American-backed English Language European-made series

Foreign Intrigue Orient Express Passport to Danger Sherlock Holmes Paris Precinct Secret File USA Flash Gordon Captain Gallant

From 1951, for a few years American producers turned to Europe to film some series, perhaps because they wanted to show the folks back home some different backgrounds, but more importantly because labour was cheaper!
The experiment was largely, though not completely, abandoned, when it became evident from producers like Douglas Fairbanks and the Danzigers that filming based in Britain was a simpler, less complicated option. However some filming continued in Europe as part of an attempt to include authentic location footage in a series, for example the 1957
Charlie Chan includes some filmed sequences in Paris, Brussels and Venice. Then there were some pilot shows, one starring William Russell, who went to Italy in 1959 to make a pilot called A Man of the World. King of Diamonds, from Harry Alan Towers (1960) which was definitely made, had scenes shot in Antwerp. But the heyday of these Euro-series must have been in the early to mid 1950's

Sheldon Reynolds (1923-2003) was the great exponent of these Euro-films. Jordan Reynolds hosted a series seen on satellite tv, made in the 1990s, called Serie Noire, which included, inevitably, editions of Foreign Intrigue, but also other interesting programmes like Captain Gallant, and including one New Adventures of Charlie Chan (Man in the Wall) and one Colonel March. I cannot find anything about this programme on the net, so if anyone can help with a full list of what was shown, do email me.
Jordan introduced each episode and then added a footnote at the end in his brilliantly growling voice telling us this was 'Serie Noire.' See photo.

Note- a few Douglas Fairbanks Presents were made in Germany and Italy also.

Picture Question: Which of these series starred Louis Jourdan? Answer

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Foreign Intrigue / Overseas Adventure / Dateline Europe

These films are chiefly of interest because of the location shooting that was done, initially in Sweden, but then in other European capitals, including Paris and Berlin. In all producer Sheldon Reynolds claimed episodes were shot in nine countries.
His method of production is fairly self evident when watching. He once explained his technique:
"I work backwards. When I see an exciting-looking balcony overhanging a sinister-looking street- I have my leading player jump!" After examining the rushes, if it is "as exciting as I anticipated, I begin a story which will make use of the sequence." Considering the primitive techniques available, the dubbing of sound, where attempted, in these external scenes, is commendable.
Apart from the stars and Sheldon Reynolds, most of the cast and production crew were locals, but it is fair to say that their English language is not at all bad. John Padovano was assistant director, and Sheldon Reynolds' right hand man. Padovano also acted as a journalist named Tony Forrest in some stories, throughout the run of the show, thus providing a slight cohesive link between them all. However in one early tale, he played a convicted killer!
I found this a tedious series. Perhaps the dull post war backdrops are rather dreary in themselves.
In all, an incredible 156 stories were made.

Series 1 and 2 (1951-3)
with Jerome Thor as Robert Cannon
Series 3 (1953/4)
with James Daly as Michael Powers (picture from #113)

Series 4 (1954/5)
with Gerald Mohr as Christopher Storm

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Dateline Europe
Two series (78 episodes) made 1951 to 1953, starring Jerome Thor as reporter Bob Cannon. Sydna Scott (Thor's real life wife) appeared as Helen Davis in some stories.

4 Paris Train+
6 Search for a Telephone
7 At the Airport
9 Flea Market+
11 Return to Freedom
12 Berlin to Frankfurt+
13 The Letter
15 Radio Message
17 Food Hi-jacking
18 Sun Lamp
19 The Living Corpse
20 Steel Baron
25 Sleepy Village~
29 The Noose
30 The Perfect Plan~
31 Committed to Memory
33 Sawmill
38 The Traitor
41 Gautier Castle
44 Occupied Country+
46 The New Order+
47 Diamonds
48 Paris
49 Free Germany+
51 Gold=
56 The Code Room
60 Linetski Forest
65 Science Conference~
72 The Villardo Legend
74 Stolen Bid~
75 The Coffin
76 The Camera
77 Diamond Bullet
78 Operating Room
Notes:
+ Sydna Scott appears alongside Thor
~ Sydna Scott stars alone (#).
= Bernard Farrell stars as reporter Steve Godfrey (#). (He also appears in a few other episodes.)
# No Jerome Thor in this story.

Photo: Thor with Sydna Scott

Best of these stories: perhaps 60 Linetski Forest, which offers both genuine intrigue and excitement
Worst story: in the queue are several!

To series with James Daly
Foreign Intrigue menu

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4 Paris Train (+ SS)
Andre Polev, "the greatest spy Europe ever produced," is recapturing his lost youth in Paris. Roux of the French Secret Service wants to know if he's up to his old tricks and approaches Bob Cannon to find out.
Several Nazi couriers have recently died under mysterious circumstances. Now there is only one left of those entrusted with transporting wartime documents on German atomic research. "The German reports in the hands of an unscrupulous man would command un, undreamed of plans," warns Roux stumbling over his lines.
Bob catches the train to Italy, and over cheese crackers and coffee in the dining car, chats over old times with Helen, whom he has bumped into. He had stood her up three years ago, and they've not spoken since. "I'm supposed to help you in every way I can," she tells Bob, for she has been sent by Roux.
The courier is travelling on this train. So is Polev, and our heroes keep watch, hourly expecting the documents to change hands. They miss the moment! The train speeds through a tunnel and as it emerges the courier slumps dead on to the floor of the compartment. But improbable though it sounds, it seems they'd been watching a corpse, for he had been killed some time earlier.
Polev is clearly not the greatest of spies after all, for Bob searches the dead man and secreted on his person there is a roll of film. Polev quietly sits down in their compartment as Bob and Helen wait for him to make his move. But he doesn't, the train conductor checks the tickets and tries to grab the film off the dead body which has been placed by Bob on a seat, looking almost alive. Bob stops the man, who is only posing as a railway employee.
Later Roux thanks Bob, but has to swear him to silence and not print the story. "My editor would have loved it," sighs Bob, who at least has the consolation of a date with Helen, as long as he's not so late she thinks he's stood her up again

Foreign Intrigue series 1 menu

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Search for a Telephone
After an evening at a Brussels cafe, mixing drinks delicately, Bob Cannon walks home, only to be forced at gunpoint into a car. He's driven for half an hour to a lonely place, where he's introduced to a fugitive from justice, Richard Huguet, who demands Bob hands over the stolen industrial diamonds. He had been seen in contact with the thief Laurent at the cafe.
This is so much Greek to Bob, who, to save his life, offers to contact this Laurent again. In a puzzling scene, he persuades the receptionist at Laurent's hotel to check the exits, "he collects room numbers," is the explanation. En route to Room 35, Bob is accosted by a fresh female.
Then in Room 35, Laurent is asked about the diamonds. "You are lying," is Laurent's response. So are you, retorts Bob. But in fact the thief is concealed in Room 35 and for the second time Bob faces being shot. The volume of the radio music is turned up to drown the noise. A shot. However it's the thief who is shot, by Huguet's henchman who has followed Bob to collect the loot. Laurent tries to get his gun and is shot too. "You forgot to put the radio on," jokes Bob, who knocks the man out and quits the room, a heap of bodies in his wake.
As he leaves, the fresh woman pesters him to join her party, and with Huguet's gang swarming the building, Bob consents, so he can phone for help. But the receptionist refuses to connect the seeming loony to the police. As the noise of the party increases, in an almost sinister scene, Huguet's men close in, but just then the manager bursts in to tell them to make a lot less noise. Bob seizes his chance and slips away. Again he tries phoning the police, this time successfully. He also phones thru his exclusive story, a very slight tale of gangsters

Foreign Intrigue series 1 menu

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At the Airport

Bob Cannon is escorted down a long corridor to identify a corpse. It's that of Nile, a journalist, his naked body had been found knifed in the back by the lake in Zurich. He'd been working on a story about black market racketeers.
After discussing the case with his pal Tony, Bob retraces "the path of death" to Munich, walking "in a dead man's shoes." Indeed, one of Cannon's shoes is secretly filled with heroin.
Bob books into the hotel where Nile had stayed. Nothing happens. He plays pool in a pool hall frequented by Nile. His opponent remarks that Nile was a man who asked too many questions. Six days, and no breakthrough. The hotel clerk remembers the American. A coincidence perhaps, but the night Nile died, the bootblack also nearly got killed. A suspicious Bob examines his own shoes and finds the heroin hidden in his heel.
Bob returns to Switzerland, but unlike Nile who had travelled by train, he flies, in order to save time for his "appointment with death."
In Zurich he is followed, first by a woman, then she is joined by two men. In a churchyard, Bob is attacked. He's in trouble, but thankfully Tony had been worried about Bob and had been following. The gang are rounded up

Foreign Intrigue series 1 menu

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Flea Market
"He will think nothing of killing you." And he does!

Bob has returned to Paris from Germany, and in his hotel is given an envelope, "from a little boy," that contains a ten dollar bill, but it's counterfeit. Helen Davies also receives a similar $10, "he must have been a playboy."
After reprimanding Bob for breaking their dinner date three months back, she makes for a bistro where Bob has already found The Flying Cat (Torsten Lilliecrona), a pinball expert, who plays a game against Bob, stake $10. He wants 50,000 francs (about $150) for his information about the whereabouts of a cache of these fake notes, made by the Nazis before the plates had been destroyed, "I just know where it is."
The location: Stall 57K in the fleamarket. Bob and Helen inform the police authorities, who seem sceptical, and the pair, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, decide this potential good story's at a dead end.
However they are trying to outwit each other. Bob makes for the market and at the stall he buys a jug for a counterfeit $10. The woman stallholder takes him aside and Bob is threatened with being knifed. Bob tries bluffing, Helen will inform the police if he doesn't come back soon. But then, in she walks, "comes right in, Miss Davies." The frustrated Bob can only add, "of all the times to make an entrance."
But The Flying Cat saves them by the simple expedient of shooting the crook, he's after the cash for himself, though his motives are never entirely clear. Then the police burst in, it seems they did believe Bob's story, and The Flying Cat's future is unclear. But for sure, he doesn't get the money

Foreign Intrigue series 1 menu

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Return to Freedom
Script: Paul Monash
At a frontier, Bob Cannon's car comes to a halt. He is ordered out and taken to a hut, to be introduced to his companion for the trip, Chernik, Press Official of the People's Democracy. Bob has come to interview Dave James (Sheldon Reynolds), who is on trial for spying. The chief witness at his trial, Maria Sterne, has mysteriously disappeared.
A two hour drive takes them to Dave's prison. He says he'd been forced to confess to make him "keep his trap shut" over this anti democratic regime, isn't that dreadful? Go home, Dave urges Bob, adding darkly, if you are able to.
But Bob is determined to find Maria. Dave points him in the direction of a Dr Brommer. Cautiously, this man checks Bob's credentials, then promises to introduce him to Maria. This might prove difficult as Chernik is ever on the watch. Nevertheless there's a clandestine meeting, as Bob bundles her into the boot of his car. Though Bob naturally wants to leave the country asap, he is taken to the Minister of Information, He's informed that Dave's confession has been taped and will be broadcast this evening.
Then Chernik accompanies Bob to the border, not realising who is with them! He kindly tries to stop the guards from searching Bob's car, but it is searched. The guard overlooks Maria for reasons that may be evident, but not to me. Thus Bob and Maria return to freedom, his parting shot at Chernik, "I almost feel sorry for you." Not sure what happened to Dave either

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Berlin to Frankfurt
Script: Paul Monash.
Bob Cannon is flying from West Berlin to Frankfurt. On board are two prisoners on their way to jail. One is Essen (Holger Lowenadler) who has been found guilty of kidnapping, his accomplice Pierre (Sven Lindberg) is known to Bob, as a pilot who bravely took part in the Berlin airlift out of Tempelhof. Bob manages to talk to him prior to take off, wondering how this good man has gone to the bad.
After failing to get an interview with Essen, Helen Davis shares a coffee with Bob at the airport, before catching her flight to Geneva. Helen has a hunch "there'll be trouble" on Bob's flight. They also enjoy a chat with the stewardess and pilot who are shortly to marry each other.
Though both prisoners are handcuffed to guards, Essen is able to get out a knife concealed in his sock to stab his escort. Thus he is able to find the key to the cuffs and release himself. As coffee is served he walks calmly to the cockpit and locks the door. The co-pilot is shot dead.
More than a little slow on the uptake, Bob has been alerted to the danger by the stewardess. "Go on as if nothing has happened," he advises her, and indeed passengers remain unaware of the crisis.
When the pilot refuses to turn the plane round, he is shot dead. Pierre is allowed to take the controls and is ordered to turn round. He also refuses to obey, and flies on to Frankfurt. Bob punches the hijacker and the bereaved stewardess shoots him.
So the flight ends peacefully. A few nice touches in this otherwise routine drama

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13 The Letter
Script: Manheim Shapiro.

A safe is cracked, but though the thief is stopped at gunpoint, he escapes after gunshots are exchanged. The butler, who didn't do it, phones the cops.
The dead man is secretary to Kestler, the important Minister of the Interior who claims nothing has been stolen. But in fact an envelope has been taken, containing a vital letter that in the hands of Sergius, Kestler's enemy, could create awful instability in this unspecified country.
The thief Zimmer is found but not arrested. Down icy streets he is chased. Bob Cannon, alone, confronts him to persuade him to return the letter, "everybody's playing politics." Zimmer realises he's "holding all the trumps," but agrees to Cannon's plan and goes to Sergius. Unfortunately he is killed for his trouble. As he hasn't the letter on him, Sergius turns on Cannon and his henchman leans on Bob, "your resistance will be painful and pointless." So the envelope is handed over.
At a crucial conference, Kestler bravely tells the truth, forcing Sergius to stand up, protesting, "he is not to be trusted," brandishing the envelope. He dramatically opens it and the letter is read aloud. Somehow this is Zimmer's confession that Sergius had paid him to commit the robbery!

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Radio Message
Script: Paul Monash.
Just like these days, flights cancelled. But it's very serious, for Bob Cannon can't get back to Paris as no planes can leave. The country is sealed off because "we've got to get two men."
So trustworthy is Bob, that he is granted to be the "only channel out." These two men are carrying top secret information, and somehow one gets his message out, but it's useless without the other courier.
This man does phone Bob to meet up on a bridge. His demand is a million dollars not to pass on his data. Urgently the Council of Ministers discuss his terms. But like true politicians they take their time, and Bob has to fob the blackmailer off with promises of immunity from prosecution, a clear conscience etc.
That's not enough and he sends his message. It's cleverly done, using the government's own radio announcements to the people, altered to include a concealed coded message- somehow. But the message never gets through as the radio station has wisely been shut down. The blackmailer is shot dead.
Too much talk, too little action

Note two spelling errors in the credits betray the series' origins: "Courriers," and "Assistent"

Foreign Intrigue series 1/2 menu

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Food Hi-Jacking

After a lecture on the Berlin air lift, Bob Cannon introduces this story about those who "trade in human lives and create a traffic in hunger."
The plot is actually far more mundane, commencing in an unattractive quarter of Berlin, where Hans Bender surreptitiously tells Bob about the dossier he has compiled on a gang hijacking food supplies from West Germany bound for Berlin.
Bob is shown US relief packages that have already been stolen. However the gang have tumbled to the fact that Hans had infiltrated their organisation, and the order has gone out to kill him.
The assassins call at Hans' home in a well crafted scene. Hans' wife idly chats with them as they await his homecoming. In a sinister touch of evil, she is killed.
The boss of the gang poses as a policeman, offering to take Bob to meet the gang. We know what Bob doesn't, that he's the boss, because he has this big scar on the back of his neck.
Hans tells Bob he is unable to hand over his dossier. He believes his wife has been kidnapped, and so wants to protect her. However when he learns the truth, the dossier is Bob's. But Hans is shot and the boss snatches the incriminating evidence off Bob. Yet Hans isn't quite dead, and he shoots the boss dead

Foreign Intrigue series 1 and 2 menu

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Sun Lamp
Script: Paul Monash. Director: Ake Ohberg, who also plays Erik in this story.
On a train bound for The Hague, Bob Cannon bumps into Erik Ritter, who is bearing an important despatch case. What's in it? Erik can't divulge that information.
A suspicious looking character enters their compartment. Bob recognises him as Conrad Damon, a professional stealer of secrets. An atmosphere of suspicion pervades the train, until at long last Damon makes his move. "Don't move."
For some reason this takes the other two by surprise. Damon takes the case. Bob is knocked out. In his delirium he sees strange faces. At The Hague station, he comes round.
Scholten, of the Dutch Air Ministry, tells Bob that Damon has been traced to a hotel. He still has the case. Would Bob retrieve it? "Well, that's a risky job."
Bob finds Damon in his room, in dark glasses. The place is surrounded, announces Cannon in the best style. Damon seems quite unperturbed by it. Where's the case? demands Bob. It is handed over. It's empty. No papers anywhere to be seen. Damon is confident they will not be found.
$10,000 Bob offers. But Damon holds out for $50,000, the withdrawal of any police around the area, plus immunity from prosecution.
So the deal is agreed. Erik and Scholten meet Damon to hand it over, but discover he has been shot dead. The papers are lying nearby. Bob exposes a very deep laid scheme. "There's one thing you forgot..." is his classic line. Damon's sun ray lamp can show up the guilty party. Guilty party tries to get away. He's arrested. Mind you, the sun ray was only a sneaky bluff by Cannon

Foreign Intrigue series 1/2 menu

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The Living Corpse
Script: Paul Monash
Languishing in a prison cell is Martin (John Padovano), convicted of murdering Armand Lautrec. Though he claims he's innocent, he's due to be hanged very soon. But he's very confident he knows how to except jail any time he wants.
Bob Cannon interviews him in solitary, Martin believes the dead man wasn't even Lautrec, "he's still alive," explains Martin who says he had been framed because he had uncovered a smuggling racket, "I know how, but not who." The evidence, he's written down in an envelope.
To get this, Bob follows Martin's instructions, winding up at a sinister cafe, "if I was you, I'd get out." He does so, with the vital envelope, but only after a fight seen through Bob's eyes, not really convincing, too clever clever. To the prison warden, he hands the document, which is nothing but a piece of blank paper. Martin moreover has escaped as promised.
Foolishly Bob decides to return to the cafe, but on the way is accosted by a sinister man who takes him in a car to a gent with a bow tie. "I'm dead," the man explains, for it is none other than Lautrec. He admits he'd framed Martin, and over a meal of caviar he rambles on and on, until Martin, who had followed Bob and been listening in, breaks in. "You're spoiling my dinner." Martin offers to sell the information which he admits was never in any envelope, he's kept it all in his head, "I know too much."
The dead man whom Martin had been convicted of killing, was another blackmailer, out to expose Lautrec. Martin has to shoot Lautrec when a gun is turned on him, the dead man really is dead now. Self defence, that's what Bob must tell the police, if Martin is to spill the beans on the gang. Not a satisfactory ending, hanging in the air...

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The Steel Baron
Script: George and Gertrude Fass.
"Steel, the critical factor in a world where guns point across borders and men bargain with the lives of fellow men. The world watches the old steel barons, men who once dictated the fates of nations... the questions that enters one's mind is, will this power be returned to the men who used it once to tear the world apart?"
One such is Baron Kulenberg, who lives in a 600 year old majestic castle overlooking the Rhine which makes an impressive backdrop to this otherwise dull story, which lacks any excitement. Bob Cannon is writing an article on whether The Baron's factories should be returned to him and his nephew Otto. "All will be under my control again," gloats the ex-Nazi.
He tries to buy Bob off, foolish idea! Otto offers to purchase Bob's article, also refused, Bob is beyond bribery, and that impresses the Baron's niece Lisa, who is the one who will inherit his fortune.
"Please leave this house," she begs Bob, for she is sure the Baron will use absolutely any means to stop publication of Bob's article.
1am. Bob checks the weapons in the gunroom prior to the shoot next morning, a wise precaution, for Lisa's own father had been accidentally killed in a hunting accident. Later as Bob talks with Lisa, a stone block covered with fresh snow falls and narrowly misses them both. "It must have been an accident," claims the Baron, but it certainly was not. Bob punches the culprit on the nose and in the fracas the baron is killed. No need now for Bob to write his story, for he knows Lisa will control the steel factory wisely

Foreign Intrigue series 1/2 menu

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Sleepy Village
Script from a story by Joseph Victor. Director: Marcel Cravenne.

