A Nero Wolfe Mystery – The Next Witness

by Alan Rapp on March 10, 2020

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: A Nero Wolfe Mystery – The Next Witness
  • IMDb: link

A Nero Wolfe Mystery - The Next Witness television review

Throwback Tuesday takes us back to mid 20th Century New York and the private detective offices located at 454 W. 35th Street. “The Next Witness” is one of the few episodes of the series where Nero Wolfe (Maury Chaykin) spends most of his time outside the confines of the home he is loathsome to ever leave. In this instance Wolfe is subpoenaed to testify in a murder trial. Almost immeadiately tired of the proceedings, Wolfe and Archie (Timothy Hutton) leave the court. Knowing his only course of action to avoid his own prosecution for contempt of court, Wolfe heads off to find the true culprit in the murder he believes the accused (David Schurmann) is innocent of doing in. Unable to go home until the job is done, Wolfe must get to the truth of the case as soon as possible.

Because of the nature of the case, “The Next Witness” features Wolfe in a variety of locations making a nuisance of himself towards witnesses who are all too willing to accept his boarish behavior less he stumble upon a dangerous secret the don’t wish revealed. In the course of a day Wolfe manages to uncover both a blackmail scheme the victim was a part of as well as several accomplices who would have motive. Wolfe returns to court to take the witness chair not only to answer the prosecutor’s questions, but also to allow the lawyer to unwittingly open the door to Wolfe’s own investigation and reveal reasonable doubt to the jury. In the process he also manages to get the court to throw out his contempt of court charges. And all of this because he didn’t want to spend a few extra minutes on a wooden bench next to a smelly woman with a feathered hat.

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