Crime of Passion

1970 | United Kingdom

Playwright Ted Willis had been responsible for some of television's most successful plays and series. In Crime of Passion the creator of such typically British police shows such as Dixon of Dock Green and Sergeant Cork turned to France to reconstruct some of the true life cases that have qualified for that description. 

In France crime passionnel (or crime of passion) was a valid defence during murder cases; during the 19th century, some cases could result in a custodial sentence for two years for the murderer. Each play in the series was based on fact and was both a courtroom confrontation and a human drama. The story started by showing the crime in question before moving on to the trial and tracing the criminal act to its emotional roots. At the end of each episode the judge delivered his verdict. 

President of the Court was played by Anthony Newlands, while the grave-faced figures of prosecutor Maitre Lacan and defence council Maitre Savel were respectively played by John Phillips and Daniel Moynihan. Bernard Archer as Maitre Dubois appeared in the last series. Each episode was named after the person on trial.

Published on December 5th, 2018. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.