Private Lives [1931]

Former Scotland Yard detective Albert Tyburn (Trevor Eve) finds himself in colonial Nairobi, the setting of Out of Africa, as head of a new criminal investigation unit. Imagine an athletic Hercule Poirot in the heat of the Kenyan sun. Superintendent Tyburn's unrelentingly independent policing style is remarkably effective against the murder, arson, blackmail, slave-trading, and other crimes that await him. The most serious impediments to Tyburn's investigations come from pompous Police Commissioner Ronald Burkitt (Michael Byrne) and the elitist, expatriate community's secret passions and vices. The outstanding cast includes Tyburn's talented crime-solving assistants, Constable Jonah Karinde (Freddie Annobil-Dodoo) and Assistant Superintendent James Valentine (Julian Rhind-Tutt), and his romantic interest, Emma Fitzgerald (Susannah Harker). The attractive, strong-willed biplane pilot Fitzgerald bears remarkable similarity to the real-life Beryl Markham, who recounted her experiences in West with the Night. The three episodes, "Private Lives," "Hide in Plain Sight," and "The Sport of Kings," are well written and action-packed. Mobil Masterpiece Theatre's Heat of the Sun will delight fans of fine detective work. --Tara Chace

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