Telecrime (lost early BBC crime drama; 1938-1939; 1946)
Telecrime, is an early BBC whodunit television crime drama. Broadcast from 1938-1939, and in 1946 as Telecrimes following the Second World War, it is listed by Guinness World Records as the first crime show on television.
The episodes consisted of short whodunit crime mysteries lasting 10 to 20 minutes. Television viewers were given enough information to solve the crimes themselves, and were challenged to do so before the detective. In the 1938-1939 series, J B Rowe starred as Inspector Holt, noted by Guinness World Records to be the first TV police detective. However, Rowe did not reprise the role for the 1946 series, being replaced by James Raglan as Inspector Cameron. Mileson Horton wrote the majority of episodes, with H.T. Hopkinson helping co-write The Back-Stage Murder, and Arthur Philips being responsible for Poetic Justice.
Like other early BBC television broadcasts, Telecrime was broadcast live and were not recorded. Therefore, 22 episodes, five from 1938-1939, and 17 from 1946, are now permanently missing. A photo of J B Rowe as Inspector Holt is all that remains of the show.
- Guinness World Records, which credits Telecrime as the first television crime show, and Inspector Holt as the first television detective. Retrieved 18 Apr '21
- Archived Lost Shows page, listing the missing episodes from 1938-1939. Retrieved 18 Apr '21
- Archived Lost Shows page, listing the missing episodes from 1946. Retrieved 18 Apr '21
- FamousFix page, which provided the sole photo of Telecrime. Retrieved 18 Apr '21