"It takes a generation of peace to restore the vagrants of war to their homes."
Shoe clerk Paul Bundy tries to start a new life, inheriting $117,000 is a windfall. He donates a little of the cash to a local orphanage, but in reality this man is not Bundy at all. Helen Davis is assigned to get his story.
Max is a figure from Paul's past. He is found dead in the hotel room next to Helen's. She sees the killer running off and is able to identify the man who is arrested. However in the police car he draws a gun and escapes. He's called Dorland. He telephones Helen and fixes a meeting with her. Along streets half covered with snow she walks, tailed. It's a long way, conveniently spinning out the story. When they meet, he explains why Max had been killed. She fetches some medicine for Dorland, but he disappears.
A government offical tells Helen he has reasons to believe Dorland is not a killer. We see he has now caught up with Paul Bundy, he's an imposter, real name Sanders, "the pig we used to call you." He's a traitor who betrayed his fellow prisoners in a POW camp. Dorland forces him to phone Helen and ask her to come to them, "an execution should have a witness."
She takes her time about coming, no doubt to fill out the 25 minutes story time. She reprimands Dorland for taking the law into his own hands. Sanders grabs his chance and pointing a gun at Helen forces her to leave with him. However she has been tailed and there's a car chase to dramatic music along snowbound roads until a road block stops Sanders. He continues on foot, but is shot dead.
"The last echoes of war... the human wounds take a long time to heal"

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The Noose aka Ghost in the Valley
Script: Tom Younger
"Stockholm, the Lisbon of diplomats, a city wise to the ways of intrigue."
Bob had witnessed the hanging in 1947 of war criminal Colonel Rhon, but recently journalist Felix Conrad has seen the man alive! He's part of an underground neo-Nazi group who are reforming in Germany, "waiting for the Nazis to rise again."
Felix knows him well, for in the war he had been the colonel's adjutant, as well as philosphical opponents, "like Niezsche and Superman. He was Superman, and Nietzsche his god."
But consul Karl Hoffmann claims this is a "hoax," refusing to investigate the allegations. However Bob becomes suspicious when Felix's wife tells him her husband has disappeared. So Bob searches in the old city, in the cafe where Felix said he'd seen the colonel. A stranger with a scar on his forehead forces Bob go with him, but Bob gets away from him and after a chase, eludes him in an alley, Tyska Skolgrand. Nearby, in Tyska Brunnsplan, in the home of Rudolf Steiner, Bob encounters Dr Hans Lingaard, the doctor who had pronounced the colonel dead after his hanging. He's a psychiatrist specialising in hypnosis, could this be how the colonel had cheated death?
Now Felix's wife has gone missing too. Back in the cafe, Bob learns it is all a convoluted plot to trap these Nazis by Hoffmann. Felix and his wife had been placed in temporary custody to avoid their interfering. "Everything fits," and at least Bob helps catch the colonel, who is chased over rooftops to meet a poetic end, not what I'd guessed.
This is an awfully plodding story with too much dialogue and a disappointing storyline that should excite, but never does

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The Perfect Plan
Script: Paul Monash
Helen Davies is granted an interview with political leader Karzaq, a veiled attempt to get some favourable propaganda for his country. She stays at a hotel, Room 408, where the waiter searches the room, before revealing he is a member of the underground. He wants her to take a list of names of their group to the West for safe keeping. Obtaining this list is as complicated a process as any of your average spy stories.
Turek, Head of the Security Police (Lauritz Falk), invites himself to dinner with Helen. He toasts her as he smiles, "your life's in danger." It seems he knows all about the underground, and Helen is dismayed when he confiscates a pack of cards she has been given. On it is the name of the person she must contact to get the list. There follows a tense game of cards with Helen, Turek, and to make up the four Karzaq and one Zervas.
By devious means, Helen is dealt the ace of clubs, on which is written the name of her contact, Ference Zervas. "Give us ze list." Turek shoots Zervas and takes Helen in for questioning.
At the station, quietly he explains who he is, though he is in the police, he's also incredibly head of the underground! The poker game had been fixed, "a magnificent victory." Zervas was a loyal member of the group, but had to die as one last act of patriotism, "he died serving his country." It's one step on the road to democracy, "these are strange times," amen

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Committed to Memory
Interesting if routine spy tale. Bob is asked to go to a foreign country to meet Brenner, a scientist who has made a vital discovery who wants the West to have the benefit of his research. As he can't leave the country, Bob must go to him. Then "if all goes well, we get you out...if you should get caught ... you're on your own."
Within the hour, Bob has been put on a fishing vessel and landed ashore. Cars whisk him to his contact Blane (Alan Blair) who directs Bob to a hotel, Room 612. After some sightseeing, Bob is given Brenner's papers which he must memorise before they are destroyed. It's "full of numbers," and it seems a most risky business, so Blane checks he's remembered it all perfectly, "ten times without a mistake."
Wald, head of the secret police, is on to Bob. He informs Bob there will soon be an unfortunate accident. "Give them an easy way to do it," suggests Blane, so they can be on the watch for an attack on Bob.
They go to a cafe where sharpshooter Zorro is performing. A volunteer is wanted from the audience, that's Bob. He has a cigarette placed in his mouth, Zorro will shoot it. Bravely Bob keeps "quite still" as Zorro takes aim. Blane intervenes, firing his own gun and via the kitchen Blane and Bob escape, jumping in a car, inevitably pursued. The pair jump out unseen and lie low.
Thus they escape and there is only time for Bob to nip on board the fishing boat to safety, simple really, as the story ends abruptly

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Sawmill

Bob Cannon's assigment is an interview with a scientist who had left Poland and is now residing in the Swedish mountains. Prof Krantz's experiments in wood pulp have enabled him to convert it into a food source- incredible!
He's a frightened man, living with his sister Lisa. Two other Poles are there, Bissman, the silent type, and the over friendly Helmut Sapolski who was a colleague and friend of Krantz in the old days.
Lisa has a presentiment of danger from Bissman. Is it him she sees signalling across a lake? However she takes a shine to Helmut who realises his friend Bissman is not reliable, "how could I have been so stupid as to trust that snake?"
After a lot of silent brooding, indeed Bob is on the peripherary of this story, a moonlight sail is proposed. However the real villain proves, improbably, to be Sapolski, who plans to ferry the professor back to Poland.
In Krantz's sawmill, complete with dangerous looking giant circular saws, Bissman prevents Sapolski from getting away with Krantz's secret papers. The pair fight and in a well filmed sequence, the saws threaten their very lives. Bissman wins the struggle and proves he's a goodie by rescuing his enemy from the very grip of the scarey whirring saws

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The Traitor
Script: Tom Younger and Edward Eliot.

Louis Grenier has been arrested but escapes from custody. Bob Cannon is asked to cover this story. Grenier had been found guilty of massacring an entire French village of 500 during the war. He is introduced to Vessau, the only other survivor of the crime, now a police chief.
Bob drives to this village of St Sulpice, en route picking up a hiker who coincidentally is Grenier. The fugitive draws a gun and takes Bob to the house of Mme Grenier. Also here is Nina, a young lady who has been traumatised. Evidently she is another witness to Louis' crime.
Louis tries to tell Bob he is innocent, he had been condemned before anyone had heard his side of the story. But his mother is disgusted when she hears of the accusation and kicks her son out. He takes refuse in a nearby barn.
Vessau admits to Bob that he had been a collaborator in the war. Nina is clearly scared of Vessau and runs away. Somehow she finds him and with Bob and Vessau following, a gunfight ensues, before police arrive and arrest Grenier.
Nina is nursed in bed. News comes that Grenier has been shot dead trying to escape again. Vessau had had to shoot him.
Bob is now convinced Louis was innocent.Vessau prepares to eliminate the only other witness to his crime, "we are going for a walk." Nina is taken away, destination the top of a cliff.
"Traitor," she shouts at him, finding speech for the first time in years. They struggle. Who falls off?
Minutes later, Bob shows up

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41 Gautier Castle
Script: George and Gertrude Fass. Director: Sheldon Reynolds
The army is planning a coup d'etat, Bob Cannon is warned by Anton Marik, as they sit on the pavement outside a cafe. For the premier has disappeared, "quite a situation isn't it?" Marik boasts that he has the "literal key," to save the situation, but is gunned down.
Miss Madeleine Gautier (Gisele Preville) has, according to Marik's last words, this "key." But she is unforthcoming when Bob approaches her. Police arrive to arrest her, but before she goes, she slips Bob a large key.
The matter is urgent for the premier is due to open parliament, and if he does not, then the revolution might well commence. Bob takes the key to Professor Rudolf Fleck, who identifies it as medieval, one of the keys from Gautier Castle, which is now all but in ruins, bombed in the war. Police arrest Bob, but fortunately he has had the presence of mind to hide the key in a suit of armour in Fleck's museum. Bob is released, nothing on him, but followed.
Madeleine is also out of custody, and explains the plot. Anton has locked the premier in her ancient family castle so his enemies can't get at him before parliament is opened, "he kidnapped himself." But he is locked in, so they must retrieve that key.
The old trick of Madeliene distracting museum guards with her shapely legs, enables Bob to get the key back. They shake off the suspicious police chief and unlock the premier, "you'll make it"

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Occupied Country
Script: George and Gertrude Fass. Director: Sheldon Reynolds
"A Nation in Bondage," Bob Cannon's rant on the wonders of the Free World, but in this backwater, a man risks losing his life to speak the truth.
Such a man is Antony Sarelli, art expert, sculptor, painter, he's called all these in the story. Bob is taken in secret by two heavies to a dark mansion to be introduced to Sarelli, and other nameless freethinkers, a music hall director and a playwright, here to be handed a document, the speech that Sarelli is to deliver on the morrow. Its contents make it easy to see that he won't get away with it.
But the Minister of Information has insisted there is Freedom of Information in his state, though Bob doubts it, especially when he finds that on returning to his hotel room 13, it is being searched. They want to know who Bob has been seeing. Helen Davis in room 15 supplies a useful alibi, as well as a kiss or two.
The day dawns for the big speech. Sarelli dispenses with the prepared speech handed to him, and commences his rant, "get that man out of here!" But smart support from his friends ensures he gets through with it, as government heavies are bundled away.
The government have a problem and cleverly decide to use the fact that Sarelli has given his speech as proof that there is the vaunted Freedom of Speech in the country. Privately of course, they plot, "we've got to get him."
He's spotted. Bob is whisking him away by car. A chase through the empty roads, borders all carefully watched.
Helen is waiting at a very tiny airport, but she is being watched. Bob reaches her with Sarelli, but he plays his trump card. "So we can leave the country safely?" he queries, and that forces their hand. They've said there is free speech, and in such a public place, Sarelli has to be allowed to leave the country unmolested
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The New Order
Is Bob Cannon suffering from hallucinations? He claims he'd been held a prisoner by Hans Bremen, a man who committed suicide in 1947 in his prison cell after being sentenced to death at the Nuremburg Trials.
Bob's friend Tony confides to Helen Davis, "Bob's cracking up." Or is it us? The same theme of a Nazi redivivus came in story #29. But we haven't a lump on our heads unlike Bob, that explains it. But Bob thinks that a recent spate of killing in Berlin bear all the hallmarks of Bremen's wartime evil- once he had been Himmler's right hand man.
Bob travels to the Frankfurt prison where Bremen apparently died of a dose of prussic acid. But the warden is now dead, as is the prison doctor, both victims of a road accident.
Bob makes for Berlin, to where he's already sent Tony. "He won't get out of the plane alive," Tony is warned by a hotel porter. He's told to get out himself too.
Bob and Tony meet in the Berlin ruins secretly, and hatch a plan. Tony returns to his hotel to inform the bellhop that Bob is coming shortly and will catch Bremen this very night.
Bob's way of entering the hotel is via a rope let down from Tony's room. He climbs into Tony's room just in time to rescue Tony who is in Bremen's clutches. But the master Nazi outwits Bob, mainly so he can inform them of his evil plan "that will see his army control the country in six months."
But Helen has called the police and the dastadly plot is quickly foiled

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Diamonds
Script: George and Gertrude Fass. Director: Marcel Cravenne

Amsterdam, we are told, is the centre of the diamond industry, in case you didn't know.
"Buy me a one carat blue-white diamond," Van Roon chief of police asks Bob Cannon. He is enlisting Bob's help in smashing a gang of diamond smugglers. For $1,500, Bob is to buy a diamond from crooked dealer Peter Keston.
With his purchase, Bob waits for the Paris flight. A girl bumps into him. She's Carien (Giselle Preville) who asks Bob if would kindly take a present of a Holland Cheese to her sister. Bob wants paying, say "a couple of hundred." Carien says he should ask Marietje at the other end.
At Orly Airport Paris, Bob does hand over the cheese, but payment is only $100.
Now that the smugglers think they can trust Bob, he is asked to take some diamonds, value a quarter of a million. Ten percent is Bob's fee. The goods are hidden in the ribbon of his typewriter.
But Keston is tipped off that Bob is a police spy. His solution is to blow Bob up. He places a ticking bomb in his luggage.
On the plane, Bob dozes and a sneak thief grabs his typewriter. He's caught but claims it is his. As they dispute ownership, the bomb is found.
It's made safe and Keston arrested and his gang smashed

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Paris
Script and direction by Sheldon Reynolds.
"Intrigue in Paris."
The same old idea is resurrected, the fear of a Nazi revival, there are some dramatic moments, but the drama is lost in the words and the lack of pace.
Down steps to the Seine walks Otto with his stick, to meet Claire Hall. He'd killed her husband Peter of the underground in ze war. She draws her gun, "I'm going to kill you." Under pressure, he admits, "I informed on you," now he tells her darkly, "we are forming again." She's out to stop them, the pair struggle and she is injured and taken to hospital while he walks quickly away up the steps.
Bob Cannon has enjoyed a vacation in Cannes, but is now back in Paris, catching up on his work. He reads a note from Claire, that makes him dash to the hospital where she is lying unconscious. Bob recognises Otto who is already hanging round, looking for a chance to finish her off. She has amnesia, she is hazy about an event in the past when the Gestapo had chased her husband and killed him and others.
Otto has already been ordered by his superiors to silence Claire. The boss, ex-General Singer repeats the command with more urgency. Bob seeks an interview with Singer, "who sent you here?" Unperturbed by threats, Bob gets away from the evil man to try and prevent Otto from carrying out his evil task. Otto is already in Claire's single hospital room! She is eating a meal. Undramatically he draws his gun. She responds by chucking her knife and fork at him. She grabs his gun and shoots, so no need for any gallant rescue by Bob. If only she'd shot Otto at the start...

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Free Germany
Script: George and Gertrude Fass. Director: Marcel Cravenne
The unseen Voice of Free Germany on station Radio Germanica denounces Paul Heinrich Schmidt, ex Gestapo major, released from prison, now part of the sinister German underground. Both Bob and Helen resolve to try and get an interview with The Voice.
Tuesday at dawn, that's when Bob is to meet him. Helen notices his smirks at dinner the night before and finds out all about it, begging to go with him.
But Bob must go alone and just before 5am he is driven to a quiet location where he waits with his chauffeur. But The Voice never makes an appearance.
No scoop. It's very disappointing. The next broadcast by The Voice contains a shock. Bob is accused of shooting the driver, "he will pay for his crime."
Bob is baffled. The Voice has never lied before, what does it mean? Bob agrees to be interviewed by The Voice's Factfinders and the truth emerges. He must have been collected by an imposter, who had intercepted the real driver who had been on his way to pick up Bob.
Bob is half believed and given twenty four hours to find the villain, else he will be executed.
Next morning a car collects him, but is this driver another phoney? The answer is yes, for as soon as Bob has gone, journalist friend Henri nips into Bob's room and poses as Bob to be taken to see The Voice. However it is Henri who is trapped this time, and he is prevented in his attempt at assassinating The Voice. Bob is wise to it too, and has escaped his driver and comes back in time to see the gang arrested, with one last threat from the powerless Henri.
Bob discovers the identity of The Voice, but there's to be no actual interview
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51 Gold
Script: George and Gertrude Fass. Director: Sheldon Reynolds.
"Money is a fascinating thing."
So is this story, which stars the otherwise unknown Bernard Farrel (spelt thus in the credits) as Steve Godfrey of the United International News. He interviews Andre Sokoloff (Lou van Burg), "a musician with gold, a modern King Midas," and his wife Irene (Dora Doll). One of Sokoloff's clients testifies that the man is "a genius with money," and he has certainly made a fortune, for around his mansion are solid gold inkwells, solid gold paper knives etc etc. Confidence in his abilities has urged many investors to hand him their portfolios. He explains to Steve that investors receive a very high rate of interest. How does he achieve this? His knowledge of the free market in gold, he claims.
Steve types up his story, though a M Fouget, who talks in semi-riddles, persuades him to go to a barbers where he meets Anna who says Sokoloff was a drugs dealer in Manchuria, then a forger of counterfeit notes in Shanghai. But is she telling the truth? "He's my husband," she explains calmly, "he's a famous swindler." She'd left him when she'd learned the truth about him.
Sokoloff has demanded to peruse an advance copy of Steve's article. It's "a mass of lies," he shouts angrily. According to his 'wife' Irene it's gonna cause him a great deal of "inconvenance" (sic). Hastily Steve picks up the error and repeats "inconvenience." He is offered $50,000, but this is rejected so Sokoloff's henchman Pierre attacks Steve and steals the document.
Sokoloff also tries to silence Anna, and there's a standoff at the barbers, Pierre holding a gun. He's overpowered. Then Steve rather unpleasantly punches him.
So to the wreck of bankrupt Sokoloff's splendid mansion, the furniture taken away. But where's all his gold hidden? The police are so incompetent they fail to notice this huge chest, but naturally Steve shows it to them
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The Code Room
Script: George and Gertrude Fass. Director: Marcel Cravenne
Introduction: to scenes of Paris, we are informed of the modern world's need to Communicate, the emphasis being on Secrecy.
Bob Cannon is after the latest news from the French Foreign Minister. He agrees to wait until the latest information is decoded. It not being the age of instant communication, a messenger takes the message to the code room. He is new clerk Robert Fontaine, who seizes his chance, and knocks out the man decoding the message, and steals the decoding key book.
In triumph Fontaine exalts in his coming riches to his fiancee Marie. He's been promised ten million francs by the spy Gruebl, and he promises to take Marie to South America on the proceeds. However he is only offered 500 francs, refuses to sell and seeks another purchaser.
Bob is in a cafe when Marie approaches him. 200,000 francs for this little black book, that's about five thousand dollars. Bob agrees to act as intermediary. Bob informs the minister who soon stumps up the cash.
"It's so pretty," gloats Marie, the cash that is, which she intends to spend on new clothes for herself, none for Robert.
Bob returns the code book, but finds he is under suspicion of being the thief himself, "you are implicated." Bob's only resort is to punch the minister on the nose and run away, in search of Marie. He has a good guess where to find her. She's enjoying herself at a fashion house, selecting a new wardrobe. Bob whisks her away to her flat, where they find lying dead on the floor, Robert.
They don't make it as far as police headquarters, for Gruebl has the pair kidnapped. "Where is it?" Bob explains he has returned the code book. No further use, he is to be shot, so he spins a tale. It's a useful delaying tactic, for Inspector Debeq has been following and steps in to make his arrests.
The minister, despite that sore nose, is now convinced Bob is on the level
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Linetski Forest
Script: George and Gertrude Fass. Director: Lars-Eric Kjellgren.
A well scripted drama with a tense storyline. In 1940 a rumour began about a massacre in Linetski Forest. Now the war is over, a tribunal has covened at the local castle to determine the truth. Six hundred had been massacred, it is alleged, but noone has yet found any proof at all to confirm the allegations. General Zapozki refutes the claims.
He is now standing for election to the country's government and "if the facts came out," he admits privately to Major Kogel, "our party's finished."
Bob Cannon is accosted by a nurse who tells him of "a walking corpse," the only survivor of the alleged massacre. Anton Storm is now in an insane asylum, a broken man. But the nurse shows Bob a sketch Anton has drawn, and it looks like the Linetski massacre. As it's impossible to get into the place, Bob poses as an amnesiac, and the nurse sneaks him into Anton's room. The zombie like patient listens impassively as Bob pleads with him, "draw a picture for me."
Alert to the danger, Kogel obtains papers to remove Storm from the asylum. But the nurse and Bob persuade the doctor in charge to lock Kogel up, and now Anton is encouraged to draw some more sketches, but he finds it impossible to draw the face of the person who ordered the massacre, it seems blotted from his consciousness.
Anton's medical reports are presented to the tribunal. He seems an unsatisfactory witness. Bob persists and produces Anton's drawings, the last of the location of the corpses, "this is fantastic." Though General Zapozki denies all knowledge of the killings, Storm is a key witness. Though he says nothing in response to questions, betraying no sign of interest even, when he hears that voice of Zapozki, Anton Storm utters his fateful testimony
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Science Conference (No Jerome Thor in this story)
Script: JC Sheers. Director: Marcel Cravenne
Border guards fire at a man bravely diving into a cold river. They only wound him, and he gets away, "I beg asylum," he cries as he crawls out the Other Side.
This is Dr Izzard, "one of the greatest physicists in the world," and he is taken in Miss Helen Davis' commandeered car to the capital, where his wound is treated.
He explains he has defected because "they only wanted bombs," and he places his scientific researches in Western hands, as well as a description of Elbe, whom "security police of every free country on earth have been looking for for years."
However this "maniac" is also a master of disguise. But "I would know him," declares the doctor, he'd be able to recognise those eyes of his. "I know where to find him!" He is attending the forthcoming conference of scientists.
This important meeting is opened. No sign of Elbe. One of these scientists must be an imposter, because it is learned that secrets from the conference are leaked out. All the eminent scientists are thoroughly vetted.
Helen types up the story, she's a guest of the minister. But she can't publish it yet, for obvious reasons. It becomes evident that the only possible source of the leak is the doctor himself. They twig. He's actually Elbe. Of course, he's long gone, and security police fail to locate him.
Helen plays a hunch. "It seemed almost hopeless to suppose that I could succeed where they couldn't." But naturally she does. She finds this alleged master of the elusive, Elbe, looking just like he has done throughout the story, no crafty disguise, making for the border. "Don't move!" Tamely Elbe surrenders. To a surprised minister, Helen hands the prisoner over.
"We owe you a great deal, Miss Davis," but not enough to allow her to publish her dramatic story. He reveals why
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The Villardo Legend
Script: Paul Monash. Director: Marcel Cravenne
One of those intriguing backdrops, that promises much, yet never quite delivers. The opening shots of a Spanish castle are certainly impressive, enormous but crumbling. Bob Cannon has been invited to stay here by Count Philip Kuhl, quite different to his brother Achille, an ex-Nazi who has a down on everything and everyone, rejecting the count's humanitariansim, "there is no room for it in the world today." The only ray of sunlight inside the castle is Odette, the count's adopted daughter.
There's some deep secret the count wants to reveal to Bob. In the library he starts to reveal all, the tension very slowly building. Finally he gets it out. The fascists are rising again! But the complete problem vanishes "rather suddenly," when Achille enters informing his brother that he accepts some mysterious conditions imposed on him. That makes the count stop in mid sentence.
The mystified Bob is related The Villardo legend by Achille, the usual stuff about dogs howling when one of the count's line dies. But Achille is sure that the Villardo line has died out, so apparently he believes he himself is now immortal. It's rubbish of course, specially since they discover the count's dead body. Odette, if not Achille, is distraught. According to her, the count had written a new will leaving everything to her. "What?" explodes Achille.
"You are all under suspicion," informs the detective in another corny line. But who is trying to shoot Odette now?
Bob has a suspect. He latches on to the traditional one in these stories, the butler. Simon the butler needs to be watched. Naturally Bob is correct, for we see Simon slipping some tablets into the brandy! He brings it in.
Achille proposes a toast. Then as they sip, a dog howls on cue. The legend yet liveth. The signal for death. 'Tis Achille who collapses, poisoned. The butler really did do it this time. The reason- he was one of many who had been condemned to a concentration camp in the war by Achille. He also admits killing the count. Then he reveals his full name, don't gasp, it is Simon Villardo
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Stolen Bid (starring Sydna Scott)
Script: Joseph Victor. Director: Marcel Cravenne
Helen Davis provides a poetic introduction, "Europe is a broken puzzle, and many of the pieces have to be rebuilt."
Andersen, assistant director to Dorstein, boss of Continental Engineering is interviewed by Helen Davis, who has sniffed out a story about shady deals and collusive bidding on government construction projects. Nearby, there is a scuffle and stolen is the briefcase of Herzog, containing a bid on the Arabian project.
Among other items incidentally in the case is a ticket for the opera that evening, so in case anyone uses it, Helen attends the gala night. An old gentleman has the seat. He tells her one of his tenants had thrown the ticket away.
She finds the apartment block where he is caretaker next morning. The man she wants is on floor 3, room 6, name of Rico. Helen spots the briefcase there with the initials HH. It's unfortunate that Rico returns just as Helen is about to leave with the case, but luckily the caretaker interrupts any funny business, and Helen is able to leave, Rico pursuing her down the stairs, along the street in his car. She eludes him by climbing a flight of steps, but he catches up with her and recaptures the briefcase. What he doesn't know is that she has removed the vital document.
She stops off at police hq and identifies the criminal, before dropping off The Bid at Continental Engineering. The scheming of rival bidders is exposed, as well as the insider in the firm.
Note: the Alpha dvd boldly gives this title incorrectly as The Stolen Bird!
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The Coffin
Script: Tom Younger. Director: Marcel Cravenne.
A horse drawn hearse in Wurtemburg, a city divided between East and West, "a curtain of fear and intrigue." The dead body is that of journalist Max Wilder, who had allegedly died of a heart attack. He needs to be taken out of the East Zone. Bob Cannon is volunteered to enter "the snake pit," every likelihood he'll suffer the same fate as his colleague.
On the train there, "a friend" confirms Bob's worst fears, it's not just about the corpse, "you're bait Mr Cannon." Secret information needs to be smuggled out of the country.
His contact is Eva, she turns up as a maid in his hotel, "the police know, " she tells him, "they know everything."
Major Stratoff gives Bob his instructions for escorting the body from the cemetry, 1pm sharp. But before that, he is taken to Kurchenstrasse to meet Eva, a different Eva to the maid! She tells him the amazing news that Max is still alive, inside his coffin. Yoga is keeping him breathing slowly. However he must be set free by 2.45pm or his air will run out. It all seems very precise. He himself has information on bomb launch sites scattered round the country.
Bob as per orders takes the coffin on to a train, watched closely by the enemy. It's quite exciting. 2.25pm, Bob attempts to break open the seal on the coffin, to let Max breathe more freely. Guards stop him opening it. So Eva hands Bob a microfilm with the same information about the sites. This, Bob allows to return into enemy hands so he can get at Max's coffin before it is too late. However the enemy can't find the film, and open Max's coffin to search for it there. The time is 2.44pm!
So in the end there's no need for the microfilm, as amazingly Max returns safely to the West
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The Camera
Script: David and Judith Bublick. Director: Marcel Cravenne.
A poetic tour of Paris where there is "a latent stirring of outlawed organisations, secret societies once again bent on the overthrow of government." But though set in Paris, the cars are all driving on the left!
A conference here makes confident plans to defeat these unseen enemies. The revolutionary Charles De Lisle however is confident "we will be strong again." His minions Paul and Andre kidnap Russ Jones (William Langford) an American photographer, who has a rendezvous with Bob Cannon. Though Russ resists, he is knocked unconscious. It is his camera that is wanted. A bomb is hidden in the mechanism, then Russ is released.
Bob listens to the strange tale. He examines the room where Russ had been held prisoner. However he finds living here a brunette named Nicole, who says she knows nothing of all this. But Bob notes signs of struggle. Later Nicole comes to Bob's hotel, and promises help. She says her father was once a member of the organisation, but has broken away from them and can reveal their names. Bob is taken to him. He has tipped off the police, or so he thinks, though in reality he's only told the baddies.
Nicole has tricked Bob. It's a trap. He is interrogated by De Lisle, who sportingly reveals the detail of the bomb that will explode at 2pm to destroy the conference.
Here Tony is with Russ to take the fatal photo. Somehow, Bob pulls out a champagne cork, and the diversion enables him to flee from De Lisle, just in time to dash to the conference and prevent Russ from taking the photo

