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24 September 2014
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Murder and adultery in a new case for Adam Dalgliesh as Martin Shaw returns in PD James' The Murder Room for BBC ONE

A gruesome murder sets up a trail that leads Commander Adam Dalgliesh to the House of Lords as Martin Shaw returns as the taciturn detective and poet in PD James' The Murder Room.

The two-part drama is classic PD James, where love and hate form the basis of an intriguing case for the intellectual Commander.

There is a family at war, a secret society for sexual favours that involves lords of the realm and a murder case which mimics the crimes from the Murder Room, a chilling exhibition in the Dupayne family museum dedicated to the most gruesome real-life murders between the two world wars.

When the lease on the museum is up for renewal the three Dupayne family siblings have to sign it, according to their father's will, or it will be closed.

Adopted brother Neville refuses and he becomes the first murder victim to die in a grisly killing that is a replica of one of the exhibits in the Murder Room.

A strong supporting cast includes Janie Dee, currently to be seen in Betrayal in London's West End, as Emma Lavenham, the glamorous tutor the Commander met in Death In Holy Orders and whose romantic relationship with him develops.

Michael Maloney is Neville Dupayne, the adopted brother, a psychiatrist who is battling hospital bureaucrats and government cuts. To him, the museum is an unnecessary anachronism.

Nicholas Le Prevost is Marcus Dupayne, a fierce champion of the family tradition and determined to see the museum continue.

Samantha Bond, taking a break as James Bond's favourite secretary, Miss Moneypenny, is Caroline Dupayne, their sister.

Caroline enjoys her luxury flat that is part of the museum building, but she also has another secret reason for keeping the museum going.

Sian Phillips makes a rare TV appearance as Marie Strickland, one of the museum's volunteer staff, fresh from her successful tour of The Old Ladies.

Kerry Fox, who recently starred in Forty, is Muriel Godby, the museum's receptionist and Jack Shepherd is James Calder-Hale, the museum's curator.

Jane Tranter, Controller of Drama Commissioning, says: "The success of Death In Holy Orders earlier this year confirmed the public's appetite for intelligent and thoughtful crime dramas and the enduring popularity of PD James.

"Martin Shaw has brought a new emotional dimension to the enigmatic detective and in The Murder Room we have an impressive supporting cast, complemented by director Diarmuid Lawrence and producer Richard Broke."

The acclaimed Death In Holy Orders was well-received by audiences and critics alike.

The Guardian said: "The BBC poured good acting like golden syrup over Death In Holy Orders and served it up in two generous helpings."

The Daily Mail said: "A wonderful gallery of veteran British actors...Shaw has brought the detective right up to date …a satisfyingly complex plot."

The Murder Room has been adapted for the screen by Robert Jones and will be transmitted next year.

It is produced by Richard Broke and directed by Diarmuid Lawrence. Simon Lewis and Sue Hogg are executive producers.

The drama is filming in London and nearby locations over an eight week schedule.

All the BBC's digital services are now available on Freeview, the new free-to-view digital terrestrial television service, as well as on satellite and cable.

Freeview offers the BBC's eight television channels, interactive services from BBCi, as well as 11 national BBC radio networks.



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