During a time of revolution in English drama, John Mortimer was more a traditionalist than an innovator. Nevertheless, he made two enduring contributions to the stage: Demonstrating the artistic and commercial viability of the one-act comedy and writing a memory play that stands as a landmark work of the period. As a novelist, he wrote family chronicles in the Victorian manner for late twentieth century readers. Further, inspired by Arthur Conan Doyle, he created in Horace Rumpole a detective whose international popularity rivals that of Sherlock Holmes. Finally, his television scripts have enhanced the stature of the genre.