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77 Diamond Bullet
Script: Sydney Shelley. Director: Marcel Cravenne.
"The major war criminals" have all been caught, but numerous "minor agents... still wander the countries of Europe."
Madame Lucienne Martinez (Margareta Fahlen) runs a Paris fashion house, Kay, one of her models, is seen conversing at her latest show with a suspicious stranger, Albert (Willy Peters). Lucienne orders him off, because she wants to impress on Bob Cannon that she's a reformed character.
During the war in Lisbon, she'd turned double agent to get one von Strachem arrested. Though newspaperman Thompson died in subsequent events, she doesn't hold herself responsible, though Bob does.
The two travel by train from Paris to Brussels, in a very plush compartment, obviously an immobile studio set. When they move to the diner, a scarfaced man and a woman search their luggage, but without success, "they must have it on them."
When the pair return there's a struggle and gunshots. "We want diamonds." Still no trace, but curiously Mme Martinez retrieves the bullets she has fired from her gun.
The Belgian police search for the crooks. The leader of the gang lives in a big mansion on the Liege road. Mme Martinez, alias Gerda the wartime spy, has been taken here. There are gunshots before the police swoop, late as ever, "Mr Cannon, I'm glad you're here too." Gerda smiles at Bob, but he's not fooled. Though her story is that she had been kidnapped, he spots the flowerpot where she had concealed diamonds, in the shape of bullets. "Your hands never were clean, Gerda"

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78 Operating Room
Script: Joseph Victor. Director: Marcel Cravenne.
After a piece of philosophising, we are introduced to "a man with a strange past."
He's Prof Eric Voldemar, brain specialist, and he's to work at this new hospital which has been opened today by the Prime Minister. The crowds cheer as the leader departs, but rebels have planned to have him killed as he returns to his office.
A truck deliberately rams his car, so the first patient at the new hospital is the Prime Minster himself, in a critical condition. Opposition leader Renke prepares to seize power.
Voldemar is at home with his wife and family, being interviewed by Bob Cannon. News of the tragedy is relayed to them. The doctor must operate immediately. However two baddies with a gun stop him and Bob from leaving. They are here to blackmail the good doctor, about an accident that befell him with "old friend Paul" thirty years ago. "You were never my friend," retorts the professor. It seems he had killed a man in self defence, Paul knows the truth but won't say anything. Of course there is a condition.
"Your operation must not succeed."
Torn between duty and self interest, the doctor prepares for surgery. What will he decide? Bob is held prisoner until the operation is ended. This section is far too long, but at long last Bob makes his break.
The doctor remains true to his calling, and the patient is saved. The consequences follow. Voldemar must be shot. Bob reaches the hospital too late to save disaster. Police pursue the assassin, who ironically is knocked down by a truck. Voldemar could save his life, were he still alive...

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Overseas Adventure
A series made in 1953/4 consisting of 39 episodes with new star
James Daly as Michael Powers, Anne Preville played Pat Bennett in some stories.

My reviews:
79 International Spies
82 The Waterfront Story
84 Hall of Justice
86 The General Staff
87# Blackmail
90 The Star of Ghiza
93 The Badger Game
94* Fire Bombs
96 Disaster Relief
97# Geiger Counter
100 Plastic Surgery
103# International Finance
105 Prophecies
106 Overlord of Narcotics
107 At The Bridge
108 Mountain Climbing
109 Kidnapping
110 The Brotherhood
111 Missing Official
113 The Jail Sentence
117 The Tourist
Note- * no JD, this story starred Anne Preville.
# Anne Preville appeared alongside JD in this story.

To Series with Gerald Mohr
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International Spies
Script and Director: Sheldon Reynolds.
The whole story can be viewed on YouTube
Tony Forrest provides the link into the new star of the series. Interestingly Francoise Prevost who plays the oddly named 'Lorry' (Lori?), also appears in a different guise in the opening story of the fourth series.

Tony is in a club while a French chanteuse named Lorry is warbling for a minute and a half. Then Mike Powers shows up. Tony tells him a freelance reporter has been killed, on to a story about spies out to start another world war. Behind the plot is The Master Spy of the Middle East Vallesque (Eugene Deckers), believed dead, but obviously not!
As Tony has a list of the spy's names, Mike wisely advises him to "get out of the country." But he is snatched by the gang. Mike tackles Lorry, "you have beautiful eyes," he tells her. She offers him a lift, but he prefers to walk, until he is surrounded by sinister men. So he has to accept her second offer of a lift and is bundled into a car, "you're a dead man Mr Powers."
However a fortuitous puncture gives Mike the opportunity to snatch her gun. "I hate you." What she says after he makes her change the tyre is not recorded. But she likes him, so accepts his offer to rescue poor Tony.
They drive to Vallesque's hideout where after a punch up, it is Lorry who shoots the master spy. Tony is rescued and the three of them speed away, all guns blazing, she shooting several baddies. However she is also shot, though the two men fail to notice that. When they reach the safety of Paris, she bids them goodbye, not revealing the extent of her wound. It is a good story, only a shame that Lorry has been written out of the series

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Waterfront Story
From a story by Joseph Victor. Director: Steve Previn.

A journalist named Vester is caught snooping on a ship moored in the docks, and a sailor who calls himself Renard catches him. "You made a mistake," Vester is told, and is shot and dumped overboard.
Police have placed an agent on this ship, where the crew are a gang of spies. Mike Powers is given permission to check out their local haunt, a shady cafe, where several dubious characters approach him, including Moro, "who runs this waterfront." He's keen to round up this gang too. They search the apartment of Renard, whose real name is Castro, and find a ticket for a locker. This gets them a case which contains a list of names, and takes Mike to a gym run by Castro where Mike is persuaded to box, "just one round." That fills up a bit of time, and as he puts up a good show, Mike asks Castro for a job. "You're hired." But "doing what?"
He goes aboard the ship where Castro hangs out, and Castro admits killing Vester. "I'm a buyer," Castro helpfully explains, he also sells secrets and information to the highest bidder.
With Mike found out, police swoop, "glad we got here in time." "Me too"

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Hall of Justice
Script: James C Sheers and Hamilton Keener. Director: Marcel Cravenne.

After a lecture about fashions in European frontiers, we see Michael Powers in at the cornering of Eric Savage. "Shoot to kill, but get him alive if possible." The place is surrounded and the Chief of Police (Gregoire Aslan) duly makes his arrest. But Savage's submission appears all too easy. "Looks as though he wanted to be arrested."
He is banking on his powerful political friends. In his cell in the Hall of Justice, he is interviewed by Powers, a prisoner brimming with confidence. "There will be no conviction," he assures Powers.
The case opens, and is adjourned for lunch (restart 3pm!). In the interval gunmen besiege the courthouse, but police are guarding their prisoner well. However this is only a diversion. Rudolph, a pickpocket and Savage's right hand man, uses the siege to blow the safe in the court building and remove the prosecution's documents. Savage is still behind bars, but for how much longer?
The case against him is bound to collapse. But Powers persuades Rudolph that his boss needs those papers now, and Rudolph is very devoted to his master, loyal too.
Savage is already planning when released to identify via the documents those eyewitnesses against him, and eliminate them. What a shock when Rudolph bursts into court. The case was collapsing, but now Rudolph kindly hands over the documents to his boss. He's a simple soul is Rudolph. It's a nice ending

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The General Staff
Script: Harold Jack Bloom and Sam Rolfe. Director: Jack Gage
"A war does not end..." Mike Powers solemnly commences. Carl Weimer (Eugene Deckers), a fanatical war criminal escapes. Once he had been a high up on Hitler's staff. He's hiding somewhere in West Berlin. For some reason, Mike has to find him.
He starts by talking with Carl's father. He had suffered under Nazi oppression. His younger son is Johann, now a student. A photo of Helly, tells of Carl's erstwhile romance.
Johann is tailed, carrying a parcel. Mike explores the house he stops at. The name of Helen Bramm interests him. He talks to her. "You know where he is right now." He attempts to persuade her to talk him into giving himself up. Mike follows her to the traditional bomb site but is caught by Carl.
He is tied up. Here Carl talks to Felix, secretary of one of the high ups in the fascist organisation, Dr Gerda. Carl has to prove his loyalty by betraying his own parents, and hand them over for some undefined brainwashing for "the new Germany."
Johann is reluctant to be a party to it, but gets his father lured into a trap. "It's a trap," shrieks Helly. But she's shouted down. She's seen through her boyfriend. The gas is switched on, to dispose of her and Mike. "It's murder," Mike calmly baits Johann, who is having grave doubts.
Mike's oratory brings Johann round, mostly on account of his parents. Dramatic smashing of windows, call the police. Will they be in time to stop Carl's parents walking into the trap?
Showdown Carl v Mike. They struggle as police fire. Inevitable end, Mike has some comforting words to Johann. His gunning down, watched by his parents, is a poignant final scene.
Corny line to end it, "cross off one for the Third Reich, and chalk one up for a better journey"
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Blackmail
Script: Harold Jack Bloom. Director: Jack Gage

A man is pursued to a bridge over the River Seine, as he climbs a wall he is shot and wounded. But he struggles on, hiding in a cellar. The crooks have to report their failure to their demanding boss Sarnow.
The man, Prager, a known blackmailer, has vital information. He phones Mike Powers at his home, and a meeting is fixed in a cafe. However Miss Bennett is coincidentally there and is ready to nab the scoop, but Mike literally snatches Prager from her clutches. After a long car chase, in which Prager becomes increasingly unwell, Mike holes out in a doctors. "Doctor, listen to me, there are three men out there, they murdered this man, and now they are after me!"
Sarnow and his henchmen break into the surgery, searching for Mike. The doctor phones the police as the chase continues, now on foot round an extensive park by the river. Gunshots, children scatter. Police and Miss Bennett arrive on the scene, she calmly shooting dead one of the baddies. The villains are rounded up, "don't shoot," cries the snivelling boss

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Star of Ghiza
Script: Joseph Victor. Director: Sheldon Reynolds
Somewhere in Southern Europe, Mike is to meet Miss Ramanekh, daughter of a controversial Middle East statesman, who is a Western ally. "It's inportant the world knows the real situation." But she can't tell Mike any more, as firstly she's being watched, and also because her coffee has been poisoned.
She had intended to introduce the reporter to Akhmet, her brother who could tell him more. It's bad luck that Mike tries to identify this Akhmet, and chooses the wrong man, who is a spy. Mike reveals the little he knows.
The Star of Ghiza, a small private club she had mentioned. It's a very dangerous place, warns Mike's mysterious taxi driver. Here a fortune teller warns Mike to leave, and he does. He goes as far as the back of the club, where he breaks in. But he is caught and interrogated by "political gangster" The Colonel.
Though he is guarded by a fearsome looking wrestler, Mike is rescued by the taxi driver, who turns out to be a police sergeant undercover. The pair dash to the airport where The Colonel has already gone to snatch Akhmet.
There is a very long sequence of Mike's car driving to the airport, mixed with shots of Akhmet's plane approaching and landing. Needless to add, Akhmet is warned of his danger in time, and he is thus able to hand Mike his father's statement which denounces evil men like The Colonel. Mike ends with patriotic sentiments concerning "truth, justice, democracy." Hear hear.

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The Badger Game
After a lecture on the value of free elections in a true democracy, we see Mike Powers fishing off a boat on a lake. Coming to the shore, he encounters the President with his wife Maria and niece Elsa. There's an election imminent, and it'll be "rough" according to Mike. How tough is illustrated when Maria "falls" into the lake and dies.
The opposition is led by Veldac, who produces a Miss Manners, the President's alleged mistress. "Logically," Maria must have found out about the affair and killed herself, is Veldac's idea. This tale is repeated to Mike, who naturally suspects a plot to undermine the president.
His suspicions fall on Harry Julian, who had been working on the boats at the lake, he must have been paid to kill Maria. Julian is discovered hastily packing his bags, but he claims he didn't kill Maria, he saw her slip and fall. Reluctantly, he agrees to inform the police about this, but en route to the station he and Mike are attacked, and Julian runs off.
Later Julian phones Tony Forrest at the newspaper office. Mike encourages Julian to come forward, "you're the only person who can stop this lie before it all begins." For Veldac is threatening to expose the president in a radio broadcast, unless he withdraw from the eleciton.
He must announce his resignation from office. However Julian turns up at the radio station in time to expose Veldac's lies

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Fire Bombs with Anne Preville
Script: Harold Jack Bloom from a story by Sydney Morse. Director: Jack Gage.
Two thousand miles a criminal, working for a group that is bent on "international insecurity," has flown to a foreign city. However he is run down by a lorry accidentally and killed. Tony Forrest pores over the documents carried by the crook, they are in code, but reference is made to Prime Minister Gordean. Pat Bennett is seeking an interview with him, but only meets a wall of diplomatic silence.
In her hotel room she discovers a case. She is amazingly calm when she hears it ticking. She plunges it into her bath and it is rendered useless.
When examined, the case contains a fire bomb. Inspector Larman discovers that the man who had bought the clock mechanism had purchased five similar. He'd also bought six cases. Report of an explosion and fire make the investigation urgent.
The buyer is traced, police swoop, but only find the man's corpse. A map in his room however, helpfully shows where the general locations where bombs are to be placed. Inspector Larman, with Pat, go to a shipping warehouse where some carpenters are at work. The group are detained at the warehouse on the premise that the one who knows about the bomb will panic and give himself away.
There is a tense stand off. All the carpenters looked suspicious! Then sure enough- "what's the hurry?- one sneaks away. Inspector Larman points a gun at him and makes him reveal exactly where he had placed the fire bomb. Pat Bennett kindly deactivates the thing with no obvious skill. The end. Presumably the other bombs were all defused too

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96 Disaster Relief
Story: JC Sheers and Hamilton Keener, screenplay: Harold Jack Bloom. Director: Jack Gage

"Acts of human kindness can be soured by treachery." Huge crates of donated supplies to those suffering after an earthquake, marked Disaster Relief, are senselessly destroyed by an arsonist. He himself phones the police. Why? Mike Powers wonders. Dr Fleming, director of the project is naturally upset. Maybe the aim is to destabilise the suffering country.
At least another relief convoy of lorries is scheduled to set out tomorrow. Customs clearance is waived in order to ensure speedy transit. But the cunning baddies succeed in switching trucks and it is the baddies' lorries that arrive at port for shipment.
Lucky Mike is suspicious, but having found the stolen crates, is captured, held prisoner on the baddies' tug. A clever ruse enables him to get away, and he leaps overboard to safety.
Mike sneaks on board the ship with the new crates, and armed with a suitable weapon, opens a crate and finds the baddies are gun runners. Mike is caught again and comes face to face with the boss, none other than Dr Fleming. "We've thought of everything." Mike is due to be shot, but once again escapes. He attacks the crane driver loading the guns on board, a crate smashes, and the evil plot exposed. There's a final chase round the derricks, and all is well, the supplies can be sent

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Geiger Counter
(with Tony Padovano and Anne Preville)
Script: George and Gertrude Fass. Director: Marcel Cravenne.

"Get the money out of the vault!" A robber forces a bank manger to hand over thirty million francs. After the thief leaves, the manager at once raises the alarm and the crook has to shoot his way out of the bank.
Tony Forrest sends Mike Powers on this story. In turn, he kindly allows Pat Bennett to tag along with him.
The police have trapped the villain whom they have learned is named Sievert in the countryside. All roads have been blocked. But Sievert holds up Mike's car and takes him and Pat as hostages, so he can get through the police check.
He orders their car to stop outside Mt Solange Radiological Station, here is a safe place for him to hide out. The guard Henri becomes his third hostage.
Wounded, in a futile attempt to get away, Henri has to transmit scientific readings from a geiger counter to his superiors. Mike finds an easy way to fix the machine so it produces a high reading. Sievert decides to go while the going's good. He takes his three prisoners, but in a flash of inspiration, Mike shuts a door, with Sievert on the outside, the three on the inside. Sievert starts shooting wildly into the building, but police swoop and Sievert is arrested. It is Pat who phones her story in first

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Plastic Surgery
Original Story: Tom Younger. Director: Jack Gage.

