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High Table, Lower Orders: The Complete Series 1 and 2

The BBC Radio 4 Comedy Drama
Length: 5 hrs and 34 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (144 ratings)

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Summary

The complete first and second series of Mark Tavener’s BBC Radio 4 comedy thriller set in a crisis-ridden Cambridge college.

When prominent don and celebrity TV historian Peter Devanti dies after dining at High Table, his colleague Gilbert suspects foul play and invites his former student Simon Harrison, a disillusioned health and safety officer, to investigate. Meanwhile, Simon’s former girlfriend Zoe, a freelance journalist, arrives to write an article about Devanti’s death, reopening old wounds for Simon. After another college member dies, more skullduggery is uncovered, and Simon must find out which of the many suspects is a murderer - while also trying to get back with Zoe and keep his day job.... 

A year later, the college is recovering from the Devanti affair but struggling for cash and riven by arguments between traditionalists and modernisers. Simon, now bereft of a job, jumps at the chance to become a don - but soon finds himself embarking on another murder investigation after a student is caught cheating and his accuser is found hanged. Can Simon unmask the killer before they strike again?

Written by Mark Tavener (In the Red, Absolute Power), this brilliant black comedy stars Geoffrey Palmer as Gilbert, Samuel West as Simon and Sharon Small as Zoe, with Rebecca Front as Patricia, Michelle Fairley as Roisin, Michael Maloney as the Dean and Jonathan Coy as Bernard.

©2019 BBC Worldwide Ltd (P)2019 BBC Worldwide Ltd

What listeners say about High Table, Lower Orders: The Complete Series 1 and 2

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

Excellent performances especially from Geoffrey Palmer.
Only let down was Sharon Small’s accent.
Good stories interesting enough to keep you listening.
The tension between the Dean and the Master is very well done.
Stories a bit odd in so much as the crimes are interwoven so much in other threads of the story that you barely notice them.
Good light hearted entertainment- not laugh out funny but amusing.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely brilliant

As an avid listener to Radio 4 when this and George Cragge were aired, what an incredible pleasure to hear it again. As a previous Cambridge resident, in the 80's ~ a pure gem of academic macheivellinism. Thoroughly recommend

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

P.G.Wodehouse for a new generation, a joy!

The story takes second place to the wonderfully acerbic dialogue. I was grinning from start to finish. If P.G. Wodehouse wrote Inspector Morse it would have been close to this.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Boring

could not finish, sad because it could have been so much better without the interruptions, it was like having adverts without the advert. the story was let down.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Cambridge, in all its' absurdity

Enjoyed this immensely, good performances, plenty of witty asides. I would highly recommend this piece of work..

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Very entertaining bit of stuff and nonsense.

Stella cast, excellent acting, amusing script; what’s not to like.?
BBC Drama at it’s very best.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good actors.

The cast are excellent. The stories less so. It’s pleasant enough and really well acted but wouldn’t listen to more series.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Lighthearted mystery

In the tradition of say, Agatha Raisin: lighthearted, a devious villain and excellent performances made up for perhaps, a story that could have been fleshed out a little.