Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The four-part British miniseries Malice Aforethought was based on a 1931 British crime novel, which in its time was considered innovative in that it revealed the identity and motive of the murderer from the outset (though this device had previously been used in a number of stage plays). The TV version starred Hywel Bennett as Dr. Edmund Bickleigh, a neurotic, class-conscious general practitioner living and working in the Devonshire community of Wyvern's Cross. Saddled with a nagging and faithless wife (Judy Parfitt), Dr. Bickleigh formulated a complex scheme to do away with the woman in a way that would not only deflect suspicion from himself, but also lead his friends and neighbors to the conclusion that she richly deserved her demise. Along the way, Bickleigh fell in love with the much-younger Gwynfryd (Cheryl Campbell), who was left completely in the dark so far as his murder plan was concerned -- a blissful ignorance which would, alas, have tragic consequences for the poor girl. Malice Aforethought aired over the BBC in 1979.