A story of two scientists and "one of the greatest ironic twists of fate."
Mike Powers is off on vacation, boarding a bus. One passenger leaves behind a briefcase, which Powers picks up and takes to the hotel where he and this other passenger are booked in. But in his room, he is questioned by a police inspector. The subject is a scientist and war criminal named Axel Baumann, who has been found dead. He had been on the bus.
On looking inside the portfolio, Mike learns it belongs to Rudolf Honig. He takes it to the man, but Honig's wife tells him her husband has disappeared. He had been involved with Baumann in some scientific research which Baumann had wanted to sell to the highest bidder. Honig was against this.
After leaving her, Mike is beaten up. Luckily the police have been shadowing him, and he is rescued. After that Mike decides to leave it to the cops to catch the killer. However, fortuitously he happens to notice the man who had beaten him up. He follows him to a small house where he overhears an amazing plot. It seems it is not Baumann who is dead, but Honig. (Not sure how this could be.) Baumann is going to sell their research as he had planned.
Baumann is having plastic surgery to elude police. After another fight, police intervene to prevent Mike's demise. After that he really does leave the case alone. His office calls him away on another assignment (even though he is supposed to be on vacation).
Several months later, Mike takes up the case again. By this time Baumann's face has been changed. However his doctor, in revenge for the man's war crimes, has transformed his appearance into that of the dead Honig, and he is arrested for that man's war crimes.
Full of holes
To the
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International Finance
Script: Harold Jack Bloom from a story by Joseph Victor. Director: Jack Gage.

Zachary Enterprises is to be sold to a world syndicate. Michael Powers interviews the "iron fisted mysterious" boss, invalid Andre Zachary, who lives in a well guarded castle.
He is a recluse millionaire, who has, disappointingly for Powers, already welcomed rival reporter Pat Bennett to stay in his castle to report on the deal- once it has been completed.
But who is the girl (Tyne Daly in her tv debut) wandering round the castle? The hosts claim there is no such girl living here. However Powers discovers her playroom. He tells Pat, who is sceptical at first. "There is a little girl here," for now both reporters see her!
So Powers does some snooping, and finds a secret stairway that leads to a cell. He has stumbled on a second mystery, for inside is a prisoner, he says he is the real Zachary. The girl is his granddaughter who will be harmed unless he cooperates with these kidnappers who are planning to seize Zachary's fortune.
Powers is told of a secret way out of the castle, go and get help cries Zachary. But Powers is chased round the huge impressive building, is captured and locked up. But Pat releases him.
Financiers arrive at the castle to complete the purchase of Zachary's enormous assets. Mike Powers turns the tables and the scheme is thwarted. Then he locks Pat up so he can phone through his scoop story. "Associated wins again!" Or does it?

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Prophecies
Story: JC Steer and Hamilton Keener. Script: Harold Jack Bloom. Director: Marcel Cravenne.

Old blind shoemaker Myrik has made some remarkable predictions which have been fulfilled. His ambitious son Feo drives him into predicting that a plane scheduled to carry three government ministers will crash.
Tony Forrrest fills Mike Powers in on the story. Mike interviews an official named Tarsus, who is not worried about the plane since he says it is too well guarded for any possible sabotage. While Mike talks to Myrik, he notices Feo talking to one of the men who are supposed to be guarding the plane. Mike chases after him, but by boarding a ferry the man eludes Mike. Too late Mike tries to persuade the Prime Minister to ground the plane, for it has crashed.
Civil unrest, even the Prime Minister's own window is smashed by a brick. Emergency cabinet meeting. Mike makes his own inquiries, but is taken prisoner by Feo. Hwoever when Feo finds that his father has been taken away by those manipulating the dangerous situation, Feo helps Mike and they rescue his dear old dad, at the cost of Feo himself being shot dead.
Myrik promises to tell all he knows about the gang to Tarsus, and Mike takes him to the official. But Myrik recognises Tarsus' footsteps, "he's the man who killed my son." It's part of a complex political plot. "You must be stopped," and Tarsus is, at the cost of Myrik stopping another bullet. In a cellar Mike has a showdown

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Overlord of Narcotics
Script: Harold Jack Bloom. Director: Steve Previn.

Among the "human scavangers who trade on unhappiness," middleman Johnny is caught, and unexpectedly talks. His boss, he says, is Burt.
Mike Powers interviews this dope pedlar and his 'secretary' Mona, though this is more a warning that he'll be inside for a hundred years. But not if Johnny is silenced, and in prison Johnny is murdered. "There goes our case."
A $5,000 "beautiful" mink coat arrives for Mona, it's not from Burt, and his suspicions intensify when Mona wears a new bracelet at a party. Next a police bodyguard is seen outside her house. Then Burt finds her bank statement, "$5,000 deposited last week." It's part of a police job to undermine Burt's relationship with her.
Mike tries to frighten Mona into thinking she'll get the same treatment as Johnny. In a panic, she runs into the snowy street, where Burt's henchman Max attempts to push her off a bridge on to a railway line. The chase continues over the white tracks. She seeks refuge in a hut. Max moves in pointing his gun. But he is shot, for police have been watching, and they cart Max away.
The frightened Mona agrees to talk, "it's you or Burt"

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At The Bridge
Story by JC Sheers and Hamilton Keener, script: Harold Jack Bloom. Director: Steve Previn

Mike Powers is at a huge building on official business to meet Major Lindley. He is to watch and report on the release of political prisoners to the West.
Of course it is all a devious trick to help him identify Jurgen a scientist who is desperate to escape. The authorities are somehow unable to identify him, so they hope he'll reveal himself to Powers.
An underground agent contacts Mike, and hands him Jurgen's documents that will enable him to get over the border. Mike suspects a trap until this agent is pursued and shot dead.
At the border, a huge bridge over a river, Mike is allowed to interview those about to be given their freedom. "The wheels grind slowly," he mutters to some of them, this the code he's been told to locate Jurgen.
It works. But Jurgen is wary- he's disguised as a soldier! Quietly Jurgen warns Mike that it's all a set up, and together they hatch a neat plan to get over the bridge.
The prisoners are released as per programme, then Mike is arrested, but he starts to run over the huge bridge. Shoot orders the major. Jurgen, as a soldier, pursues after Mike, shooting wildly, and of course missing. Thus they both get away

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Mountain Climbing
Script: George and Gertrude Fass. Director: Steve Previn

There has been a jailbreak. Two guards shot dead. Mansell has got away, and is hiding in the mountains. Saul is due to be hanged on Thursday for the murders.
Michael Powers is in the district to interview the Prime Minister Schwindt who is visiting the area with his daughter Brita. The two men climb one easy mountain together, while Brita takes on a harder ascent, with the aid of a guide- Mansell. She is in lawless hands," how dare you?"
An avalanche, and a search party is out. But they won't find her, Petr Brodin informs Schwindt, she will only be returned if Saul is pardoned. The Prime Minister cannot accede, "a stubborn foolish man." Instead, he gets Powers to help and with another guide they locate Mrs Mansell, and then Brita. Brodin is caught and Powers has his scoop.
No masterpiece is this

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Kidnapping (with Tony Padovano)
Script: Robert A Coriader. Director: Steve Previn.

Along with Nancy Warner, Tony Forrest and Mike Powers have been waiting for four days for an interview with the Secretary of the Interior, Philips. At long last Mike gets a phone call, inviting him to The Tavern.
Mike trudges through the snow to his destination. There Philips explains that an important cabinet meeting is imminent, subject the proposed Allied Air Bases that Western powers want to build in the country. Philips is wanting to vote for the scheme, but has received death threats if he so votes. Mike thanks him for the story and they depart together through the snow. They are attacked, Mike knocked out. He tells the police all he knows.
Where is Philips? Mike and Tony try to find him. At Philips' house, they question the maid. No lead here.
Nancy has disappeared too. She was supposed to wait at the newspaper offices. Then a 'Mr Black' offers information, if they hand over $10,000. Instead Tony and Mike knock him out. He was lying. They persuade him to talk.
Police discreetly watching, Mike walks through the old snow to the house where the prisoners are held. It's easy. He walks in and finds Philips and Nancy tied up. All too easy. Mike explains the whole plot, "Mr Powers, are you insane?" But he completes his story of "the perfect spy," well almost perfect

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The Brotherhood
Script: George and Gertrude Fass. Director: Steve Previn.

In broad daylight, two gunmen shoot a man down, then chalk the sign of a large torch on a nearby wall. The Fascist Brotherhood is out to control Europe.
Mike Powers attends the dead man's funeral. Pete had been a teacher and was intending to spill the beans about The Brotherhood to Mike. At his funeral is his grieving fiancee Annette Wurz, who takes Mike to the spot where Pete had been ambushed, "the police have examined the place." Of course, but Mike is certain Annette could tell him more if she wished.
She admits it, but won't talk. Mike receives a threat and decides not to book into his hotel. Instead he questions Pete's neighbours, and outside Pete's apartment is knocked out.
He is treated by Dr Herzog. Annette decides to tell what she knows. Pete had written down names, dates places about The Brotherhood. The information is all in a book hidden in a garage. Annette drives Mike there, but is followed. Dr Herzog stops their car, and demands to have Pete's diary. Annette has to take the doctor to the garage, but thankfully police have been trailing them and the members of The Brotherhood are arrested, and thanks to the data in Pete's diary, the whole gang is broken up

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Missing Official
Script: Tom Younger and Ed Mazzacco. Director: Steve Previn.
Typical story from this series, it wanders round getting nowhere.

Bartok is "the most powerful man in his country." Mike Powers has been granted an interview, but he misses him at the airport and again at the radio station.
So, despite the thick snow, Mike makes for the country inn where Bartok is staying, only to be informed that he is not there. Mike decides to put up there anyway and soon tracks down Mrs Bartok. She states her husband will not be interviewed.
Someone is getting worried, because Mike finds himself a prisoner in his own hotel room- locked in.
Apologies from management next morning for the error. However Bartok has left, gone hunting.
He is staying near the lake. Through deep snow Mike trudges, and is shot at. He explores the lakeside cottage and finds only Mrs Bartok.
Mike overhears a plot to kill Bartok while he is broadcasting and he relays what he has learned to Mrs Bartok. She is very confident her husband will be safe. She says she will be fleeing the country, and advises Mike to do the same.
At the radio station, Mike soon discovers what anyone with any sense would already have worked out. The 'live' broadcast of Bartok is only a recording. Mike switches off the record player, grabs the record, and flees, with help from Mrs Bartok. "Everything will be explained," she tells Mike. Well sort of.
She takes Mike to where Bartok is. Mike finds himself by a grave
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The Jail Sentence
Script: Harold Jack Bloom. Director: Steve Previn.

Peter Mucke has been released from prison after serving a five year sentence for killing his brother. He had been a captain in the Merchant Marine. He had maintained his brother had committed suicide, though why he should do so when he had a beautiful fiancee, Hilde Brent, is unclear.
Mike Powers interviews him. Having reflected on the crime, Peter now believes that either Hilde killed him, or Charles Swanson, or Howard Lindquist, a shipping magnate. He is going to prove which one did it, as the police won't.
Powers calls on Hilde, who thinks Captain Mucke must be insane. But strangely, Swanson is with her, in fact they are to be married.
Powers catches up with Lindquist at the airport, he is leaving town in a hurry. Peter threatens him, and police advice Lindquist to remain.
Powers goes down to the river, where Swanson's boat is being fuelled. Someone shoots at Mike from a passing car.
Miss Brent is attacked by Lindquist, who reckons she and Charles must have killed Peter's brother.
Powers tries to persuade Peter not to take the law into his own hands. He is waiting for the murderer to come to him, and forces Mike to remain with him. Footsteps are heard. It must be the murderer. The newcomer opens the door. He shoots at Peter. Powers overcomes this person.
"I am finished," gasps Peter, but he has time to give Powers the whole story before he expires

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The Tourist
Script: Harold Jack Bloom. Director: Steve Previn.
A government witness is to testify against a gang of international smugglers. When her plane stops off at an airport, smuggler Harry Vigness mistakes an old friend of Michael Powers for this witness.
This is the scatty Elsa Reid, and Mike has to try and protect her when she books into Room 117 (curiously the same number as this series episode!). She is shown round town by Mike and very nearly snatched at the Seafarer Restaurant, so, having disabled the smugglers' car which is tailing them, Mike takes her on a pony and trap sightseeing tour.
Thank goodness police are also tailing them, but the crooks haven't been shaken off, and having tied the police to a tree trunk, then pursue their quarry in a natural history museum.
To avoid them spotting them, Mike first kisses Elsa, which she rather likes, and then as they are shot at, ruins her best hat, which she definitely doesn't.
"You're such a forceful personality," she swoons at him. The police arrest the villains and now she is safe Mike has to invent that well worn excuse, he's married. Not entirely correct
To
Overseas Adventure (James Daly) menu
Series with Gerald Mohr
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Cross Current
39 stories made in 1954/5
starring Gerald Mohr as Christopher Storm, proprietor of Hotel Frontier in Vienna.

Some stories have a passing resemblance to Bogie's movies with Lorre and Greenstreet, but the connection is only fleeting. None the less, this last series was the least poor, Gerald Mohr enjoying a few fine film noir-type lines.

118 Forged Plates
120 The Boxing Game
121 Confidence Game
124 International Robbery
125 The Stamp Collector
131 Speed Demons
132 Spy Ring
133 Appointment at Five
134 Wayward Brother
138 Diamond Allergy
139 A Game of Chance
140 Pearl Necklace
142 Two Men from Zurich
146 The Diplomat
149 Little Romeo
151 Miss Fortune
154 First Blush
155 Delores
156 Runaround
picture: Gerald Mohr (right)

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118 Forged Plates
In this first of the final series, Gerald Mohr introduces rundown Vienna to us. Michael Powers (James Daly) with Tony (John Padovano), links with the last series, are at the Hotel Frontier, proprietor Christopher Storm. They want his help.
We first meet Storm forcibly ejecting a customer. He listens to Powers' description of men in Paris who had been shot carrying forged passports that were obtained from the mysterious Tomberg (Gregoire Aslan) of the Viennese underworld, "to whom death is less a threat, it's a currency."
Though Storm makes no promises, he does follow two men who are watching his hotel. After a convenient tour of the city, Storm lands at Tomberg's apartment. He breaks in.
The atmosphere threatens to imitate The Third Man. "Hello," says the lovely Janine (Francoise Prevost) enigmatically to Storm, who has hidden behind the curtain. "Hello," he responds, leering ever so slightly. He points his gun at Tomberg, demanding the safe be opened. Tomberg offers a deal, these plates to print passports are "worth a fortune." After a struggle, Tomberg is knocked unconscious, Janine watching on, admiring. She reveals Tomberg has issued the order to kill Michael Powers.
After enigmatic banter with Janine, Storm forces the revived Tomberg to call his killer off. All Storm has to do now, is brave the crook's four gunmen guarding his block, he does so, eluding them in scenes noir around the art deco lift.
Janine joins him at the Frontier Hotel. In her purse are the plates she was unknowingly carrying. Storm gets them out and hands them to Powers.
Some bright moments in this drama written and directed by Sheldon Reynolds, pity the standard didn't keep up

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120 The Boxing Game (also appearing: James Daly)
Script: Harold Jack Bloom. Director: Sheldon Reynolds.

An ex-waiter at the Frontier Hotel, Fritzi, is now a champion boxer. But after his latest win in Paris, a doctor warns Raoul his manager he must never fight again. But the evil manager sees his chance of making a killing on the betting and arranges a fixed match in Vienna, "a little out of the way."
At the Frontier Hotel, a mysterious alluring woman is searching for a pilot. That's what she tells Chris Storm. "He owns the airline," it transpires. This is quite unrelated to the plot, maybe a chance for someone's girlfriend to have a tempting bit part?
Fritzi is to box Kurt, "a hard puncher." Chris becomes suspicious when Michael Powers still hanging around from the last series, tells him of "the bad smell," as "there's a lot of betting."
But as he's getting too inquisitive, someone takes a pot shot at Chris. Now Chris is certain the fight is fixed, even though Fritzi himself is unaware of the fact. He gets a doctor to observe the boxer, even if he cannot examine him. A brain tumour is most likely. He should not fight tonight.
Showdown between Raoul and Chris. "You know Fritzi's sick."
Responds the evil Raoul, "let's hope he's sick enough to lose quickly."
Raoul tries to silence Chris with morphine. But Michael Powers and Starkey come to his rescue

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121 The Confidence Game
Script: Harold Jack Bloom. Director: Sheldon Reynolds.

Chris Storm's introduction is about The Ring in Vienna.
A customer's wallet is stolen at the Hotel Frontier bar. De la Cruz, another visitor, finds it, and somehow the pair end up playing cards. De la Cruz's young wife Nita somehow ends up being shown the sights by Chris Storm. A kiss inevitably follows.
The card game ends in acrimony, one punter Morgan shot dead. It's actually a scam to relieve the stranger of all his cash.
When Chris is informed, he finds a Swedish brooch that takes him all the way to Stockholm's 'Park Hotell,' where he spots Morgan, very much alive.
Using a simple telephone trick, he is able to flush Morgan out. The once dead man leads Chris to a block of flats where are the gang, along with Nita

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121 Confidence Game - A guest at the Frontier Hotel, Mr Hodge, is a victim of Delacruz's poker swindle. He's tricked into thinking he's killed one of the gamblers. Christopher Storm hunts down 'Snow White and Her Four Crooks' in a Stockholm hotel

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124 International Robbery
Script: Harold Jack Bloom. Director: Steve Previn

Kiley has robbed a bank and appears to be attempting to get out of Vienna on the London bus. For reasons we don't see, another passenger called McCormack is attacked by him, and Kiley has to run away. He takes refuge in a flat occupied by a mother and her fifteen year old daughter Lisa.
Tony Forrest is staying at the Frontier Hotel. As he chats with Chris Storm, Lisa drops by, wanting to buy some cigarettes, for Kiley we hope. She's under age, so is refused. Chris follows her home.
Quick as a flash, Chris is on to Lisa's difficulty, he cannot intervene in case Lisa and her mother get killed. "Courage is contagious."
Chris finds out Kiley will soon be picked up by his accomplice Margo with a car. As Chris waits, he is distracted by an old acquaintance named George from a nearby cafe. When Margo turns up, Chris persuades her not to help Kiley. In fact she distracts Kiley when she enters the flat, enabling Chris to grab Kiley's gun. Alas, Kiley is wise to the subterfuge. A fight, Margo is injured, Kiley runs off.
However Tony has called the cops and after a chase through the streets, Kiley is shot dead.
Chris thanks Margo for catching the bullet meant for him. She's not badly hurt, and the hostages are safe

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The Stamp Collector
Script: Gene Levitt. Director: Steve Previn.

After another eulogy from Chris Storm about Vienna, we see the latest guest in his hotel. The letters AdeR on his luggage, though he signs in as Gerard Brenner. Chris is of course suspicious, "to see him is to distrust him." He must be Armand de Riviere, and he is watched.
A visitor to his room, name of Jules, he "needs a haircut." They are planning to rob a guest who is shortly to arrive, of his stamp collection, worth $30,000. Chris finds it out by listening in to their conversation. Once the job is done they are to fly to Rotterdam, and Chris has to fetch the tickets for them from the travel agent. To ensure he complies, Starkey is held as a sort of hostage.
Nevertheless, Chris still finds time to chat to Ilsa, Brenner's girlfriend, trying to persuade her against a life of crime, "excuse the sentimental outburst." Well, she is a blonde.
While queuing for the tickets, he bumps into Tony Forrest. Then he returns and hands Brenner the two tickets. That upsets Jules, as there are three of them baddies! He, Brenner and Ilsa. The two men fight, the tables are turned, and once they are safe, Chris idly tosses down the third ticket that he had sneakily withheld

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Speed Demons
Script: Gene Levitt. Director: Jack Gage.
Chris Storm is driving his car along the Vienna streets when he knocks a lady down, "it was my fault," she admits. She's called Maria and as she is hobbling, Chris gives her a lift to her hotel, room 317. There he leaves her.
As she has left her handbag in his car, he returns to the hotel to give it back to Maria, but the Maria who opens the door is not the same woman. Where is the first Maria? Chris is baffled.
His luck is in. Later, he spots first Maria, but she claims not to know Chris. So Chris asks his inspector friend who politely suggests Chris forgets it and minds his own business. But surely Chris can't "take the first three notes of Beethoven's Fifth, you want to hear the fourth pretty badly"(!)
In Maria's handbag is a timetable, the 1.52 northbound train marked. Arrival time 2.31. The booking clerk recalls Maria purchasing a ticket, so Chris travels on the next train there, a tiny village. A taxi driver is found who had driven her, they drive to the same place, where the driver pulls a gun. But naturally he is no match for our Chris who is soon pursuing the driver's accomplice to a house in a forest.
Inside is Maria, I think it was number 1, but it could have been 2. She says in any case she does not need saving. She is already being guarded by police. She is some sort of UN employee with top secret information. Though agents attack this house, and a fierce gun battle ensues, it's a storm in a teacup, they are all safe.
On the way home, Chris runs down another lady. The same passer by at the first accident reprimands Chris for being a speed demon. She was probably only an extra with a characterful Ena Sharples-like face, who made a good impression on the producer- but she is fine in her moment of semi-fame
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132 Spy Ring - Grete tricks Chris Storm in Copenhagen into a dinner date. Her boyfriend Jens hides secret film in Chris' raincoat belt. Chris flies home to Vienna, aware of the scheme. Back in his Frontier Hotel, Jens demands the film, at gunpoint, then kidnaps Chris to use as a shield. However Grete has followed on, tired of Jens' two timing, and after a gunfight the spies conveniently shoot each other

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The Spy Ring
Script: Gene Levitt. Director: Tom Younger.

