Filmed Series from the 1960s

Ghost Squad (ITC / Rank)
Danger Man (ITC)
Edgar Wallace
The Saint (ITC)
The Avengers (ABC)
Man of the World (ITC)
The Sentimental Agent (ITC)
The Human Jungle (ABC)
Gideon's Way (ITC)
The Baron (ITC)
Espionage (ATV)
Court Martial (ATV)
Man in a Suitcase (ITC)
Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (ITC)
Mr Jericho
The Persuaders! (ITC)

This page is largely a tribute to the ATV's marvellous ITC branch (Eric Paice wrote in 1966 that "the ITC tail is now wagging the ATV dog!"). They dominated the adventure series genre in the 1960's, starting with Danger Man and continuing with The Saint. I was never over enthusiastic about ITC's subsequent efforts, though we could say that it was with The Persuaders, that the genre finally but gloriously ran out of steam.
En route ITC gave us McGoohan's notorious The Prisoner. I have nothing on this, because I echoed the majority at the time: TV Times (Feb 17th 1968 edition): "Woe is me! How can it be, That Patrick has gone mad? For really I have never seen A series quite so bad!"
Ironically, however, it was ABC who came up with the ultimate hit, The Avengers which after three interesting studio-bound series, hit the heights with the filmed series starring Patrick MacNee and Diana Rigg.
Imitations were a-plenty, but never came close to the master. The other ITV companies, Rediffusion and Granada never espoused filmed series and were unable to compete with their rivals in this area. The BBC, too, never seemed to have the budget for hour long filmed series, and the nearest they came to The Avengers, was perhaps in Adam Adamant Lives!

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Danger Man starring Patrick McGoohan as John Drake

HALF HOUR SERIES
1.1 View From the Villa 7*
1.2 The Key 7*
1.3 Josetta 6*
1.4 The Blue Veil 5*
1.5 The Lovers
1.6 The Girl In Pink Pyjamas
1.7 Position of Trust
1.8 The Lonely Chair
1.9 The Sanctuary
1.10 An Affair of State
1.11 Time to Kill
1.12 The Sisters
1.13 The Prisoner
1.14 The Traitor
1.15 Colonel Rodriguez
1.16 The Nurse
1.17 The Island
1.18 Find and Return
1.19 The Girl Who Liked GI's
1.20 Name Date Place
1.21 Vacation
1.22 The Conspirators
1.23 The Honeymooners
1.24 The Gallows Tree
1.25 The Relaxed Informer
1.26 The Brothers
1.27 The Journey Ends Halfway
1.28 Bury the Dead
1.29 Sabotage
1.30 The Contessa
1.31 The Leak
1.32 The Trap
1.33 The Actor
1.34 Hired Assassin
1.35 Deputy Coyannis Story
1.36 Find and Destroy
1.37 Under the Lake 5*
1.38 Dead Man Walks
1.39 Deadline
To the hour long Danger Man series.

Series One was the greatest UK half hour filmed drama series. No doubt the artistic licence given to McGoohan partly explains its success. Originally his role was to have been a James Bond type, but as he explained in a 1959 interview, "the new character we have evolved is more of a philosopher who has a respect for people and is not so ready with his fists."
After location shooting in Wales from September 28th 1959, the studio sequences began filming with 1.2 The Key at MGM studios on October 12th 1959.
The working Title for this first Danger Man series was Lone Wolf.

Some comments from the American TV moguls show their great initial approval-
"This is the finest production I have seen made in England" (Tom Moore, ABC).
"After seeing these films, I have complete confidence in any series made there" (Walter Scott, NBC).
"I can't believe this was made in England" (Mike Damm, CBS).
Sadly, despite this enthusiasm, the series was not successful enough in USA to warrant a second series. Having reached near perfection, that's Danger Man's only disappointment, that ITC were forced into the one hour format to suit their American masters, rather than build on the artistic brilliance built into every half hour.

My favourite story (difficult to name just one): 1.22 The Conspirators - beautiful location, Drake rescuing a maiden in distress and her two children
Worst story (there are only a very few): 2.18 The Ubiquitous Mr Lovegrove- TV Times was full of complaints about this dream fantasy
To Crime/Adventure Menu . . . 60's Menu

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View from the Villa
Torture: the victim Frank Delroy is definitely more than disorientated. The face is that of actor Philip Latham, though his voice (Robert Ayres?) is that of an American! The whereabouts of the gold he has secreted away is lost when he dies.
He was the president of a bank in Rome, the original crooked banker who absconded with five million dollars of gold. In his room Drake finds exclusive dresses made by Madame Scarlotti (Barbara Shelley) who claims they were made for blonde Signora Lucio, Villa Chevelli 52, though this proves a false address.
Mrs Stella Delroy, "not a nice woman" according to Scarlotti, isn't exactly in mourning, making advances to an uninterested Drake, but she's uninterested too in the existence of another woman, or apparently in the theft of the gold.
Drake encounters an artist who had had a sketch made by Delroy's girl friend, signed with a flourish with the letter G. Another of her paintings, found in Delroy's apartment, is of a villa and with help the location is identified. Actually it's Portmeirion, that came to be beloved by McGoohan, and here Drake questions a local who happens to work for this very artist, Gina.
Patiently Drake awaits her arrival from Rome, in a well built up half minute of silence. Quite a brave directorial moment in a story lasting but 25 minutes. She comes and Drake demands the return of the gold. But she knows nothing of any gold, she is only scared, very scared, for she had witnessed Delroy's murder. But Drake reasons the very bulky gold must be concealed somewhere in the villa and in a large crate Drake discovers it. But Mayne, Frank's killer, with the unlovely Mrs Delroy want that gold, a fight deciding who gets it. Gina saves John Drake's life, perhaps the only woman in the entire series to which he is ever at all close
Danger Man Menu

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The Key 6*
Not much Danger here, more a sad little story. The Ambassador (Charles Carson) gives Drake "a dirty job," after three leakages of secret information in Vienna.
Harry Logan (Robert Flemyng), Vienna correspondent of the United News, also an agent, is the likely suspect. Drake interviews him and his young wife of one year, Maria, then sets a test for Logan, to send a message to America.
A stranger, Alex (Charles Gray) attacks Drake in his room.
No evidence is subsequently found of that message falling into Commie hands. And as Drake likes Logan, there seems only one suspect left, the Ambassador himself. So Drake sets a second trap.
But Drake's suspicions maybe centre on Maria, who was born in Budapest, but escaped during the uprising, though her family still live there. Logan's first wedding anniversary is spoiled by the news that that first message has indeed gone behind the Iron Curtain. Harry is chief suspect after all. "I'm finished," he tells his wife, but did she, he asks, betray him? She admits, they made me do it. He doesn't make any response to that. He exits and informs the Ambassador and Drake that he did it himself. But Drake is not convinced. He's guessed the truth.
Maria is tailed. A rendezvous with Alex, whom she calls darling. She also calls Harry an old fool. Harry Logan is listening in dismay. And in horror, as Maria falls out with Alex and is strangled by him. Drake prevents her death and Alex is arrested. She is taken away too, avoiding Harry's sorrowing gaze.

Notes: 1 Is Charles Carson's voice dubbed in this story?
2 The plot bears an uncanny relationship with the Man of the World story #13 Shadow of the Wall.
Danger Man

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Josetta
During a fiesta, a certain Sgr da Silva boldly announces himself at a mansion, only to shoot a "rising young patriot," in the presence of his blind sister. Anti-American riots (surely not!) draw Drake to this country in order to substantiate the fact that the USA were not behind this killing. Drake soon discovers that the Army party would benefit most from the situation, and their rising star Lt Cortez is the likely assassin since he is now "strutting around like a full general."
Drake is soon able to get proof of this as Josetta his blind sister (Julia Arnall) is able to recognise him by his voice and the scent he is wearing. But this isn't enough evidence for the police so with their cooperation Drake poses as a "simple-minded millionaire" to try and panic Cortez. However Cortez proves too smart, and it's Drake who's framed!
Released, Drake sets his plan into motion, a plan borrowed straight from an Invisible Man adventure. Cortez is to be persuaded that Josetta isn't blind and that she is therefore an eyewitness to the murder. With the aid of an earpiece Josetta is trained by Drake how to walk round an unfamiliar room.
The time has come to put the plan to the test! At a nightclub Cortez looks a trifle surprised when he sees Josetta walk in. Drake is guiding her: "he's shaken" is what he encourages her with. Then she is given directions as to how to walk right up to Cortez, where she simply stares at him.
Then it's back home waiting to see if Cortez has "taken the bait." Who's waiting for him? It's Drake. Cortez breaks in, climbs the stairs to Josetta's room and shoots. He succeeds! Except her body doesn't collapse on the ground as it's only a dummy. There's all the proof you need of Cortez' guilt.
The story concludes with a gentlemanly kiss for the lady
Danger Man

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The Blue Veil

Slaves "sold like cattle in the mud" are those Drake is flying to Arabia to rescue. Posing as "a deadbeat desert rat," Drake is warned off by an eccentric Englishman, The Fat One, who's dressed like an Arab (Laurence Naismith): "there's nothing in this town for you- except death."
Drake occupies a dingy hotel room, recently vacated by an impoverished singer, Clare Nichols (Lisa Gastoni). The Fat One has offered to solve her financial worries by introducing her to the local chieftain, leader of The Brothers of The Blue Veil. Perceiving Drake isn't quite the drunken sod he appears, she trusts him to accompany her to meet this chief (Ferdy Mayne) who tempts her with some beautiful diamonds excavated from his mine. Drake offers to supply the chief with some labour "at reasonable rates." But he doesn't bite.
Back at his hotel, Drake is attacked by a crony from the Fat Man, who's worried Drake is a rival slave dealer. Undeterred, Drake locates the secret diamond mine, pole vaults over the security fence, and happens immediately on a hut containing slaves. Having snapped his photos, a pyrotechnic display blinds the guards enabling Drake to pole vault his way back to safety.
A helicopter picks him up, with Clare tagging along- mission accomplished

Danger Man

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DANGER MAN Series 2, 3 and 4.

After a gap, the second series started in 1964, now an hour long, and the terse economy of that first series is largely, regretfully, forsaken. These longer stories have their own charm, not least (except for American viewers), the stunning theme by Edwin Astley, but sadly McGoohan becomes increasingly an imitation of a robot.
John Drake is now based in Britain, ostensibly working for World Travel, located in the shadow of St Paul's, and when in the UK drives a Mini 731 HOP.


2.1 Yesterday's Enemies
2.2 The Professionals
2.3 Colony Three
2.4 The Galloping Major
2.5 Fair Exchange
2.6 Fish on the Hook
2.7 The Colonel's Daughter
2.8 Battle of the Cameras
2.9 No Marks for Servility
2.10 A Man to Be Trusted
2.11 Don't Nail Him Yet
2.12 A Date with Doris
2.13 That's Two of Us Sorry
2.14 Such Men are Dangerous
2.15 Whatever Happened to George Foster?
2.16 Room in the Basement
2.17 The Affair at Castelevara
2.18 The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove
2.19 It's Up to the Lady
2.20 Have a Glass of Wine
2.21 The Mirror's New
2.22 Parallel Lines Sometimes Meet
3.1 You're Not in Any Trouble
3.2 The Black Book
3.3 A Very Dangerous Game
3.4 Sting in the Tail
3.5 English Lady Takes Lodgers
3.6 Loyalty Always Pays
3.7 The Mercenaries
3.8 Judgement Day
3.9 The Outcast
3.10 Are You Going to be More Permanent?
3.11 To Our Best Friend
3.12 The Man on the Beach
3.13 Say it with Flowers
3.14 The Man Who Wouldn't Talk
3.15 Someone is Liable to Get Hurt
3.16 Dangerous Secret
3.17 I Can Only Offer You Sherry
3.18 The Hunting Party
3.19 Two Birds with One Bullet
3.20 I'm Afraid You Have the Wrong Number
3.21 The Man with the Foot
3.22 The Paper Chase
3.23 The Not.So.Jolly Roger
in colour:
4.1 Koroshi
4.2 Shinda Shima

