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Dorothy L. Sayers Mysteries: Harriet Vane Collection (Strong Poison / Have His Carcase / Gaudy Night) (2002)

Edward Petherbridge , Harriet Walter , Christopher Hodson , Michael Simpson  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

Dorothy L. Sayers Mysteries: Harriet Vane Collection (Strong Poison / Have His Carcase / Gaudy Night) + Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries: Complete Collection + Agatha Christie's Partners in Crime: The Tommy & Tuppence Mysteries
Price for all three: $103.97

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Product Details

  • Actors: Edward Petherbridge, Harriet Walter, Richard Morant
  • Directors: Christopher Hodson, Michael Simpson
  • Writers: Dorothy L. Sayers, Philip Broadley, Rosemary Anne Sisson
  • Format: Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 14, 2002
  • Run Time: 513 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000062XDX
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,900 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dorothy L. Sayers Mysteries: Harriet Vane Collection (Strong Poison / Have His Carcase / Gaudy Night)" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Three Dorothy L. Sayers mysteries involving amateur sleuth extraordinaire Lord Peter Wimsey and the lovely Harriet Vane are realized to perfection in these 1987 BBC adaptations. In Strong Poison, Harriet (Harriet Walter) is on trial for murder. Lord Peter (Edward Petherbridge) becomes enchanted by her and decides she cannot possibly be guilty. What follows are the twin stories of Lord Peter's search to find the real killer and his romantic pursuit of Harriet. Both are charming. As always, Sayers has plotted her story brilliantly, with a satisfying mystery and a sly comic touch (a gentle poke at the spiritualist movement is particularly fun). The period atmosphere is pulled off naturally and with close attention to detail, and the adaptation has a careful reverence for Sayers's novel. The performances are all remarkably strong. Petherbridge is perfect as Wimsey, revealing his brilliance and allowing him to be hopelessly in love without ever damaging his dignity. Walter plays Harriet with rich nuance, saying as much with her silences as she does with her lines, and Richard Morant is quietly fantastic as the remarkable Bunting.

Harriet, fresh from the trial, tries to get away from it all and ends up stumbling over a recently killed body in Have His Carcass. Unable to resist a crime (or, for that matter, Harriet), Lord Peter is soon on the case. In Gaudy Night, Lord Peter is still proposing at frequent intervals, and Harriet, though unable to say yes, is also unable to send Lord Peter entirely away. But enough with the romance. As Wimsey heads off for some foreign service work, Harriet visits her Oxford alma mater and lands smack in the middle of a poison-pen scandal. Harriet's status as a mystery writer, naturally, means she's the one who should investigate. Sayers clearly had fun writing this one, using Harriet to gently tweak her own profession, at the same time both parodying and defending the cloistered life at a women's college. --Ali Davis

