The BEST Episodes of Hetty Wainthropp Investigates

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Oct 11, 2021

Network: BBC One

Move over, Miss Marple! Television's newest sleuth, Hetty Wainthropp, has arrived! Armed with little more than her pocketbook and her prodigious common sense, the Lancashire housewife-turned-gumshoe has proved that she can easily match wits with the best of themeven if she has to take the bus to get to the scene of the crime. With her teenage sidekick, Geoffrey, and her doting hubby, Robert, how can she go wrong? The series is based on characters from the David Cook novel, Missing Persons. It was turned into a two-hour movie/pilot by Yorkshire Television for the ITV network in 1990. It starred Patricia Routledge as Hetty and John Graham-Davies as DCI Adams. The pilot movie was aired, but ITV decided not to pick up a series. Six years later, the BBC bought the TV rights to Cook's novel, and 'Hetty Wainthropp Investigates' was born.

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Something to Treasure

#1 - Something to Treasure

Season 4 - Episode 1 - Aired Jul 24, 1998

Missing gems and precious metals drive a mining community to madness as Hetty searches for buried treasure stashed by a miner killed in a cave-in. Hot on the trail of the lost loot, Geoffrey, too, is caught in an underground accident

star 9.85
33 votes
Directors: David Giles
Writers: Philip Martin
Digging for Dirt

#2 - Digging for Dirt

Season 4 - Episode 3 - Aired Aug 7, 1998

A reclusive senior is holding up a real estate deal by refusing to leave her condemned apartment building. Hetty is offered a fabulous bribe when she discovers something suspicious about the structure.

star 9.85
33 votes
All Stitched Up

#3 - All Stitched Up

Season 3 - Episode 1 - Aired Nov 28, 1997

When a teenage pyromaniac terrorizes a neighborhood, the police are helpless as frightened victims refuse to testify against him. Enter Hetty, posing as the Irish sister-in-law of one of the residents. Her plan: infiltrate the local sewing circle and get the lowdown on Lenny the firebug and his gang.

star 9.63
35 votes
Directors: David Giles
Writers: David Cook, Paul Jeremy
For Love Nor Money

#4 - For Love Nor Money

Season 4 - Episode 6 - Aired Sep 4, 1998

Robert's brother Frank comes to stay, and brings Hetty the case of a missing Victorian school ma'am.

star 9.06
32 votes
Directors: Mike Vardy
Writers: David Cook, Jeremy Paul
A Minor Operation

#5 - A Minor Operation

Season 3 - Episode 7 - Aired Jan 16, 1998

During a quiet hospital stay for surgery, Hetty uncovers a robbery ring run by nurses and helps clear D.C.I. Adams in a sexual assault frame-up. Meanwhile, Hetty's brother-in-law, Frank, gets mixed up with a lusty widow.

star 8.97
32 votes
Directors: Jim Goddard
Writers: David Cook, Philip Martin
Pursuit by Proxy

#6 - Pursuit by Proxy

Season 3 - Episode 6 - Aired Jan 9, 1998

Hetty represents a neighbour at a creditors' meeting and her agency is asked to find a missing company director and his money.

star 8.97
31 votes
Directors: John Glenister
Writers: David Cook, Peter Gibbs
Serving the Community

#7 - Serving the Community

Season 3 - Episode 3 - Aired Dec 12, 1997

Called to investigate a string of robberies targeting Indian restaurant owners, Hetty herself is mugged! The plot thickens when Robert is the unwitting receiver of stolen goods. As Hetty delves deeper into the activities of the masked bandits, Geoffrey, sporting a stunning new hair-do, rides shotgun for her protection.

star 8.91
32 votes
Directors: Don Leaver
Writers: David Cook, Philip Martin
Mind Over Muscle

#8 - Mind Over Muscle

Season 4 - Episode 4 - Aired Aug 14, 1998

Hetty sends Geoffrey undercover when it comes to light that the owner of a local gym and fitness centre may be supplying people with dangerous anabolic steroids.

star 8.82
34 votes
Fingers

#9 - Fingers

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Jan 17, 1996

A restaurant owner in Italy is sent a package apparently containing his son's index finger plus a photo of him in front of graffiti art in Manchester and a warning: Silence and await instruction. The distraught family finds solace when who should be taking a holiday in Italy than Hetty Wainthropp? After snooping at her passport and learning she's a detective, they come to her and she accepts their case. As hetty investigates, she discovers that Gianni may be involved in a bad loan connected to the mafia.