To Danger Man, series 1
60's Menu

My brief reviews:
2.1 Yesterday's Enemies- John Brett in Beirut is passing secrets, "I can hardly believe it." When confronted by Drake, he claims he was acting under orders from Edwin Archer, a former agent. Drake is about to be beaten up by Archer's thugs when enter Dorothy Curtis (Joan Hickson your ultimate scene stealer), who inadvertently saves Drake from his fate. "I'm a doctor," Drake declares when Archer collapses as he's attempting to flee Lebanon. Now Archer is the prisoner and Drake tries to elicit info on the spy network, Archer maintaining, "I don't think I did wrong." His end is inevitable, though it appals even Drake
2.2 The Professionals -"So dull, so English" Drake is teased by Ira (Nadja Regin) and then framed for causing a car crash. Ira's pal Milos (Alex Scott), gets him released, now blackmail fodder. "I don't think I've met a more evil man." It's all part of Drake's complex scheme to contact Our Man in Prague Desmond Pearson, who's going over to the Other Side. Of course Drake persuades him to see the light and a little chase and they're safe back in the West
2.3 Colony Three -This is classic, entirely absorbing, tense, with a light moment or two from Glyn Owen as Randall. "What are you doing here?" The location is Hamden New Town, "what is this place?" Mysterious but "agreeable enough," teaching spies to be more English than the English. Randall rumbles Drake, that's the first crisis, but he cracks up under the oppresive regime run by the cold and calm Donovan. Having taken all the necessary photos, how can Drake get free of this top security site? Unlike The Prisoner, he makes it first time. A whole series could have been built round this idea...
2.5 Fair Exchange - It seems unlikely, but Drake has a mutual admiration for ex-colleague Lisa Lansing who seems to have gone bonkers after being tortured by the other side. She's making for East Germany for her revenge on her nemesis Pohlmann. Drake, posing as her husband, attempts to stop her and even enlists the Commies to help him. A neat trick and the enemy is embarrassed, but while there are enjoyable moments, this is hard to swallow
2.6 Fish on the Hook - A spy ring is about to be busted, Drake's job is to rescue Fish who had set up the network, only snag is noone can identify this person. It leads to a tense and exciting search, a battle of wits against the local police officer (a rakish Peter Bowles), but will it end in "a nasty surprise"? "Eleven o'clock, you must be there," but the police are waiting also, "I hope we are not disturbing you." Drake to the rescue, his getaway vehicle, a police car
2.7 The Colonel's Daughter - In India, Drake befriends Colonel Blakeley who sells butterflies, and his attractive daughter Joanna. After a lot of lurking in the studio bushes and trees, a spy ring is uncovered. But the matter isn't so simple and Drake ends up exposing a high level official (an improbable Warren Mitchell). Michael Trubshawe presents a moving and sad portrait of the obsolete colonel, "why did you have to lie to us?"
2.8 The Battle of the Cameras - 'Tres secret' documents stolen. On the Med, Drake luxuriates, and "catches the eye" of Martine (Dawn Addams) so he can obtain an intro to the mastermind behind the spy ring, AJ Kent wiz ze patch on 'is eye, acid had been throw in his face. Here's a stylish adventure on very familiar territory, but fascinating cat and mouse, a battle of ze superior minds, "for tomorrow we die." Drake's "icy surface" almost crumbles under Martine, except he drugs her first
2.10 A Man to be Trusted - On a voodoo island, another agent has been savagely killed, Drake posing as Inspector Grant has to check the bona fides of agent Dorset (Ralph Michael), whose young wife (Wanda Ventham) is rolling in money, "you can't be in M9 and have a private life." He's a traitor unless the garrulous lothario who is chief of police is. Drake sets a trap, risking making himself "a piece of cheese." This is a bit too verbose in parts, too voodooish elsewhere
2.11 Don't Nail Him Yet - Is Denis Rawson a spy? Drake turns into a mild mannered music lover to befriend him, "man's soul went straight through the top of the mushroom." The friendship reminded me of Columbo, "perhaps I've been a bit nosy." The microfilm is on a Fulham FC programme then the Evening Standard before Drake gets his man after a chase round the London landmarks. Gaffe: 'Incanabula' is how Drake pronounces the word for rare early books, and thus the sign is written above an erudite bookshop!
2.12 A Date with Doris - Here's a genuinely exciting story, a true test for Danger Man. Injured agent Peter Miller is on the run in a new dictatorship, Drake must get him out. He's nearly "dazzled" by the culture assistant (Jane Merrow) assigned to look after him, and she's placed in "a terrible position" when she stumbles on Miller. She helps Miller elude the army pursuing him, though Drake is captured to come face to face with the revolutionary leader
2.13 That's Two of Us Sorry - Top secret papers go missing at Loch Broom, fingerprints found of Jock Lawson, a wanted man believed dead. Drake is led by Sheila (Francesca Annis) to a remote Scottish island where, gasp, he sees a Russian boat. Of course Finlay Currie has to be here, not to mention Duncan Lamont. Less Scots sounding is Nigel Green, but which one is Lawson? Drake is nearly done in before he finds the answer. The secret papers are discovered in a disappointing anticlimax to an otherwise fine story with stunning location shooting
2.15 Whatever Happened to George Foster? - Via a Miss Certhia Cooper, money is being invested in a South American country, to stir up unrest. Drake is officially ordered off the assignment, but his conscience dictates he must do what a man... Lord Ammanford himself blocks Drake travelling to the new republic, so Drake makes inquiries into his lordship's background, "I don't think you realise how powerful I am." Intriguing, more Power Game Man than Danger Man Game. (Note- In Wales, Drake calls at a farm signposted Pennygate, surely not a correct Welsh spelling)
2.18 The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove - this is too much of a swindle to waste any time on
2.19 It's Up to The Lady - Charles Glover defects, Drake's job: follow Paula his wife who flies off to Athens, thence to a remote hotel. Next stage a boat, but Drake nobbles this, and confronts her- does she really want to live in China? "This will end badly," a very prescient remark. Decision made, there's a tug of war and a chase through the mountains to the Albanian border
2.21 The Mirror's New - Bierce (Donald Houston), a reliable employee in the Paris embassy, goes missing with an important document, but then turns up 24 hours later not recalling where he's been for the past day. Drake discovers his alter ego, but beware those two nasties with the dark shades!
2.22 Parallel Lines Sometimes Meet - In Haiti are hiding Mr and Mrs Brooks, ex Atomic Research, ready to be flown to Cuba. There's much tangential dialogue, not always enjoyable or comprehnsible, before it becomes clear that there's some nasty who is kidnapping scientists to force them to make a bomb. Drake joins forces with the other side to stop such nonsense
3.1 You're Not in Any Trouble Are You?- In Room 600 of a Rome Hotel, agent Bill relays news of Garwood's murder, but is himself killed, pushed out of his hotel window. Drake commissions Murder Inc to kill... himself! Then "plays games" with a grizzly 80 year old invalid plus his assassin, "little pieces left over of you"
3.3 A Very Dangerous Game - Drake has to "clip the claws" of the opposition in Singapore. He does so, and they tell him to infiltrate the British! He foils the kidnap of Cmdr Corbett by the inscrutable Chi Ling (the always sinister Peter Arne), then breaks into their hq. But he is rumbled, "you have much to tell us." Drake exposes a traitor in a surprise finish
3.9 The Outcast - Leo is a friend of a dead Wren in Gibraltar, involved in a security leak. Drake has to befriend him to find out if he killed her, but you begin to feel sorry for the gullible Leo in a tedious sort of way. An unnecessary tedious subplot and feeble Spanish dancers make this less Danger Man more Danger Mouse
3.13 Say it with Flowers - Agent Alexander Hagen disappears in a Swiss clinic. As he has "a lot of useful information," Drake chases after him, but is told he is dead. But another patient (Ian Hendry) there, Drake finds living in luxury. He uncovers a skilled plastic surgeon and eccentrically with an Alpine horn, exposes the cunning enemy scheme
3.20 I'm Afraid You Have The Wrong Number - After an agent is killed in a car crash, Drake is sent to Geneva to uncover one of three possible betrayers. The exciting trail leads to a derelict mansion
3.22 The Paper Chase - Classified documents are stolen in Rome. Drake's job is to get them back. He finds the thief (Aubrey Morris, who just overdoes his role), but he has sold them to vain film star Eddie (Kenneth J Warren) whom Drake beats in an interminable poker game. He's not got 'em as they've been passed to The Big Man (Ferdy Mayne) who is residing in the home of the enigmatic Nandina (Joan Greenwood). By a clever trick, Drake obtains the papers then escapes from his rivals in an absurdly over the top finish
4.1 Koroshi / 4.2 Shinda Shima - This fine series had begun almost seven years previously with brilliant film noir economy, now it terminates with two rambling tales made in colour. Inscrutably set in the orient, you can see why they had to stop making Danger Man after sitting through these two disparate and dispiriting tales. Koroshi is The Poetry of Death, an apt description of where the series was heading. No Oscar for this. Exciting? No boring's the word. A muddle of motfs, sub standard Fu Manchu. Shinda Shima is The Murdered Island and is more gripping, but try comparing it with #1.27 The Journey Ends Halfway, and outside the colour and the added expense, it's a dud. George Coulouris enjoys his time playing the megalomaniac out to destroy the UN, but Drake uses all his old skills in finishing off his dastardly scheme
To Danger Man menu

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The SAINT with Roger Moore
Robert Baker and Monty Berman were past masters at producing dark little British crime films in the 50's, and their talents moved effortlessly to the small screen with this stylish series featuring Leslie Charteris' hero. Roger Moore added a touch of swagger to Simon Templar, portraying him as a dashing goodie with just enough hint of the devil to make the ladies swoon. Admittedly, this portrayal was nothing like the books, but to my mind most of the stories were an improvement, and made for excellent viewing.

My favourite episode: #72 The Queen's Ransom. Though I prefer the black/white opening sequence, this stylish tale, the first colour one, shows ST at his chauvinistic best
Best moment: #37 in The Gentle Ladies, the producers recapture exactly the atmosphere of their Fifties feature films
Dud episode: #31 Luella; though some of the early b/w stories also show the series took a while to get on its feet, with Roger Moore's American accent not exactly consistent. And some of the last colour ones are a little too self-conscious, and that final theme music is rotten
60's Menu
Episodes are listed in ITV broadcast order.
1 The Talented Husband (1962) 9*- for a full review
2 The Latin Touch 7*- At the Coliseum in Rome, ST is knocked out, the girl he is showing round kidnapped. She's Sue (Suzan Farmer), daughter of an American governor. A reprieve for "a vicious and ruthless killer," or she dies
3 The Careful Terrorist 6*- "I accuse Nat Grendel," announces Lester on a telecast. He believes the pen is mightier than etc etc, and inevitably soon "he's no longer with us," victim to the old bomb in the typewriter trick. Simon carries on "where Lester Boyd left off," joining the staff of the New York Evening Herald. "You're a parasite and extortionist," ST boldly tells Grendel (Peter Dyneley) to his face. Retorts the gangster, "you're No 1 on my list," so the Saint has to await a call from "an ambassador on a mission of bad will." For Grendel's latest trick is the old radio controlled bomb, and he's gonna press the button personal like
4 The Covetous Headsman 7*- When is a long lost brother not a long lost brother? Answer- when he's murdered. ST helps the man's sister Valerie (Barbara Shelley) catch the killer, though the limelight is rather pinched by Josephine Browne as a crotchety old concierge. After Valerie's St Christopher medal is the killer, a collaborator from the days of the Resistance. The best line is when Esmond Knight reminisces on The Saint's bravery in the Resistance when you were "very young." Very very very young surely!
5 The Loaded Tourist 4*- "The ways of the ungodly are usually predictable," repeats Simon from story 3. Rather akin to this script in which Simon outswindles the swindlers in Geneva who have killed the dad of sixteen year old Alfredo in an attempt to snatch a smuggled case of jewellery. Alfredo believes his wicked stepmother is behind the crime
6 The Pearls of Peace 3*- ST explains that the story's about "seeing the Kingdom of Heaven in a mustard seed." Was this script left over from The Epilogue? Tis a slightly touching Mexican romance that improves as it goes along, made by Consuelo (Dina Paisner), a sympathetic portrait of a Good Samaritan, a nice contrast to the spoiled Joss
7 The Arrow of God 6*- Floyd "I enjoy watching people squirm" Vosper writes a dirt column in a Nassau paper. Thus he has many enemies, and at a weekend party, "arsenic on the rocks," everyone wants the pleasure of, as ST puts it, punching Vosper on the nose. Actually an arrow through his heart happily polishes the evil fellow off. John Arnatt as the acerbic local inspector investigates, though naturally it's ST who "usurps his authority" to solve this fun whodunnit
8 The Element of Doubt 5* - Carlton Rood is a crooked lawyer who makes ST "sick," a sort of Perry Mason in reverse, who gets acquittals for guilty clients. It's up to ST to be a "catalytic agent" and turn Rood's trickery against himself
9 The Effete Angler 6*- ST gets friendly wth "glorious" Gloria (Shirley Eaton) whose husband Clinton is in Florida for some unspecified caper that takes ages to ignite
10 The Golden Journey 9* - "Hopelessly spoilt" Belinda (Erica Rogers) is surely asking for an ST-type lesson with her rude manners. In Spain, ST robs her, so penniless, "the ignorant child" has to trek 100 miles with Simon thru dirt tracks. "I'd put you right across my knee," threatens ST if she keeps on moaning. "I think you're a spoiled brat," he tells her as he suits action to word. "If I catch pneumonia..." she complains, adding, "you must have taken a course in how to be nasty... some day I'm going to get my revenge." She does when she makes eyes at him, but by now she's a reformed character. A good old story with a moral
11 The Man Who was Lucky 7* - "Subhuman" Lucky Joe (Eddie Byrne) runs a protection racket and when two turf accountants refuse to pay up, they are duffed up. "There's nothing you can do," Cora warns one of them, O'Connor, but how about phoning ST? This has all the atmosphere of Robert Baker and Monty Berman's 1950 thrillers and it's tightly directed by John Gilling as ST sets a trap to rile Lucky into a confession, and thus to "hand him on a plate" to Insp Teal
12 The Charitable Countess 7*- "An angel of mercy," a countess, gives generously to Father Bellini's home for young orphans in Rome. But she's a con artist and ST makes her "pay the price" even announcing to the press he's going to steal the countess' diamond necklace

13 The Fellow Traveller 8* (1963)- A first brush with Dawn Addams as Magda who "puts bubbles" in ST's blood! In the improbable town of Stevenage he smashes a spy ring
14 Starring the Saint 6*- Simon is offered £1,000 a week to star in his own life story, but before shooting begins, the hated producer (Ronald Radd) is shot and The Saint framed.
15 Judith 7*- The richest guy in Canada has stolen his brother's gas turbine invention. With help from niece Judith (Julie Christie) Simon plans to break into "Uncle Bert"'s mansion and teach him a lesson
16 Teresa 5*- The husband of Teresa (Lana Morris) has tried to kill the Mexican president, and is now presumed dead. With The Fat One (Eric Pohlmann) and ST, chased by The Three Bears, she tracks down The Last of the Dinosaurs. This sounds more like The Avengers, only it's very very bland
17 The Ellusive Ellshaw 5*- Arthur (Philip Latham) doesn't even recognise his own wife. who is then shot dead. Why is Ellshaw hiding in an empty house? The family of ST's latest girl friend Anne provide the answers
18 Marcia 4*- Film star Marcia Landon, "beautiful, strange, tragic," is murdered. Now ST, in a plodding tale, has to protect her replacement Claire (an unimpressive Samantha Eggar) from a similar fate. Frankly I don't think her acting merits such attention
19 The Work of Art 5* - Art dealer Jean (John Bailey) helps himself to 500,000fr to pay off an Algerian major (Martin Benson). When Jean is stabbed, his partner Andre is the main suspect, so ST steps in to prove his innocence and expose the Master Forger of Europe
20 Iris 7*- The Merchants' Protective Association is headed by "thoroughly unscrupulous" Rick Lansing (David Bauer), who's infatuated with his actress wife Iris (Barbara Murray). He's sponsoring "an evening of total pain," a West End play for her, so he's not all bad, specially as "I make it a rule to do my own dirty work." This includes putting the frighteners on a news vendor, who dies in a fire started by Rick. When ST blackmails him, he tries to teach ST a lesson, but in a surprising twist, it's not really Rick who receives ST's "lesson in manners," for it seems the blackmailer isn't actually ST. In an ironic liaison, ST calls in Inspector Teal to trap the imposter
21 King of the Beggars 5*-ST becomes a Rome beggar to uncover a protection racket run by the unlikely mix of Maxine Audley and Oliver Reed
22 The Rough Diamonds 6* - While ST is guarding a valuable cargo of uncut diamonds, they are safe, but as soon as they leave his hands they are stolen. He goes after the "pretty unpleasant" Rice to expose the surprise brains behind the theft
23 The Saint Plays with Fire 7*- A journalist writing an expose on the British Nazi Party dies in a fire. ST regards his death as "fishy" even though the inquest declares it death by misadventure. With the help of "featherbrained" Lady Valerie (Justine Lord) ST gives us a history lesson: "people who forget the past are sometimes condemned to relive it"
24 The Well Meaning Mayor 8*- Sam (Leslie Sands) wins a fair fight for the Mayor of Seatondean, but his defeated rival George (Norman Bird) makes "a complete fool of himself" alleging corruption. His daughter Molly (Mandy Miller) gets ST on the case after her dad is found at the foot of a cliff
25 The Sporting Chance 6*- In Canada, champion fisherman ST prevents a defecting prof from defecting
26 The Bunco Artists 9*- In a charming English village, "where nothing ever happens," the local church falls victim to two con artists, but how fortunate that ST is on hand! He follows them to Nice as Hiram S Tombs, there to relieve them of their money in his own clever scam
27 The Benevolent Burglary 8*- "Kindly Uncle Simon" teaches ten-million-francs Emile Vascoe (John Barrie) "a lesson" by betting his "completely burglarproof" art gallery can be broken into
28 The Wonderful War 7* (1964)- An oil strike in Sayeda (allegedly in the east of Iraq) leads to a coup, though Prince Karim survives, fleeing to Kuwait. There he declares war. Question- did Bush watch this and filch the plot, somehow believing it was for real?? With the war waged by a mere army of five including Noel Purcell and Renee Houston it does need all the guile of a J Pierpoint Sykes (alias Simon) to win it.
29 The Noble Sportsman 8*- Golf, tennis, fishing shooting, horse jumping, Lord Yearley (Anthony Quayle) is good at them all. But he has his enemies, and one is threatening his life. He believes he's "indestructible" and ST helps him keep it that way. A weekend house party is chance for him to size up the suspects: "you're so damn smart, Templar!"
30 The Romantic Matron 4*- An Argentinian armoured van is robbed of a million dollars of gold bullion which is cunningly hidden in the car of rich innocent widow Beryl Carrington. The boss Ramon (John Carson) then chats her up, so it's a good job she has the sense to consult ST
31 Luella 1*- An American buddy of ST's gets into a compromising position with Luella (Sue Lloyd). As an attempt at comedy this is pretty abysmal, until ST poses as a millionaire and apparently also falls into her clutches
32 The Lawless Lady 7*- ST starts with a sexist lecture on women drivers, before succumbing to the charms of a stylish countess (Dawn Addams), becoming her partner in crime. On a cruise in the Med, this "thief with flair" is of course "reformed" by ST's own charisma, and Simon is far too much a gentleman to get her arrested, darling. "We will meet again?" she asks him at the end of the cruise. And naturally, Dawn Addams did return, for she proved one of the Saint's best foils
33 Good Medicine 6*- Denise Dumont (Barbara Murray) is a ruthless businesswoman, whom ST needs "to teach a lesson." It's an elaborate con, to sell her an expensive insect repellant
34 The Invisible Millionaire 9*- good story of millionaire Marvin Chase (Basil Dignam) who is badly injured in a car smash. He recuperates looking like The Invisible Man. But his secretary Nora (Eunice Gayson) is sure something fishy is going on, and calls in her pal ST who exposes a quack doctor and a two timing wife
35 High Fence 8*- Stryker, ex-of the Yard is after a top London fence, with ST's help, despite Insp Teal and plodding Insp Prior's attentions. When a suspect is poisoned, actually inside a police station, ST also helps the grieving widow, as well as, of course, the beautiful actress whose jewels were being fenced
36 Sophia 6*- Sophia (Imogen Hassall) runs a seedy Greek hotel with her poor dad, when her rich cousin Aristides (Oliver Reed) blows in, on the run from his buddies. ST happens to be there on an archaeological dig (!), and when a golden statue is found, Aristides has designs on it. He's ripe for a lesson from ST, which is a rigged kidnapping in which Aristides pays a reluctant ransom
37 The Gentle Ladies 9*- Location shooting in Bosham where local Good Samaritans Flo (Avice Landon), Violet (Barbara Mullen) and Ida (Renee Houston) are being blackmailed... until ST comes on the scene
38 The Ever Loving Spouse 6* - At the Candymakers' Convention, Otis Q Fenwick is framed with a compromising photo. Behind the blackmail is his own wife, and ST is asked to sort it out, no trouble. A slight complication when the man who'd taken the photo is murdered. Dry eyes for him, but catching his killer is a mite harder
39 The Saint Sees it Through 7*- In Hamburg on the trail of art smugglers, ST helps an old friend who's being brainwashed by a quack psychiatrist

