26 FEBRUARY 1972, Page 7

Cruellest cut

Some power cuts are more heartless than others. On Sunday week last I sat, accompanied by a twelve-year-old, watching the final episode of the BBC's splendid Sunday serial of Wilkie Collins's Moonstone. The closing scenes showed the hero Franklin Blake, the great detective, Sergeant Cuff, and the office boy, entering a scruffy hostelry and discovering the dead body of the villain. When killed, however, the villain was heavily disguised with, among other accoutrements, a black wig and a black beard. Cuff strips these off and turns to Blake, inviting him to open the sealed note containing the detective's guess, made earlier in the day, about the identity of the villain. Blake does so, and his mouth drops open in horror — then comes the power cut. Of course it was all right for me. I had read the book and knew that the shining face of Godfrey Ablewhite concealed a black heart.