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Wolf to the Slaughter

From the opening episode of this four-part serial, Rendell appears to have been served well by TVS, with a sharp and absorbing dramatisation by Clive Exton, excellent casting, particularly in the form of George Baker as Wexford, and suspenseful direction by John Davies.

Ann Mann, The Stage 1987.

A girl called Ann was killed in this area between eight and eleven Tuesday night. The man who done it is small and dark and young and has a black car. Name of Geoff Smith. This anonymous note to Detective Chief Inspector Wexford starts a murder investigation in Wolf to the Slaughter, a four-part crime thriller from TVS. It seems a straightforward case, but Wexford doesn’t know who Ann is, and no one of that name has been reported missing. He can’t find a body, so how can he catch the killer? And who is Geoff Smith?


DCI Wexford
George Baker
DI Burden
Christopher Ravenscroft
Dora Wexford
Louie Ramsay
DC Mark Drayton
Robert Reynolds
Rupert Margolis
Nicholas Gecks
Ruby Branch
Carmel McSharry 3
Monkey Matthews
Russell Hunter 4
Christopher Ellison
Linda Grover
Kim Thomson
Mrs Penistan
Jean Heywood 5
Mrs Anstey
Mitzi Rogers 6
Russell Cawthorne
Donald Hewlett 7
Mrs Cawthorne
Hal Dyer 8
Mr Grover
Arthur Cox 9
Mrs Grover
Pamela Buckley
Mrs Kirkpatrick
Stephanie Fayerman
Jean Burden
Ann Penfold
John Burden
Noah Huntley
Pat Burden
Emma Smith
Sheila Wexford
Deborah Poplett
Sgt Martin
Ken Kitson
Sgt Camb
Michael Stainton
Anita Margolis
Harriet Thorpe
Ray Anstey
Peter Slade
Jan Winters
Kate Eaton
Knobby Clark
Jim Dunk
Cons. Bryant
Rupert Bates
Cons. Gates
Daniel O’Brien
Lady Customer
Barbara Ashcroft
Mrs Benson
Eliza Buckingham
Mrs Lorrimer
Yvonne D’Alpra
Richard Fairfax
Marc Sinden
TV Commentator
Christopher Robbie
Demolition Man
Martin Fisk
Jo Warne
Fred Tregear
Shop Assistant
Neville Philips
Mr Scatcherd
Raymond Francis
Music composed by
Marc Wilkinson
Orchestrated & arranged by
John Coleman
Sheila McIntosh
Costume Design
Rita Angell
Marion Durnfiled
Marc Cass
John Austin
Production Buyer
Ray Warwick
Design Assistant
Wallace Heim
Vision Control
Peter Mills, Bernard Sullivan, Brian Young
OB Planner
Charles Lewry
Technical Co-ordinator
Colin Denahy
Vision Mixer
Neil Guy
Stage Manager
Mike Fisher
Floor Manager
James Greville
Unit Manager
Bill Slark
Location Manager
Mark Cooper
Production Manager
Sian Prosser
Videotape Editor
Christopher Wentzell
Senior Cameramen
Michael Hutton, John Baverstock
Sound Director
Paul Birch
Lighting Director
Greg Gower
Christine Ruscoe
Executive Producer
Graham Benson



  1. Clive Exton 1930-2007: Guardian obituary. ↩︎

  2. Television South, Wikipedia. ↩︎

  3. Carmel McSharry 1926-2018: Guardian obituary. ↩︎

  4. Russell Hunter 1925-2004: obituary by Brian Wilson, The Guardian. ↩︎

  5. Jean Heywood 1921-2019: Guardian obituary. ↩︎

  6. Mitzi Rogers 1940-2022: obituary by Julia Langdon, The Guardian. ↩︎

  7. Donald Hewlett 1922-2011: BBC News obituary. ↩︎

  8. Hal Dyer 1935-2011: obituary, On the Buses. ↩︎

  9. Arthur Cox 1934-2021: information via Wikipedia. ↩︎

  10. TVS Press release, 1987. ↩︎

  11. Stephen Brailsford talks to Ken Kitson ↩︎

  12. Super Sleuths ITV3, October 2006. ↩︎

  13. TVS Press release, 1987. ↩︎

  14. Chris Hughes, The Stage July 1987. ↩︎

George Baker as Wexford with Christopher Ravenscroft as Burden