Retro TV: Murder She Wrote

By Jenny Mason

This little TV series ran for 12 seasons. That’s right from 1984 to 1996, our screens were filled with a murder mystery show that starred Angela Lansbury. The key to the success of this show (much like Law and Order) was a couple of things, lots of suspense and the fact that each episode stood on its own. 

The theme was a delightful piano/orchestral instrumental which reminded us of both her typing and solving mysteries. Check it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wr9en0Ou4gA
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There is a huge benefit to TV shows that you can watch anytime and not have to know what happened on the previous episode. Also the genre of murder mysteries and the “Whodunnit” appeal is timeless and always enthralling, as the audience often tries to solve it before the main character can. This was the case with Murder she wrote.
Lansbury played Jessica Fletcher, a mystery writer (so she knew about nuance and intentions) who spent her time moonlighting as a detective, an amateur one. She was a likeable and a very watchable character. 
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Looking back, it is quite funny to think she was surrounded by so much murder, her character, a familiar, nice, old (OK maybe a little bit nosey) lady who somehow solved a murder every episode. 
 
Fun Facts
  • Angela Lansbury was nominated for a total of 10 Golden Globes and 12 Emmys (she still holds a record) At 90 she is still signing up for more theatre work. She played the star role Daisy alongside James Earl Jones in Driving Miss Daisy on stage just a few years ago and as recently as last year she won an Olivier award.   
  • Lansbury is also related to Malcolm Turnbull (OK according to Wikipedia) but I am going to go with it. They are reportedly cousins once removed. (Lansbury was born in the UK).
  • Since Murder she wrote, Angela Lansbury has been an active theatre actor- her true love. She has been around a long time and performed in many loved films and television, however it seems theatre is where her heart lies. Turning 90 has not slowed her down.
One Comment
  1. There is a fan theory going around that Jessica may have been a serial killer, and killed and framed people to write her stories. That would explain why so many people kept dying around her.

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