star 8.73
41 votes
Directors: Robert Tronson
Writers: David Cook, John Bowen
The Bearded Lady

#10 - The Bearded Lady

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Jan 3, 1996

Hetty Wainthropp is annoyed at the cards she gets celebrating her sixtieth birthday - they all offer her well wishes for "joining the club" of senior citizens and old-age pensioners, even though she's not entitled to a pension. Determined to make something of herself, Hetty gets a job at the local post office, where she discovers her deductive skills, eventually leading to a murder.

star 8.36
50 votes
Directors: John Glenister
Writers: David Cook, John Bowen
Blood Relations

#11 - Blood Relations

Season 4 - Episode 5 - Aired Aug 21, 1998

Hetty goes to visit a long lost cousin in a small fishing village near Whitby. She soon finds a client - an elderly lady who is being troubled by mysterious sounds of a dog barking. Meanwhile back home Robert plans an exposé on a local building firm - but are his facts correct - and Janet is having problems with an obnoxious neighbour who won't take no for an answer.

star 8.13
32 votes
Directors: Robert Tronson
Writers:
Daughter of the Regiment

#12 - Daughter of the Regiment

Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired Dec 5, 1997

A military wife hires Hetty when a mysterious photographer starts stalking the woman's daughter and her fiancé. Tipped that an Australian is involved, Hetty and Geoffrey go undercover as "Aussies." They track down the mastermind and learn more than their client wants to know.

star 8.08
37 votes
Directors: David Giles
Writers: Brian Finch, David Cook
Helping Hansi

#13 - Helping Hansi

Season 3 - Episode 8 - Aired Jan 23, 1998

Hetty is approached by Hansi, a German gentleman whose golden years have been hampered by a painstaking search for his sister, whom he lost contact with during World War II. However, Hetty passes the case off to Geoffrey and Janet, when it comes to light that this is not the only pain Hansi has been suffering. Someone at his retirement community has been making pointed references to Nazism at Hansi, something he had never been a part of. The person is going so far as to deface Hansi's garden in the shape of a Swastika. Hetty goes undercover as a potential tenant of the retirement community, where she comes into contact with characters that seem to come right out of the mystery novel she's reading: a regimental romantic, a frail woman who has remained alone since her fiance's death in the war, among others. All seem to have motives for harming Hansi. Geoffrey and Janet find Hansi's nephew, only to find that he is ashamed of his uncle's German heritage and prefers to continue hiding. Mea

star 8.06
31 votes
Directors: Jim Goddard
Writers: David Cook, Philip Martin
Lost Chords

#14 - Lost Chords

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired Dec 6, 1996

Hetty is called in to investigate when one by one, the contestants in the Blainthorp Muiscal Festival lose their voices. The sponsor of the festival, Oliver Hardiman wants the mystery solved but Hetty only has five days. She finds herself caught up in a battle between rival pharmacists who may be using their skills to harm the finalists.

star 8.06
34 votes
Directors: Robert Tronson
Writers: David Cook, John Bowen
A High Profile

#15 - A High Profile

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired Jan 31, 1996

A desperate Hetty takes Geoffrey up and down the streets and sidewalks of town advertising the detective agency. This proves to be a wise method of business, as they pick up a client: a woman whose estranged son, who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, has disappeared from his sheltered housing unit. As Hetty investigates, she discovers that the woman's son, Reg, has had a hard time being accepted by society, as well as his stepfather, who turns out to have been the person who threw Reg into the streets in the first place. As it becomes clear that Reg has gone off his medicine, Hetty finds herself in a race against the clock to try and find the man before he hurts himself or others in his delusional state.

star 8.03
33 votes
Directors: John Glenister
Writers: David Cook, John Bowen
Poison Pen

#16 - Poison Pen

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired Nov 29, 1996

Helga Allowby, a self-described spinster, has been accused of sending noxious poison pen letters to the residents of her village - and she wants Hetty to prove her innocence. Hoping to penetrate the mistrust that pervades the village, Hetty goes undercover as Tara Hall, a visiting painter. When Hetty turns up next on the mailing list, she suspects that Miss Allowby is guilty of bad penmanship.

star 8.00
39 votes
Directors: Roger Bamford
Writers: David Cook, John Bowen
Fisticuffs

