Super cool in the sun hea.
With an outrageously camp Noel Coward type on the end of a cigarette- holder and upper-crust gels swanning about in Thirties' fashions sipping cocktails, you could be forgiven for thinking you had lost the plot of an Agatha Christie mystery.
Wealthy Lady Daphne had gone missing in suspicious circumstances in colonial Kenya and her body was found in the bush.
The only trouble was a lion had found it first and it was difficult to work out if she was simply a snack for the hungry beast or a murder victim.
It looked just the sort of case for Hercule Poirot, who would have felt completely at home politely giving Nairobi's decadent Happy Valley set the third degree.
Instead, in barged Superintendent Albert Tyburn, late of Scotland Yard, who was more famous for using his fists than his little grey cells.
He got up everybody's nose, including his new police chief and the entire expatriate community.
They reckoned he was asking too many questions because, as one snooty female suspect put it: "I would assume everyone in this colony has something to hide - including you, Superintendent."
She was dead right there because he had left London under a cloud for dispensing his own brand of justice with a pistol.
It was just the excuse to banish him to Africa and give viewers a break from the winter gloom.
The sunshine and breathtaking scenery made a welcome change from the grey skies and grim backdrops of modern crime thrillers set in overcrowded cities back home.
Heat Of The Sun is a cross between Out Of Africa and White Mischief. There were even shades of The English Patient with a brightly-coloured bi-plane thrown in for good measure.
You can understand why TV bosses gave the go-ahead for the lavish production, which was filmed on location in Zimbabwe. People love murder mysteries and period drama so a combination of the two is almost certain to be a winner.
But you can get too much of a good thing - and two hours is much too much even if there are four breaks to give you a chance to make a cup of tea or go to the loo. Trevor Eve, who shot to fame as private eye Eddie Shoestring, has shaved off his moustache to play the maverick cop.
Tough-guy Tyburn makes a dashing hero. He was kept far too busy finding out who killed her sister to get emotionally involved with pretty Tiger Moth pilot Emma Fitzgerald (Susannah Harker).
But there are two more cases to crack and it is only a matter of time before they end up in each other's arms.
Everybody was at it in Happy Valley, which was a hotbed of sex, drugs and scandal.
It was Tyburn's assistant superintendent whodunnit. He'd had an affair with Lady Daphne, who went to bed with half of Kenya.
Dirty socks on parade gave him away. Poirot would have spotted that a mile off.
SO MUCH material went into Lisa Clegg's wedding dress in Emmerdale (ITV) it must have cost a fortune.
But it was money well spent because the woman is hardly ever out of it. She had it on again when she finally married Zak after nearly marrying his brother Albert.
Villagers are convinced Mandy Dingle will be the next bride in Beckindale so they can get the whopping white lace number out of the wardbrobe again.
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Jan 29, 1998|
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