Product Description

Three Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries, told from a different point of view. The plot and action are seen through the eyes of Harriet Vane, a mystery writer-and Wimsey's one true love. Set includes all three miniseries based on the best-selling novels and produced by the BBC: Gaudy Night, Strong Poison, and Have His Carcass. Starring Harriet Walter (Sense and Sensibility) as Harriet Vane and Edward Petherbridge as a very Ian Carmichael-like Wimsey, each is full of twists, turns, and the delicious added touch of romantic intrigue. 1987; 8-1/4 hours on 3 DVDs.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
267 of 276 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOO HOO!! March 5, 2002
I am unbelievably excited that this is finally to be released in DVD, or any format for that matter. This has been and probably always will be my favorite PBS series - my family has worn out two VHS taped-from-TV copies (It will be wonderful to have the picture match the sound again!)
The first two stories are reasonably faithful to the books, and although the "Gaudy Night" episodes are sort of a Dorothy Sayers Lite, they do make a good introduction for someone who is not familiar with the books. These episodes introduced me to Dorothy L. Sayers (my favorite author along with Jane Austen) and in that way, have greatly influenced my life.
The casting and the acting of these is perfection (thank you Edward Petherbridge, Harriet Walter, and Richard Morant!)- there is no cheekiness that bothers me about the Ian Carmichael versions of some of the other novels.
My only complaint is that they couldn't do "Busman's Honeymoon" for this series (someone in Hollywood wouldn't release the copyright - but have they done anything with it??? NO.)
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100 of 104 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Three To Ponder July 13, 2002
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is the boxed set of three of the four mystery novels Dorothy Sayers wrote about her sleuth, Lord Peter Whimsey, and Harriet Vane, the mystery writer who eventually became his wife. These are the DVD's of the BBC productions of "Strong Poison," "Have His Carcase," and "Gaudy Night," starring Edward Petherbridge and Harriet Walter. Unfortunately, the BBC was unable to obtain permission to produce the final novel, "Busman's Honeymoon," much to our loss.
I have already written reviews of the individual performances separately, and will focus here on matters that affect the entire set. For reference, these performances cover the period from Wimsey's successful efforts to free Harriet from suspicions of murdering her lover to Peter's proposal to her at Oxford several years later.
Both of the stars of this series do remarkable work. Petherbridge is almost too perfect for the role, and has managed completely to supplant my own imagined version of Lord Peter completely. My only quibble is that he seems more a man in his fifties rather than the forties I thought was Wimsey's age. Since I am in my fifties myself, I found this quite easy to forgive. As for Walter's depiction of Harriet Vane, she really is exactly as she should be. Richard Morant's approach to Bunter, Lord Peter's man, is more problematic, being well acted, but not quite in character. As far as the lesser characters, the casting is, for the most part, impeccable. The few exceptions to this rule are still more than acceptable.
What makes the novels unique for their time is that Sayers wrote them are not simply as mystery stories with a romantic aspect.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Ian Carmichael but... February 3, 2006
By CrzGzr
I like both Lord Peter actors, Ian Carmichael puts the "whimsy" in Lord Peter Wimsey but Edward Petherbridge puts the 'Lord Peter' into his portrayal. Petherbridge reminds the reader that the character is fragile and was seriously shell-shocked during WWI and still suffers delayed stress syndrome -his meeting with Harriet Vane is painful and he is desperate to save her while keeping his arm's distance like a gentleman -at her request. Watching the tortured role played, one can't help thinking that his gentlemanly distance is kept more at his insecurity about his emotional stability. He is strong but is the strength his title and wealth? I think anyone who has read and loved her books will enjoy the intellectual challenge Petherbridge delivers. On another note, Dorothy L. Sayers married Arthur Fleming in 1926, contrary to another reviewer's claim that she never married. For a more complete bio: [...]
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The REAL Lord Peter: to a "T" April 30, 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Calling all Lord Peter fans, & all those of ripping good film-making, too: AT LAST! We've all only been waiting since 1987 for these three BBC-films to be released in video -THAT's all! Yes, 15 years in the waiting, but looking spanking new & utterly worth the wait. You'll see: the even older Wimsey videos (Ian Carmichael) suffer seriously when compared to these latest three. I enjoyed Ian but was always bothered by the fact that he was too old, too grey & too thick-waisted to really seem anything like Peter. Edward Petherbridge's acting is top-drawer, & sticklers can rejoice that the actor even looks exactly as Sayers described Peter: right down to the long "goosey" nose, the particular look in the eye, the pale golden hair, & "the shoulders tailored to the point of swooning". Petherbridge's talent & informed style bring the very soul of Lord Peter to the screen in all his eccentric complexity: the wit, the fire, the wonderful silliness, the sudden vulnerability, the rapid badinage lacing literary & historical allusions in between forensic observations: zounds! Top that off with the marvelous presence, at last, of Harriet Vane, & you'll be watching all three novels in a row, straight on 'til morning. Further reassurance? 'Gaudy Night' is SUPERB. Very hard to do well (Hollywood would've ruined it), BBC has created a work of perfection. That early feminist island of Oxford's first college for women is so faithfully & delightfully rendered, even the most exacting viewers/readers will thrill. ORDER EARLY: THESE ARE KEEPERS!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Was so glad to find this on DVD
I remember when this was on PBS and I loved it. I was delighted to find it on DVD, and it's still as good as I remembered it. Read more
Published 23 days ago by K. Paul
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Dorothy Sayer success!
I love English mysteries, and Dorothy Sayer is at the top of the list. Lord Peter Wimsey appears in these three episodes.
Published 1 month ago by N. Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved the books, love the tv adaptations
I thought about beginning to reread the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries, and then decided to buy the video series instead. Read more
Published 1 month ago by needingknittles
4.0 out of 5 stars Overall best D.L. Sayers
Perfect casting of Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane and superb performances by those two actors. I am not giving it 5 stars only because I found the casting of Bunter a little... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Eve Anders
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
We have nearly all of the Lord Peter Simsey tapes. All are excellent viewing. We hope these will do us for several years to come.
Published 3 months ago by Linda Brandon
5.0 out of 5 stars Ms. Sayers dream team
Watch over and over again...these characters are a lesson in great characterization ...the interpretation given by mr. Petherbridge and ms. Walters is flawless. Read more
Published 3 months ago by P. Andrews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Peter Wimsey
I fell in love with Peter Wimsey decades ago. Edward Petherbridge is perfect; under the aristocratic eye piece, vulnerable, humorous, romantic with a touch of melancholy. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Eric E Schey
5.0 out of 5 stars love lord peter
I've always liked lord peter and this series and the ones with harriet vane are my favorite in it. Edward Petherbridge is exactly as the character in the book. Fans of Dorothy L. Read more
Published 3 months ago by gayle
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Series
I just love Dorothy L. Sayers and her Lord Peter Wimsey. This is a great collection. The stories may be slow, but they are suitable for the time period and I love the humor. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Dorothy Sherman
5.0 out of 5 stars Captures all the sophistication of the books
If you're a Dorothy L. Sayers fan, you'll love this particular rendition by the BBC. Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane are portrayed by great actors and the character actors that... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Denise Galligan
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According to the back of the box picture, the set has CC.
Mar 30, 2012 by B. Bennyhoff |  See all 2 posts
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