#17 - Fisticuffs

Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired Dec 19, 1997

Hetty seeks compensation for the victim of a road rage incident in which a female driver hit another in the face.

star 8.00
31 votes
Directors: Don Leaver
Writers: David Cook, Paul Jeremy
The Astral Plane

#18 - The Astral Plane

Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired Dec 20, 1996

Hetty gets mystical as she investigates Maurika Rome, a spiritualist suspected of using séances and blackmail to prey on the savings of the recently widowed. When Hetty goes undercover and invents a late husband she wishes to contact, she begins to wonder if Mrs. Rome isn't the real thing - until a woman claiming to be her "late husband's" illegitimate daughter shows up demanding money. Geoffrey's secret romance with Rome's daughter, Sara, threatens to undermine Hetty's carefully laid trap - and nearly causes him to quit the agency.

star 7.97
36 votes
Directors: Roger Bamford
Writers: David Cook, John Bowen
Family Values

#19 - Family Values

Season 4 - Episode 2 - Aired Jul 31, 1998

Robert goes undercover to help Hetty solve a case of stolen property involving a suspicious drowning. Posing as a wheelchair-bound millionaire, with Geoffrey along for the ride as his chauffeur, he finds himself at the scene of the "accident" in the company of a questionable character.

star 7.97
34 votes
Childsplay

#20 - Childsplay

Season 3 - Episode 5 - Aired Jan 2, 1998

Hetty looks into a case of bullying when her great nephew is suspended from school, after someone plants an Ecstasy tablet in his blazer.

star 7.97
32 votes
Directors: John Glenister
Writers: Brian Finch, David Cook
How Time Flies

#21 - How Time Flies

Season 3 - Episode 9 - Aired Jan 30, 1998

A clock aficionado suspects he's been handed stolen goods when two thugs bring him a valuable antique timepiece for repair. Meanwhile, Frank and Janet break Hetty's number-one rule by getting mixed up in a marital dispute. Oddly enough, the two cases turn out to be linked.

star 7.97
32 votes
Directors: David Giles
Writers: David Cook, Paul Jeremy
Runaways

#22 - Runaways

Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired Dec 13, 1996

Hetty is called in by the Mayor of Titterslow to look for his daughter who has runaway. She has learning difficulties and the Mayor and his wife want the matter of her disappearance to be kept very quiet. Hetty discovers that she left with her boyfriend, Bernard, who also has learning difficulties and that they were making their way to a country hotel.

star 7.94
33 votes
Directors: Robert Tronson
Writers: David Cook, John Bowen
A Rose by Any Other Name

#23 - A Rose by Any Other Name

Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired Jan 3, 1997

The children of well-to-do widow Gillian Snape are worried that her photographer-fiancé Lester Rose is marrying her for her money, and hire Hetty to investigate Rose's past. With Geoffrey's help, Hetty learns that Rose is a gambler and a gigolo with several previous identities. Surprising facts revealed by two women from his past and Hetty's tense undercover visit to his studio expose a somewhat less thorny side of the man. Still, is he the marrying kind?

star 7.92
36 votes
Directors: David Giles
Writers: David Cook, Paul Jeremy
Eye Witness

#24 - Eye Witness

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Jan 10, 1996

Hetty is called on by a pair of worried parents whose deaf-mute son, Malcolm, has disappeared while out bird-watching on the day he was to meet his mail-order bride from Thailand. Malcolm is on the run because he has witnessed the strangulation of a beautiful model-turned-journalist by her lover, Sergeant Steve Lennox, a rogue policeman. After doing the deed, Lennox sends the woman's body over a cliff in a car - and takes off after Malcolm. Hetty and Geoff's search for Malcolm proves more difficult than expected - especially after Sergeant Lennox is assigned to work with Hetty on the case!

star 7.86
43 votes
Directors: David Cook
Writers: John Bowen
Woman of the Year

#25 - Woman of the Year

Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired Jan 10, 1997

Hetty goes undercover to a women's shelter in a confidential location - and where no man may enter. Detective Chief Inspector Adams suspects that the shelter's security has been severely compromised by an inside informer. Hetty's quest to find the leak opens her eyes to the terrifying realities of spousal abuse, and results in a gripping conclusion as she leads the women in defending their sanctuary against a violent motorcycle gang.

star 7.82
34 votes
Directors: David Giles
Writers: David Cook, Paul Jeremy