Chris Storm is in Copenhagen, so his introductory travelogue for a change extols that city.
As he watches a street performer, a woman's handbag is snatched. Who but Chris pursues the thief who drops the bag as he tangles with a washing line. Chris retrieves it and returns it to the owner Grete. What reward does he want? He proposes dinner for two. She suggests a Chinese.
However this scene was a put up job. "It went very well," Grete reports back to Jens. "He's a handsome man." She means Chris. She has also bought a belt in which Jens conceals a film.
Dinner at eight. Chris brings her an orchid. While they dine, Jens swaps the belt on Chris' raincoat.
Jens demands 2,000 crowns for the film. Chris pays up and is told where the film has been hidden. He takes it straight to the police.
But Jens and Grete are not arrested. They are flying to Vienna, and Chris is returning there also, seemingly unaware the film is in his possession.
Once he's arrived there, an initial contact is made by a man named Warren. The bad news: the protection afforded by the Viennese police has failed, the spies have knocked out Chris' shadow, and soon Chris finds himself kidnapped by Jens.
Grete however is a woman scorned, rejected by Jens. "I'm going to kill you," she swears. But it is he who shoots her. Chris punches Jens who topples down a long flight of steps to his demise. A dying speech from Grete who has thoughtfully collapsed right in Chris' arms

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Appointment at Five
Script: Gene Levitt. Director: Jack Gage.
International businessmen is the subject of the opening lecture. So meet the curiously named Graham Marble who is busy in an even more curious operation, burning a letter in his office. He makes an appointment for five o'clock that afternoon with a Mr Sloane at Westbahnhof Cafe.
Then he goes off for lunch, dark shadows loom over his room, his scared secretary hides. In break two men, they search, then leave having noted Marble's next job is at 5pm. That's in three hours time. His anxious secretary tries to locate her boss to warn him. That's the premise of this very basic story.
It's hard to find him! He's not dining at his usual haunt. Actually today he is at the Frontier Hotel, and by the time she has tried phoning him there, she is just too late, he has finished his meal and left.
She comes to the hotel and explains her dilemma to Chris. Once Chris has checked up on Marble, he agrees to help as a matter of urgency. For Marble is also an agent, helping people escape to the West.
Chris makes inquiries, and is knocked down by a truck for his trouble. Is he dead? The time is 4.14pm.
No, he's only concussed, and refuses to get into the ambulance that has been summoned for him. In hospital he is bandaged by an admiring nurse who administers a sedative.
But even that can't stop Chris, who quietly discharges himself, and fighting drowsiness, takes a taxi to the cafe, where with impreccable timing he snatches Marble just as he is about to be shot dead. Then Chris collapses in his taxi, asleep aside Marble.
When he awakes, he's in a hospital bed, surrounded by Marble, his secretary, a doctor and the drooling nurse. Though the tale is very slight, it does contain some nice characterisation
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The Wayward Brother
Script: Harold Jack Bloom. Director: Jack Gage.

Chris Storm is unintentioanlly caught up in a street chase. "I haven't done anything," teenager Teddy tells Chris, who fends off his attacker. Gangster Martin Fenner (Robert Cunningham) had ordered his henchmen to bring in Ted.
Expecting trouble from Fenner, Chris rescues Ted's older sister Hilda, who works in a cafe and who is bringing up the lad. But he is a wild one.
Fenner is waiting for Chris at the Frontier Hotel. "I'd better keep my eyes on him." Fenner is smuggling medical drugs to "the dark corners of Europe." It seems Teddy, having been sucked into the operation, had hidden some of the morphine in a secret place.
Chris puts Hilda up in Room 116, and chats her up. Teddy emerges from hiding, announcing himself at the hotel. He offers Chris a cut in the proceeds if he'll help, "this is big money." Chris makes him phone Fenner to set up a deal. But there's to be no cash for Fenner has snatched Hilda, and her return is to be in exchange for the return of the drugs.
Through the suburbs of Vienna, Ted is taken in a taxi, driver one Chris Storm in uniform. He interrupts Fenner and Ted with a gun, and a fight ends in gunshots and sadly in death.
Philosophy from Chris to end this story, "pain is a great teacher"

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Diamond Allergy
Script: Gene Levitt. Director: Eugene Lourie.

Note: one good comment on someone enjoying jazz in the Waltz City, "but what would Johann Strauss think?"
Another travelogue to commence, "Vienna, like every city, is people." After this mundane time filler, we meet the "not so happy" Jan and Helene.
They need money, and his opportunity comes when a fleeing jewel thief accidentally drops a necklace from his pocket in the street. Jan smartly grabs it, and at once disappears from view. His refuge just happens to be Chris Storm's Frontier Hotel. Jan hides the jewellery in the underneath of a drawer of a bedside cabinet in Room 105.
But when he returns later to book into that room, it has already been taken. The occupant is Nora Phipps, whom Jan chats up and plays checkers with in the hotel foyer.
As she has an allergy, he offers to kindly fetch her pills from her room. Of course he has an ulterior motive.
The original thief, "the fat man," is already searching that room. But Chris, the most overworked hotel manager ever, has nosed out the whole plot and confronts Jan who admits all, and informs Chris where the diamonds are hidden. So it is Chris who enters Room 105 for a punch up with the fat man.
The necklace is returned, Jan is not implicated as Chris is silent about his role, so Jan and Helene can live happily....

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A Game of Chance
Script: Gene Levitt. Director: Eugene Lourie

A typically thin tale, that starts with another travelogue of Vienna, "millions of people, one always different from the next." Could be Naked City.
Chris Storm is gambling with Dodo the barman, idling away the time, when Starkey informs him of the beautiful lady in Room 117 who has left without paying her bill. However she has also left a case containing $75,000. Barbara is in the fashion world, and when Chris finds her, he sees a frightened woman. A Norman Mace is a figure from her past shady life which she has now renounced. Blackmail.
Her "very nice looking" fiance Stuart mustn't know of this. Chris agrees to confront Mace, but then Barbara changes her mind and wants the cash in the room back. She thinks Mace has kidnapped Stuart, though this is all a bluff.
Barbara's best friend Janet helps Chris find where Mace is. Showdown in a large warehouse. No, Mace hadn't got Stuart, though he's after him. A shoot out. When Mace's bullets run out, the blackmail is at an end. Mace is under arrest, and his money confiscated. Back to the gambling for Chris, and the boredom for us

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The Pearl Necklace
Script: Gene Levitt. Director: Eugene Lourie.
According to Chris Storm's bland intro, in Vienna "good is good and bad is bad."
Not sure how that applies to secretary and companion to Mme Schiller, Lotte Linden. She looks like a bad 'un, for she has robbed her employer of her valuable pearl necklace. But having left the Schiller mansion, she has second thoughts, and courageously returns.
But Mme Schiller almost seems to be aware of Lotte's dilemma. Lotte tells her of her brother, who "only needs a helping hand," as he owes money. Unable to return the necklace, Lotte departs again, with a troubled conscience. After pacing the quiet streets, she decides to end it all. As she readies to jump into the Danube, look who is at hand! Chris Storm rescues her and in the warmth of the Frontier Hotel, Chris learns the whole sorry story. "I can't go back. What can I say to her?"
Dodo offers the idea. He's supposed to be a waiter at Mme Schiller's dinner party that evening, but taking his place is Francois, who looks very like Chris Storm! He's almost recognised, but even worse, the pearls have already been missed.
Every staff member must be searched. Chris hastily palms the necklace on another waiter, then retrieves it, loses it, gets it back again to finally return it via Coffee. That's Mme Schiller's dog. He's only just in time, for Lotte had come to the party, ready to confess all. Though this isn't necessary, of course Mme Schiller knew all about it anyway, and had recognised Chris, but all is forgiven

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Two Men from Zurich
"One does not find Penelope, you merely go along and - pouf!- she happens to you!"

On a weekend break in Zurich, Chris Storm calls on his date, Penelope (Naomi Chance) in her flat, but she's surrounded by boxfuls of stolen furs. She claims the thieves had run off, she doesn't know who they were.
"Put her under lock and key," Storm advises the police, "and send the key to me." She's certainly an enigmatic character, for we see her handing cash to Hilda, mother of Paul one of the crooks, who was to have been paid to drive away the van full of the furs. It would seem she had tipped off the police to prevent his becoming involved with the two thieves, who now follow Penelope to a snowy Vienna.
Chris returns to his hotel, where he asks Tony Forrest to put a piece in the paper to find Penelope before the crooks do. But in fact she's waiting in Chris' office, with a kiss or three for him.
Then she coolly confronts the two crooks in the hotel bar, spinning them a quite different story, "you expect me to believe that." But her actions speak louder, as she takes them to Chris. Give us the cash, they demand. No choice for Chris. Before they leave, she must dispose of her former "sweetheart," and so shoots him in front of them. "Goodnight darling." Even the villains are shocked. They leave.
Of course it was a put up job. Chris isn't dead at all. The crooks are arrested. Penelope, as ever, is in the clear, and thanks Chris in a nice final exchange.
Sometimes stylish, but mostly imitative without the plot ever quite coming together. But then in such storylines, does it ever?

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The Diplomat
Script: Gene Levitt. Director: Steve Previn.
A diplomat is "a man who says the nastiest things in the nicest way."

One such Chris Storm rescues from an assassin outside his hotel. He is Jan Lork, an old pal, whose mission is to deliver some vital papers.
Kindly Chris dresses in Lork's clothes to lead the asssassins away from Lork. Chris drives to a travel bureau, tailed. After buying a ticket to Stockholm, he walks down the street, tailed. He dodges a bullet, but not his follower.
A woman prevents his being shot, however her kindness is explained by the fact that she also wants those papers. "The merry chase" proceeds to the airport, Chris still tailed. His pursuer is even on the same flight.
In Stockholm, Chris' enemy jumps into his taxi, pointing a gun. Chris is taken to an appointment with.... Jan himself! "I don't get the point."
It seems Chris has the papers on him, hidden in the lining of Jan's coat that he was wearing. Lork had stolen them and was using Chris to smuggle them out of the country. Chris is now a prisoner, but that mysterious woman rescues him, she is a secret agent, Karin Holmer.
Lork has now flown, but the pair surmise he must ve getting away by train. Of course, they are correct, he is bound for Norway, but he is chased round the station, Chris beats him up and retrieves the stolen documents. Karin wants the papers. But Chris is wise to her too

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Little Romeo

"The noise and mystery of night" attract the youngsters. Two are sold dope in Storm's hotel by Little Romeo, "a cheap punk." Later the kids are killed in "an auto accident."
Chris sets out to break the boss behind the drug running, Walter Zinner, whose girl friend Tina makes eyes at Chris. She has "a pretty face and a good figure," and she likes Chris for the way he stands up to the autocratic boss.
Chris looks round Romeo's "cheap and sordid" boarding house room. No sign of Romeo. Chris enjoys a tete-a-tete with the flirty Tina, and learning Zinner is anxious to talk to Romeo too, tails Zinner's two cronies in their search.
But he needn't have bothered, "there he was," returning to his room. Gunshots. One crony killed, Romeo slops off. So the search resumes. It fills out the 25 minutes.
Romeo slopes up and shoots Zinner, wounding him. He demands cash at gunpoint from Chris, so he can flee the country.
Tina watches all this, changing sides as many times as a chameleon, from Zinner, to Chris, to Romeo. Chris hands him the cash from his safe.
"Oh I have ripped my stocking!" exclaims Tina, sufficiently distracting to enable the tables to be turned. Now she holds the cash. But will she walk off with it, or return it? This is a great part for the oddly named actress Penny (aka Penelope) Portrait, who also made one appearance in Sheldon Reynolds' 1954 Sherlock Holmes series

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Miss Fortune
Martine Alexis has a tempting role as Claudine Renaud, secretary to Leon who runs a casino on the Riviera. When his brother Karl is caught having worked a swindle on the tables, there's a violent argument, "I can explain, Leon." But Karl is kicked out, and Claudine is asked to take the retrieved cash to the bank.
Instead, she takes the money on a plane, which is forced down in bad weather to stop at Vienna. Thus she and other passengers are put up at the Frontier Hotel. "There coming out of the wet night, I met Claudine for the first time." A typical line from Chris Storm.
A fellow passenger Lauritz chats her up and she sees her chance and stays on at the hotel. So does he. "She knew what she wanted," Storm narrates, but her past catches up with her in the shape of Karl, whose notions of blackmail grow when he learns of her engagement to this rich diplomat.
Lauritz is not too happy about his attentions towards her, and Chris is suspicious too. In fact she is pretending to play along with Karl, and returning at 3am after a night on the city, she makes her move, screaming, pretending he has attacked her. Karl is forced to check out of the hotel.
But he hasn't gone far, and she has to make an assignation with him alone later. With her, she takes a huge pair of scissors.
In an isolated log cabin by a warm fire she gives him what he deserves. This final scene is well done. Lauritz and Chris burst in to find her frightened and hysterical. But they know the truth about her. Karl was indeed a baddie, he had even murdered Leon.
"I didn't have to," too late realises Claudine

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First Blush
Script: Gene Levitt. Director: Steve Previn
There's Kurt, a dagger in his back. He was the business partner of Shana, who decides to ask Chris Storm for help. Kurt had been about to do a bunk after nearly milking her business dry.
Chris searches the dead man's apartment and notes a photo of Conchita and a lipstick, First Blush brand. His search is interrupted by John Eridatti, holding a gun, and demanding to know what has become of the $25,000 Kurt owed him. Chris is let go, if he finds the cash.
His next port of call is the Tambourine Club where works Conchita, "the kind of girl you brought home to mother- if you wanted to leave home." She's not very Spanish and not very communicative.
Eridatti breaks into Shana's flat, after that money. He kidnaps her, and holds her in his large mansion in the city. But Chris does squeeze some information out of Conchita, where Eridatti lives, and he proceeds to rescue Shana. He sends her off to the care of the chemist Felix, who works for Shana's company.
Chris talks to Eridatti and realises he's not Kurt's killer. That must be Felix! He had greedily stolen the money, Chris simply shoots him. End

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Delores
Script: Joe Morheim. Director: Steve Previn.

I liked this story which begins with Tony Forest and Chris Storm at a circus eating jelly apples. But then they stumble on Vincent who appears to have been trampled to death by a "gentle as a baby" elephant called Delores.
The owner of the attraction is the attractive Tina, who explains that this is only the latest line in a series of accidents that have befallen the three men to whom she had been engaged. Delores' keeper gives Chris the names of three further rivals for Tina's hand: a tightrope walker, the payroll manager, and Toto the knife thrower.
Chris' plan is to wait for the killer to strike again. Though in fact someone tries it on him first, when a van nearly runs him down! Chris persuades Tony to act as a decoy, and announce his engagement to Tina! After she passes on the happy news to her circus family congratulations are the order of the day, only Toto does not join in.
Toto's knife thowing act is well received, but his attempted knifing of Tony is less successful. Chris chases after him, round the circus, and Toto winds up under the huge foot of Delores. The wise old elephant has him petrified, but she doesn't bring down her foot on Toto, his confession seals his fate.
Back at the Hotel Frontier Tina thanks Tony- is their engagement for real?....

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156 The Run Around
Script: Sheldon Reynolds. Director: Steve Previn
The intro informs us that Vienna is the city with "four major international professionals playing international tag."
Helmut Unger, dealer in imports and exports, offers Chris Storm $10,000 for "The Plans," of course "that's very funny."
Chris is as baffled as we are. On his way back to the hotel, Chris is tailed, but relieves "the hoodlum" of his gun. But others clearly believe Chris has these mysterious plans, including the police inspector and Tony Forrest. Luckily the latter keeps tabs on Chris, "you can only get killed," is his comfortless encouragement.
Chris is directed to a church. Here he is handed a bagage check. Next step, the ticket is exchanged for an envelope with an address. Here he encounters Gerard, a man with a bandaged foot.
"I have ze plans," he informs Chris. They are secret government plans, and he wants Chris to act as his agent to sell these plans, which are concealed in a match box.
But Gerard is shot dead, and Chris is cornered. He is searched but the enemy are not competent enough to spot the matchbox. Luckily too the police have been called and the villains are arrested.
I don't think I was interested in any denouement, there certainly wasn't one in any case.
This was a definite time filler

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Secret File USA

Filmed in Cinetone Studios Amsterdam in 1954 with cardboard sets and cardboard characters, making for an amateurish series, watchable mostly for its location scenes. Robert Alda starred as Major William Morgan, a lecturer in languages at Columbus University, seconded to work for his country's intelligence service.
"Secret File USA. A warning to all enemies of America at home and abroad, who are planning acts of aggression. This is the story of the gallant men and women who penetrated and are still penetrating enemy lines to get secret information necessary for the defence of the United States. This is the story of one our nation's mightiest weapons, past, present and future, if necessary, The American Intelligence Service."
At the end Alda, appeared in the person, to read out the same farewell each time, "Good evening ladies and gentlemen. This is Robert Alda. You have just seen me in the role of Major William Morgan of Armerican Intelligence. There are many Major Morgans who are risking and have risked their lives for democracy. This program is dedicated to them. Next week, I will again appear as Major Morgan, which takes place in another country. Be with us again to enjoy next week's exciting chapter of Secret File USA."

0 Mission Rhino
1 Mission Assassin
2 Mission Chopin
3 Mission Firebird
4 Mission M
5 Mission Antwerp
8 Mission Can Can
13 Mission Istrahan
21 Mission Windmill
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Mission Rhino
This pilot was made in 1953, and narrated by Frank Gallop. In April 1943, Morgan poses as a Nazi officer, Hauptmann. His mission is to locate a bacteriological warfare plant, "good luck Major Morgan." Answer, "you mean Herr Hauptmann."
Morgan is taken by submarine, before paddling a craft on to a German beach, "one mistake could mean death." Having buried his dinghy in the sand, he poses as a limping officer, who has been shot down. A bicycle has been left for him, this takes him to the Mupperthal Hotel, where Agent 96 is his contact. Password: Roses are Red, plus a copy of a Goethe book.
Scrubbing the floor is a young porter, who is clearly suspected of being a traitor, for he is taken away by the Gestapo. Is he Morgan's contact, or merely a trap? Morgan waits and waits in his lonely room. At 2am, Paul the porter shows up. He'd eluded his captors, and tells Morgan to cotnact a Professor Walter Schwinn. The Gestapo arrive at Morgan's door, banging loudly. A fake fight with Paul sees Morgan clear.
At the professor's house, Morgan finds Schwinn naturally cautious. He settles the man's doubts after snswering some questions about university colleagues. Schwinn is to be taken to the plant shortly, and promises to phone the information to Morgan. "The world will be grateful."
Sophie, the blonde serving wench, takes the chance to search Morgan's room, when he takes the important call. The professor manages to pass on the data before being shot. Morgan returns to his room to find that Sophie has discovered his transmitter. Holding her at punpoint, he is able to send the location to London, before leaping through a window, as the Gestapo swarm into the hotel. Boom! An exploding device destroys the transmitter as well as the enemy. But a German sergeant apprehends Morgan as he gets away, "it looked like it was all over." Though actually, the sergeant is one of us, and has a car to drive Morgan to safety. They watch with satisfaction as bombers detroy the plant.
This is a good opening story, shame the rest of the series did not live up to the promise
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Mission Assassin
Major Morgan is briefed in Washington about the Naples peace conference, "a plan to unite the free world." Its architect is Dr Lindsay, and he is going to attend despite the threats on his life.
So Morgan travels there incognito as 'Bill,' to track down Cesare, The Gangster King, out to wreck the conference. Morgan tries to enlist the help of an old wartime buddy Tonio, and by some bribery, learns where Tonio now lives. Help me stop a murderer, Morgan asks, but Tonio is scared. However, he knows someone who might assist... Lucia, Cesare's girl.
At the Cafe Appia, Mrogan meets her, "you're looking for trouble she warns." But money and drink loosen her tongue, though enemies strike and she is silenced for good.
Morgan returns to Tonio, who is worked up. In the only good twist in the story, Tonio reveals that Lucia was his wife, Cesare had snatched her from him. Tonio agrees to take Morgan to where Cesare hangs out, on a boat out at sea. After an unconvincing scuffle, the pair are introduced, at gunpoint, to the gangster.
Oh well, Cesrae knows who Morgan is anyway. Helpfully, the boss reveals that he has planted a bomb, "you can do nothing about it." Oh but they can, Tonio is killed, but Morgan gives him the slip, and reaches the shore, dodging bullets.
He grabs a car and heads for the airport. But his pursuers stop his progress by puncturing a tyre. Amazingly lethargically, Morgan strolls to a nearby farmstead and gets a vehicle to take him to the airport. He searches the car that is to transport Lindsay to the conference, but cannot discover any bomb. But he's sure there is one. It's in that suitcase. Boom!

