The 2012 telemovie of ‘The Mystery of a Hansom Cab’ premiered on ABC1 on Sunday 28 October 2012 at 8:30pm.
Fergus W Hume would have been pleased to learn that his 1886 novel The Mystery of a Hansom Cab would have yet another life as a telemovie in the year 2012. As he states in the foreword of the revised edition of his book, he wanted to be a dramatist:
"The writing of the book was due more to accident than to design. I was bent on becoming a dramatist, but, being quite unknown, I found it impossible to induce the managers of the Melbourne Theatres to accept, or even to read a play. At length it occurred to me I might further my purpose by writing a novel. I should at all events secure a certain amount of local attention. Up to that time I had written only one or two short stories, and the “Cab” was not only the first book I ever published, but the first book I ever wrote." The Mystery of A Hansom Cab by Fergus W Hume (revised edition)
After initial self publication the book became hugely popular, published across the world and produced as a stage play. The book was also taken up by the fledgling Australian film industry, adapted into feature films, firstly in 1911 by Amalgamated Pictures and again in 1925 by Arthur Shirley Productions.
Whilst Trove lists 884 entries for the book and it can be sourced from a number of libraries and copies even readable online, the 1911 or 1925 feature film versions of The Mystery of a Hansom Cab are not as readily available.