Cluedo TV Series (UK) Summary

Overview: amateur detectives compete to solve a murder

The first series, and the following christmas special, of Cluedo ( both hosted by James Bellini ) had two teams of one celebrity and one viewer ( and in subsequent series, just 2 pairs of celebrities ) competing against each other to prove that they were the sharpest thinkers and the most Devious Detectives of Deductive Dilemmas ( basically I'm trying to say that there was no prize ! )

The first piece of film was shown to the teams which would show the victim ( who was usually blatantly obvious to be killed - though that was half the fun ) arriving at Arlington Grange; the home of the wealthy Mrs. Elizabeth Peacock, her glamorous step - daughter Miss Vivienne Scarlet , her devoted housekeeper Mrs. Blanche White ( and occasionally Mr. White - till he died ) , and her friends ( and admirers ) the estudious American, Professor Peter Plum, and the Military, Colonel Michael Mustard . The local Vicar, the Reverend Jonathan Green, also spent most of his time tasting Mrs. White's cakes, rather than writing his sermons at the vicarage at the other end of the path from the Grange's kitchen entrance .

This alleged ' reconstruction ' of events, then proceeded to disclose the motives of the six suspects to commit the murder; such motives have ranged from being conned into investing all their life savings in a money making innovation, then being ripped off; and being cheated in love; to being involved in drug smuggling activities . In one of my favourite episodes ( 4.4 'The Hanged Man' ) you were not blatantly given the real motive for the murder of Marjory Hunt, a clairvoyant; but had to spot a newspaper heading on a table, mentioning a hit and run accident; and link this together with a broken headlight - to finger the murderess of Miss Scarlet herself . This meant that it was not just a mad guess at who dunnit, but the piecing together of the information .

After the first piece of film had ended, usually with one of the characters saying casually to another - 'Mr / Mrs X is dead' ( unless it was Mrs. White reporting the death, who would normally run around, banging dinner gongs, and screaming her lungs out ! ) , next would come the main crux of the show - the questioning !

Possibly partly because of my own experience in acting, I loved the improvisational work done by the actors / actresses in coming back with a quirky response to the question posed . I don't know whether the questions were planned in advance or not, but it came across that they were thinking on their feet, and knew their characters, the plot, and what everyone else was doing at each point in time - inside out .

This questioning would be done by each team in turn ( usually after an observation question about the clip had been posed to decide who went first ) until all six suspects had been interviewed, then the accusations could start flowing .

Now this is the point where you have to wonder whether anything was ever fiddled - as it would always take the standard 25 minutes of a show, to point the finger in the right direction . I am a maths student, and I can say that there is a one in two hundred and sixteen chance of being right on the first guess, which reduces as the guesses proceed .

But here again is not the point of the show . If it was fiddled, then it was fiddled so that you could slowly uncover the murderer for yourself ( if you had closed your eyes when they disclosed the identities of the murderer, the weapon and the scene of crime before the questioning had started ) .

After the first round of questioning ( and just before the ad break ) in the first series they put the murderer's identity to a vote by the studio audience, and it was interesting to see how their views changed depending on how convincing a ' statement ' the suspects had given .

Once the adverts for soft toilet paper and non - microwavable cling film had passed, more clues were disclosed in the form of a shorter, more disjointed piece of film, that you had to fit in with the first sequence . This was then followed by another round of questioning until the correct accusation was made .

After 25 minutes of suspicion, deception and deduction, the murderer was finally unveiled ( usually to the sound of mass booing and distgust from the audience ) to give a pre - prepared monologue of a confession, under a spotlight, direct to camera .

Justice had been served . 

UK Episode Guide

Cluedo TV Series Media Page