40 The Miracle Tea Party 8*- What's the secret of the packet of tea with £500 inside? ST investigates a security leak at Portland Naval Base. With the aid of lovely nurse Geraldine (Nanette Newman) and her very English Aunt Hattie (Fabia Drake), he rounds up a traitorous doctor (Conrad Phillips)
41 Lida 3* - In the Bahamas, Lida Verity is being blackmailed and her boyfriend Maurice (Peter Bowles) seems the likely culprit. After she commits suicide, with Lida's sister Joan, ST works to proves it to be murder
42 Jeannine 6* - Madam Chen, ruthless oriental diplomat, is in Paris with her pearls, which everyone is trying to steal. One is her publicist Jeannine aka Judith (Sylvia Sims), who teams up with ST, but he of course has more altruistic motives
43 The Scorpion 6*- Long Harry nicks a letter to Mark Deverest on instructions from The Scorpion (Geoffrey Bayldon) who has a Skid Kid, Eddy (Dudley Sutton) who is trying to run over poor Harry. Patsy (Nyree Dawn Porter) at The Birdsnest Club collects the blackmail money so ST pumps her to reveal the identity of the shadowy Scorpion. The showdown is just bound to conclude with a deadly pet scorpion delivering retribution on its doting master
44 The Revolution Racket 4* - Captain Xavier Martinez of the state police (Eric Pohlmann) provides some light relief as he uses ST to catch gunrunners Doris and Sherman. They are being forced to sell their arms to revolutionaries, but they're running a classic swindle right after ST's own heart
45 The Saint Steps In 8* - ST starts by denying his Casanova image, only to be interrupted by Annette Andre, a damsel in distress. Oh dear, ST thinks it's a joke and she is almost kidnapped. ST rectifies his aberration, then helps her sell her professor father's million dollar invention. "It's a rather complicated story," but ST's "remarkably perceptive" in this fast moving and satisfying big business adventure
46 The Loving Brothers 2* - Bob Russell is hoping his mine contains a vein of silver, a nice inheritance for his daughter Linda (Annette Andre) and his two feuding sons Willy (Ray Barrett) and Wally (Ed Devereaux). Despite these Aussie actors, this has the air of Pommie's idea of downunder, no nice Aussies as those brothers "do something about Templar." But he produces a nice con trick on them, "dirty double crossing swine"
47 The Man Who Liked Toys 5* - Enstone is being blackmailed. "Don't worry about scruples," is his motto. His secretary Claire gets ST to follow him, but all they uncover is a scam to buy George's business on the cheap. ST's the man to sort Enstone out, when he's shot. Inspector Teal investigates this open and shut case, while ST finds the real killer. Note- interesting shots of George's business, actually the Elstree studios
48 The Death Penalty 6* - Laura (Wanda Ventham) tells ST he's the nicest man she's ever met. As if to prove it, he breaks up a Marseilles protection racket which is run by her dad and the slimy Osman (Paul Stassino), whom she says is "the most fascinating man I've ever met"
49 The Imprudent Politician 4*- Shades of the Christine Keeler scandal, Rt Hon Christopher Waites (Anthony Bate) is found out, Denise (Justine Lord) on the side has been obtaining inside information from him. Now he's being blackmailed, he has "only one decent course," yes, get ST's assistance!
50 The Hi-Jackers - 2* An American truck is stolen in Munich to rob an army store. After cross and double cross ST outwits a "poverty striken" sadist, "why the past tense?"
51 The Unkind Philanthropist 7* - In Puerto Rico, Juan and Delores are being evicted from their farm, who better to prevent injustice than ST? They owe money to a "chiseller" Elmer Quire (Charles Farrell), whom ST happily swindles in his turn to pay off the unworthy debt. On the way he has a bit of fun with Tristan, a lady who gives away money like there's no tomorrow
52 The Damsel in Distress 6* - Guiseppe has vanished leaving behind Maria and her baby. Inspector Teal also wants him for embezzlement. ST poses as Guiseppe's chauffeur, flirting outrageously with his accomplice Barbara (Catherine Woodville), "the Saint may need us, he may be in terrible danger." Sadly the denouement is a little too expected
53 The Contract (1965) 5* - After a comment on his "topsy turvy" existence, ST learns a contract is out on him. "Like a hoodlum in a second rate gangster movie," Jack (Robert Hutton), just out of jail where ST sent him, wants his stolen quarter of a million bucks back
54 The Set-Up 6* - Put it all on 34, ST advises a blonde film star at the tables, just before the safe is robbed. ST "just happens" to get on the track of the gang who try to eliminate him. However a rifle poking from a garret window is enough to alert our hero who is shot dead, or so the crooks think, only for ST to thwart their big job, a mail van robbery. This ST does in his own inimitable way, just in time to hand 'em over to Inspector Teal
55 The Rhine Maiden 6* - A quarter of a million pounds, that's what Charles (Nigel Davenport) pays Dr Schreiber to help him die of cardiac trouble. ST finds it "far too pat," has he swindled his business partner Julia? On the Rhine Express she and ST catch up with the dead man, who this time really ends up dead
56 The Inescapable Word 7* - Death in an isolated top secret Scottish lab. The victim leaves the letters COP to identify his killer and Simon consults a dictionary to solve the case!
57 The Sign of the Claw 3* - Unusual start, a full scale gun battle in the jungle. ST is on some secret mission to catch an international terrorist. What follows is more conventional, the hysterical Miss Jean (Susan Farmer) needs saving, as does her father's plantation, as does the country. Actually though ST huffs and puffs, it's the British cavalry to the rescue
58 The Golden Frog 8* - The immortal Sebastian Tombs seems a sucker, but he plays the swindlers along, in order to help old pal Fergus MacLish who has been the victim of a con trick by 'Professor' Nestor (Hugh McDermott) and his tomboy daughter Alice (Jacqueline Ellis). The plot is confused by the prof being forced to smuggle guns for revolutionaries
59 The Frightened Innkeeper 8*- Three "ghastly" engineers at a Cornish pub, up to no good, something underhand and underground. ST foils them as they help a rich prisoner to escape jail
60 Sibao 4* - Just who is David Grant? A slob, yes. A drunk too. But a dead man after his car crashes and kills a local Haiti man. Not that Grant is killed in the crash, but voodoo queen Sibao predicts his death. "There's nothing even you can do about it, Mr Templar." But there is plenty else he can do to stop a political opportunist (another splendidly nasty part for John Carson) from marrying Sibao to gain her powers. Maybe, if they'd won the rights, this is how Hammer might have produced The Saint
61 Crime of the Century 8*- Inspector Teal arranges for Simon to take the place of Mr Munster (not Herman), who is to join The Midas Man (Andre Morrell in his element). He is planning a most audacious robbery
62 The Happy Suicide 7* - John Bluthal gets a fine opportunity in his role as Ziggy Zaglan, obnoxious star of an NBC show that ST refuses to appear on. Ziggy's half brother Paul is scriptwriter but quits, saying he's written an expose. When Paul commits suicide, ST offers to come on the show to announce that it is really murder! One of his team must have done him in, is it agent Ted, producer Ralph (William Sylvester) or Lois his PA (Jane Merrow)?
63 The Chequered Flag 7* - One of his best intros, ST describing motor racing cars while staring at a shapely lady. Oscar (Eddie Byrne) has nicked this girl's father's fuel injection patent, so ST agrees to pose as an investor to outswindle the swindler. But this isn't black and white, the real enemy proves to be a rival driver, the rich and splendidly named Beaumont Elllington. Somewhere on the way, his flirty sister Mandy is "simonised"
64 The Abductors 7* - To get hold of Prof Quell who has got some scientific secret or other, crooks force his wastrel brother to make the prof fly to Paris. ST finds himself wanted for murder in a routine story enhanced by his cat and mouse with bumbling French police, and another of Annette Andre's roles "with ze zip." ST whisks her round Paris to foil "the French you know," even though their leader is Jones, true Welsh look you. While she even gets to drive ST1 (gasp!), ST of course must rescue her inbetween eluding the imbecile police
65 The Crooked Ring 4*- A fixed boxing match ends in the death of Torpedo Smith. One witness is silenced as ST starts his crusade training with the champ, and when the latter gets a broken arm, entering the ring for the big fight is.... ST! Tell him to watch for how the fix is done
66 The Smart Detective 8* - nearly very good, as ST declares himself Alice in Wonderland if The Great Detective Peter (Brian Worth) is genuine. The two are worthily matched, first at judo, then in the theft of the Oppenheim emerald collection. ST is resolved to help Janice (Anne Lawson) whose brother had been framed by the great Peter for his own robbery. But is ST overconfident with "a horrible feeling of underestimating him?" No of course, "you're very clever Mr Templar"
67 The Persistent Parasites 4* - Waldo's trio of bitchy ex-wives meet his future fourth Nadine. "Infidelity, golddigging and murder" in this slightly irritating portrait of a lonely but selfish millionaire. Some wise viewer or character in the story shoots him, the question as ever is whodunnit and naturally ST is the man to answer that one
68 The Man who could not Die 7*-The "last of the adventurers," obnoxious Miles (Patrick Allen) is being blackmailed by Morton (Richard Wyler), so he decides to bump off his business partner Nigel. Ah, Nigel just happens to be ST's friend, and deep inside the Dragon's Caves in the Welsh mountains, where Miles plans to ditch the inujred Nigel, it's a certain ST to the rescue!
69 The Saint Bids Diamonds 8*- In Teneriffe ST flushes out a diamond stolen from the Louvre by posing as a great American diamond cutter. You long for the egocentric and thoroughly unpleasant thief Abdul Graner (a splendid George Murcell) to get his comeuppance
70 The Spanish Cow 7*- Wife of the ex-president of Santa Cruz has inherited a large collection of jewels from her late husband. As ST is blatently invited by her to steal them, he obliges in an entertaining mix of politics and humour
71 The Old Treasure Story 8*- Landlord Bill has written this book about hidden treasure. When he's shot dead, his map passes to his friend's daughter, who with ST's assistance flies to the Virgin Islands to make her fortune. Unfortunately others are after the treasure in this routine final b/w tale, with underground sets that look suspiciously like those of the Welsh mountains in story #68