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Mission Chopin
Morgan is in Paris listening to "a lovely girl playing a lovely Chopin waltz." Helene Van Loon is the girl, and "this is a dangerous mission."
After a successful concert tour, Helene is established as one of the most important pianists in Europe. Posing as her manager, Morgan takes her to Vienna for a private recital. His target is Paul Simonev, manager of a Budapest hotel. This concert will "lure" him out of Hungary. Helen's job is to discover the secret code he uses to contact enemy agents.
Her little concert is well received, but Simonev won't bite. So she phones him, "I did so want to play for you again."
He invites her to his room. Morgan melodramatically bursts in on their tete a tete, and argues with her. This forced scene over, Simonev is impressed enough to propose to her that they "finish off" Major Morgan. Morgan watches the two of them as they hatch their plans while at the zoo.
That night, Morgan searches Simonev's room for the code. In a Chopin album, he finds something, that leads him to a piece by Bach which has notes "with an extra melody." He photos it. But Simonev turns up with a gun, and knocks Morgan out. But Johnson, Morgan's second in command shoots Simonev dead. One final twist follows, not 100% convincing, not even 50%

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Mission Firebird

Morgan is in Munich following a leakage of Western nuclear secrets. A revolutionary new fuel from The Firebird has been stolen.
Morgan flies to Czechoslovakia, posing as ex Nazi flying ace Willy von Schlagen- this is how the papers spell his name, though in the credits, he is 'Willie'. Allegedly this Willy is the only person in the world able to pilot The Firebird. Willy is given a facelift, so he looks like Morgan. Morgan has studied his mannerisms, his character is very vain and self centred. For all this, for staying out of circulation, the real WIlly is paid handsomely, to the tune of $10,000.
Morgan, as Willy, goes to the Maximillian Bar, where two men dope him. When he comes to, he is expected to pilot the Commie version of The Firebird "for nothing." He is briefed by Stefan, the pretty young Dr Lang is the expert who prepares the rocket. "My mission was to destroy the ship," Morgan explains, even if he has to die himself.
Though Willy is the only man in the world able to do so, Morgan is ready to fly the rocket! Why the Commies weren't suspicious of his facelift, is another mystery.
The rocket fails to launch. Sabotage! Willy is chief suspect. Dr Lang points a gun at him, to force him to take The Firebird up. But once the pair of them are in the rocket, it is clear Lang has recognised Morgan. But she helps him to escape. Morgan plants a nitro pencil in the rocket, and it explodes... once they have left it. Now it is in little pieces- mission accomplished

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Mission "M"
At Schipol Apirport Amsterdam, Morgan intercepts a gangster, whom police hold. Name of Lupoff. He works for International 57, a subversive organisation. In his possession is a paper showing what seem to be skating movements.
Morgan poses as the spy and meets a skater called Yvonne, "I did not expect such a pretty girl."
Over coffee, she hands him his orders. The Baltic Bear is shortly to dock in the harbour. She introduces him to Tolstoy and Polsky who show Morgan the unloaded cargo that it is his job to distribute. He plies them with a scheme off the top of his head, but the spies produce a gun. Surprise! It is pointed at Yvonne, who is a fake like Morgan. She won't talk, so will have to be disposed of, "under the ice." Her problem was that the real Yvonne has shown up.
Morgan is asked to explain his plan in more detail. He must have said something incorrect, for now the gun is on him. With Yvonne, he is trussed up.
But he manages to raise an alarm and police swoop just as he is being prepared for "a deep dark spot in the harbour." A fierce gunbattle ends with the spies rounded up. Yvonne Number One introduces herself as a member of Paris' Deuxieme Bureau. This Operation "M" was not munitions, as Morgan had surmised, but fake currency, designed to create a distastrous inflation

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5 Mission Antwerp

Major Morgan poses as a sailor on board the Stuyvesant, where fellow sailor Link is boasting, "I've more dough than the US mint!" The Paradise Club in Antwerp is the source of his wealth, and Morgan persuades the boss that he'll be a better courier for smuggling diamonds. But he's found out- "drop him into the harbour." The smugglers are actually spies, placing a bomb on board the ship, but their evil plan is found out and foiled

Full review to follow

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Mission Istrahan
Round a Christmas fire, Major Morgan thinks back to the winter of 1944, the seasonal motif then disappears until the very end.
The allied offensive depended on oil, and some unscrupulous companies, such as the Near Eastern Oil Company are stockpiling production, in order to profiteer after the war. Major Morgan travels to Istrahan in the guise of Col John J Custer, "a man who doesn't exist," He books in to the Hotel Continental. However he then books in to the Hotel Metropole under his own name, and bumps into an old friend, a sheik.
He goes to the oil company buildings, and is shuffled around despite asking to see the managing director. "i was being given the runaround."
Finally he gets to meet Rambova (Lous Hensen), "tough cunning, ruthless." Rambova is a woman. She refuses help. She is an ideologist, expecting to use the oil when the war ends, in a struggle betwixt East and West. She even asks Morgan to sign a confession that he is a Nazi spy! He refuses and faces being exterminated. But he stalls, and is finally forced into signing in return for an interview with the company manager. Her agreement proves worthless, so Morgan tries another ploy. He will hand over the infamous Col Custer in return for his freedom.
Rambova takes Morgan to the Cafe of the Seven Lamps and introduces the missing manager, who is in a state of Nirvana, "drugged." Morgan keeps his side of the bargain, and tells where Custercan be found. Actually, this is Morgan's old sheik friend. The deception is soon exposed. However some fisticuffs secure Morgan's freedom. He releases the manager, extracting a promise that oil supplies will be resumed.

Notes: some weak acting in this story. The script is banal too, a sample line being, "there is a war on, not a comic opera"
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Mission Windmill

To destroy files that would send 3,000 Dutch to concentration camps, Major Morgan impersonates Major von Richter to infiltrate Nazi HQ. He's invited to stay at a splendid Dutch castle where he exposes the collaborator in Group Orange who has betrayed previous agents on this mission. His cunning enables the files to be blown up in a bombing raid

Full review to follow

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Sherlock Holmes (1954)

1 The Case of the Cunningham Heritage
2 The Case of Lady Beryl
3 The Case of The Pennsylvania Gun
4 The Case of The Texas Cowgirl
5 The Case of The Belligerent Ghost
6 The Case of The Shy Ballerina
7 The Case of The Winthrop Legend
8 The Case of Blind Man's Bluff
9 The Case of The Harry Crocker
10 The Mother Hubbard Case
11 The Case of the Red Headed League
12 The Case of The Shoeless Engineer
13 The Case of The Split Ticket
. . 14 The Case of the French Interpreter
15 The Case of the Singing Violin
16 The Case of the Greystone Inscription
17 The Case of The Laughing Mummy
18 The Case of The Thistle Killer
19 The Case of The Vanished Detective
20 The Case of The Careless Suffragette
21 The Case of The Reluctant Carpenter
22 The Case of The Deadly Prophecy
23 The Case of The Christmas Pudding
24 The Case of The Night Train Riddle
25 The Case of The Violent Suitor
26 The Case of The Baker Street Nursemaids
. . 27 The Case of The Perfect Husband
28 The Case of The Jolly Hangman
29 The Case of The Imposter Mystery
30 The Case of The Eiffel Tower
31 The Case of The Exhumed Client
32 >The Case of The Impromptu Performance
33 The Case of The Baker Street Bachelors
34 The Case of The Royal Murder
35 The Case of The Haunted Gainsborough
36 The Case of The Neurotic Detective
37 The Case of The Unlucky Gambler
38 The Case of The Diamond Tooth
39 The Case of The Tyrant's Daughter
This series of 39 films was shot in Paris studios under the aegis of executive producer Sheldon Reynolds and Nicole Milinaire. Although many actors based in France were used, such as Eugene Deckers, a number of British actors made the journey across the Channel to appear, which for me is really the fascination of the series.
These were new and rather mundane adventures of Conan Doyle's hero, Ronald Howard in the title role trying his best. Also featured were H Marion Crawford as Dr Watson ("now really Holmes, you've gone too far"), and Archie Duncan, who makes an entertaining idiot out of Inspector Lestrade

My favourite episode: #20 The Careless Suffragette with Dawn Addams as a liberated female; #9 is also entertaining.
Best moment: Perhaps the crazed Michael Gough in #27, calmly telling his wife he 's going to murder her.
Moment of Glory: Paulette Goddard guest stars in #2- how on earth did they manage to obtain her services?
Dud episode: #34 The Case of the Royal Murder
Note- This series was premiered on British TV as late as 2006, on the 'Bonanza' Channel.

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"The Case of the Cunningham Heritage"
In which Dr John Watson, returning to London from Afghanistan, first meets the "rather strange" Holmes, but "one never thinks to question him." At his club, an old friend Lord Stamford (Rowland Bartrop) had mentioned to Dr W that SH is also seeking lodgings. So, with the possibility for sharing a flat, Dr W goes to SH's chemical laboratory, amazed that SH somehow knows so much about him.
221B Baker Street is the flat they rent, and Dr W soons becomes amazed at "the man's fantastic powers of perception. But his knowledge of literature- nothing... politics- disinterested. Botany- he knows everything there was to know about poison and absolutely nothing about practical garden. Chemistry- profound. Sensational literature"... oh yes he's well versed in that.

After this long but interesting introduction to the main characters, the first case begins when we encounter a baffled Inspector Lestrade who is typically "completely stuck," not for the last time, as a mother finds the corpse of her rich son Peter. Standing by his corpse is his fiance Joan (Ursula Howells) clutching the knife that killed him. "You're completely stymied," observes SH to poor Inspector L, though frankly, it needs no deduction to notice that! The problem is L can find no motive for Joan killing him. But when it's shown the couple had recently married and that she inherits everything, L makes a swift arrest.
In a simple case, at 10.30 that night, SH breaks into the house with a sceptical Dr W. Ralph, Peter's brother, oddly boasts about his blackmailing Peter because he knew Joan was a "jailbird." It's Dr W who stops Ralph in his tracks, and Inspector L has to admit he had arrested the wrong person.
Later Dr W is fuming over the newspapers who are lauding the "brilliant" Inspector L, but SH is too absorbed in his fingerprint research to care.
Uncredited speaking parts: 1 Club member. 2 Butler. 3 Retired marine sergeant

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3 "The Case of The Pennsylvania Gun"

Burleston Manor Sussex, according to Dr Watson's encyclopedic knowledge of railway timetables, nearly four hours from London! There, Squire John Douglas is murdered, found in his study, his head blown off.
Taking his fishing equipment, SH and DrW travel there when Inspector MacLeod (Russel Waters) calls the great detective in.
This "sealed fortress," is a peaceful spot, "when the moat is up" (sic!), and it was then that Douglas was killed with a sawn-off shotgun. The only people inside apart from servants were Mrs Douglas and a foreign friend John Morelle, who's the obvious suspect. Both he and Douglas have VV341 tattooed on their wrists, a registration mark for their gold claim they'd made with a third party, who since went mad.
Macleod wants to arrest Morelle, but in his slow way, he realises he has not yet got enough evidence. "Cherchez la woman" is the motive he's pursuing. SH however is more interested in the fact that there is only one dumbell in the room. Does that matter? Macleod and DrW can't see it does, so SH pursues his own line, fishing that is, in that remarkable moat. Find the man who took the dumbell, is his parting advice.
In the moat he has fished, and to celebrate, he slides down the banisters. Drain the moat he orders Inspector MacLeod, who baulks at such an impossible task. But this is but a ruse to get the killer to fish out of the moat his sunken evidence, a heap of clothes, weighted down by that missing dumbell.
It's Morelle, and now MacLeod can make his arrest. Ah, but it isn't that simple. The dead man was not actually Douglas but the missing member of the gold syndicate.

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15 "The Case of the Singing Violin"

Betty is getting these nightmares, a violinist keeps playing his wretched violin in her bedroom. She's engaged to Johnny though her "austere" stepfather Guy warns the "heartbroken" Johnny that he can never marry Betty because the doctor says she "is losing her mind."

Back at the Yard, with a lull in crime, Inspector Lestrade decides to call on SH, to see if he has anything on the go. But right outside 221B he stumbles on a murder. It's poor Johnny who had come to consult the eminent detective, Holmes that is. Inspector L is astounded when SH tells him he's just off to interview the man's murderer!
SH's conversation is with Johnny's employee, Guy Durham (Arnold Bell), a rich tea merchant. It's a fairly brief chat, because Guy is rather brusque. But he is the killer SH tells the bemused Dr W afterwards. The motive is clear- 15 years previously Durham's business partner had died in "mysterious circumstances." Durham had then married his late partner's wife, Betty becoming his stepdaughter. She's the inheritor of the family tea fortune as her mother has now died.
By a stroke of amazing good fortune, SH overhears Durham plotting with a doctor, who is refusing to declare Betty insane. However he agrees to sign any death certificate, "an overdose of morphine," after Durham has killed her. Quickly SH carries the drugged girl to behind a screen in her bedroom and awaits the attempted murder. However the great man blunders for once, and gets locked in a cupboard, leaving Durham free to commit his foul deed. But fortunately Dr W comes to the rescue!
Thus is exposed this "fiend with a diabolical mind." Asks a baffled L: "will somebody please tell me what this is all about?" I'd tell him, it's nothing like any Conan Doyle story I ever read.

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19 "The Case of The Vanished Detective"
DrW is at the Yard to report his terrible news- SH has disappeared! Inspector Lestrade looks dubious, hard to be convinced.
Using the great detective's methods, the pair try and deduce where SH might possibly be. After an unsuccessful search, DrW eventually finds a clue- Ye Quaint Old Curiosity Shop: one John Smithson had recently written to SH asking for his help.
"We've come to inquire about Sherlock Holmes," DrW informs the owner, not recognising that it is SH in disguise! "Never met the gentleman," they are informed.
DrW purchases a book and after leaving, confides in L "there's something about that Smithson I don't like!" Using a trick DrW had learned in the Red Headed League case, he returns to the shop, where the blood-stained clothing of SH is found. In the ensuing melee, a customer runs off with the book, which brings about despair from SH- it had contained a secret message to escaped convict John Carson. He once worked in Smithson's shop, and had threatened Smithson, who had sought SH's protection.
But at least DrW has been of some use, for he knows where to find Carson's contact, Helene, as she is a model in a dress shop. She doesn't know of Carson's whereabouts, but is sure he wants revenge on old Jeremiah Westlake (Colin Drake), the judge who had pronounced a life sentence on him.
The eccentric judge is now retired, and lives in his world of puppets. In a curious scene, SH converses with the puppets. Strangely unperturbed is the judge, about any threat on his life.
Carson does attack him and his wife, but he is thwarted in his foul deed. Despite a struggle, the puppets are fine, that's the main thing. The judge has forgotten his ordeal already.

Uncredited speaking extras: 1 Pierre. 2 Judge's maid. 3 Mrs Westlake. 4 Police constable
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22 "The Case of The Deadly Prophecy"

4am in a Belgian boarding school. Eight year old Antoine is sleepwalking, out of the school, down the street, all the way to the church, outside which he chalks on the pavement the word CAROLAN. That's the name of his headmaster. Then he returns to his bed.
This is now the fourth time he's written a name in this fashion, and the three previous people had all died. Now the headmaster dies, apparently of natural causes. Marie Grand invites SH to investigate, so with Dr Watson, the Dover boat train is boarded to take them to Belgium.
Dr Dimanche tells them Carolan died of heart failure, but there was nothing suspicious about his death, or indeed any of the others. A local witch, Mme Soule (Helen Manson) had offered each potential victim a good luck cure to ward off the evil, but none had accepted her offer. Mme Soule guarantees to help SH find the killer, if, that is, he pays for her services. But SH can manage without such aid. The motive is the key problem. None of the victims were rich, except for the Comte.
So at nearly midnight, SH gathers all these characters in the headmaster's study. His penetrating questions show the count was being blackmailed. One of those present is "a spendthrift and a wastrel." This deceives the criminal into drawing a gun but SH, cool as ever, bluffs his way, saying he has already removed the bullets. Result: the crook is arrested, the plot explained, a triumph for SH.

Note- Lestrade not on this case- not allowed out of the country perhaps? . . .

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29 "The Case of The Imposter Mystery"

Irascible Sir Arthur (Basil Dignam) awakes poor Dr W's slumbers, complaining SH owes him 100, as his crime prevention advice has failed miserably. In fact, it's evident someone has been masquerading as Holmes: indeed "he looked exactly like you!"
SH promises to uncover the imposter, a promise he has to repeat to Inspector Lestrade ("the laughing stock of Scotland Yard") who has also fallen victim to the villain. "I can't face my men," he tells SH rather pathetically after he has followed the advice of the criminal Holmes. And he can't swallow this "ridiculous" story of a double either.
Watson does his own impersonating as a maharajah who owns a fabulous collection of jewels. SH plays his adviser, the grand vizier. Looking suitable regal, the pair are interviewed by a journalist who seems inordinately interested in those jewels. The vizier inquires if the journalist knows of any detective who could guard their riches. The name of SH is put forward.
So it comes about that Inspector Lestrade travels to 221B Baker Street to arrest Sherlock Holmes! The imposter, of course, who is in the rooms to receive the maharajah. "It will be a tremendous fillip for you," SH had promised L. But despite surrounding the house with three coppers, when L marches up the stairs to Holmes' rooms, there's an almighty cock-up. SH admires the imposter: "I must say the ressemblance is quite remarkable." But the latter makes a break for it, and in the dark the blundering L arrests the real SH. The bogus Holmes (Bob Cunningham) flees to a pub where SH, following the clue of some putty which the imposter uses to mould his features, tracks down this "superb master of mimicry and disguise."
"My head feels quite light," concludes the mystified Lestrade

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30 "The Case of The Eiffel Tower"
The chance to include local scenes in Paris, with extensive filming at the Eiffel Tower and at a Paris cabaret.

In a London street, a horse runs over and terminates the "romantic career" of a spy. On his body is found a coin with a mysterious poem that doesn't scan:
"For a glance at the coin
And a cheery good day,
The Queen of Lambeth
Will send you on your way."
Of course, its meaning is beyond Inspector Lestrade, but SH knows to go to Lambeth Square where he is given another message- to go to Westminster Bridge for a cane.
Inside the cane is another poem that sets SH and DrW, with L in tow, to the Eiffel Tower. At the very top they are ordered at gunpoint to hand over that coin, it's worth half a million pounds. Quick on the uptake, SH chucks it over the side and they all scurry down to find it. A lady has picked it up and handed it to L, who however doesn't understand her French, and lets her keep the coin.
She was a blonde with red cheeks and red lips, he tells SH. She's evidently an actress, deduces the great detective. A scour of the theatres finds one Nina de Melimar (Martine Alexis), a captivating singer. The two spies from the top of the tower have been following the detectives and warn them not to leave the place where Nina has been singing, unless they hand over the coin. Members of their gang are all around.
DrW is persuaded to overcome his natural modesty, "for England." "I just don't know what I'm going to write in my report," blushes L, as a dancer perches on his lap. It's part of SH's plan to create a diversion. He explains to Nina their predicament, and she hands over the coin. "We'll start a riot," orders SH, and L promptly obliges by hitting the two spies. A right punch up follows before the police swoop and arrest everyone, including our three detectives. "Maybe I can join the Foreign Legion," sighs L, who has played the comedy for all its worth

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31 "The Case of The Exhumed Client"

With the death of Sir Charles, Farnsworth Castle, "a mass of crumbling stone," is inherited by Sir George. But Sir Charles' will contains an unusual codicil- Sherlock Holmes must investigate his death, whatever the cause. And an exhumation proves he died of arsenic poisoning.
His children are the suspects: George (Alan Adair), Henry (Michael Turner), Elizabeth (Alvys Maben) and Sylvia (Judith Havilland). In a flashback George explains how he challenged his obnoxious father to sleep in the tower. This tower where Sir Charles died has a gruesome legend, stating anyone who sleeps there will die there. "Nonsense," declares DrW who has spotted a clue: Charles had been eating grapes, unusual in January.
"Who gave Sir Charles the grapes?" questions Inspector Lestrade. No answer. But SH isn't interested in grapes, he proposes solving the case by sleeping in the tower himself. "Stay awake," is the best advice Elizabeth can offer.
"The murderer is going to try and kill me," explains SH to a flabbergasted DrW. Gallantly DrW volunteers to stay too, but SH won't permit it. In flickering candlelight, the wind without howling, SH waits, but in a well executed scene cannot seem to resist the arms of sleep. He cries out in a low voice to DrW as he collapses. Is he unconscious? DrW is certainly asleep, but at 3am he stirs. From the tower, he drags a barely conscious body outside, SH uttering the one word "arsenic." But, hurrah, they are prepared, they have brought an antidote.
At breakfast next morning the family are surprised to see SH again. But they are interrupted by an eager L who has found out who purchased those grapes. Sylvia. She admits it, but says she did not do any poisoning. L makes his arrest, though SH is dubious, of course.
In the tower, SH gathers the suspects in the usual way of detectives. "Just what is the point of this seance?" asks the sceptical L. But they wait, and they wait: "the eerie room is getting on your nerves." For one of them is breaking.
"Open the window," the guilty one screams, for the fact is, as SH explains later, the arsenic was introduced into the sealed room by "arsenic candles"- now there's a new one!

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33 "The Case of The Baker Street Bachelors"

'Jeffrey Bourne for Parliament' reads a poster. But his career is potentially in ruins when a woman accuses him of attacking her. However for 2,000 she's prepared to keep her silence.
Consulting SH, Bourne recounts how he'd met the girl through a marriage bureau. Unlike many episodes, where SH is regaled with his client's life history, this time SH leaps straight into action. With a reluctant Dr W, who declares himself frightened of such establishments, SH files his application with Cupid's Bow, proprietor J Oliver (Duncan Oliver).
He's very welcoming once he learns SH is rich! He can match them "immediately:" Miss Pamela for the fawning SH, and Miss Edna for the nervous Dr W.
The couples arrange for tea together, but 'Charlie' interrupts them and a brawl ends in SH's arrest. But whilst Dr W looks aghast, SH assures him "we've fallen very neatly into their trap."
Inspector Mason (Seymour Grene) effects the arrest but soon Inspector Lestrade is on the spot. He seems rather bucked at the sight of SH behind bars. Dr W brings news that the girl will drop the case if 4,000 is forthcoming.
Even L's pleading can't persuade Mason to release the illustrious detective, so Dr W is instructed to "break in" to Oliver's office to find evidence of blackmail- "that's against the law!" interrupts the alert L.
It's not exactly Dr W's forte, burglary. But whilst he fumbles, SH deduces where the blackmail material will be hidden- behind a painting. He persuades a reluctant L to go after Dr W and tell him. Of course, the pair are interrupted by Oliver.
This could be most embarrassing for L, but Inspector Mason is prevailed upon by SH to rescue them from the office, and thus the blackmailers are arrested.
However L is fuming, and to pay SH out, he refuses to let him out of the cell!

