Sam Waterston stars as Quentin Everett Deverill, a Harvard professor circa 1912 who leaves the university when his colleagues rebuff his idea for a device that can receive transitted signals from an antenna and turn them into a moving image (no TV for them!). Deverill relocates to England to "pursue his studies in private and peace."
However, a newspaper headline about the unexplained disappearance of a yacht skipper catches his attention. When the missing man's sister shows up, Deverill delves into the mystery and unmasks an elaborate plot to destroy London with an explosive rocket. The villain behind this horrid crime is Dr. Stefan Kilkiss, a "brilliant, wicked man...and international saboteur." Matching wits with Kilkiss, the quick-thinking Deverill saves London and escapes from the villain's lair (quite stylishly) in a hot air balloon.
|The cast of Q.E.D.|
The third episode is an improvement, with Deverill being forced to develop a remote-controlled bomb for nefarious uses by Ian Oglivy (the former Simon Templar playing against type). Kilkiss returns for the fourth episode, which boasts the added bonus of being set aboard a train. Both episodes are reasonably entertaining, but it's easy to see why CBS and ITV decided not to renew the series. I suspect that both networks were concerned about whether the show would connect with contemporary audiences. The period sets probably added to the cost of producing Q.E.D. as well.
The bottom line is that Q.E.D. might have fared better as a limited run series on Masterpiece Theatre. That strategy worked amazingly well for other period-set TV series such as the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries which flourished in the 1970s.
|Sam Waterston on Law & Order.|