To colour stories . . . To Main 60's Menu

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Colour Stories:
72 The Queen's Ransom (1966) 9*- One of the best as The Saint escorts an ex-model now a queen (Dawn Addams) with five million dollars of jewels from Monte Carlo to Zurich. En route there's a witty exchange of banter- "don't bother your royal head." They flee from several nasty looking criminals, and a rather nice one (Nora Nicholson) who correctly perceives "there's a certain electricity between you"
73 Interlude in Venice 5*- Cathy is so spoilt she needs "a hairbrush" taken to her, and that's even before she is discovered with Prince Ubaldo (Paul Stassino), who happens to have been shot dead. ST doctors the evidence, and forestalls blackmail by one Carlo, before facing up to Foots Fortunati (William Sylvester) who is trying to get his own back on Cathy's father and her step mother (Lois Maxwell)
74 The Russian Prisoner 6* - In Geneva, ST insults the Swiss police as well as the Russians, who are holding Prof Jorovitch (Joseph Furst) who wants to defect, except that the butch security police (Yootha Joyce) is preventing him. ST comes to the aid of his daughter Emma in a punch up, with the helpless girl looking on, "you're a very brave and kind man," cue- kiss! The prof is rescued of course though the final twist is OTT
75 The Reluctant Revolution 5* - "Bargain basement" President Alvarez is so corrupt Freedom Fighters are trying to depose him. ST joins their number when Diane (Jennie Linden) tries to shoot the president's right hand man (Barry Morse)
76 The Helpful Pirate 6* - ST is employed by British Intelligence to find a scientist who has disappeared in Hamburg . "I think I'm on to a fortune," were the last words to his daughter. ST isn't fooled by the tale he'd been spun of pirate's treasure. The scientist has been kidnapped by Kolben (Paul Maxwell) who will sell him to the highest bidder. ST easily rescues the prof and his daughter, "I do it all the time"
77 The Convenient Monster 6* - Claw marks in the sand aside a dead dog on the shores of Loch Ness- "are you seriously suggesting the monster?" ST has an open mind, but the death of Willy the poacher would suggest Nessie has turned into a killer. However the human murderer is exposed and meets a terrible fate, at the hand of the monster perhaps? However in the swirling mist, who knows?
78 The Angel's Eye 5* - ST is in Amsterdam, guarding a 125 carat diamond. Though it is nicked, good old Sebastian Tombs can nick it back, "the early bid catches the worm"
79 The Man Who Liked Lions 4* - In Rome, reporter Tony is knifed in ST's presence. A diary leads ST to The Organisation, in charge the suave boss (Peter Wyngarde typically eccentically nasty). In his Ben Hur costume ST is nearly fed, literally, to the lions
80 The Better Mousetrap 8* - Lady 'Aversham's jewels are stolen in Cannes. Ronnie Barker plays Alphonse ze clumsy policeman who has to tail ST. All the best Saint elements are here: ST flirting with Natalie the likely suspect, his outwitting the dumb police inspector, and of course the triumph of justice, or maybe romance
81 Little Girl Lost 5* - ST protects a girl claiming to be Hitler's daughter, from her millionaire father. However as they wander through forests (similar to #10 and #72 though not so well done here), she is kidnapped and has to be rescued from a real Irish castle, "you've been a very naughty girl"
82 Paper Chase 5* - A poetic ST at 5am bumps into a Foreign office gent about to defect. ST travels to East Germany, recovers and destroys the stolen files, borrows a police car, and helps the spy escape back to the West- simple really
83 Locate and Destroy 3* - ST rescues influential gold mine owner Henry Coleman (John Barrie) from an attack in a Peruvian art dealer's shop. But the evil Coleman owns paintings looted in 1939 by Nazis from a Polish museum. This turns into another hunt for a war criminal, but ST also finds time to rescue the fair Maria (Francesca Annis) from Coleman's clutches
84 Flight Plan 4*- Mike (William Gaunt) has gone to the bad, courtmartialled out of the RAF, now in with a bad plot stealing an Osprey vertical take-off plane. For the sake of his sister Diane, ST tries to stop him, but fails. So ST sneaks behind the Iron Curtain and persuades Mark to fly the plane back to England. As Mike gets hurt, of course it's ST who does that expert flying
85 Escape Route 3* - Insp Teal nicks ST at last. Sent to prison for ten years, Dartmoor is where we learn what we'd already guessed, that it's a ploy to catch the gang who are helping prisoners escape. The escape route for ST is the old helicopter in the quarry routine, and ST is taken to the Colonel (John Gregson) the brains behind the operation
86 The Persistent Patriots (1967) 5* - Jack Liskard (Edward Woodward) is an egocentric Prime Minister- do you know of any other type? But he has to appeal to ST when a blackmailer threatens to expose his old affair with Mary. But even ST cannot prevent an assassination attempt, though he does demonstrate to the bemused Insepctor Teal just how it was done, "absolutely ridiculous"
87 The Fast Women 6* - Rich Cynthia Quillen (Jan Holden) is a racing driveress. Her "bauble boy" husband is flirting with her main rival Theresa. Both girls approach ST asking him to kill the other! At the start of the big race at Brands Hatch, Theresa sticks her tongue out at Cynthia, not the sort of thing Stirling Moss used to do
88 The Death Game 6* -The opening is more Avengers-style as ST mixes with students playing a game devising ingenious ways of pretending to kill. However the game gets awfully real when winners gather in Switzerland guests of Adolf Vogler, "number 1 in the top ten scum of Europe." When Simon is found out, he ends up top of Adolf's hit list
89 The Art Collectors 7* - ST is on top form even if the script is a bit lacking. A Prussian "damsel in distress" in Paris is "awfully grateful" for ST's help in protecting her three rare unknown Leonardos from two gangs who are after them
90 To Kill A Saint 9*- Ze question ees- who is trying to kill Paul Verrier (Peter Dyneley)? ST seems ze culprit, but 'e 'as ze alibi, ze best, deux beautiful girlies in bed wiz 'im. "Very dangerous" Verrier in turn attempts to get ST bumped off, but entertainingly selects ST himself to do the killing. All highly enjoyable with lots of pleasing moments
91 The Counterfeit Countess 6* - In Chamonix lives The Countess (Kate O'Mara), boss of a counterfeiting racket, her front the Paris night club Le Chat Enrage. ST breaks into her chateau and kindly escorts her off to prison
92 Simon and Delilah 4* - Old stars in the story are Guy Rolfe playing a film director, and Patrick Holt as husband of a temperamental film star (Suzanne Lloyd). In her role of Delilah she's "consistently nasty," and no better when she is kidnapped. Yes, it's up to ST to rescue her, and indeed "Saints rush in..."
93 Island of Chance 3* - A chemist working for rich Dr Charles Crayford is murdered. "He found it," Charles is informed, but ST with the help of Marla (Sue Lloyd, the only bright spot in the story), also learns the secret hid in Crayford's cellar
94 The Gadget Lovers 8* - Russian agents are being killed by ingenious devices, though ST prevents the latest attempt upon Colonel Smolenko (Mary Peach). ST has the greatest fun taking her place, showing her Paris, before in a Swiss monastery tracking down the gadget makers, masterminded by perennial oriental villain Burt Kwouk
95 A Double in Diamonds 8*- ST on the trail of the necklace of Lord Gillingham (Cecil Parker) which has been switched with a fake during the fashion show of Pierre (Anton Rodgers). Poor Inspector Teal is branded "plain cantankerous" by ST, and "an oaf" by Pierre. But there's a lot more to this case with identical twins, two fakes, plus the kidnap of Gillingham's daughter
96 The Power Artists 4* - ST is framed for the murder of an artist, yet The Pride of Scotland Yard can't prove much without the corpse. ST hides it in order to frame the real killer, old arch-enemy Vogler (see #88)
97 The Best Laid Schemes 5* - Cpt Flemming's body is washed ashore, he's buried but then he phones his wife! Is he still alive (as his photo is of Francis de Wolff, he could be), or is it suicide, or murder, maybe by Ballard his business rival?
98 The Gadic Collection 5*- ST is arrested in Istanbul for the murder of a museum official, so to prove his bona fides, he has to track down a faker of antiquities before coming face to face with "an expert in making people talk" (that's Peter Wyngarde). I specially liked however, the exchanges between Roger Moore and Martin Benson as the Turkish police chief
99 The Best Laid Schemes 3* - This gives a portrait of a "vindictive cruel man," a sea captain who is washed ashore dead. It's odd because he looks like Francis de Wolff, so perhaps he is still alive and going to resurrect? But who is now trying to drive his widow mad? For certainly she's "on the verge of a schizoid attack," seeing visions of her dead husband. According to ST, it's "very romantic" and also very easy for our genius hero to solve this case
100 Invitation to Danger 5* - "Iceberg" Reb (Shirley Eaton) lures ST to a deserted mansion and locks him in. He escapes of course, but is caught, escapes, is recaptured, and nearly twice more he escapes. It's a frame-up. Sunley, nasty casino owner (Robert Hutton) accuses ST of stealing £100,000. ST elaborately escapes from him too, and tracks down Reb who claims to be a CIA agent, out to stop Sunley who is trading in state secrets. Naturally ST helps her rob him again, but of course it's not as simple as that...
101 Legacy for the Saint 6* - Lawyer Charlie Lewis puts a bomb in the car of Ed his gangland boss. Kind ST breaks the bad news to Ed's daughter Penny. Ed's will leaves her £100,000 but a million to the one of his four slimy business rivals who can raise a million by stealing a cargo of gold bullion. ST joins the gang and leads poor Inspector Claude Eustace Teal a merry dance. "You're not nice people"
102 The Desperate Diplomat 5* - Accused of stealing three quarters of a million of American aid, a diplomat goes to ground in Switzerland. ST stands by his old friend and with the man's daughter (Suzan Farmer) races with evil spies to first trace the diplomat, then recover the cash

103 The Organisation Man 8* (1968/9) - ST shoots a man- but it's so he can infiltrate a private army organised by the swaggering Roper (Tony Britton). Job: to prise a traitor away from British Intelligence
104 Double Take 6*- A "unique, unrepeatable, over-privileged" Greek tycoon asks for ST's help as he has a double who's out to ruin him. But the double also engages a puzzled ST in a frightfully confusing story. However ST isn't baffled at all of course, and exposes "a big bamboozle" in, using ST's own words, "a load of mularky"
105 The Time to Die 7* - The death is announced of ST. With the help of Mary (Suzanne Lloyd), ST works out which of his enemies is trying to frighten him to death. But naturally ST is never going to be reduced to "a bundle of nerves"
106 The Master Plan 8*- Jean has persuaded ST to trace her brother Tony who has got sucked into drug smuggling run by the nasty Cord. ST saves Tony's life, takes him to hospital where he saves his life again, before brushing with the mastermind of the gang played by Burt Kwouk, with whom Roger Moore enjoys some lively banter
107 The House on Dragon's Rock 6*- Back to the Welsh mountains (see #68) for "something funny going on." Uncle Charlie in The Big House is conducting secret experiments. His niece (Annette Andre) is nearly scared to death by his monster, which in the style of the era is better imagined than actually seen
108 The Scales of Justice 7*- Straightforward murder tale. Sir John dies in his Rolls, ST at his side, the fifth death of a director of a business. Neal (John Barron) is next to receive a postcard warning, and he's killed by a needle. Next threat is to the new Lord Mayor of London, and ST saves him as his procession wends its way through London's streets. But his daughter (Jean Marsh) discovers the killer's identity and in a tense finish, ST races to prevent a seventh death
109/110 The Fiction Makers 7*- Amos Klein is a successful but elusive author of crime stories. ST kindly poses as him, or rather her, when Amos is kidnapped by incarnations from the books, to use his brain for breaking in to the high security Hermetico. Here is a pleasing mix of fantasy and fiction with the seemingly foolproof caper in which ST has little choice but to implement, the perfect crime, or nearly so
111 The People Importers 5* - ST takes an instant dislike to Charles 'Bulldog' Bonner (Neil Hallett), and with good reason, for he's smuggling Pakistanis into Britain, and has shot an undercover agent. The final showdown in a car scrap yard is a must for enthusiasts of old cars
112 Where the Money Is 6*- ST starts by telling us about Temptation, as a scantily clad female picks him up, "well if you've got to go, it's the only way." She takes him to movie magnate Ben Kersh, who is desperate for ST to save his kidnapped daughter on the Riviera. Rescue easy, but the plot isn't that simple
113/114 Vendetta for the Saint 5*- Dino Cartelli, alias Al, lives in luxury on Capri, a respectable businessman, but also "a deported goon," a mafia boss, vying to take over from Don Pasquale (the ancient Finlay Currie) as the next Godfather. ST is chased all round Sicily in a drawn-out thriller, in which Ian Hendry's sinister character is never quite convincing or chilling
115 The Ex-King of Diamonds 8*- The first episode of The Persuaders owes a lot to this fun story set on the Riviera, as ST competes in his car, at the casino and for the fair maiden, with the third richest man in the world, Rod from Texas. However they pool forces, and with the aid of a prof of mathematics beat a corrupt bank at Monte Carlo, rescue the prof's imprisoned daughter, oh, and thwart a rebellion. Most memorable moment however is of Ex King Boris, the enormous Willoughby Goddard, idly sprawling on his bed guzzling grapes
116 The Man Who Gambled with Life 6* - Millionaire scientist Keith Longman (Clifford Evans) with his two voluptuous daughters aims "not to die." He needs ST to volunteer in some unspecified way, or be forced if necessary, but "money can't buy immortality" in a story more like The Avengers than the Saint
117 Portrait of Brenda 7*- Here's a snapshot of Swinging Sixties London, even though, I'm glad to report, ST looks as demure as ever in his grey suit. There are the inevitable pop singers and gurus as ST tracks down the killer of yet another of his friends, this one a bohemian artist in Chelsea, who has unearthed "a gigantic swindle"
118 The World Beaters 3* - this final story returns to motor racing (see also #63 and #87), ST driving The Sentinel for old enemy Kay Collingwood (Patricia Haines) and her client Justin. He's the crooked rival of his cousin George. "Darling" Kay is ST's navigator in a rally, and just has to end up pushing the car out of the mud, and herself in it. ST's cunning ensures Cousin George wins the first prize, yes, Simon," he's the best!"

To 60's Menu

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The Talented Husband

A sparkling opener to the series, I remember being gripped by this stylish little thriller when it first hit our British screens in the autumn of 1962.

Introduction- In a London theatre, ST props up the bar during the interval of a dud play. Madge (Patricia Roc), the producer’s wife introduces Simon to her husband John (Derek Farr).

His latest play is a flop, and worse follows when Madge is paralysed after he accidentally knocks a flower pot from their balcony on to her head. He engages a housekeeper, Mrs Jafferty, to look after his wife, but won’t let anyone else visit her.
At the riverside Ferry Hotel Cookham, ST is staying with one of his old pals, the landlord (George Roderick). He says he’s looking for a woman 38-24-36, and one Adrienne (Shirley Eaton) seems to meet the bill. She’s a neighbour of John and Madge and like ST she’s suspicious of John. In fact she turns out to be an insurance investigator. We also discover this isn’t John’s first marriage, his other two wives dying in accidents.
John is planning his alibi. He’s going to London to discuss his latest play, so Madge is alone in the house with Mrs Jafferty. Only that housekeeper is his alter ego. A meal with rat poison is prepared for Madge to eat that evening. Then Mrs Jafferty makes her exit from the face of the earth.
ST and Adrienne are keeping watch on the house, and, sensing trouble, the suspicious ST breaks in, but finds nothing apparently wrong……
Later that evening, John returns home to find his wife slumped in bed. Enter ST: ”your wives have a habit of dying.” Of course, he had spotted the empty packet of rat poison and Madge is safe and well, albeit a broken woman: “I love him”

The Saint Start

To 60's Menu

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THE AVENGERS with Patrick MacNee as John Steed
This brilliant ground breaking series went through several successful metamorphoses. The character of Steed was a huge hit. Yet by the final series of The Avengers proper, there was too much pandering to American tat, with the absurd 'Mother' and the less than satisfactory Linda Thorson. Nevertheless it was almost inevitable that The Avengers would become a parody of itself. With Diana Rigg, Steed's character reached a brilliant perfection, and those earlier studio-limited stories do have some charm of their own.
My favourite episode: 4.8 A Surfeit of H2O. Inventive (but then that's true of most stories), scary and wildly improbable (ditto), but I think everything comes together in this one. Emma looks stunning and Albert Lieven must be the ultimate black and white villain, why, he's foreign!
Dud stories: Ignoring the Linda Thorson series, the ones where Cathy and later Emma keep on getting trapped alone in a mansion.
The Most 'Must See' story: Elizabeth Shepherd in the pilot version of The Town of No Return, surprising she didn't land the role.
Best moment: 2.22 Man in the Mirror, as Steed finds Venus in the fairground.
My Favourite character: Venus Smith- am I alone in believing she was the best of Steed's partners?!

FIRST SERIES
Sadly most of these videotaped stories were wiped, but we live in hope.....
1.1 Hot Snow (Jan 7th 1961) - the beginning only, so until the complete copy surfaces, we will never see how Steed first makes his appearance. What we do see however is a well drawn out first act with a contrast between Dr David Keel's cuddly engagement to Peggy and a sinister intruder searching for a parcel wrongly delivered to his surgery. In it, £4,000 worth of "snow" and Peggy is the one who can identify the courier: "I'm afraid the girl'll have to go." Outside Vinson's jewellers she's shot, an act leading to Dr Keel vowing to Avenge her death....
1.6 The Girl on the Trapeze - A girl jumps off a bridge. Though Dr Keel rescues her, she later dies. "One wrong move" and there'll be a diplomatic incident" since she's a trapeze artist with a circus visiting from abroad. Keel and Carol stumble on a plot to force an important metallurgist to quit Britain. They are taken prisoner backstage, so surely Steed will ride to their rescue! He must have been on holiday this week, but who needs him, the police do just as well, despite facing seasoned opposition from the villains played by Kenneth J Warren and Edwin Richfield
1.15 The Frighteners 5* - the "real frighteners" is being put on Jeremy de Willoughby, and Frightening is an apt word when it's Willoughby Gray as The Deacon behind the frightening. "Lay off that girl," is the message de Willoughby is given, from "most vicious" rich businessman (Stratford Johns), who wants to protect his daughter 'Marylin.' But in a shock turn around, Steed and Keel play out a charace to expose a fraudster
1.20 Tunnel of Fear

On video - With JULIE STEVENS as Venus Smith, a 20 year old blonde singer who lives in Manchester. Her exact relationship with Steed is hard to determine, but she provides a strikingly naive contrast to Honor Blackman and her later incarnations.
2.6 The Removal Men - What's Steed up to locking the wife of Dragna (Reed de Rouen) in her bathroom?! He steals her jewels in order to infiltrate Dragna's gang who's next job is to shoot a famous French sex symbol. Venus is working in the gang's French club and inadvertently blows Steed's cover. There in the deserted nightclub, Steed and Venus look down the barrel of a gun. While she sings, Steed switches out the lights. Songs include An Occasional Man, whilst the Dave Lee Trio also play one jazz number
2.17 Box of Tricks 6* - The Disappearing Lady magic trick with a difference- the illusionist's assistant Valerie reappears shot dead! Same thing happens to next helper Denise. A nervous Venus, who is singing at the Gemini Club, becomes assistant number 3. She also sings It's a Pity to say Goodnight and It's Delightful. Steed poses as a masseur to prevent quack faith healer Dr Gallam from passing top secret info
2.22 Man in the Mirror 7* - Venus' amateur photography at a fairground captures the image of Victor Trevelyan "who died last week." So we come to the incongruous sight of Steed in his bowler searching the fair for this cipher expert, a potential defector. This, the best story of this series, contains many striking visual shots in a ghost tunnel, an iconic coffee bar plus trendy music to match. It's inevitable that Venus gets captured, and Steed, leaping to her rescue, also falls into the baddies' clutches after a shootout round the amusement park. The pair face being blown to bits before the traitor is rounded up. In lulls, Venus sings the flat Nothing Like Love, as well as the classic I Know Where I'm Going
2.24 Chorus of Frogs 7*- Steed investigates when an agent dies after diving off the ship of Archipelago Mason (Eric Pohlmann). Coincidentally, Venus happens to be working on board as a singer. She sings, Hush Little Darling, plus a snatch of The Lips that Touch Mine as though auditioning for Play School. Steed is in top form as a stowaway, exploring Mason's laboratory where "something very funny is going on," actually the Chinese are exploiting it as a testing ground for an advanced midget submarine. The plot gots a little lost but memorable support from John Carson and Colette Wilde boosts the enjoyment