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35 "The Case of The Haunted Gainsborough"
Malcolm MacGregan needs SH's help- he looks and sounds exactly like Archie Duncan (alias Inspector Lestrade), only with a native kilt and thick beard. Indeed he is Archie!
A painting of a lassie named Heather which he is trying to sell is haunted! "She's a very pretty ghost," smiles Dr W. Will SH come to MacGregan's castle to prevent Heather from scaring off her final potential buyer, Mr Samuel Scott, an American? The cash is sorely needed as otherwise Mr Archibald Ross is going to foreclose the mortgage on the castle.
On their very first night at the castle SH and Dr W see the ethereal Heather (Cleo Rose) descending the staircase, before warning off our detective. Rather cheekily too, for she asks SH if he'd like to kiss her! Before he can do so, she disappears.
SH's "brilliant" scheme is to hide at the top of the staircase when the ghost next manifests itself to the American. It's a simple plan, if hardly worthy of SH, but anyway the ghost vanishes into thin air: "it's impossible!" But Scott isn't put off and offers 1,000 for the picture, But the bad news is that this is now missing from its frame. "You will not sell it, Malcolm MacGregan," moans the ghost before evaporating again. "You can't catch a ghost," sighs the dispirited MacGregan.
He has until midnight to pay off his mortgage so all SH has to do is quickly find that "genooine Gainsbo" for Mr Scott. Down the stairs drifts the ghost once more. But behind her this time is another ghost! The ghost of Heather sees the apparition and screams an unghostlike scream. Ghost number two is only SH who reveals a secret passage half way up the stairway, leading to the missing painting plus a hidden treasure. "Thank you for finding the treasure and saving the castle."
As the great detective departs, it looks as though Heather is staying!
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36 "The Case of The Neurotic Detective"

1896 and "the greatest criminal of all" first makes his mark. Even the ceremonial jewels of Queen Elizabeth I are not safe from his clutches, "absolutely fantastic," gurgles Watson, "what in thunder is Scotland Yard doing?"
Poor Inspector Lestrade almost grovels to SH, "I need your help!" The only advice he's given is Capture the Criminal. In a huff L storms out. DrW is puzzled why the "erratic" SH is so disinterested in this major outbreak of crime. But then DrW thinks he spots a diamond necklace in SH's possession. What is he up to? DrW determines to find out and follows the great detective, but awfully amateurishly, "I realised," DrW confides to us, "that if one were to match wits with Holmes, one could not employ ordinary methods."
His solution is to disguise himself as a cabbie, but naturally SH penetrates his bearded features, "the corners of your beard are in dire need of repair." But then DrW has a stroke of luck when a man who appears to be chasing after SH hires the cab to take him after SH. DrW bravely breaks in to the house and is horrified to overhear SH planning a robbery with his confederates.
Professor A Fishblack is consulted to see if he can throw any light on SH's out-of-character actions. But SH ends up analysing the analyst. "Professor, where are you going?" groans DrW.
So it's the inspector that DrW has to confide in, "I know who London's master thief is." A glimmer of hope dawns on L's harassed face. But when he's told he can only utter "Holmes? I don't believe it." The two actors milk this scene brilliantly.
DrW and L puzzle what to do. SH, however, is off to a reception at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with a young lady, Miss Ames. It takes his followers quite a time before they realise he must be planning another robbery. They conceal themselves in the room which contains the minister's safe. After dancing the evening away, SH creeps into the room, immediately, of course, spotting W's shoes hidden behind the curtains. Is SH under arrest? The Commissioner at the Yard also steps in to explain SH had been employed by him to test out the Yard's security measures. SH, in mock sorrow, delivers a Parthian shot to poor Dr Watson, "To think you didn't trust me."

Uncredited speaking parts: 1 Miss Ames 2 Eloping man 3 Another man trying to hire a cab 4 Professor A Fishblack (Eugene Deckers) 5 Yard Commissioner

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Flash Gordon (1953-5)
After some pilots had been made at studios in Marseilles, production move to West Berlin. Steve Holland starred in this low budget, low thrills series of 39 dark stories. Enthusiastic amateurs might best describe the producers, I find something fascinatingly awful in watching the stories today, plus admiration for the lead actors who ne'er display the slightest grin, but play it so straight you have to laugh.

1 The Planet of Death
2 Escape into Time
3 The Electromen
5 Akim the Terrible
6 Claim Jumpers
8 The Breath of Death
10 Return of the Androids
17 The Lure of Light
19 Race Against Time
20 The Witch of Neptune/ 21 The Brain Machine / 22 Struggle to the End
24 Saboteurs from Space
25 The Forbidden Experiment
35 The Earth's Core
36 Deadline at Noon
39 The Subworld Revenge

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The Planet of Death
"You'll murder every man you send to Tarset." The curse of Belphegor falls on anyone landing on this dead planet. So speaks returning scientist Dr Gevers, who is hysterical, beseeching Dr Zarkov not to travel to this now lifeless planet, despite the fact that it is ideal for his experiments on negative gravity.
He relates to Cmdr Richards and Dr Zarkov the fate of his three companions on Tarset. In a flashback we see that they had been grabbed by "an invisible hand," actually a beam of light emanating from the face of an idol, "carved out of a solid block of evil." Their leader, Williams, was struck dead, and the other two likewise.
Despite such melodramatics, Zarkov dismisses Gevers' babblings as "superstitious rot." He is determined to travel to Tarset, for "the defence of the galaxy depends on it." He is accompanied by Flash and Dale, and the terrified scientist is somehow persuaded to tag along also.
On Tarset, Flash bravely enters the abandoned temple, despite Gevers' warnings. The lethal ray seeks them out, but they hide, though Gevers loses his mojo. They are all taken prisoner, Zarkov forced to reveal the truth of his negative gravity tests, or else Dale with cop it. Flash and Gevers are locked in the old room with contracting walls, giving Flash the opportunity to force the gibbering doctor to admit he had been lying. Those in power here want to use Tarset as a spearhead for invasion of our own galaxy.
Their second in command indulges in some "second rate theatrics," when Dale refuses to allow Dr Zarkov to reveal his secrets. Thus she begins to "shrivel slowly."
But Flash avoids being crushed to pieces, escapes in time to rescue her, "it's hard to believe that." Gevers proves some kind of hero, when the temple is destroyed, "there will be no invasion"

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Escape Into Time

Dr Zarkov has invented a Time Machine. Just for one hour, Dale places her dear dog inside it, to see what happens.
Flash Gordon is being held at gunpoint by Bisdar, "the most wanted criminal in the galaxy." He forces Flash to his spaceship, knocks him out, and away into the ether flies the model rocket, allegedly containing the unconscious Flash. It's a ruse to make everyone believe Bisdar is not here any more.
Dale's dog returns safe and sound from his expedition. The machine gives Bisdar a bright idea. "We're going to take a little trip, Beautiful," he informs Dale.
Steve is brought back from the brink and the hunt is on for Bisdar. Only one possible place- 50,000 years back is where he and Dale have fled to. "We're never going back," he warns poor Dale.
But Flash speeds back in time also, to her rescue. The landscape is very bleak and monotonous- not a single beast in sight, except Bisdar of course. Finally a solitary cave man shows up and after a desperate struggle, Bisdar is thrown into a lake, never to be seen no more. Dale faints. The cave man drags her off, very gently. What's this? He seems to be proposing to her! Flash turns up to save her from her fate, and after a fight, Dale makes Flash agree not to kill the primitive fellow.
Our heroes return to base to find Zarkov and the Commander arguing about which of them was to blame for the tragedy. But they cheer up when they see Dale and Flash.
The final scene is of one very mystified cave man

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The Electro Men

Professor Brandt, a plutonium scientist, brings samples from the Planet Odin, where the creatures, and even the plants are made of metal! Commander Harris is amazed at this metal which "has the power" to heal itself. To learn more, the Ministry sends an exploratory mission to Odin, manned by Flash and his team. Dr Zarkov brings with them his latest invention, an electro magnet, which he reckons might prove of use.
When they land on Odin, they are impressed by the metal vegetation. But Dale is entrapped in the tendrils of one "snake like" plant. and in rescuing her, Flash and Zarkov suffer the same fate. Electro men take them to a prison where they find the professor lying, already turned into metal. The Earth woman, according to orders, is next for this fate. Dale is taken into the presence of M, a mysterious god who has complete sway over the electro men. Actually M is like a giant light bulb, at least it speaks in English, staccato style.
Dale, powerless, is laid on a table, more an altar. But Zarkov uses his new invention and is able to trick one of the robots into obeying him, and it takes them to M. Here they find Dale, in the grip of a pointed Death Ray. Flash determines to find out the person behind M, and they discover a very much alive Brandt, "you plotted the whole affair."
His evil is somethibng to do with revenge for his brother. "Gods have big appetites," he tells them as he forces Flash to watch Dale's final transformation, "the end will be soon for her."
But the robot which Zarkov has reprogrammed into obeying him, shoots Brandt and thus Dale is saved, hurrah. The giant light bulb is destroyed and The Earth People are free to return home

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Akim the Terrible
On the planet Karim, brotherly love is a weakness, inhabitants are encouraged to steal and kill. One honest man attempts to escape to another planet, but is caught and robbed.
King Akim rules over this lawless planet. In his absurd costume, he dreams of extending his empire. Jorgo, has the nerve to tell Akim, that his laws are cruel. For such outspokenness he is strapped in a fiendish machine, which breaks his will.
Commander Harris despatches agent Kurt to Karim. "Watch old Akim," are Flash's wise parting words to him.
As soon as Kurt lands, he is surrounded, and taken into the presence of Akim. Akim's command is to go back to Earth and kill Flash. "Need I answer?" responds Kurt with scorn. But a spell in the machine bends his will, and he sets off back to Earth, with a knife kindly donated by Akim.
Kurt makes for Flash's office. Dale spots him about to wield his knife and averts the treachery. Then Flash and Dale are despatched to give Akim a good lesson. Their heads are protected so they cannot be brainwashed.
"Akim, what did you do to Kurt?" is Flash's obvious first question. He gets his answer, by first Dale and then he being forced into the awful machine. Thinking they are brainwashed, Akim orders them to kill Commander Harris and Dr Zarkov. Flash plays along, and summons them to Karim in a coded message which actually warns them not to come. Flash goes beserk after this, and he and Dale overcome Akim the not so terrible and destroy his machine in a puff of smoke. Akim and his men are taken prisoner back to Earth

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Claim Jumpers

"The golden dream" of every prospector has been realised by one old timer named Peter (Erich Dunskus), who shares his joy with his daughter Marie (Wera Frydtberg), who pleasantly dreams of their new wealth, and how it will help her attract a man.
However beware claim jumpers!
In his Black Pirate spaceship is one captain with the unglamorous name of Fred, who with his assistant Hans are making for their hideout.
Flash and Dale are on their tracks, and when Fred's ship lands on a lonely uninhabited planet, Flash bravely goes up to the ship and manages to place a bugging device on it. Dale has been left to guard Flash's ship, and she is surprised and captured by Fred and Hans. When Flash returns to his craft, he too is knocked out.
Fred leaves the unhappy pair to their death on this radiation filled planet.
Dale wriggles free and awakens poor Flash, and they follow Fred who opportunistically has seized the chance of landing on the old prospector's planetoid to grab old Peter's fortune.
Peter and Marie are held at gunpoint, "you dirty thieves!" Flash arrives in time to arrest these claim jumpers, and is congratulated by Dr Zarkov

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The Breath of Death

Flash and Dale zoom in the Skyflash to prison planet Gemini to patch up an oxygen purifier.
"One of the worst criminals in the universe," No 34, escapes and stows aboard for the return trip. While Ground Control are forced to consider blowing up Skyflash, Flash is compelled to land on a poisonous planet where he and 34 have to hold their breath.
A fight. Flash, naturally, has the bigger lungs, and "disintegrator guns" just save Skyflash from annihilation. "Thank heaven!

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Return of the Androids (filmed in France)

"Creatures without minds"- these are the Androids. Only Flash and his buddies hold the secrets of how the robots known as Androids used to be made. Flash knows the location of their currently unused power source.

Forcing Flash to reveal all will enable an evil Queen take over (shock horror) the galaxy! She gets her right hand man Trigon to capture our trio, Flash, Dale and Dr Zarkov. Unless Flash tells her the secret, he will be eliminated. Of course Flash won't play ball, so the queen tries a more dastardly trick: Dale is to be disposed of. On a fiendish whirling machine, she is strapped, and it revolves faster and faster, until Flash is forced to yield his information. On a map he shows where to find the Android power source. "The universe is ours!" gloats the queen.
Incarcerated, Dr Zarkov has nursed Dale back to health.
Meanwhile, The queen and Trigon reach their goal, and the androids are activiated, a surreal sequence depicts them marching. "Androids - destroy. Attack GBI headquarters!"
Flash uses the old prison routine escape trick and the three race to prevent world disaster.
But it turns out that Trigon is "a filthy traitor," keen to annex power for himself. As she learns the nasty facts, Flash & co pounce and thwart Trigon, causing the androids to collapse "once and for all"

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The Lure of Light
Controversially, Commissioner Harris has authorised the release from prison of Queen Tridentia, authoress of the last inter galactic war.
She admires the plans of Dr Wetherby for a new Sky Flyer that can exceed the speed of light. Flash himself merely quips, "you build it, and I'll fly it."
Yet the serious question is, could any human survive such a trip? The professor has created "a time vacuum", but will it work?
Of course Dale is nervous on Flash's behalf. "Why?" is her simple question. The Commissioner decides the whole enterprise is too risky, but The Queen has other ideas. Her hooded gang knock Flash out and kidnap Dale. Why her? The queen wants to know Dr Wetherby's secret formula.
Dale is whisked away to Planet Diana, where she will be made to reveal all. Then Tridentia will be able to become "the supreme ruler of our galaxy." Dale is tortured to make her reveal the secret. She will not yield. "You fool, you will die!"
So Dale is starved of oxygen, but hurrah, in the nick of time, Flash shows up. But oh dear, for once he is too late, Dale has died.
Only one way to save her. Flash must travel faster than light, and thus the first ever such journey is attempted.
After a lot of flashings and weird noises, time starts to reverse, "are we really back in time?"
Thus Dale is found alive and well, and the wicked Queen Tridentia is taken prisoner

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Race Against Time

A ray machine forces Flash to make an emergency landing on Planet Epsilon 30.

Waiting are three criminals, who act more like the Three Stooges

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The Wicked Witch of Neptune

Introducing the sinister Zydereen (Marie Powers) who has managed to penetrate GBI headquarters, appearing and disappearing there at will, now she holds Commander Richards and Dr Zarkov in her power, "noone can resist my will."
Once, she had been banished from Neptune, and she forces these puppets (well they always were actually) to destroy the methane to oxygen Atmosphere Converter on this planet. Without it, soon it will be impossible to survive, all life will be destroyed, including the millions living here.
She dreams of returning to rule over Neptune, "I shall return all right," she promises Richards- once all its inhabitants are destroyed. Explosions and panic, as she gloats over the "miserable" people's fate.
With oxygen running short, and no communication possible with GBI on Earth, Flash and Dale work hard to restore the supply of oxygen, "together we can do it." Despite Zydereen's minion attempting to sabotage their efforts, of course it is another win for Flash Gordon!
(the story however continues in two more parts)

to part two

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The Brain Machine
(Second of three stories about The Witch of Neptune)
Commander Paul Richards and Dr Zarkov have caused an explosion on the inhabited planet of Neptune. Flash and Dale succeed in installing a converter to prevent the population from suffocating.

Prostar, agent of Zydereen the Wicked Witch of Neptune (Marie Powers), is reproved by his mistress. "You have failed... you stupid blundering fool."
Her dream is once more to rule over Neptune, but Prostar extends her vision that she could "control every planet in the galaxy." For she has this machine, a Brain Recorder, that can suck the will from men's hearts. That is why Richards and Zarkov had performed such a dastardly act and behaved like zombies- okay, let's be honest, they're always like that anyway.
They have had a Remote Controlled Projector attached to their persons, and are whisked away into Zydereen's presence for a spot more brainwashing, to suck their brains dry, and also grab their knowledge of "the safety of the entire galaxy." Thus will she get "every human to bend to her will."
Flash interrupts proceedings, but the witch paralyses him too. However by some force of will, Flash overcomes the power, and she is forced to dematerialise.
Flash vows to catch her, and also clear the names of his colleagues

To final episode

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Struggle to the End
(final part)

In this final part of the triology (if I may use such a pretentious term), Flash and Dale come to the rescue of the captured Dr Zarkov and Commander Richards. They have been in the hands of the mad witch of Neptune, Zydereen, and have been brainwashed.
The witch evaporates in a neat trick so she can evade capture herself. The two prisoners, minds utterly blank, are returned home.
Several weeks later, both are recovering, except that Zarkov is still in Zydereen's power.
The witch attacks the rocket which carries essential galaxy power supplies, forced to land on Saturn, where Zydereen is in command. She radioes to Flash to come to her immediately- or else "one planet after another will be destroyed!"
She has the power of solar rays to enforce her threat. So Flash and Dale speed to Saturn in obedience to her command. They land, and guards escort them to into the presence of the Mad Witch. But Flash has discovered her secret of how to evaporate, and angered she orders her ray machine to be turned on full power. But Flash unevaporates, I think the word is, and stops her nonsense for ever, Amen

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Saboteurs from Space

Machines on Earth are paralysed by an "electronic distorter." Flash's spacehip is blown off course, "sucked thru space into a trap." Flash radios for help, but only his parrot answers.
Dale calculates that their craft is in uncharted territory, but why? "Someone knows the answer."
An evil mastermind behind this evil scheme could tell them. He watches as our heroes dock on this unknown planet. Emerging from their ship they are overpowered by robots, "you will come with us," uttered of course in a foreign accent. Thus our three heroes are locked up in a kind of torture chamber with the floor tilting from side to side drunkenly. Then Zarkov is taken away for interrogation. Flash hatches a plan to agree to supply the names of scientists, a list that will conflict with any that Zarkov is forced to produce. But this proves unnecessary.
Flash and Dale escape just as the names of scientists are being transmitted to Earth. Flash grabs hold of the mastermind. "Deactivate the electronic distorter," Flash orders. Since Flash has gained power of the robot minions, it is done. Then Flash destroys the distorter, and, trying to save his evil machine, the mastermind also perishes

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The Forbidden Experiment

Electrosillion is wanted on a remote planet by an old colleague of Dr Zarkov, but it's a trap and he's captured by a growling fiend known as The Lion Man.
Flash to the rescue, but with all the animals in the jungle at Lion Man's disposal, surely Flash can't succeed?

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The Earth's Core
In the heart of the earth an evil hunchback lurks, he has developed a process that is causing earthquakes all the way from Alaska to Oregon, "it's fantastic."
Dr Zarkov perfects a heat resistant metal that can liquefy all rock in its path, on its trip to the earth's crust.
In double quick time, this craft is built, odds are a massive 100 to 1 against survival, but off fly Flash, Dale and Zarkov. After much juddering, they speed inwards, temperature 2,500 degrees Centigrade, "a trifle warm in here." It rises to 3,900, the controls stop working.
"They can't escape," smirks the sub earth leader, 4,500 degrees, and the ship is smoking. "Hang on," breathes Flash. Though it is "impossible," they emerge from the 'fissure' and things cool down. They crash into a cave.
The three set out to explore, but are taken captive by the ugly sub earth dwellers. They come face to face with their leader and offer him peace. That is met with a refusal, "I shall conquer."
The three are chained up, then to be thrown into a sea of bubbling gas. But Flash breaks loose, and finds out the secret of how these artificial earthquakes are created- a machine that looks like a giant fire, which Flash causes to explode, having got Dale and Zarkov away to safety of course

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Deadline at Noon

Isis, Osiris and other planets are blown up by an enemy that "has sworn eternal war against the Earth," where an early intimation of Climate Change is the result of a bomb being placed way back in 1953 by the evil planet's representative, who speaks, unsurprisingly, with a German accent.
"In one hour, your precious earth explodes," he warns.
Dr Zarkov's time machine leads Flash to, where else?, Berlin ("the inhabitants may be hostile") and there's a long chase sequence set around the rubble of West Berlin. With a mere two secs to go the bomb is defused

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The Subworld Revenge

1,500 miles inside the earth's core, the evil Zaldo plans to fire his deadly machine that'll turn the earth into a ball of fire.
Flash is caught by Zaldo's magnetic field- "poor Flash... and soon it'll be poor us!"

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Orient Express (1952/3)

A series made by Thetis Film Cinetelevision, in various European studios as indicated
* Rome, + Berlin, # Vienna, ^ Paris.
From the map of the express shown in the opening credits, it is possible studios in other locations may have been used.
The series was produced by John Nasht, shown in the UK by the BBC.

All the stories featured different characters, very loosely linked by the famous train on which they were travelling. In some stories, it is merely any old train, not THE Orient Express!

*2 Uppercut
+8 The Hunted
#12 Runaway
*13 13th Spy (BBC tv: April 24th 1954)
^ Portrait of a Lady
^15 The White Mask
+ Blue Camellia

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Uppercut (aka The Gladiator)

The train is approaching Rome, and manager Dan (Patrick Crean) is warning his boxing protege Freddie (Steve Barclay) about the dangers of overconfidence. For Freddie, "the most famous fighter in the world," has never lost a fight yet but the knowing Dan is only too aware that he could "go down the drain," his head turned by money or dames. For Freddie is something of a ladies' man.
In Rome Freddie's Italian father looks up an old friend whose daughter Anna (Nadia Gray) Freddie is soon making eyes at. "Are all Americans as sure of yourself as you?" she asks him naively, as he wines her at a nightclub. Freddie is so enwrapt with her he forgets about an important news conference, which makes "the reporters sore."
Training begins in earnest next day, though Freddie's mind is elsewhere. As Dan comments, "you can't mix late nights with a girl on the brain and a big fight." Anna is persuaded to call off their pre-fight date.
The fight sequence is too long, with Freddie the clear loser. Sore at Anna's apparent rejection he tells her "I don't need your help." His dad though is glad his son has been taught a bit of a lesson: "you're getting too big for your own good." He helps Freddie face up to his feelings and encourages him with "you work at it hard enough, you could be a winner." Now Freddie is man enough to patch things up with dad, and then with Anna

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The Hunted
Script: George and Gertrude Fass.

