Synopsis: In these troubled times, why not travel back to 1937? Listen to the murderously funny ongoing saga from Pogley Wood and Morlington Hill, the sleepy Cornish villages steeped in folklore and supernatural goings-on…. Join our intrepid local police force, D.I. Arthur Sixpence, Sgt. Dingle, Constable Knibblett and forensic expert Miss Betty Swallocks as they solve a series of murders – never a week passes by without one!
Review: A seeming eternity ago in 2018, I reviewed Shilling & Sixpence Investigate from Big Finish. The Pogley Wood Murders is the latest iteration of the same material — the long-running Morlington Mysteries — by the same creatives — the 368 Theatre Company. Creator/Writer Nigel Fairs and his very merry band go back to their comedic roots.
As of this writing, there are 13 episodes available with new episodes expected every Wednesday. I binged all 13 installments over the weekend, and I’m absolutely hooked. I’m giving the story a nine, only because it’s unfair to give an ongoing, incomplete narrative a ten.
The Pogley Wood Murders is what would’ve happened if Agatha Christie had written panto. Fairs balance extremely broad comedy (puns, innuendo, male actors in female roles, fourth-wall breaking) with tightly crafted whodunnits. He sacrifices neither the mysteries nor the laughs.
The first season, recorded pre-lockdown, consists of two-part stories. The second season, recorded in self-isolation, starts with two-part stories, but Fairs indulges in longer arcs when he realizes how much more time he and his troupe have on their hands.
I can’t say anything about the plots without spoiling the mysteries. Fairs cover all the tropes you’d expect with gusto, including a nod or two to Dark Shadows in the most recent storyline continuing this Wednesday.
The cast is brilliant after refining these characters over decades of live performances. Abi Harris, Max Day, Radley Mason, Rebecca Crinnion, and Nigel Fairs play multiple roles each and eat all the scenery with salt while they do.
They’re joined by various guest stars in featured roles. The science fiction notables are both from Classic Doctor Who. Matthew Waterhouse does a great turn in the first season. Louise Jameson joins the unapologetic fun in the second.
Thank you to everyone involved. We really needed this!
- You can listen and subscribe to The Pogley Wood Murders for free here.
- You can read my earlier review of Shilling & Sixpence Investigate from Big Finish here.
- Audio Production10