With JON ROLLASON as Dr Martin King
2.9 The Sell-Out 3* - protecting diplomat M Roland, Steed himself is suspected of being the instigator of attacks upon him (surely not!). He poses as Roland, it is up to him to expose the real rotter of a traitor

With HONOR BLACKMAN as Cathy Gale (also on tape). What you've always wanted: Cathy's phone number is PRImrose 0042. Steed's address is 5 Westminster Mews, his phone is WHItehall 0011. On film we see that Steed drives a sports car 880CPA, though a new car appears in #3.12.
2.1 Mr Teddy Bear 7*- You can see why this was shown as the first of the series, even though not the first made. It introduces the sinister Mr Teddy Bear, international assassin, who bumps off the Colonel, on live tv. Cathy meets him in an isolated house, or at least she meets a teddy bear, "all rather grotesque." She says she wants Steed killed! Mr Bruin sends her a photo of the corpse, but for once he has failed, "why aren't you dead?" Cathy inquires of Steed. She herself ends up in Mr Bruin's clutches, "you win Mr Teddy Bear." He's a whale on gadgetry, but Steed beats him with a neat trick of his own
2.2 Propellant 23: 3*- Meyer, a courier with a sample of new rocket fuel, dies at Marseilles Airport, or at least a studio mock up of it. The flask goes missing, Steed and Cathy must retrieve it or "governments will fall." Paul Manning (Geoffrey Palmer) and Siebel are "competitors" in close pursuit. Lt Leclerc uses some of it as a hair restorer, but the remainder is fought over in the showdown at a baker's. Well drawn characters among the red herrings
2.4 Bullseye 3*- The chairman of an arms firm commits suicide, Cathy joins the board, and nearly gets "her fingers burnt," suspected of murder, as other directors are eliminated one by one. This is a too static story, lots of talk, not much else
2.7 The Mauritius Penny 5*- a rare 1847 stamp leads Steed to a close encounter with a dentist's drill ("if I were you, I'd change my dentist"), and worse, a Nazi Euro coup. Only Cathy is standing in the way, "nothing can stop us now!"
2.8 Death of a Great Dane 5* - Why has conjuror George Miller got diamonds in his stomach? Millionaire Alexander Litoff used him in his charity work, but suddenly all his beneficence has ceased. Steed resorts to blackmail, earning £4,000, but then an offer of a million in a story of lots of good ideas but not all followed through. Plot used again in #5.19
2.10 Death on the Rocks 6* - In partnership with recently widowed Samuel Ross, Steed poses as a diamond merchant with a wife "for a couple of weeks," Cathy of course. His attempt to flirt is rebuffed of course, "hello dalring." A would be take over of the international diamond market is thwarted
2.12 The Big Thinker 4*- Plato is almost human, actually a giant computer serviced by The Boy Wonder, whom, though "objectionable," Cathy cultivates. The other side want him too and are sabotaging Plato, which almost solves the mystery itself
2.13 Death Dispatch - Murder of a courier in Jamaica, though he only carried routine despatches in his bag. The killer is given "a second chance" when Steed takes on the courier role, a dangerous assignment: "you just can't leave dead bodies lying around about the place." Cathy is taken prisoner by Chilean assassins, but Steed outwits them
2.16 Immortal Clay - Murder of a spy in a pottery. Is the killer boss Richard (Paul Eddington), because he was jealous of his wife's lover, or is it Allen (Gary Watson) the brains at the factory who claims to have invented "unbreakable china"? "All that fuss over a little piece of mud!"
2.18 Warlock 4*- Mrs Gale is working at the Natural History Museum, where Steed consults her about a hex upon Neville, a scientist who has invented a new fuel. A spell by Cosmo Gallion has lured Neville into his presence. Witches dance impressively, and Peter Arne is convincing as the warlock who lures Cathy to his coven for sacrifice, but of course his plan backfires
2.23 Conspiracy of Silence 2* - "This man- kill him." The man is Steed, and on film in the park, he plays with his dog. Carlo shoots- but loses his nerve. Cathy stays at a circus to locate Carlo who is in hiding from everyone. Despite some surrealistic camerawork, this is slow moving, not even a punch up to finish
2.26 Killer Whale 3* - Dirty deeds at Pancho's gym, as Steed and Cathy promote boxer Joey. "What are you really after?" Cathy wants to know, and surprisingly the answer lies in perfume. This slow story ends the series, with our two stars going off on holiday, separately, despite Steed's overtures
3.2 The Undertakers 8* - millionaire Prof Renter (Patrick Holt) has gone into "meditation" at Adelphi Park "rather suddenly." He's not the only millionaire residing at this establishment run by Lomax (Lee Patterson), to avoid death duties. Latest arrival is the husband of Cathy (Jan Holden), followed by Mrs Lomax, just so the surviving partners can have it off together. Daphne (Mandy Miller), Paula's stepdaughter shows up at Adelphi Park looking for her dad, just as well Cathy has obtained the job of assistant matron here. The boss is finally rounded up by Steed and Cathy in a long filmed sequence shot in the surreal grounds of York House
3.4 The Nutshell 8* - An "impenetrable" nuclear bunker, level 43, suffers a break-in, "somebody has stolen Big Ben!" This is a vital document, and the traitor must be exposed, though it seems Steed in number one suspect,Yes it's "Steed of all people." Cathy: "Steed, what is going on?...Even for you, aren't you behaving a little oddly?"He is charged with high treason, surely this cannot be! "Steed will have to talk," but even Cathy can't achieve that. In the end of course, all is revealed
3.5 Death of a Batman 5* - Lord Teale (Andre Morell) had the same batman in the first war as Steed did in the second. This batman has died, leaving in his will £180,000, a vast sum earned by "financial pimps" Teale and Van Doren. Lady Cynthia, or perhaps her investments, are wooed by Steed, playing "Samson" to her "Delilah," tracking down insider dealing, which may be altruistic, but also dishonest, "I'm a patriot, not a traitor"
3.6 November Five 3*- "That sort of thing doesn't happen in this country." But one and a half seconds after being elected, an MP is shot dead, "shortest political career on record." He was elected on his promise to expose the hushed up theft of a five megaton warhead. Cathy stands for Parliament amid political manoeuvres that don't quite ignite, despite the threat of "the biggest bumper Guy Fawkes Night of all time"
3.7 The Gilded Cage - Three million in gold bullion is what Steed wants to use to lure crimebroker JP Spagge (a snapping Patrick Magee) back into business. But Spagge and his superior butler Fleming are a cautious pair and take "the necessary action" of shooting Steed and testing Cathy before allowing her to lead them into the subterranean vaults. But Cathy is found out and faces being shot too. "Very smart work, Mr Steed!" as both appear very much alive to face up to the criminals
3.10 The Grandeur That Was Rome 5*- introducing perhaps the first great Avengers flawed megalomaniac, Bruno (Hugh Burden) who plans to rule the world as Caesar. Cathy is nearly used as "an offering to the gods," to test out Bruno's evil germ warfare. Octavia his wife (Colette Wilde) is feckless, and "this Roman gimmick" ends with predicatble betrayal, even though the script avoids the obvious Et Tu Brute. However Steed does offer us Anyone For Tennis?
3.11 The Golden Fleece 3* - Army men are scheming to protect their gold smuggling racket with their intermediary Mr Lo at Mrs Kwan's restaurant. Corporal Jones (not the Dad's Army veteran of course) has nicked a consignment, and is murdered. Cathy joins the army museum in a bitty story that offers a hint of a moral message
3.12 Don't Look Behind You 3* - In his "spanking new car," GK3295, Steed drives Mrs Gale to Hounds of the Baskerville Country, where she is left alone in Resagne Hall, an ultra impressive set in a plot so celebrated it was reused for an Emma Peel version. Yet it's too close to the atmosphere of the pretentious Armchair Theatre to be my favourite, it's intended to be scary, but I found it frustratingly tedious. Not Authentic Avengers
3.13 Death A La Carte 4*- Steed is chef Sebastian, who provides the food for a visiting emir in a hotel, in which all the action takes place. Despite neat touches of humour, this is unexceptional, The Protectors Cathy and Steed seemingly failing in their mission to protect the emir
3.14 Dressed to Kill 7*- The Third World War nearly breaks out as Steed joins a New Year's Party on board a train, destination? "It's a bit quiet for Wolverhampton," in fact guests are marooned on a deserted railway station, among them Leonard Rossiter who seems to be auditioning for Rigsby, and Pussy Cat Anneke Wills who charms Steed, and vice versa, to Cathy Gale's obvious indifference. After a slow beginning, which must have been produced after a party itself, tension builds, "one of us here is an imposter." High Noon at the station
3.15 The White Elephant 5*- Snowy escapes from Noah's Ark Zoo, where Mrs Gale uncoincidentally lands a job. Lots of animals populate the studio, mostly well behaved, though Godfrey Quigley as Noah has competition from a parrot on his shoulder, and one slithery snake. Not to forget that ubiquitous fly on the VCR screen. Ivory smuggling is behind Snowy the elephant's demise, and it's interesting to speculate how well the characters and theme might have been developed in the filmed series. Cathy is caged with a tiger, though Steeds rescues her tongue in cheek- she is never seen with the tiger, that would have been impossible eh?
3.16 The Little Wonders 8*- Cathy paying £20,000 to repair a doll, shows that all is not quite what it seems in this nice tongue in cheek story by Eric Paice. Steed, as The Vicar of Mbote, alias Johnny the Horse, attends primary school for an international convocation of disreputable 'vicars,' who are electing a new leader. With a collection plate containing guns, Lois Maxwell as Sister Johnson tops them with her machine gun, and some muffed lines
3.17 The Wringer 4* - six out of the last seven agents crossing from Hungary have been "lost." Hal Anderson (Peter Sallis) was investigating, but hasn't reported back. Steed finds him. Anderson alleges Steed is the traitor and "he's guilty until proved innocent." Steed is incarcerated and it's up to Cathy Gale to extricate him from being brainwashed by his own side's traitorous brainwashers. Don't miss the fly on the camera lens in Act 2. It makes a return appearance later too!
3.18 Mandrake 8*- a stunning set of St Alban's churchyard in Cornwall is where nine burials of Londoners have taken place in the past three months. Cathy chats with the vicar, Rev Whyper (George Benson) in the equally impressive church set. She consults Dr Macombie (John le Mesurier) who had signed the suspicious death certificates. He is in league with Roy Hopkins (Philip Locke) of Mandrake Investments who has fallen for their next client, the "loaded" Mrs. Turner, whose husband is next for the poison, "this is an evil business, Mrs Gale." (Note- the actual church is allegedly "near Bodmin" but later seems much further south west)
3.20 Trojan Horse 4*- Steed has to look after Sebastian, actually a horse, a real one too in the studio, but this is a mere excuse to poke around the stables, hq of Heuston's gang that "kills to order," blackmailing people like ffordsham, (Geoffrey Whitehead) who have gambled themselves into debt. Cathy joins Heuston's legitimate betting business and is chatted up by him, while Steed is next on the gang's assassination list
3.21 Build a Better Mousetrap 8* - A nice juxtapposition between leather clad rockers with ton up Cathy one of their bunch, and two old dears (Athene Seyler and Nora Nicholson), whom legend has are witches. They are able to silence the motorbikes and all machinery near their old mill, no wonder lots of people including Steed are after their invention. Impressive sets, wild music and an iconic if insubstantial story
3.22 The Outside-In Man 4*- Steed is in charge of the security of visiting General Sharp of Aburania, who five years ago had been branded a traitor and agent Mark Charter (James Maxwell) had been ordered to kill him. He failed, but by "an extraordinary coincidence," has come out of jail just as Sharp is coming to Britain. Charter is insisting on completing his mission, Steed has to stop him, but others want the general dead too, in this straightforward story, even the twist is easily predicted. Interesting that Ronald Radd plays Steed's superior in this, echoes of Callan all too apparent
3.23 The Charmers 9* - Alas Poor Agent George, killed by the thrust of a rapier. But whodunnit? Not Steed, "I haven't killed anyone all week." Nor Keller (Warren Mitchell) on the other side, so the pair form an unholy alliance to expose a common enemy. Or rather Steeds persuades Cathy to work with Them, while Steed is given agent Kim (Fenella Fielding), "from us to you..." MacNee is in sparkling form as the two sides work together in mutual distrust. A stylish story with all the latent eccentricities that later flourished, as the enemy is unearthed at the Pimlico Charm School, principal (Brian Oulton), which turns "mere men into gentlemen"
3.24 Concerto - Stefan, the famous young Russian pianist is protected by Zelenko (Nigel Stock) on a cultural visit to Britain. That help is needed when a girl is found strangled in his hotel room. It's an attempt to frame him, a second try occurs at The Stud Club before the third and final effort by Peterson of the British Arts Council. With a photo of Stefan at the strip club, Peterson forces Stefan to agree to shoot the Trade Minister. Steed and Cathy play a game of one sided roulette, but the bullet is never fired, nor is this story ever really fired into life
3.25 Esprit de Corps 7*- One of those fantastic world-ranging plots that only The Avengers had. But for Steed it starts in a humble launderette, investigating the shooting of a soldier. He asks Cathy to "infiltrate" a Highland regiment led by "crashing bore" Captain Trench (John Thaw). A simulated defence exercise of London proves to be merely an outlandish scheme to reinstate the House of Stuart on to the British throne. The archetypal Avengers villainous boss, in this instance a Scottish crank (Duncan Macrae) is somehow convinced Cathy's "second in line of succession to the Scottish throne"! Steed, meantime, is courtmartialed and is up before a firing squad. Fortunately this is presided over by the corruptible Private Jessop, endearingly played by Roy Kinnear, who after entertaining Steed, and us, with a final champagne breakfast, proceeds to his execution. The plot fails of course, or who knows, Cathy would have become our 'Queen Anne II'!
3.26 Lobster Quadrille 4* - Agent Williams is burned to death. Steed and Cathy dabble in chess, and tackle smugglers in the lobster trade. Steed dates singer Kate (Jennie Linden), scent of romance in this final episode in which Cathy "disappears," nearly burned like Williams, but not, but then she does, "I'm taking a holiday... goodbye"

