Department S 1.20 – Death on Reflection

In this blog, I’ve occasionally been down on Philip Broadley’s scripts, because they’re not as high-flying or weird as I had expected from this series. “Death on Reflection” is, again, another fairly ordinary crime, but I really enjoyed it. Broadley does something here that many of ITC’s regular writers couldn’t manage: he found room in the narrative for Sir Curtis to join the investigation as a fourth member throughout the story, not just right at the end like we saw in “The Double Death of Charlie Crippen”. Three was the “classic” ITC number, and often that meant two active leads because three’s a crowd. But it works really well here, suggesting that they missed a trick not involving Sir Curtis more frequently.

The story’s a good one about some smuggling being used with a very respectable auction house as the front. Jennifer Hilary and Paul Whistun-Jones play conspirators who are in it up to their necks, and Peter Copley has a small role as the auctioneer. Something’s been moved around Europe in pricy baroque mirrors which are selling for many times the expected price. We got a late start tonight and our son was probably too silly to give this one all the attention he should have. He interrupted the show tonight, just once, to “complain” that the mirror in the episode wasn’t working because he could not see himself in it. In fairness, that is a pretty cute riff for a nine year-old.

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