Some good viewing on PBS


#1

A few months ago, I stumbled upon a program called Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Set in the '20s, it seems very authentic in every way–including the cars. Ms. Fisher–who is independently wealthy–drives a Hispano-Suiza, frequently at high speeds. It is not unusual to see vintage racers from Alfa Romeo on the program, as well as Vauxhalls from that era, a number of Ford Model A coupes, and a lot of cars that I can’t identify. The episode that I just watched even showed a nice SU twin carb setup under the hood of one of the cars.

As a bonus, the star–Essie Davis–is incredibly beautiful, so there are a lot of nice sights while viewing that program. This program seems to run at odd hours on almost all of the PBS stations, so you will have to be vigilant if you want to see it, but if you like murder mysteries, vintage cars, and beautiful women, I think that you will enjoy watching this show.

At first, I thought that this was a British production, but it turns out to be from Australia. However, the characters all speak with a British accent, rather than an Aussie accent, so they are relatively easy to understand. Here is a link to the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corp) website for the show:


#2

Thanks for the link and the show comments. I rarely get to see a Hispano-Suiza move on its own either live or on video!

I do like some of the period Brit shows on PBS. The proper European cars is a bonus.


#3

I’ve seen that show come on quite a bit here on the local San Francisco PBS stations, but never tuned in to watch it. Given your recommendation, I’ll give it a try next time I come across it. You are right, it tends to come on at odd hours, usually midnight to 1 am here.


#4

What ever happened to Benny Hill and Mr Bean? Did anyone else enjoy the Bean video when he ate his breakfast, brushed his teeth and got dressed while driving a Mini Cooper to work? I put Rowan Atkinson (Mr Bean) in a class with Chaplin and Lloyd. Audiences these days demand grand spectables and special effects. Few people appreciate the struggles of a bungling buffoon except fellow bungling buffoons I guess. Maybe I would be more at home in GB.


#5

OP’s comment about the twin VU reminded me of the time a few years ago my gf and I went to a local VW show, where folks from around the area would bring their restored 40’s - 70’s air cooled Beetles and Vans. Gf isn’t mechanically inclined and knows close to nothing about cars, but since the VW engines of that era all look basically alike and the boot is open on all the cars on dispaly she got to asking me questions about why is this and what that, why do some of the engines have uneven idle speed, etc, which I tried to explain best I knew. By the end of the show she could look at the engines at a glance and pretty much tell how they were configured. “Flat -4, dual carbs” she’d say. One of the owners overheard her comment about his engine, and started to talk technical details, which both she and I pretended to understand. Then as we were about to leave he fired it up, uneven idle speed, she says as we walk away "Flat - 4. Classic! But he does seem to have some trouble equalizing those dual SU’s. " … lol …


#6

Looks like its not on in Minnesota until the end of January. I’ll have to write myself a note.


#7

The British shows have amazing period vehicles of all kinds. The early race cars used in a Father Brown episode were fantastic. Of course something is wrong with the filming process because the steering wheels are on the wrong side.


#8

Did a search in my area for the show. No PBS listings at all. It IS on Netflix, however.


#9

Hispano-Suiza cars were some of the best in the world, here’s a great one:


#10

A car from the time when ostentation was a prerequisite to social acceptance in some circles. I wonder what that car’s cost was in 2015 dollars? Does anything on the road these days come near that extravagance?

And is there a door on the passenger side?


#11

Here’s some trivia of which many of you may not be aware.
After Hispano-Suiza went belly-up, the next company to occupy their factory manufactured the fabulous Pegaso Z-series GT cars for about 7 years.

These were extremely sophisticated cars that competed with the likes of Ferrari, and were truly limited production. IIRC, they made only a few hundred cars over the space of those 7 years.


#12

I love the British comedies and have watched them for decades. I stumbled upon “Good Neighbors” one night and have been hooked ever since. The early Mr Bean episodes are classics as well as The Last of The Summer Wine episodes. I once drove 200 miles just to pick up a few episodes of Keeping Up Appearances and As Time Goes By on video tape back when VCR’s were popular. A friend of my recorded them for me when our local PBS stopped airing them. Dry British humor is very addictive.


#13

A Deusenberg sold for $35,000 rock bottom Depression dollars, A Ford Model A sold for about $500 or so. Using that ratio those luxury cars would cost about 70 times the price of a basic econobox of $10,000 or $700,000 in today’s money.


#14

I have always associated Hispano-Suiza with areo engines. Interesting that they made automobiles also.