On Film With DIANA RIGG as Emma Peel:
4.1 The Town of No Return 7*- Perhaps as this had to be refilmed, the story doesn't quite come over, even though it's an archetypal Avengers plot about the isolated oppressive village of Little Bazeley, not visitor friendly. Patrick Newell is the latest arrival to be bumped off- pity he ever returned to the series
4.2 The Grave-Diggers 8*- Top radar expert Dr Hubert Marlow has died, but is alive and well in a benevolent nursing home, funds for which are provided by this week's splendid eccentric Sir Horace Winslip (Ronald Fraser). Coffins are being filled by undertakers, who are placing radio jamming devices to render our country's defences defenceless. Emma Peel takes up a nursing post here, ending up tied to Sir Horace's private railway track, about to be squashed in true silent movie style
4.3 The Cybernauts 8*- Emma shows her prowess at karate and purchases electronic toys, while Steed finds in United Automation, run by the demented Armstrong (Michael Gough) the age of the pushbutton. Of course "machines can go wrong," and Steed proves it in a classic conclusion as two automated assassins bash the hell out of each other
4.4 Death at Bargain Prices 8* -Business at Pinter's department store is poor, mainly because most of the staff know nothing about salesmanship. Emma joins the staff. The store has just been taken over by King Caine (Andre Morell) who, with the aid of a giant bomb, is planning to take over the country, and to prove his point he's first going to blow up London
4.5 Castle De'Ath 6*- Jock McSteed in a giant Scottish castle, Mrs Peel, her hair changes colour from scene to scene. Gordon Jackson plays a typically dour Scots role in a story set in the deepest darkest dungeon, but that's secondary to the scenery and the fun
4.6 The Master Minds 6* - "a touch of fantasy" when a cabinet minster breaks into a government strongroom. He is a member of Ransack, the organisation for superior minds. Emma passes their IQ test, as does Steed after some help from Emma, though he's not bright enough to prevent the MP's murder. At Ransack hq, members are brainwashed into stealing a guided missile. Emma even volunteers to kill Steed. An inventive fight sequence terminates the evil plot
4.7 The Murder Market 7*- An inventive Tony Williamson script in which Steed and Mrs Peel investigate eleven murders. Could Steed be the twelfth? He joins Togetherness Inc, an exclusive marriage bureau run by Lovejoy (Patrick Cargill), who finds Steed his perfect partner in Barbara (Suzanne Lloyd). To prove himself, Steed must murder another client, name of Peel, Mrs Peel
4.8 A Surfeit of H2O 8*- Jonah (shouldn't he have been called Noah? - alias Noel Purcell) is building an Ark because he knows the floods are coming. Sinister experiments in a wine factory by Albert Lieven and Geoffrey Palmer are causing abnormally high levels of rainfall. Steed guzzles wine while Emma is caught in the winepress
4.10 Dial A Deadly Number 5*- This has all the appearance of being a reworked script from the previous series, but on film. Lots of close ups etc, but nicely done, dynamic company chairman are dying off alarmingly. "Mechanical genius" Fitch (John Carson) has invented a device that "bleeps" his victims to death. Steed attends the most unusual wine tasting ever
4.11 The Man-Eater of Surrey Green 7*- "Passive inanimate" plants are being secretly cultivated in this dark story, plants that can even think. The plot is a muddle and the special effects are unintentionally laughable, but Athene Seyler steals the show as an expert charged with destroying the giant tentacled plant. When Emma falls under its spell, Steed has to fight even her
4.12 Two's A Crowd 4* - Col Psev, king of spies, needs to be prevented from infiltrating a conference on Polaris. Introducing Brodny (Warren Mitchell) whose attempt to outwit Steed is of course doomed, despite the discovery of Steed's double. Psev has his own secret, but attacking Steed and Emma with a model plane is simply too ridiculous
4.13 Too Many Christmas Trees 8* - Steed's surreal nightmare of a grotesque Santa Claus becomes reality at a country house weekend with a Dickensian Christmas theme. It's all part of a plot to extract the secrets of his mind, ending with an inventive punchup in a Hall of Mirrors
4.14 Silent Dust 7* - Where have all the martlets gone? A pesticide could destroy the whole of Dorset unless £40 million is paid up. And that's only for starters. One mislaid Western fantasy deflects the menace and if you don't like fox hunting, be warned: Emma is the quarry
4.16 Small Game for Big Hunters 6* - "the natives are restless" is one of the expected lines in this story set in deepest Hertfordshire, where this week's eccentric, "old stager" Bill Fraser, hams it up as an ex-colonialist, still living in his recreated jungle. His evil associates are using him to release a new stream of tsetse fly to take over a former colony. Steed emulates Tarzan, while it's Me Emma to the rescue
4.17 The Girl from Auntie 7*- Who is impersonating Emma Peel? Georgy (Liz Fraser), who proves a fine stand-in, as she follows Steed in his quest for kidnapper Auntie (Alfred Burke). He employs elderly top class knitters who bump off all opposition, and guard Emma's hiding place, a giant birdcage. There's plenty more in this entertaining piece of nonsense, Auntie auctioning off the real Mona Lisa, before putting Emma up for auction. Steed puts in the highest bid of £200,000
4.18 The Thirteenth Hole 5* - The entire story is set in Graigleigh Golf Club, where Frank Reed (Patrick Allen) and his partner Peter Adams (Peter Jones) are up to no good. In the big tournament it is Reed v Steed, and with help from the latter's "fairy godmother" Emma, it's no contest. Then Steed plays Adams and with a bomb in the twelfth hole, and dirty work in the 13th bunker, Steed and Emma have their work cut out to prevent a spy rendezvous via satellite
4.19 The Quick-Quick Slow Death 8* - Emma has her "impressive" feet "cherished," and trips the light fantastic. Steed dances elegantly with Eunice Gayson in a zany Dancing Knockout. But my favourite cameo, among a host of zany parts, is that of Larry Cross as the inebriated dance band leader, closely followed by the tattooist and the zealous shoe salesman. The mystery surrounds a Mr Arthur Peever, dead but still dancing. The plot is something to do with illegal spy immigrants
4.20 The Danger Makers 7* - Top military men are dicing with death like "irresponsible beatniks." Their Black Rose Society puts "the spine" back into living, an antidote to too much Health and Safety, which even in those days was apparently overbearing. One member, Major Robertson (Nigel Davenport) is "a defunct obselete dodo," who however persuades Emma to be initiated via an explosive test, all so Apollo their leader can be exposed
4.21 A Touch of Brimstone 7* - "Childish" but diplomatically embarrassing practical jokes are planned by Hon John Cartney and his evil lordly layabouts of The Hellfire Club. Peter Wyngarde plays him at his most wild eyed and though it's "a lot of nonsense," Steed is initiated in time to thwart a fireworks display that will topple the government, though this is entirely incidental to the infamous whipping scene with Mrs Peel at her most m-appealing
4.22 What the Butler Saw 7* - Butlers are taking over posts at top servicemen's houses, so Steed joins a School for Butlers ("Brighter More Beautiful Butling") so he can become the perfect gentleman's gentleman. Emma plans seduction of the Group Captain while Steed watches on. Nice roles for Thorley Walters, John le Mesurier and Kynaston Reeves who is this week's eccentric, as a retired brigadier
4.23 The House that Jack Built 4* - Emma has inherited a mansion, which is more a labyrinth, "automation to the ultimate degree," built by Prof Keller in a plot just slightly akin to The Prisoner. Is his devillish machine superior to man, as the late professor claims? Or can Emma prove its master? The house is designed to drive Emma mad, or is it the viewer? Steed is on hand, very dithery, but Emma solves how to beat the machine all on her ownsome
4.24 A Sense of History 6*- This doesn't quite come off, as Steed and Emma try to "recapture their college days," mixing with some overgrown students led by the "factious" and "exceptionally nasty" Duboys (Patrick Mower at his best, or worst!). At a Rag Ball, the yobs plan, wait for it, "to change the course of history," but there to spoil their plan are Emma dressed as Robin Hood and Steed as The Sheriff of Nottingham. Hamming it up as "live bait," Nigel Stock steals the show
4.25 How to Succeed...at Murder 6* - An "epidemic" of deaths of prominent businessmen, this week's eccentric JJ Hooter being the twelfth. Steed's £4m business attracts another "thoroughly efficient secretary" (Angela Browne), while Emma infiltrates a feminine organisation whose motto is "Ruination to All Men"
4.26 Honey for the Prince 4*- For me, this too over-the-top story marks the series' decline to stories of merely near-excellence. "A happy bee makes bumper honey," declares Mr B Bumble (Ken Parry) before he's bumped off. The same fate awaits Ponsonby Hopkirk (Ron Moody) whose business is QQF: Quite Quite Fantastic. He has inadvertently devised a means to assassinate the Prince of Barabia. Steed plays cricket with the prince after meeting a genie, while Emma which is attached to his harem

Colour series:
PROMO - The Strange Case of the Missing Corpse -three minute, very-mini pilot, shot in about 3 minutes!
5.1 From Venus With Love 4* - BVS, the British Venusian Society are losing many of their members, prematurely aged. Steed joins after Bert Smith, aristocractic chimney sweep gets the treatment. Then it's the turn of The Brigadier (Jon Pertwee). Emma nearly becomes the next guinea pig for advanced laser treatment
5.3 Escape in Time 6* - Here's an incredible escape route for notorious criminals to "complete liberty". It is run by the weird Waldo Thyssen (Peter Bowles) who blinks nervously at his victims before transposing them, allegedly, into a bygone era- for a hefty fee. In Steed's case, the date is 1790, as for Emma, she'd like to be Mme Pompadour, except she's rumbled and sent off to 1570 to be tortured by the redoutable Matthew Thyssen. A lot of nonsense of course, but fun nonsense
5:4 The See-Through Man 7*- Nobody spotted the intruder at the MOD. This week's eccentric is Roy Kinnear, playing a mad inventor of an invisible formula, now sold to the Commies. Steed tangles with old enemy Brodny (from 4.12, Warren Mitchell who just overdoes it), "you are talking too much." You wait for Steed to become invisible, but the story is always just a little, shall we say, too transparent
5.6 The Winged Avenger 5* - The one in which the series really did turn into a cartoon. A "huge obscene bird" is scratching to extinction ruthless businessmen. Is loony Prof Poole (Jack Macgowran), inventor of special climbing boots, the villain? And just who is masquerading as The Winged Avenger who has "a lone fight against evil"?
5.7 The Living Dead 6* - FOG, Friends of Ghosts, versus SMOG, Scientific Measurement of Ghosts. Purpose- find the fifteenth duke, deceased in a mining disaster, now appearing in spirit form. But it is Emma who is spirited away, to where? An underground town from where an army will soon emerge to "decimate" Britain. Steed faces a firing squad, but thankfully Emma shoots the squad
5.8 The Hidden Tiger 6*- On an experimental farm, men are being mauled to death- "impossible!" Steed joins PURRR, the luxury home for pampered cats, run by Cheshire (Ronnie Barker). The sets are fantastic, as is the plot, though the unseen monster relies entirely on the imagination, in a fantastic plot to plunder the country's wealth
5.9 The Correct Way to Kill 8*- Several of Them are being bumped off, but who by? Emma joins forces with Them (Philip Madoc and Michael Gough, both splendidly sinister), while the by-the-book Comrade Olga (Anna Quayle) fraternises with Steed. They encounter the usual run of eccentrics- Peter Hawkins as The Umbrella Man the best of them, though running him close is Terence Alexander of SNOB, a training centre for young gents.
5.10 Never Never Say Die 5*- Someone looking like Christopher Lee is roving the countryside smashing transistors, and people. It's the alter ego of Prof Stone, no Jekyll and Hyde but the lifelike product of a research station. It demolishes this week's nice eccentric, a radio ham, the aim being to preserve for ever brilliant minds, and duplicate politicians- as though we haven't enough of them as it is
5.11 Epic 2* - Peter Wygarde hams it up though Kenneth Warren as director ZZ von Schnerk isn't far behind him, as Emma is lured to the film studios to participate in a film about her own demise. Quite why, probably who cares, but this is real director James Hill at his over indulgent worst. Of course The Avengers is in itself on-the-edge fantasy, but for me, this story tilts too over the top, without any connection with reality or indeed sense
5.12 The Superlative Seven 4*- Steed is invited to a fancy dress party on a plane. Seven guests but no pilot. All are experts. They are taken to an island where survival is the order of the day, "only one will win through." And then there were... Steed of course, plus the Hangman (the blessed Blessed) and Hana Wild cowgirl (Charlotte Rampling). I found this story a little too far even from fantasy, perhaps it was a failed pilot for one of those reality shows in the jungle. But in true Avengers style, Emma comes to Steed's rescue- "I don't believe it," declares Steed, ah so this was actually the pilot for the character of Victor Meldrew?
5.13 A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Station 8* - Narborough Junction is where Agent Lucas alights from his train to meet Steed, but it is a trick, actually disused Chase Halt, where he is bumped off. Emma races to prevent spies detonating a bomb on a train that will wipe out the Prime Minister. This week's eccentric is James Hayter as the megalomaniac, while John Laurie plays a railway fanatic who really should have spotted that the electric train we see could not have departed from King's Cross. How a mere railway halt could be confused for a junction is another mystery, but that is picking holes in a wonderfully madcap story
5.14 Something Nasty in the Nursery 8*- "Once upon a time, there was a big bad nanny," who was able to make her former charges return to their childhood, "bad business this." At the Guild of Noble Nannies, Emma reverts herself, in this 60's psychedelic fantasy
5.15 The Joker 5*- Emma goes to lonely Exmoor to play bridge, but the only person here is the weird Ola, seemingly a refugee from Armchair Theatre. It's the familiar Clemens motif of the empty mansion storyline, with an old enemy Max, with a warped sense of humour, out for revenge on Emma
5.16 Who's Who??? 7* - Ze mad scientist experiment sees Basil and Honey Love change psyches with Steed and Emma so they can bump off members of The Network. Daffodil is first to go, then Poppy. Tulip (Peter Reynolds) is sent to save the remainder of his brothers while Steed and Mrs Peel face an identity crisis, in a story which is nicely tongue in cheek but perhaps a little too clever, as they race to restore the status quo
5.17 Return of the Cybernauts 8*- Paul Beresford has inherited the blueprints for his brother's cybernauts. Now he's kidnapped three scientists in order to devise a fiendish torture suitable for his brother's killers, namely Steed and Emma. And what a torture they make reality, Human Cybernauts! Peter Cushing is very understated as the man out for revenge, wooing Emma, but never sinister enough
5.18 Death's Door 6*- Sir Andrew (Clifford Evans) scuttles away "like a frightened rabbit" from an important conference. Lord Melford (Allan Cuthbertson), his replacement, becomes similarly "panic ridden," with presentiments of impending disaster. Steed and Emma are very slow in believing him, until they discover a warehouse of props used to create his fantastic nightmare. Thus they ensure the conference for a United Europe can go ahead
5.19 The 50,000 Breakfast 6*- By Avengers' standards, a mundane Roger Marshall story about an ultra elusive phlanthropist, who, it's easy to surmise, has died. His memory and his good deeds however linger on. His butler (the marvellous Cecil Parker) is one due to inherit eleven million, his best line comes when he tells Steed his dream of (mis)spending his new fortune
5.20 Dead Man's Treasure 5*- Arthur Lowe is this week's eccentric, a racing driver, "metaphorically speaking." Steed and Emma join a car rally in quest of a treasure, Steed's partner merely talkative, Emma's decidedly dangerous
5.21 You Have Just Been Murdered 6* - Less quirky, even though Jarvis has been murdered three times. He had recently withdrawn a million from his bank. Next million is from a scared Rathbone, then it's George Unwin's turn. They are all being frightened out of their wits into handing over the cash by the horrid Needle (George Murcell)
5.22 The Positive Negative Man 7* - Top secret Project 90 plans are burnt to bits. Scientists involved in the project are being nastily electrocuted with "broadcast power," ultra high frequency waves devised by James Mankin, who however is next in line for electrocution. Evil genius Prof Cresswell ties up Emma in silver foil in order to lure Steed to his own high voltage demise, only of course Steed neatly turns the tables
5.23 Murdersville 7* - Little Storping is "a friendly little place," apart from all the gunshots and murders. Emma faces a conspiracy of silence among the surly villagers, who kill victims for a flat fee. Next target has to be Emma, until Steed comes to her rescue.
5.24 Mission .. Highly Improbable - Diana Rigg's last complete story is a brilliantly inventive plot of how Frances Matthews is using his eccentric professor boss' Reduction Machine to reduce anything at will to pocket size. Including the latest top secret tank which he's happy to smuggle to the Other Side (in the shape of the too smart Ronald Radd). It was bound to happen: Steed gets reduced to mini-size but it's Emma to his rescue... if she can spot him!

