The series comprises adaptations of the works of Ruth Rendell, many of which are based on her extensive range of short stories. In some cases, the stories were expanded from Rendell's original material or elements from a number of stories were woven together into one episode. A smaller number of episodes were based on Rendell's full-length novels, e.g. Going Wrong, starring James Callis and Front Seat, starring Janet Suzman. There were a total of 48 episodes centring on the Detective Inspector Wexford stories, starring George Baker and Christopher Ravenscroft, and an additional 29 episodes did not feature Wexford.