Mystery! is an episodic television series that debuted in 1980 in the USA. It airs on PBS and is produced by WGBH. The show has brought a large number of detective series and television movies—most of them British productions from the BBC or the ITV companies and usually adapted from mystery fiction literary sources—to air on American television. In 2002, they added an American-produced series based on the novels of Tony Hillerman to their roster.
Mystery! is noted for its animated opening and closing title sequences based on the cartoons of Edward Gorey and animated by Eugene Federenko, Derek Lamb, and Janet Perlman, with music by Normand Roger. For the Hillerman episodes, the American flag was worked into this opening title sequence.
One of Mystery!'s early successes was Rumpole of the Bailey. Other noted successes include The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes starring Jeremy Brett in the title role, Inspector Morse with John Thaw, Brother Cadfael starring Derek Jacobi, and Prime Suspect starring Helen Mirren. The last one proved so popular that the series was moved to Masterpiece Theatre for higher ratings. Agatha Christie has been well represented with several seasons' worth of stories featuring Hercule Poirot starring David Suchet as well as two versions of Miss Marple's mysteries. The 1980s and 1990s saw Joan Hickson in the title role in Miss Marple while 2005 and 2006 featured Geraldine McEwan as the small-town sleuth in Marple. Beginning in 2009, Julia McKenzie has taken over the role of Miss Marple.