With LINDA THORSON. Not in the leather dominating Mrs Gale or Mrs Peel mould, probably the series needed a slight injection, but Steed's new partner never utterly managed to win me over. Steed's address is 3 Stable Mews. Tara lives in Primrose Crescent.
6.1 The Forget-Me-Knot 5* - Agent Sean can't recall a thing, except that A Traitor is in The Organisation. Steed consults the dreadful Mother for the first time, and Agent 69 aka Tara King attacks him. Steed and Emma Peel are both robbed of their memories also, then Tara too, in this slight story. The departure of Mrs Peel comes suddenly and sadly, she leaves with one classic line to Tara
6.2 Game 5* - Clever clever, just too clever, though nicely eccentric in Avengers mould. Surreal reality based on snakes and ladders and other games, planned by Sgt Daniel Edmund (Peter Jeffrey) as revenge for those who courtmartialled him. Last to face extinction is Steed, Tara King the bait. He has to compete in the game Super Secret Agent, and he wins by typically devious means. Some interaction between Steed and Tara is embarrasingly childish
6.3 Super Secret Cyber Snatch 4* - An MI12 agent disappears investigating a leak at Cypher HQ. It's down to brainwashing window cleaners in this "perfectly normal" tale- for The Avengers. The filmed series endings are invariably corny, this one is the most obvious of the lot
6.4 You'll Catch Your Death 5*- Opening empty envelopes leads to instant sneezing and death. Col Timothy (Roland Culver) is this week's eccentric, a hypochondriac who runs a research station devoted to the cold virus. Here Tara is to be injected with a rash of unwonted allergies
6.5 Split! 6*- In the top secret hq building, agent Harry gets these phone calls that turn him temporarily into Boris, enemy agent, and he kills a British agent. Lord Barnes has been got at also, and he kills Harry. Who's next for the chop? Steed! However Lord Barnes fails to polish him off, and has to be eliminated himself. This is the old mad prof motif, Boris whom Steed shot has been revived, and, you've guessed, Tara is next to be infused with the brain of Boris. Corny but fun
6.7 False Witness 5* - Agent Melville is proving a failure in the case being built against Lord Edgefield. A witness doesn't "sing," doctored milk is the reason. Tara is the latest to imbibe it accidentally, making her say the opposite to what she intends. She finishes up in a butter making machine, as Steed neatly turns the tables
6.8 All Done With Mirrors 4* - Steed is under house arrest for failing to expose the latest leaker. Tara takes over with help from Watney (Dinsdale Landen), who is sadly not quite a second Steed. "A handy little toy," a long rang transmitter, all but causes Tara's demise, but she then uses it to summon assistance
6.9 Legacy of Death 8*- Steed inherits The Maltese Falcon, or something like it, but after it are one Sidney Street (Stratford Johns) and Humbert (Ronald Lacey) both superbly hammy, distinct fugitives from American noir, even though this is in colour. Actually it's The Dagger of A Thousand Deaths, and these are almost the last two standing from its curse. Tara endures the old Chinese water torture before the dagger's secret treasure is found... and destroyed. You need to be a fan of old Bogie movies, to really enjoy this parody
6.10 Noon Doomsday 2*- An irritatingly childish opening sees Tara visit Steed who is in a top security nursing home with a busted leg. The build up is laboured as the head of Murder International closes in to do Steed in. Mother's needless interludes drag it out even more before High Noon chimes heralding a protracted shoot out, three versus Tara, with a little help from Steed, though none from Mother
6.11 Look- Stop Me... 2*- The directors of a construction company are being bumped off by a couple of clowns, their bosses Punch and Judy. Splendid possibilities open up in Dennis Spooner's script, but it goes far over the top, never rooted in the slightest credibility
6.12 Have Guns-Will Haggle 2* - Steed competes in an auction with an African revolutionary to purchase stolen guns on the secret list. He nearly blows Tara up! Quite why he has to buy the rifles rather than have the thieves arrested is only one hole in this very bland plot
6.13 They Keep Killing Steed 4*- Steed and Tara are at a Peace Conference, but Steed is kidnapped. This so his double can infiltrate: instant plastic surgery apparently. Several Steeds attempt to blow the conference up, which is the real Steed? "I don't pretend to know what all this is about." The mayhem at the end is a bit too over the top
6.14 The Interrogators 4* - An ingenius plot doesn't quite deliver: Col Mannering (Christopher Lee) has devised this fiendish endurance test for agents, only he is actually deviously getting his subjects to betray their secrets for the enemy. Tara is the latest to be selected for the course. Steed follows a pigeon to her rescue, though as it turns out, it's she who needs to save him
6.15 The Rotters 8* - Wormdoom Ltd get rid of Sir James Pendred, late head of the Institute of Timber Technology. This is more old-style Avengers with delightful eccentrics played by John Nettleton and Eric Barker. Both of them become late too. Typical of Dave Freeman's script that it veers to humour, and is nicely zany, "the whole country will rot..."
6.16 Invasion of the Earthmen 3* - This first Tara King only episode to be made is set in the Alpha Academy, one of those Avengers-type mansions where Brigadier Brett is training an army of astronauts to conquer space. However the hackneyed story is more about Steed and Tara separately beating the pupils at their own intiative tests
6.17 Killer 6*- Tara is off on holiday "in the sun", so Lady Diana Forbes-Blakeney assists Steed. Jennifer Croxton looks for all the world like a possible replacement for Tara, but isn't given enough chance to develop her role. I think she could have been a distinct improvement on LT, as a fighter she's powerful, only Steed doesn't seem to take any shine to her. Agents are being lured to their deaths in the hunt for the shadowy Remak, easy to guess what this is, not so easy to stop it killing even Steed. He must deploy all his suave ingenuity with a touch of Lady Diana's help, in an exciting climax to Tony Williamson's script. So in the end Tara returns, hardly surnburnt
6.18 The Morning After 7*- This is unashamedly The Day of The Friffids, Avengers style. Cleverly filmed empty streets with deserted vehicles and all that. Steed is knocked out by sleeping gas stolen by quadruple tricky agent Merlin (Peter Barkworth). While Tara dozes, the army with the dreaded Blessed has imposed martial law, on account of some 1960's atomic bomb. Trouble is, this army ain't British. The ending is maybe cleverly neat, but simplistic.
6.19 The Curious Case of the Countless Clues 3*- Peter Jones is the over the top Sir Arthur Doyle, on the trail of an "incredibly careless" murderer. Suspect- a cabinet minister. In a second case an industrialist is framed, both being blackmailed to relieve them of valuable paintings. Steed is next to be framed... for killing Tara- surely not? Pity she's so utterly helpless, the only bonus in this adventure is Mother's absence
6.20 Wish You Were Here 7*- Uncle Charles has been on holiday for a month, his business seeing unprecedented changes. He's staying at the old familiar Elstree hotel, a virtual captive. Tara joins him in this Avengers' take on The Prisoner. But Mother's nephew Basil nearly ruins the story, no different in this respect from Mother, but thankfully Tara makes amends nicely turning the tables
6.21 Love All 4*- Security leak, where confirmed bachelor Sir Rodney is in charge. But look, he's confiding all his secrets to the cleaning woman, Martha, a case of severe infatuation. A prim Mr Tait (Brian Oulton) is the next to be driven improbaby passionate. Steed meets the computer that scripts romances to order, and stops Tara killing herself- she has become infatuated herself! Love conquers all
6.22 Stay Tuned 7*- Steed can remember nothing of his 3 week holiday. What has happened to him? A doorknocker in Fitzherbert Street is his first clue. He was hypnotised here, just what has he been programmed to do? He's got to kill Mother, I only wish he'd succeeeded! Notes- Steed's phone number is WHItehall 9819. Clemens had previously used the doorknocker motif in similar fashion in the 1957 Saber of London story
The Missing Hours
6.23 Take Me To Your Leader 5* - Steed and Tara take possession of the enemy's red case, that must pass through the hands of various messengers before reaching their man at the top. Taped messages reveal where the case must next be transported, rumour has it that Mother himself might be The Big Man- pity that isn't the case. Tara faces death, again, but cleverly uses the case to her own advantage, while Steed tackles Mr Big
6.24 Fog 3* - Steedski is not taking very good care of delegates at a Disarmament Conference. Why is he allowing them to wander round foggy alleys and being murdered? Behind the carnage must be a member of The Gaslight Ghoul Club, designed to celebrate a Victorian killer, even though they all seem "harmless eccentrics"
6.25 Who Was That Man I Saw You With? 6* - Tara is testing security in the War Room. According to Steed it's impregnable, and he should know, he devised it. However enemy agent Dangerfield is out to discredit her. This is a slightly frustrating mystery, the main puzzle being why the superb Alan Wheatley as Dangerfield, Mother's opposite number, wasn't given the role of Mother instead. Even Steed is lost in admiration for him, or at least his tailor. In his extraordinary boxing ring, he struts and toys with his prisoner Tara. Of course Steed comes to her rescue
6.26 Homicide and Old Lace 0* - The awful Mother relates to his two stereotypes of aunts, wonky Ladykillers, a tale about Intercrime. As a parody it holds up for about half a minute, but not longer, with its over reliance on corny narrative, and a very bitty presentation. The Crime of the Century is to be performed for some reason by Steed who has infiltrated the gang. "Please go on," Aunt Harriet urges Mother, no please don't. Of the bemused cast, only Gerald Harper plays it in anything like the right spirit, which should really have been dismissive in the extreme
6.27 Thingumajig 5*- Mother is not in this, but Willoughby Goddard as the professor is his even more rotund replacement. He chats with Tara, who spends her time in her flat. Steed investigates the excavations in Rev Teddy's Norman church: this is Gothic horror without too much of the latter, more sci-fi inventiveness with a lethal mobile electrical box. The end is a curious mix of an old fashioned punch up and a battle of the ray guns
6.28 My Wildest Dream 4* - Peter Vaughan is ideal as the maniacal shrink who instils into his select patients murderous dreams. His newest customer is no less than Steed, but as a rival for Tara's hand, the Hon Teddy is brainwashed into disposing of Steed
6.29 Requiem 3* - Miranda (Angela Douglas) is key witness at a trial and needs Steed's protection. While he plays games with her unsuccessfully from his viewpoint and ours, Tara is kidnapped and drugged, and told the glad tidings that Mother is no more- best news in the series to date! She needs to reveal Steed's secret whereabouts, but the very obvious plot is thankfully thwarted, though of course there's also some not so good news about you know
6.30 Take-Over 2* - Bill (Michael Gwynn) and Lorna (Elizabeth Sellars) find their mansion invaded by a gang led by the suave Fenton (Tom Adams). As it happens, Steed is coming to stay for Christmas- in February. A surfeit of dramatic moments fails to move the action forward, and Tara turns up to save the day
6.31 Pandora 1* - Tara is kidnapped and drugged into thinking the year is 1915, and maybe Clemens' script is about as old hat as that. Tara is never completely convinced she is Pandora, love of an old uncle, but she spends the story drugged, far too helpless for an agent methinks. Steed is also pretty dim, tracking down The Fierce Rabbit (John Laurie) who apparently knows enough to track down the kidnappers. He is done in, another wretched Rabbit is too drunk to assist but finally, after the artificial plot does receive a slight twist, Steed finds another Fat Rabbit or something, myself the lot of them should have been strangled and turned into rabbit stew
6.32 Get-A-Way! 6* - Enemy agents are incarcerated in this monkish prison, but are mysteriously escaping, target British agents. Vodka is the means by which they effect their amazing chameleon-like escape. Ezdorf (Peter Bowles) is next, he has to bump Steed off. Here are two worthily matched opponents, though it's Steed who neatly turns the invisible tables
6.33 Bizarre 7* - Disturbing scenes at Happy Meadows, a graveyard run by Bagpipes Happychap (Roy Kinnear), "we like to make death fun." Here seedy dead financiers are buried, but "there's no body left," for they move to this underground paradise "with fringe benefits." Steed embarks on his spiritual trip to paradise and Tara needs to rescue him. This was a strong last story, though Mother's promise of 'they'll be back' was not really fulfilled

To 60's Menu

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GIDEON'S WAY with John Gregson
Rather overshadowed by Baker and Berman's other successful series, Gideon's Way was even chucked all round ATV London's own 1960's UK schedules. Maybe it was rather stodgy compared with their other offerings, but at least it's available on dvd.
My favourite episode: it has to be #1 The Tin God
Best moment: In #15 there's a touching echo of The Ladykillers.
Best role: That master comic actor Eric Barker makes a sympathetic criminal in #15 How to Retire without really Working
Fairly Dud episode: #5 The White Rat
60's Menu

My grateful thanks to Nigel Preece who pays this fine tribute to the series:
It was in 1965 that "Gideon's Way" first hit our screens.
ATV broadcast the first episode, "State Visit" on Thursday 18th March. The series was the brainchild of producers Monty Berman and Robert S. Baker, and their New World production company. ATV viewers were already familiar with New World productions having already seen their other series "The Saint" on the small screen since October of 1962.
Like with the adventures of Simon Templar, Berman and Baker purchased the rights to another series of books. This time the exploits of Commander George Gideon of "the yard" created by John Creasey, writing under the pen name of J.J.Marric were to be adapted for television.
It would not be the first time that Gideon would appear on screen. Some six years earlier cinema goers were treated to a day in the life of Scotland Yard's finest in "Gideon's Day" with Jack Hawkins in the title role. Now in 1965 the producers were looking for someone who could bring the character to life for the sixties and they had little work to do in that department.
Liverpool born actor John Gregson was a fan of the Gideon books and when offered the part, jumped at the chance to play the title role. While the fifties had seen Gregson among the screens leading men, in the sixties film roles for Gregson became harder to come by and so he found himself turning to television instead. The character of George Gideon seemed tailor made for him: a family man with three children all at home and all at very different ages, together with a loving and at times concerned wife, played by Daphne Anderson.
Playing Gideon's right hand man, DCI David Keen, a character specially written for the series was Alexander Davion. French born Davion had appeared on our screens in episodes of "The Saint" and "The Avengers" before landing the part of Keen. Other roles included the commissioner of the yard played by noted British character actor Basil Dingham, Superintended Bell played by Ian Rossiter, and Bell's replacement after his character left the series half way through, Supt Lemetre, portrayed by another familiar British actor in the sixties and seventies, Reginald Jessup.
"Gideon's Way" ran for only 26 episodes and certainly seems good enough to have run for far more that that number. It was shot in two production blocks of 16 from June to December of 1964 and the remaining 10 from January to May of 1965. It was subsequently broadcast in those two blocks between March and July of 1965 and March to May of 1966. Many well known British and commonwealth actors and actresses guest starred in those 26 programmes. Pilot episode "State Visit" features Alfie Bass as a Jewish war émigré. Other stars to appear include a pre-Minder George Cole (the Firebug), a pre Trouble-shooters Ray Barrett (The Lady-killer), a pre-Hadleigh Gerald Harper (State Visit), a pre-Inspector Wexford George Baker (The Great Plane Robbery), a pre Hollywood stardom Donald Sutherland (The Millionaire's Daughter) a young Anton Rogers (The Nightlifers), an even younger John Hurt (The Tin God), a very old Finlay Currie (The Thin Red Line), and a slightly comedic Eric Barker (How to retire without really working).
A small number of the episodes were new stories written for television, but all of them stuck to the same theme. People commit crime for a reason, and establishing the reason was part of the detection process used by Gideon.
The contrast between the characters of Gideon and Keen is clear. Gideon is old school policing personified. Relying on intuition and having "nose" for solving crime. Whereas Keen, a ladies man opposite married man Gideon, is very much part of the new school of police thinking: scientific analysis. Keen had a few girlfriends during the series run, but never the same lady two shows running. Yet here too we see some familiar faces at a time before they were famous. In "The Nightlifers" Keen had a pre-Upstairs Downstairs Jean Marsh on his arm while in "The White Rat" Keen dates a pre-Crossroads Sue Lloyd, who also played Cordellia Winfield opposite Steve Forrest's John Mannering in another series based on the novels of John Creasey, produced by Monty Berman, "The Baron".
After "Gideon's Way" John Gregson would continue to appear on television fairly regularly. Gideon would not be his last continuing role. In 1971 he appeared alongside Shirley McLaine the short lived "Shirley's World" series. Sadly, just ten years after his portrayal of the Scotland Yard commander, John Gregson suddenly died of a heart attack in the coastal village of Porlock Weir. A series he had just finished filming for the BBC was broadcast posthumously in his honour later that year following permission from his widow.
Alexander Davion went on to star in a number of Hammer Horror pictures in the late sixties before tuning up in two of the BBC Shakespeare adaptations in the early 1980's. Gregson and Davion both put a great deal of effort into their two characters: making them both believable and contrasting. The dialogue between the two is slick and scripts in general paint a realistic picture of London as it swung to the beat of what is still a fascinating decade. The show did not pull its punches either. Some episodes would contain a liberal amount of violence, but not for the sake of it, only to illustrate and develop the character at the centre of that week's story.
Because "Gideon's Way" was filmed in monochrome, it has not enjoyed much air-play over the past decades.
"Gideon's Way" portrays a fascinating picture of life in 1965. A time of different values, too numerous to mention. One example sticks in the mind, where a character goes to buy a newspaper by going to the pile of papers left outside the newsagent, picking up the house brick holding them down, taking a paper, being trusted to leave the one shilling to pay for it next to the aforementioned brick, and being trusted still further not to swipe the other one shilling pieces and sundry loose change left there by other folk beforehand. Such trust simply does not exist anymore, and will never return. It's fascinating also to look at the old motor vehicles seen in the series. Old Commer vans to Zephyrs and the like. I'll often ask my father as were watching an episode, "Is that an old Morris or an Austin", or something like that. Gideon himself drove a police issue Wolsley while Keen drove a Bentley. Most of the series was shot on location, in and around London. I often wonder what it was like being among the folks going about their daily shopping only to discover that your particular high street was the setting for this week's episode. You're standing at the bus stop waiting for the number 73 and suddenly you notice a film crew are in place outside the butchers and then the standard police issue Wolsley pulls up opposite and out jump John and Alex about to do their stuff. Simpler times, yet the villains that Gideon and Keen had to outwit were every bit a complex as any villain seen on television today.
The theme tune for the series was written by noted British TV and film composer Edwin Astley, whose credits include other ITC classics from this golden decade "Department S", "Danger Man", "Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)", and the aforementioned "The Saint" and "The Baron".
This series is an example of television made by people who knew their audience. Television done properly.


