George Baker as Wexford and Christopher Ravenscroft as Burden..

Super Sleuths

A Documentary series produced by Free@LastTV.


Inspector Wexford edition transmitted on 24 October 2006. Clip features interviews with George Baker, Christopher Ravenscroft, Louie Ramsay, Mary McMurray, and Neil Zeiger.

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As the Wexford series progressed. For many, George Baker absolutely personified the character that Rendell had written.

Sean Pertwee

[Scene from The Speaker of Mandarin 1992]

Wexford:
What do you say?
Irene Bell:
I didn’t mean that! I didn’t mean that!

I’m sure Ruth would be the first one to say that when George did Wolf to the Slaughter, he wasn’t what she’d got in mind for Wexford. By the time we’d done two, he embodied the role.

Neil Zeiger

What Ruth has written is an interesting combination because he loves his poetry, and he loves his English.

George Baker

[Scene from From Doon with Death 1991]

Wexford:
It is death still seething where
The wild-flower shakes its bell
And the skylark twinkles blue -
The pain of loving you
Is almost more than I can bear.
[D.H. Lawrence, A Young Wife]

He’s a family man.

George Baker

[Scene from Simisola 1996]

Wexford:
Hello You two. I didn’t know that we were babysitting.
Grandson:
Babies, do you mind?

And has a sense of humour.

George Baker

[Scene from An Unkindness of Ravens 1990]

Wexford:
Mike, get your shirt off.
Burden:
What about you?
Wexford:
Well, I’ve got a summer cold.

There’s an awful lot of Inspector Wexford in me, and vice versa.

George Baker

I think George is very close to Ruth’s Wexford for a number of reasons. Physically, he looks not unlike the way that Wexford is meant to look. He looks avuncular in a way. He looks craggy if you like. He looks like a country policeman.

Mary McMurray

I mean, he’s written as a big man. He’s written as a gruff man. He’s written as somebody with a strong family, strong family ties, and a strong moral view of his feet very firmly on the ground.

Neil Zeiger

[Scene from The Speaker of Mandarin 1992]

Wexford:
I think his predicament was a moral one. It was his conscience he couldn’t escape from.

He’s an incredibly curious man and he’s also very aware. He’s quite a deep man, I think, Wexford.

Louie Ramsay

He’s a great thinker and he’s also a man with a tremendous social conscience.

Mary McMurray

[Scene from Simisola 1996]

Wexford:
There is a sign there.
Mrs Khoori:
I’m sorry, I thought that only applied to patients.

And he’s a very kind man as well. A bit like George in those ways.

Louie Ramsay

Ruth very kindly at one point said that when she was writing Wexford, she was thinking of me, which is an enormous compliment.

George Baker

I don’t know whether George became like Wexford or Wexford became like George, but the two became interchangeable.

Neil Zeiger

[Scene from The Speaker of Mandarin 1992]

Wexford:
You will tell me if I’m becoming a bore, won’t you?
Burden:
At least we’re spared the photographs.

He was Wexford as far as I was concerned. That’s all I can say, really.

Christopher Ravenscroft