1983 | United Kingdom

Adam Dalgliesh was the detective hero of fourteen mystery novels by P. D. James, the first of which appeared in 1962. In this novel, 'Cover Her Face,' Dalgliesh is a DCI in the Metropolitan Police, but is subsequently promoted to Commander. 

More Morse than Regan, Dalgliesh is an intensely cerebral and private person who writes poetry, lives in an expensive flat above the Thames at Queenhithe and drives a Jaguar. Chosen to play Dalgliesh was the imposing 6 foot 3 inch Roy Marsden, who, in spite of his stature and athletic build said he was anxious to get away from the macho image of a tough, hard-drinking, semi-literate TV copper. Instead, he modelled himself; cool, suave and well-dressed, on some of Britain's most senior officers at that time. His dress and demeanour were modelled in part on Commander William Hucklesby, former head of Scotland Yard's Anti-Terrorist Squad. 

Marsden also tried to impart a degree of loneliness which he felt went with the job of the most senior police officers, experimenting with gentleness and softness as he explained in an interview for 'Television and Radio 1986': "Most of the matters investigated are domestic and when one is dealing with family structure the degree of hardness is less. The other side of policing is coming up against hardened criminals, and the approach then is obviously different." 

The first ten novels (not made or shown in chronological order to the books) were adapted by Anglia Television for transmission on the ITV network between 1983 and 1998. In 2003 the BBC took the show and made two further episodes with Martin Shaw in the lead.

Published on December 6th, 2018. Review: Dennis C Arums.