Benedict Cumberbatch plays the young, feisty, devastatingly acute Horace Rumpole in this collection of cracking cases, also starring Timothy West as the older Rumpole.
Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders:
It is the fifties, and two war heroes have been shot dead. Defending the suspect is deemed hopeless, so the case is handed to a novice. But the novice's superiors didn't count on the tenacity and wit of the young and hungry Horace Rumpole, as he defends the accused alone and without a leader for the very first time. This two-part adaptation of the novel by John Mortimer also marks the beginning of Rumpole's life-long liason with Hilda ("She Who Must Be Obeyed").
Rumpole and the Family Pride:
We rejoin Rumpole and Hilda in the late 1950s, when they have been married for a year or two. Hilda's cousin lives with her husband, the 17th Baron Sackbut, in Sackbut Castle on the Yorkshire Moors. Hilda and Rumpole are invited to the castle when a body is found in the grounds. Meanwhile, in London, Rumpole defends a tramp who has confessed to a triple-murder.
Rumpole and the Eternal Triangle:
When Rumpole and Hilda attend a concert performed by The Casterini Trio, Rumpole is surprised to be approached by Elizabeth Casterini - the trio's beautiful violinist. But then the Trio's cellist, Tom Randall, is murdered. Elizabeth's husband is arrested, and Rumpole agrees to defend him at the Old Bailey.
'a deliciously fun listen' - AudioFile Magazine
Duration: 3 hrs approx.
John Mortimer studied law at Brasenose College, Oxford. On finishing his degree, he was called to the Bar in 1948 and entered his father's chambers. At first he followed his father and specialized in divorce cases, but he soon switched to criminal law, as he maintained that murderers and the like were nicer to work with than divorcing spouses. In 1966 he became a Queen's Counsel, and he continued to work as a barrister until 1979. Mortimer started writing before he became a barrister. His legal career inspired his fiction, however, with his first radio play, The Dock Brief, which won the Italia Prize and was adapted for the stage, television, and a film starring Peter Sellers and Richard Attenborough. He also had great success with his autobiographical play A Voyage Round My Father, which ran in the West End starring Jeremy Brett and Alec Guinness. It was subsequently adapted for TV starring Sir Laurence Olivier and Alan Bates. His other novels include the trilogy of Titmuss novels, Paradise Postponed, Titmuss Regained, and The Sound of Trumpets, and he has also written three volumes of autobiography and numerous TV and film adaptations, including Brideshead Revisited, Cider with Rosie, and Tea with Mussolini. John Mortimer received a knighthood for his services to the arts in 1998 in the Queen's birthday honors list. He died in 2009.