Acorn TV's 'Dalgliesh' Trailer Introduces Fans To The Poet-Detective

Bertie Carvel as Adam Dalgliesh in 'Dalgliesh' Season 1

The Mr. Darcy of Crime is heading to AcornTV. Dalgliesh, P.D. James' famous detective, is getting a new series from the streaming service in conjunction with the U.K.'s Channel 5. James wrote the 14 or so Dalgliesh novels from 1962 to 2008; the ones adapted here will be 1970s-set period pieces. The mystery series stars Bertie Carvel (Doctor Foster) in the titular role of James' cerebral detective who writes poetry. The six-part series, which will function as three two-part adventures adapted directly from James' novels, begins streaming on this side of the pond on the first of November.

The series is described as "tracing Dalgliesh's crime-fighting career" starting in the 1970s and running through "to the present day." The three stories selected to be part of this adaptation are 1971's Shroud for a Nightingale, which is technically the fourth Dalgliesh book; 1975's The Black Tower, and 1986's A Taste for Death. It is unclear if the later stories will move forward in time or stick to a 1970s/1980s era show the whole way through. It is also unknown if the plan is to do multiple seasons (though the photo credits optimistically refer to the series as "Dalgliesh Season 1"). But with 11 other novels, seven of which are set in the 1990s or later, there's plenty more material should the series be a hit.

Check out the trailer for the new version of the show.

Here's the full synopsis:

Adapted from celebrated author P.D. James' bestselling murder novels Adam Dalgliesh Mystery, this intriguing new crime drama stars Bertie Carvel as the titular, enigmatic detective and poet in three two-part mysteries - each featuring its own unique setting and extraordinary cast. Akin to other distinguished detectives, like Holmes and Poirot, Adam Dalgliesh takes us through 1970's England as he solves unusual murders ranging from a nursing student poisoned during a training demonstration to a homeless man and recently resigned Tory MP whose throats were slashed in a London church to suspicious deaths at a mysterious home for the disabled.

Carvel is joined by Jeremy Irvine (Treadstone), Natasha Little (Wolf Hall), and Mirren Mack (The Nest). Shroud for a Nightingale co-stars Helen Aluko (Life of Hers), Siobhán Cullen (The Dry), and Beccy Henderson (The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance), while A Taste for Death will feature Sami Amber (Ted Lasso), Patrick Regis (The Bill), Maeve Smyth (Waiting), Fra Fee (The Spanish Princess), and Kieran O'Reilly (Vikings). The Black Tower will include Sally Scott (Inspector Lewis), Paul Mallon (Derry Girls), George Robinson (Sex Education), and John Hollingworth (Poldark).

For older Masterpiece Mystery fans, this should be a show to check out. As 1980s-and-90s-era watchers will remember, PBS brought over the ITV Roy Marsden-led adaptations, including six-part adaptations of her novels Death of an Expert Witness, Shroud for a Nightingale, Cover Her Face, The Black Tower, A Taste for Death, and Devices and Desires. PBS also aired the Marsden-led Morse-esque TV films Unnatural Causes and A Mind to Murder and the more modernized three-part adaptations Original Sin and A Certain Justice. In the early 2000s, the BBC took over the series with Martin Shaw starring in Death in Holy Orders and The Murder Room.

Dalgliesh will premiere on Monday, Nov. 1, 2021, with weekly episodes following on AcornTV.


Ani Bundel has been blogging professionally since 2010. A DC native, Hufflepuff, and Keyboard Khaleesi, she spends all her non-writing time taking pictures of her cats. Regular bylines also found on MSNBC, Paste, Primetimer, and others. 

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