Friday, April 29, 2016

Pie in the Sky

Richard Griffiths as Inspector Crabbe.
Premise:  On the eve of his retirement, Detective Inspector Henry Crabbe is framed by a subordinate and implicated in a payoff scandal. Although technically cleared, Assistant Chief Constable Freddy Fisher "suspends" Crabbe indefinitely and thus prevents him from retiring. Fisher does this solely because he relies on Crabbe and wants to be able to use him for investigations from time to time. When not working cases for Fisher, Crabbe, who is a gourmet chef, operates a restaurant called Pie in the Sky with his wife Maggie, an accountant.

Running Time:  50 minutes (40 episodes).

Status:  There were five seasons broadcast between 1994 and 1997. They’re available on DVD in the U.S.

Production Notes:  The series is set in the fictional county of Westershire, which is located in southern England. The scenes inside the restaurant were filmed at Bray Studios, best known as the home of Hammer Films during the 1950s and 1960s. The villain in the first episode is Michael Kitchen, who would later star as a police detective in the excellent Foyle's War.

Our ReviewPie in the Sky undoubtedly has its fans, as evidenced by its five-season run. However, we found it to be a flavorless mixture of light comedy and mystery. As played by Richard Griffiths, Crabbe is a cynical teddy bear of a guy who is far more interested in cooking a tasty omelette than in investigating the disappearance of a police officer. His detecting skills seem to consist solely of getting people to talk and noticing small details. Maggie Steed is a bright spot as his wife, who ironically has no appreciation for her husband's gourmet dishes.

Our Grade:  C-.

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