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High Table, Lower Orders is a BBC Radio 4 comedy-drama murder mystery written by the late Mark Tavener and set in a fictional Cambridgemarker college in crisis. The first series was broadcast in six episodes from 18 February 2005, and the second series was broadcast 7 April12 May 2006. Its title refers to the custom of High Table and the murder and skullduggery that occurs in the series.

Plot outline

Series 1

Peter Devanti, a notorious TV populariser of history, dies after being the college's guest at High Table. The apparent cause is eating nuts despite a known allergy. However the college's Master suspects foul play. He invites Simon Harrison, a formerly brilliant student who is condemned to work in the Health and Safety Executive, to investigate the death. The plot thickens as the Master himself dies, and the various fellows, including the Machiavellian Gilbert, compete to be his replacement. Meanwhile the list of people who might have wanted Peter Devanti dead keeps growing.

Series 2

Simon is out of work, but is awarded a Fellowship in "Forensic Science and Criminology" by Gilbert, now the Master of the college. A student apparently commits suicide by hanging himself. Simon is not convinced. Meanwhile Gilbert is trying to reorganise the college to be more financially viable, in the process renewing his conflict with the Dean. The Dean tries to engineer a revolution and abolish the post of Master.


Both series

Second series

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