Richard still marvels at the difference between Lily onstage and off, but no longer has any contact with her or Mergen. As if his life couldn’t get any more dramatic, Richard is now involved in a murder investigation — one of the female acrobats has been strangled. Nick has a typical “she was asking for it” response to the crime. Cissie's constant attempts to get closer to Richard backfire and she is replaced by Doris Tingley (Patricia Quinn). The formidable Inspector Crabbe (Jim Carter) takes over the murder investigation and everywhere predictions of oncoming war are looming.
Will Richard and Nancy (Beatie Edney) ever see eye-to-eye?
In the final episode, Richard is momentarily distracted from the war and murder at the theatre by a woman named Peggy from his rooming house. Inspector Crabbe closes in, but may be too late to catch the killer. Nick's obsession with having an extra dwarf in the magic act is finally revealed. Nick doesn't believe in the war and announces that he is closing the show and will soon head to America. He is going to put a new show together in America and will be sailing on the Lusitania (!) He wants Richard to join him, but Richard enlists instead, "He had kept his promise. He had shown me the big wide world. He had let me enjoy it and make some bitter mistakes but the boy from the Dales had become a man ..."
We are now back to the first scenes of the series, with Richard in the army watching Nancy perform for the soldiers, interrupted by an explosion. Nancy finds him and calls for help. Does she visit him in the hospital or is it all an illusion, his wishful thinking?
Lost Empires is about people in a world full of changes beyond their control. It's a nice glimpse into another era and easy to see why Firth has become such a star.