Virtual Murder: Meltdown to Murder
This is the episode of Virtual Murder broadcast as the first, although it wasn't intended to be. In my humble opinion this was the right thing to do rather than broadcast the intended first episode, Dreams Imagic, first. The reason I think this is the plot of this one is a beauty, of the paint of famous works of art suddenly melting and running. As a plot this is exactly the right note to kick off on, and it is well worthy of the sixties TV gauntlet that the show runs with.
As is the cast of complete eccentrics, once again played by a guest cast of Big Names: Helen Lederer, Bernard Bresslaw, Julia Foster, When we see the murder victim the presentation is sufficiently eccentric to be right up there was reenacting any campaign you like in the potting shed. This show is absolutely barking and I know regular readers will love it.
I think it is more apparent in this one than in the other episodes that Dr Cornelius's sidekick, played by Kim Thomson, was at least partly inspired by Emma Peel. She acts like Diana Rigg and even sounds like her. There is a wonderful scene where the talk in a very sexual way about the case, without actually talking about sex, which comes across as so Avengers. Because surely the whole point in The Avengers was that we all wanted them to get it together and they never did...
Cornelius is called in by the insurance company which insures all of the destroyed paintings, and he plays the company off against the university who actually employ him in a way truly worthy of John Steed, whose attitude towards his superiors was always a bit...irregular.
Once again locations in this great city give of their best, predominantly the museum and art gallery. Aston Hall is the exterior for another gallery.
There is another reason to start with this episode, which is that the version currently on youtube is in better condition than the others, which tend towards the ropey. The excellent plot, classic sixties ethos, and not being annoyed by a poor picture, are all very good reasons to start with this one.
I don't have any criticisms and I think you should just watch it now. If there's a possible criticism it is that the solution is rather magicked out of nowhere in my opinion. But then this show isn't about the investigation.
This will be my last post on Virtual Murder: I have decided not to post about Dreams Imagic. This is not because there is anything wrong with it, but the plot is largely driven by virtual reality as envisaged in the early nineties and it's not a subject I feel I can do justice to.
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