A Russian prisoner, Dr Peter Darov has escaped from a Warsaw labour camp. He had been a scientist working on biological warfare, "how truly horrible." Refusing to continue his research, he had been incarcerated.
Now he's at large in a snow bound East Berlin, both East and West after him. He doesn't want to work for either, and approaches a doctor, but he refuses to help him.
Friendless on a street, he meets Billy Jacobs who kindly takes him to the Czech camp where he lives, and passes him off as of that nationality. However his room mate recognises Peter and Peter has to leave in a hurry, to the address of a girl Billy knows will help, Lisa Landau.
She puts him up for the night, but when her landlord calls, he has to be silenced. It's too dangerous to remain here, so "the only thing to do," is seek her sister Alice's aid. Unfortunately she happens to be in love with a Russian officer, and when he insists on entering her flat, the fugitives have to run off.
But lonely on the streets, a policeman spots them, though luckily an American agent has been trailing them, and he overpowers the law. "We're quite safe!" Well almost. The agent helps them get out of the eastern sector and soon the couple are indeed safe, sipping good American coffee

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13th Spy
The three coach express is travelling through Commie country en route to Rome. On board is young American soprano Francine Gilman (Cathy O'Donnell), who is pestered by a fan from USA, Norbert K Thompson.
She retires to her compartment, only to encounter an even more annoying man named Krauss who insists on calling her Carol. He knows she is really the leader of the local Resistance, and will be arrested when the train gets to the border. As he is a friend, or so he says, he orders her to get off the train at Bergenhof, otherwise she will be executed as a spy! There's one slight drawback to Krauss' incredible plan- the train only stops at Bergenhof by request, and it's too late for that request to be made. Francine tries to brush Krauss off, presumably he's mistaken her for this spy.
Marc, Carol's brother, a pacifist professor, joins them. Alone with her, the pair exchange ideas on the American way of freedom, compared with the oppression in this benighted state. She is tempted to play along for some reason, perhaps to help him. He tells her, "Noone will doubt that you are Carol, when they see me with you."
Bravely, the professor braces himself to betray his principles and shoot their guard, in order to escape. This is the best bit of the story. She sings as he readies to shoot. But the gun isn't loaded, and after this failed attempt, Krauss leads his prisoners to the rear of the train, from where they must shortly jump off.
However in this end carriage is Thompson, singing with a barbershop quartet, and as they weirdly sing Joshua Fought de Battle of Jericho, it is the good old Americans to the rescue as Krauss is pushed off the express. Very offbeat

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Runaway

Karin is running away from her harsh guardian Frau Krempfmeier. At Vienna's main station, she purchases a rail ticket for Venice, a single. Also on the train is Johnny, and in Karin's basket he hides something.
At the border there's the usual customs stop- she gets off the train before she can be searched- we learn later she has stolen a ring from her guardian. We, though not she, also learn later that Johnny is wanted for murder, so he has to avoid the customs search also.
The pair make for the border on foot, but when she twists her ankle, he steals a Lambretta. They find a guide, who at sundown will take them over the frontier. So there's time for a spot of kissing and exchanging stories, before he quietly leaves her. But she goes after him- he tries to persuade her to go back, as so many police are on the watch for him.
At last she sees him for what he really is. "Everything you did was a lie." However he claims he had been falsely sentenced for murder.
Gunshots, and Karin is wounded. Johnny runs off, but thinking better of it returns to carry her to safety in his arms- aaah!

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The White Mask
This is simply another medical drama, with a love triangle thrown in.

Having just arrived in Paris, Alan phones Monique (Andree Debar), but she refuses to meet him. After a confusing montage of shots showing us Paris, we can see Monique must have met him, for she is by his side in an ambulance making for the American Hospital, where her husband Dr Carl Curtis (Philip Reed) is a surgeon.
Monique admits to Carl that she does know Alan, just a little. Alan has a fractured skull, and Dr Caron is certain it is the result of a heavy blow, not a fall. "Surgery is called for." Carl asks the inexperienced Dr Caron to perform the operation.
Carl whisks Monique swiftly away from here when police start their inquiries. They were going on a night out, and it gives the opportunity for him to ask why she had lied about Alan.
"He wanted me to leave you," explains Monique, but she had refused. That's why they had argued. It makes Carl decide that he must return to the hospital and operate himself. Monique fears it is so Alan will never be able to tell what had occurred.
Will Carl save his patient? As he is in theatre, she confesses to the police.
The final scene shows the married couple chatting again

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Portrait of a Lady
This has some pretensions at style, and at times is intriguing. The story moves at a lightning pace.

Pierre (Roger Treville) has been called back to Paris by Francois his friend, who wants Pierre to see this painting at an exhibiton by American David Miles (Peter Walker). Pierre wants to buy it, but is told it is not for sale. It is a head and shoulders portrait of a lady.
We then see the lady in the flesh. It is Pierre's wife Nadine (Colette Marchand). All sorts of suspicions flood Pierre's mind. He takes her to the exhibition and watches closely as he introduces her to David. It seems she doesn't know him.
Pierre proposes that David paint her. The artist is adamant he had never met her before. He does admit the picture looks very like Nadine, but it is a picture of his "ideal woman," so he says. He is persuaded to accept the commission but his finished product is mediocre compared with the ideal woman.
But privately David declares his love for Nadine. She tells him he has always been in love with only a dream. Pierre overhears this conversation, and has his moment of truth, that he himself has been treating his wife like a painting. They kiss and make up and David, though he's asked her to run away with him, waits at the station all alone

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Blue Camellia
(the title is spelt thus on screen- made in 1952, maybe as a pilot for an abortive series)
A tale that has aspirations at style and occasionally succeeds in the scenes with the two principals, Ron Randell and Lois Maxwell, who briefly strike up a pleasing rapport.

Major North is travelling to Berlin undercover as Hugh Webster. Lynn Walker, secretary to consul general Sir Arthur O'Brien has orders to give him "official help," though that does not extend to going out to dinner with him!
North contacts antiques dealer Vorhees who had claimed to have glimpsed the infamous Blue Camellia in the city. She owns a file that once belonged to her friend Karl von Luter, which contains the names of the allied traitors who betrayed our troops to the Nazis. She has reddish hair, in her late 20s, and is or was a singer.
At a party, Lynn introduces North to a blonde Frenchwoman named Thea, who is about to sing when her pianist suddenly collapses and dies. Cyanide. It had surely been intended for North. Later he is attacked again in his hotel room, the villains as ever inept, so that North emerges with only a small plaster on his forehead.
Lunching with Thea, North learns from her own lips she is the Blue Camellia. She claims to know nothing about the dark secret about the traitors, but is willing to sell the file. However there is another bidder, it seems Vorhees is the one behind this bid.
Thea tells North the file is in a locker at the airport, but Vorhees has got there first. There is a chase round the city, "can't you drive any faster?"
Through a tunnel at 90 km/h, then the car is stopped and a chase on foot over the bombed rubble. Thea is shot before Vorhees is captured.
Major North bids Lynn farewell, as the express pulls out of Berlin
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Paris Precinct (1955)

An interesting series filmed in Paris with
Louis Jourdan as Inspector Beaumont and
Claude Dauphin as his sidekick Balbec.
"Based on cases from the official files, and filmed with the co-operation of the Paris Police Department."

I haven't got complete details of the series' showing in England, but as an example Granada showed it in their summer 1957 schedules on Wednesdays at 7pm.
Here are my reviews of surviving stories of the 27 made, based on their order of transmission on ABC (America):

Police Headquarters
6 Two Blind Men
7 The Actress
8 The Cemetry
12 A Woman Scorned

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The Actress
The newspaper headlines read First Lady of Paris Stage to Wed her Director Tomorrow, but in her dressing room, the talented Michelle Lorraine is shot dead. The body is discovered by her hysterical personal maid Marie when she tries to give Michaelle her final curtain call.
Death is put at between 11.15 and 11.35pm during the time when Michelle was off stage in the final act. This was actor Jean Paul's big scene, when he shoots Lord Darnley, with blank bullets of course. So he has the perfect alibi.
Her fiance Louis Poiret (Roger Treville) soliloquises on his late fiancee's radiance, "like Joan of Arc." He had "moulded" her career. He'd been in his office at the time of the murder. But Danielle, the understudy, said she had overheard a row between the two which had involved his ex-wife Georgette (Madeleine Robinson), his former leading lady. Naturally she was jealous of Michelle.
The murder weapon arrives anonymously through the post, it's Poiret's revolver and it has recently been fired. A note adds that this gun "will kill again."
Beaumont puts on "a little show" as the last scene of the play is re-enacted. Georgette plays the part of Michaelle. The shooting of Lord Darnley is repeated, and it is clear that the bullet could have reached Michelle in her dressing room. Poiret is arrested even though privately Beaumont has declared he's not guilty. "Would I destroy my greatest masterpiece?" protests Poiret.
Retorts Georgette, "you said the same thing to me once." The spotlight turned on her on Beaumont's orders, she delivers a theatrical monologue to a non-existent audience.
The story ends with an effective scene without any words, as the police escort the killer away.
Dramatic but highly unreal

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8 The Cemetry

In her home, Marie Durand discovers a thief, who has to murder her. Her son Antoine discovers her body, after returning home on completing his night work as a taxi driver. He'd kept warning his mother not to keep all her cash in the house.
The nosy concierge Sara says Marie had a habit of chatting with strangers about the money hidden in her rooms. One is traced to a Boucherie, who claims Marie and her son often quarrelled over her late husband's will.
"Everything points to the son." The key to the crime is at the cemetry where Marie used to sit by Durand's grave. A lady in a black apron had been seen talking with Marie. This woman was visiting a grave also, and it is one with an angel with a broken wing.
Mme Carefour now runs a market stall, and her new husband bolts.
After a chase he's arrested. So is she

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Police Headquarters
Possibly the pilot?

A gendarme picks up a scruffy looking man, perched on the edge of the Seine. Roger Vezenay (Marcel Dalio) his waving plenty of money around. He claims it's the ransom for Edouard his seven year old boy, kidnappers have demanded half a million francs to be paid at 10.30am.
With Beaumont keeping a watching brief, Balbec takes Vezenay's place, but at the drop-off, La Lune Cafe he's phoned, ordered to go to the Eifel Tower. Once there, a message is handed to him by a stranger who's promptly arrested rather ostentatiously.
"You were careful when you arrested him?" queries a hopeful Balbec, who's ordered to St Lazare station. The railway police think Balbec looks suspicious so Beaumont has to step in, just as the station announcer's voice booms up that there's an urgent call awaiting at the Information Desk. Balbec is told to catch a 32 bus, which he does.
It all seems rather odd, observes Balbec, the voice on the phone "sounds like Vezenay himself." for sure, "it doesn't make any sense."
The uneventful bus trip takes him to the Champs Elysees.
Still nothing. So the police question Vezenay. He's in hospital where a doc solves the feeble case, "there was no kidnapping," he explains to the incredulous policemen.
So this was all an excuse to show us the sites of Paris!

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Two Blind Men

Odd, but the Metro this night is utterly bereft of passengers, except for one blind man who topples in front of a train.
Balbec's lovemaking is interrupted by a phone call. He has to go to the Metro station with Inspector Beaumont to question eyewitnesses. A torn half of a 1,000 franc note is in the dead man's hand. A ledger near his body reveals where he had been begging, and this leads the detectives to a cafe where he had had an argument with a customer.
In this man's possession is found a missing white cane. He says he took the man's cane because he was a fake, he wasn't blind. But this is incorrect.
"You pushed him under the train," accuses Beaumont.
But later in the Metro tunnel a second cane is found. The hunt is on for a second blind man. The ledger that had been found must belong to this person. He is Falot, and is found at an air teminal building, and it's evident he is not blind, though he pretends to be. He is the one who had argued with the dead man over begging on "his pitch."
"It was an accident," or so he says

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A Woman Scorned
Note- this story is on YouTube in its entirety.

In a Paris nightclub, a male singer is entertaining the clients (more or less), including an American soldier who is drinking at a table with Lucille. Suddenly Lucille collapses.
Insp Balbec is enthralled in a novel The Blonde Died Young, in which a detective is having a whale of a time, when Inspector Beaumont and he are summoned to the scene of the crime.
The brandy brought into the club by the soldier is the source of the cyanide poisoning. A picture of the soldier is found in Lucille's room, and the colonel in charge of the US army in France identifies him. The young soldier breaks down when he's informed she's dead. His story is that someone, the proverbial stranger, had handed him the bottle. This person had left in a taxi.
The taxi driver is traced and describes his passenger, a man in his sixties. It is M Fermont, owner of a Parfumerie. When Insp Beaumont meets him, he is mixing some chemicals, "that's him!" declares the relieved soldier.
Fermont admits he had given away his brandy bottle, but did not know it contained poison. He says it had been given to him by Miss Lamotte (Giselle Preville), a girl he had recently stopped seeing after ten years.
She is distraught when she learns the wrong victim has been killed. The final scenes are too protracted

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Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion (1955/6)
starring Buster Crabbe as Captain Mike Gallant

The first series was filmed in Morocco, but a second series was made in Italy. Barbara Shelley stated that she appeared in five stories in this latter series.

1.5 Camel Race - Fuzzy unwittingly places a bet with the robbers of a mining company's payroll. He bets on Josephine, the legionnaire's best camel, but as Fuzzy is doped he loses the race and the stake. But Gallant's 80,000 bet on a return race results in the crooks unwisely trying to nobble Josephine, instead they get a deserved kicking from her. So this time Fuzzy is the victor, and the cash he is paid which turns out to be the stolen payroll
1.6 Esprit de Corps - Private Jan Novak, a bad tempered Pole (John Nash), is transferred to Gallant's batallion. He's a top field soldier but a bad legionnaire. He starts badly by brawling in a bar over a girl, and is very unpopular in camp, but on patrol, tracking escaped prisoners at a lonely oasis, he's wounded and rescued by his mates. That surprises him, teaching him a lesson in comradeship
1.7 Carnival in Zagora - Old pal Carla Robinson (Norma Eberhardt), for whom Gallant had got a suspended sentence, has got herself a boyfriend (Robert Christopher) who is involved with the shooting of a vizier, in a plot to secure oil rights. A reformed Carla gets Cuffy to warn Gallant of the scheme (Not sure of the relevance of the title, maybe this is a different episode?)
1.10 The Prayer Rug- General 'Ironfist' is to present an Arab dignitary with a prayer rug, but it is stolen. Captain Gallant has but four hours to retrieve it. For some reason it's worth ten million francs. Blonde Monique puts him on to a limping Arab, the clever oh so clever thief
1.15 Revenge - Now where have we seen this plot before? Aru Mettler (Bob Christopher) swears revenge on the man who has put him behind bars, ie Captain Gallant, "I'm gonna kill him." 8.30pm and if you're still awake, a bullet is fired. And another. "Where do you want it Captain?"
1.16 Stolen Treasure - Eric Grunner (Jean Werner) has been in the Legion seven years and at long last Galant is recommending him for promotion. Eric breaks the good news to his "young lady" Marthe (Marie-Jose Darene), who is thrilled for him. But two ex-Nazi colleagues blackmail him into showing them the oasis where in the war treasure had been buried. Marthe wisely informs the Legion and Grunner is tailed. The villains dig up the money and celebrate in a bar, where Gallant catches up wth them
1.19 Man with a Map - Recruit Michael Darney has deserted, Gallant must round him up. It's all to do with a girl named Lotti, owner of the Mauretanian Mining Company, He had been helping her locate her mine, exact location only known by the spot indicated on this map. Olmar (Gregoire Aslan) has kidnapped Darnley, to force him to hand over the map. Good old Gallant rescues him, but falls into the clutches of a rival for Lotti's hand, Arnold
1.20 The Dagger of Judah - Pte Jean Martell refuses to see his parents, "I sure feel sorry for his mother," notes Cuffy. But Jean relents and they order him to do another crime, kidnap a prince. But Cpt Gallant joins their gang also to trap the brains behind the operation
1.21 The Lady from Zagora aka The Purloined Envelope - Eric Gastin, managing director of Intercontinental Engineering, locks secret revolutionary aircraft plans "worth millions" in his safe, but his secretary Alice (Danielle Godet) removes them. Captain Gallant pursues her to the border and with all guns blazing Western-style, grabs the papers in time. There's a good twist when it transpires she's only nicked the documents to stop her evil boss
1.22 Pipeline
1.27 Ransom (aka The Search) - Englishman George Langton helps Cuffy buy a wallet, and Cuffy nearly repays the favour by preventing Langton's kidnapping. But not quite. Commodore Langton stumps up the cash for his nephew's ransom, 10,000. One legionnaire has to die before Captain Gallant tracks down the kidnapper via his ex-girl Charlene who spills the beans and warns that George has "kidnapped himself." After Cuffy has extricated his uncle from a closet, Gallant rounds up the naughty nephew with a bout of fisticuffs
1.28 The Legion is Our Home - Cpt Johann Schmidt is reluctant to take his leave in town, something about his spending three years of the war here. Jeannine was his girl, and they are finally reunited, to the anger of her brother Marcel, who, because he was injured in the war, still hates Germans. Makko, jealous of Jeannine, frames Schmidt for Marcel's murder, but Mike Gallant trusts his men and finds a clue, a keyring, that points to the real killer. Makko makes a run for it, taking Jeannine, but the legion always get their men, well, something like that
1.36 The Boy Who Found Christmas - Cuffy has never seen snow, and had been promised a trip to USA for Christmas, but Gallant can't get leave. Cuffy is disappointed again when a camel train with presents and a real Christmas tree fails to show up, so he rides off into the desert to find it. Alone at night, at an oasis, he is scared, but his Legionnaire pals find him and Uncle Mike teaches the lad about peace and goodwill, showing him the first Christmas of all- aaah
1.? As Long as There are Arabs - Bennet (Arthur Hanson) is accused of killing The Wise Man by angry Arabs led by Wise Man's less wise son. Gallant steps in to save the wretch who swears his innocence, though "the evidence against you is very strong." Bennet shows his thanks by bashing Gallant on the head. But we can guess who the real killer is, and Gallant plays a waiting game to catch him, and he still has time to rescue Bennet from the crazed mob
2.1 Gallant's New Post - In a "sea of sand" three days from the Med is Gallant's new post. He's come to sort out a security leak, but unable to spot any traitor, he takes the drastic step of leading his unarmed men into the desert to flush out the villain. He's easily caught, the ambush thwarted and naturally Gallant is a hero
2.3 The Long Night - "I don't like it," remarks The Colonel, when Mrs Drexel, Cuffy's aunt, demands to take Cuffy home with her. "I won't go," cries the lad in an unusually emotional tale, complete with violin music. To the cold desert Cuffy runs away (again) with his friend, who falls and breaks a leg. Uncle Mike sends out a search party, the pair are safe and sound and the aunt is so impressed with the legionnaire's devotion, she abandons her plan
2.6 Rodeo - Manuel Gonzalez wants to marry singer Franca (Mara Lane), but brawls with a sergeant and ends up in the guardhouse. A disillusioned Gonzalez deserts, and even more serious, the safe with the legionnaire's pay has been emptied. Gallant is assigned to "bring him back," while Cuffy's stages a rodeo ro raise money so the couple can get married. But Fuzzy accidentally exposes the payroll thieves enabling the marriage to go ahead. After all this, Cuffy has to conclude with "Love's mush!"
2.10 Informer's Map - Why did an informer alter a tourist map just before he was knifed? Gallant poses as an oil prospector and befriends the cruelly treated wife of an innkeeper. Just as well, for though he joins a gang of gun runners, he is found out and she saves him enabling Gallant to blow up their cache of arms
2.11 Cuffy's Good Deed - A mother desperately wants to trace her son Renate who joined the Legion four years back. Could he be the one lying in the infirmary after being badly wounded when a patrol were all but wiped out? Cuffy helps mum get reunited with him, while Gallant rides around getting revenge or maybe justice for the massacre. The ending is rather a poignant one
2.21 Dr Legionnaire - Two scouts lead Gallant's expedition into a trap, though natives only want a doctor to treat a sheik who seems terminally ill. Cure him, or be killed, the sheik's brother pronounces. "We'll have to operate immediately." Gallant prevents the wicked brother from trying to ensure the operation fails
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Passport to Danger
an unsold pilot made c1952 in Sweden.
It was produced by Robert Spafford and starred George Nader.

Scene 1: Svenska Nationalmuseet. Dr Mark Denison, director of the New York Museum, meets up with Per Ofstie with a view to purchasing some paintings, "no publicity," as they are being sold by an unspecified country. As Ofstie departs, he is warned not to contact Denison again.
Scene 2: Ofstie's shop. Despite the warning, another meeting is arranged.
Scene 3: At a travel bureau, Denison meets with Harry Grey.
Scene 4: In a restaurant overlooknig the city, Harry fills Denison in. Any cash from the sale will be used for "keyhole peeping in the United States." The contact behind the deal will be an old enemy in the war, Gregorin, who married Lisa, with whom Denison had fallen in love, in his days in the OSS in Austria.
Scene 5: Denison meets up with Ofstie's replacement. He will be notified when he can view the pictures.
Scene 6: A nightclub. Of course it is Lisa singing! Their eyes meet. In her dressing room later, they kiss, "oh my darling." She begs him not to meet Gregorin.
Scene 7:The art warehouse. A price of $3million is agreed. The two adversaries then fight, as a scared Lisa watches on. When Gregorin prepares to shoot Denison, she stabs her husband. Police swoop and they finish Gregorin off
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