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George Cragge: In the Red & Other Mysteries

Length: 11 hrs and 32 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (122 ratings)

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Summary

A collection of four blackly humorous crime mysteries featuring the fictional BBC Radio crime correspondent George Cragge. 

Adapted from the novel by Mark Tavener, In the Red sees the anarchic George Cragge investigate a spree of bizarre murders in the world of City finance, a small political party contesting a by-election, and a plan to overthrow the Director-General of the BBC.

The sequel, In the Balance, features George Cragge kicking off a murder trail during the FIFA World Cup at Wembley Stadium. And with Europe becoming a hot potato, can the Prime Minister hold on to his job? 

In the Chair follows the maverick hack as he looks into a series of murders of dentists linked to New Labour policy.

The final drama, In the End, sees George Cragge investigating a series of murders of journalists.

©2018 BBC Worldwide Ltd (P)2018 BBC Worldwide Ltd

What members say

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  • Nigel
  • Berkshire, UK
  • 17-03-18

Prequel to BBC Radio 4's ‘Absolute Power’

Michael Williams (late-husband of Judi Dench) is fantastic, he makes the series’ shine with his portrayal of BBC reporter George Cragge.

Stars many a famous name: Hugh Laurie, Kenneth Cranham, Rebecca Front, Richard Griffiths, Stephen Fry, John Bird, Peter Serafinowicz, Anton Rodgers

- In the Red (1995) 7 episodes
- In the Balance (1997) 6 episodes
- In the Chair (1998) 6 episodes
- In the End (1999) 6 episodes

These stories include Charles Prentiss and Martin McCabe, played by Stephen Fry and John Bird, which in 2000 (-2006) starred in their own spin-off series ‘Absolute Power’ which is also written by Mark Tavener.

** Would suggest not to binge listen in one go as the stories do get rather similar/ formulaic **

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Quite brilliant!

This is excellently written and performed by a great cast. It would be spiffing if audible could obtain both series of Higher Table Lower Orders also by Mark Tavener and equally brilliant! Please audible crack on!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Not my type of thing

This is probably more of a personal taste thing but I didn't enjoy it. I only managed part way through the second episode before removing from my device.

I thought something from the BBC and with such a stellar cast would have been a winner but sadly not. I like murder mystry drama and this is more comedy with a who dunit story with the unfortunate side effect of not caring who did it, why or even if the main character finds them.

High score for the cast, I can't fault the performace, the story and characters themselves...sub par.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A bit Drab

Long winded and not overly funny. Politicians might find it amusing but it just dragged on.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Satire with a twist!

Michael Williams is excellent in his role as the modern crusading journalist in the shallow worlds of politics, high finance and media. Much of what is being satirised is relevant today as it was when this series was first broadcasted. The plots and characterisations are strong, helped by an extraordinary supporting cast which not only reads as a Who's Who of British satire of the past 50 years with the likes of John Bird, Rebecca Front, Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry but also stellar actors such as Barry Foster, Tracey-Ann Oberman, Peter Woodthorpe, Jim Carter, Suzie Brand, Stephen Thorne, Benjamin Whitrow and Jeremy Clyde. The series is excellent due to the superb efforts of production teams which include the likes of Scott Cherry and Paul Schlesinger. This is BBC radio at its best, long may it continue!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A Rather Unlikeable Hero

These were very strong performances in increasingly weaker stories. George Cragge was thoroughly unlikeable though. I sympathised with his editor and with his friend Frank because anyone who told me that they could do my job better than me in that tone of voice would get short shrift.

The Labour Party story, while funny, was unnecessary in the final tale. Great to see Charles and Martin from Absolute Power though.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Well written

I love Mark Tavener. His ability to write clever, intelligent relatable prose makes his scripts ageless. I also have Absolute Power, all episodes & High Table, lower orders. I can highly recommend them all.

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good fun

well acted by all concerned, although sadly some are no longer with us.

good stories which also feature a nice sense of humour, pity there were not more episodes.

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Very entertaining

From start to finish dry wit at its best I would recommend this to everyone who loves radio 4 extra

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Still funny even though 20 years old

They might relate to new labour and Blair but they are still funny and some parts topical for today - politics and the BBC haven’t changed that much.
Anyone who remembers those days will particularly enjoy them.
Bird and Fry went on to the Absolute Power series from these.
Well worth a credit.

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  • Gracie Lou Freebush
  • 27-05-19

Totally marvelous!

I picked up this book on a whim; what fun!
The actors are great, the premise of a detective journalist is unusual and fun, and the sneaky plays on news commentary are hilarious.
Would that there were more dramatized serials such as this, I would buy them in an instant.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jessie
  • 04-10-18

Lovely series!

I felt myself tear up when I realised [SPOILER AHEAD!!!] that George Cragge had died IN THE END. Wish he could have gone on solving crimes forever!

0 of 14 people found this review helpful