn't much, and the story is unmemorable. The result is a serviceable distraction for 2 hours. Very 80s