My own reviews of each story

1 The Tin God
Underrated director John Gilling had worked many times for Baker and Berman, and really knew how to get hold of a story. This superb effort begins with two prisoners fleeing from Strangeways prison, "we're free!" But they've a long way to go. First to a railwayman's hut where Benny Benson (Derren Nesbitt) has bullied a contact into providing a change of clothes for himself and Tisdale (John Hurt), plus fags, a knife and car keys.
In a 2.4 Jag (what else?), the vicious Benson, having silenced old lag Taffy who recognised him, heads south for home and wife Ruby (Jennifer Wilson) who shopped him, "she won't talk much longer." But police are guarding her, as she waits scared with her two children, scenes impressively done, as she tries to reason with thirteen year old Syd, who sees his father as a hero.
Gideon fails to do the obvious thing, move the family to a secret location. He merely stations two ineffective looking plain clothes men outside the Benson home. By now Benson and Tisdale, having avoided a road block, have made Birmingham, 45 Priory Street, an empty semi. From here, they nick a Morris parked opposite, bound for London, "I can't wait to see Ruby." In a dockland wharf, Benny is handed a gun by Uncle Charlie, a real villain, who helps Syd 'escape' from school via a toilet window. There's a stiff reunion, Syd eager to go with his dad to South America by ship. Benson's scheme is to make Ruby sick with worry not knowing her son's fate.
PC Abbot spots Charlie's truck in the area near Tower Bridge and a cordon is quickly placed around the warehouses there. From a roof, Syd sees the place is crawling with cops. The two crooks fall out as Syd is exposed to his father's true nature, "you don't care about the kid," rants Tisdale. In a temper, Benson shoots his mate. Syd watches on in growing fear himself. Reminiscences of James Cagney in White Heat with Benson telling his son, "we'll be kings," Syd all but crying now.
Rather surprisingly Ruby is brought in as a decoy to distract Benson while Gideon and Keen circle round the villain. A brave finish, then Benny is dragged away in custody, no words are needed to round off this fine drama

2. The V Men
A Fascist rally, Sir Arthur Vane (Roland Colver) is standing for Parliament with slogans like Keep Britain White. It ends with the inevitable riot. Another punch-up follows on Nomination Day.
Gideon is called in when Sir Arthur receives threatening letters. A little reluctantly he agrees to assign Chief Inspector Parsons (Allan Cuthbertson) to the case.
Eighteen year old Cathy (Angela Douglas) has been seeing Peter Bennett, who lives in the same block of flats as Vane. As he's married he denies all knowledge of the girl. A policeman spots her leaving the area just after a bomb explodes at Vane's door. Vane's right hand man Smith is badly injured.
"Stupid police bungling," complains Vane and maybe he's right, or maybe it's a ploy to get his party the sympathy vote? However police suspicion centres on the unknown Cathy.
Parsons is a well drawn character, officious and lacking tact, one who seems to be introduced to provide a different political slant. He rubs several people's backs up the wrong way too.
But Cathy's subplot loses the impetus of what had been an interesting political drama. When she is traced, she is wary of answering questions, and Parsons fails to draw her. But Gideon's fatherly way mellows her. But then she faints and the truth comes out that she is pregnant. Later Gideon does obtain the vital clue from her.
A second bomb nearly kills Vane, but it's Hamilton, Vane's rep in Birmingham, who dies. Gideon knows who to arrest, Miles, Vane's disillusioned aggressive assistant, who turns on his boss, "you could have been the greatest leader the world has ever seen." Unlikely surely. The finish is silly, but at least there's a sentimental touch for Cathy

3. To Catch a Tiger
Outside a shopping parade, old Nurse Smith is accidentally run over. Her dying words accuse John Borgman of poisoning his first wife Leah with an overdose of morphine. Nurse Smith had been one of two nurses who had attended Leah after her car crash. Find the other, Nurse Jane Kennet, who seems to have emigrated to Australia.
Borgman is a successful businessman, we meet him sacking long term employee Bill Samuels, who has been fiddling the books, in a minor way, to pay for his sick wife's nursing. It's a very over the top scene, then more melodrama as Samuels, facing prison, has to poison his wife as she cannot look after herself. Other very stock characters include Charlotte, Borgman's current bored wife, who is jibbing at her husband's relationship with his secretary Clare, the usual flirty type.
Supt Fred Lee (Norman Bird) is a better character, but the script hasn't time to develop him. He's an expert in fraud and pores over Borgman's books, ostensibly to trace the extent of Samuels' crime. He's very meticulous, "pompous idiocy," complains Borgman. There's a good scene as Borgman's anxious clerk waits to get home at the end of the day. After he's slipped off, Lee is able to discover some morphine secreted away in Borgman's desk, exceptionally improbable, but maybe there to finish off his current wife, "a cow."
The discovery is enough to get Borgman arrested. His counsel Sir Percy Richmond (Raymond Huntley) has made mincemeat of Lee in court before, and Lee crumbles under his questioning. The defence case rests on the implausible picture they paint of Borgman as a happy family man, his cow and his secretary sit uncomfortably smiling aside each other, but this is not where Borgman's defence collapses, but in a sudden flash of inspiration from a rejuvenated Lee.
Nurse Kennet, who has been blackmailing Charlotte is arrested as she attempts to board the Golden Arrow at Victoria

4. The Rhyme and the Reason - With-it first part about mod Bill's brush with rockers. Gideon has a hunch Bill isn't guilty of killing his girl and tries to get the rest of the Force not to judge by appearances. The final chase is the best part of an unevocative tale
5. The White Rat
Furs are being robbed from a dockland warehouse. In attempting to dial 999, the watchman is struck down by the leader of the gang. He's Mickey Keston, very distinctive with his white hair, he's albino and understandably sensitive about his appearance. Rose is his girl, but a white pet rat is his love.
Miss Mary Henderson (Sue Lloyd) is Insp David Keen's latest girlfriend, but before they can go out, Gideon gets them to call on his best man of years back, Dt Sgt Sid Taylor, who is certain the vicious robbery has all the hallmarks of Keston. So the three of them crash Mickey's party where they are a definite dampener, "nice place you have here," though it didn't look all that chic to me. Afterwards Mickey even rows with Rose, it's on the level of Barbara Cartland, as is the dialogue. "Sometimes I feel lost in a jungle" is one of Sid's unhappy lines. Fingers is one of Keston's boys, and is about to squeal to Sid. But Yob, another of the gang, runs him down on his motor cycle.
Industrial diamonds are the next target for the crooks. Sid catches them in the act, "you're under arrest." There's a punchup and Sid puts up a good show until Mickey shoots him down, an act that appals Rose. But this storyline is too easy and obvious, for now Gideon vows to get The White Rat. He's fleeing, without Rose, on a boat to Australia. The pet rat gives away his hiding place. Cornered, a tiny bit like James Cagney in White Heat, he threatens to blow all and sundry up, but with Rose pleading he can't bring himself to do it. He thanks her by spitting his repugnance in her face

6. State Visit - Bootsie is a terrorist! In a sombre tale Alfie (Bootsie and Snudge) Bass plays the victim of Nazi concentration camps, who attempts to circumvent Gideon's security plans for the visit of a German president. It's quite handy really that he's a chemist and has access to nitro-glycerine. His wife (Catherine Lacey) fails to prevent him wandering round London with this dangerous cargo. Usual interesting London location shots as the killer goes (by double decker bus! -not the mode of transport the modern killer uses, I understand) to kill the hated president.
7. The Firebug - Arthur Daley is an arsonist! Actually it's George Cole who plays a deranged killer who burns down derelict buildings: "if people die something will have to be done." His way of getting attention to the London slums. He writes to the Mail threatening The Third Fire of London. With four sticks of dynamite "he's on the loose." On his scooter he chucks his explosives right and left with Gideon in pursuit
8. The Lady-Killer - Robert Clayton (Ray Barrett) is frustrated to find the wife he has drowned wasn't as rich as he believed. So wealthy Marian (Rosemary Leach) is wooed and becomes his new wife. How will he do her in?
9. The Big Fix - Horse dopers find an easy recruit in trainer Joe (Michael Ripper), who has financial problems. Next to be nobbled- the Derby favourite- but there's a clever switch...
10. Morna
Here's a lesson in Sixties' morals, though the motive for murder is much more timeless.
The Gideon family are off to the seaside, when dad is called to investigate the death of nineteen year old Morna. Everyone talks of her "radiant" personality, people "almost worshipped her." But with no enemies at all, why should she have been murdered? What was she doing at the boathouse, the day she died? She'd unusually skipped her music appreciation class that afternoon.
"Perfection in womanhood," repeats Bright, husband of the headmistress of Morna's school. In a flashback he describes the last lesson she had attended. During class she had been brought a telegram (!) and had run out. Lydia, her best friend, says she left the school in a rush.
Though still at school, she was engaged to Michael who had spoken to her that afternoon. They had met in the park where she had with some misgivings broken off their engagement. She had asked for, and he had given her £800, with no explanations.
That telegram had been sent by someone named Chay, demanding money. A London flat Morna shared with Lydia exposes the other side of her life. Under pressure, Lydia admits Morna was into drugs.
When Chay is found, he claims the money was owed him for rent of the flat, for gambling and drugs. She was also pregnant. With all these revelations you can't help feeling cheated. The cash to Chay had been paid at the boathouse, he'd given her notice, and had a fight with the jealous Michael. Both had left and the murder proves to be related to her pregnancy. Morna's character has changed beyond recognition, which is entirely unfair, and the teenage dialogue is never at all convincing. A shame, because the story had begun with some promise

11. Big Fish Little Fish - Mrs Bridges is a murderer! Well, at least it's Angela Baddeley playing the mother-in-law of Frisky (Maxwell Shaw), "the biggest and dirtiest fence," who's got grandiose plans. But when he's stabbed in the back five times, Gideon starts by questioning a boy who's nicked a banana. However this leads him to "a modern-day Fagin set-up".
12. The Housekeeper - An electrician (Harry Fowler) discovers a corpse in a bath. Money is missing and he has a record... and that's enough to ruin his marriage. Suspicion then turns on the victim's sinister housekeeper (Kay Walsh), but she is now busy conning a new victim, a blind man
13. The Nightlifers- The co-star of Yes Prime Minister is a teenage yob! Well at least the PM's secretary, Derek Fowlds, plays one of a gang of tearaways led by Paul (Anton Rodgers), who attack people just for a "giggle." The tale has a few insights into 60's teenage culture and the rift with adults, but mainly this is the opportunity for Anton Rodgers to bare his teeth as a vicious high-class amoral criminal. Directed by John Moxey who shows his skill at this type of dark thriller
14. Fall High, Fall Hard - Honest and innocent Tony (Donald Houston) learns his business partner, wide boy Charley (a typical Victor Maddern role) has been cheating "expediently" some of their clients. If someone needs fixing, Charley simply calls in hitman (Gordon Gostelow). Poor Tony gets a taste of this in a nice contrast between his posh background and a devious uinderworld.
15. How to Retire without really Working
Norman Hudis was a writer of comedy, and he works up a fine comedy drama here, the bitter sweet portrait of Robert Gresham, played by Eric Barker, who with his wife Margaret, modestly undertakes one crime a year, on which they can live comfortably.
This year's effort is a smash and grab, the stolen proprty sold to fence Cyril Hunter for 10% of their true value. After the caper, the couple toast their success at the Colonnade Hotel. In a nice touch, they relax to the haunting minuet used in The Ladykillers.
"I'm losin' me nerve," Robert admits. It must be time to retire. Gideon knows it also. He has only nicked Gresham once in twenty years of crime, and tries the unoffical chat approach. "You know that I know," he warns them.
With no pension, they decide they must pull one last big job before they can settle down. They opt for a payroll at Mitchell Plastics in Catford. "Just this once," against his principles, Gresham agrees he should get a temporary job there in order to case the joint. (This must have been in those days when jobs were two a penny.) But it proves not so bad as that, Gresham is able to case the joint with his binoculars from a nearby disused shop.
Gideon has ordered a tail on the gentle crook who is seen passing money to a villain called Pater. Actually it's payment for two sticks of gelignite, which Gresham has against his better judgement, agreed, in case he cannot open the safe, to use to blow it.
You want them to succeed, and they do, snatching £57,000 in a spectacular success. "First time we've ever been on the front page," Robert proudly boasts to Margaret.
Gideon's second chat is far more serious.
"You must get away," advises Pater, and for a consideration he will assist. For half the proceeds. Ignominious exit in a car boot. The cash is collected from its hiding place, a disused railway station. But it soon diminishes in payments for services rendered.
Even Gideon has some compunction about arresting them. "I'm very very sorry." Ending with The Ladykillers music

16. The Wall - Sergeant Cork is a killer! An evil landlord (John Barrie) is jealous Michael Penn's £720 win on the pools. Mrs Penn wonders why her devoted husband has suddenly disappeared
17. Subway to Revenge - Why did someone try and push mild mannered Jimmy (Donald Churchill) under a train? Three similar deaths on the underground spur Gideon to investigate, culminating in a race against time after the maniac (Bryan Pringle)
18. Gang War - Jerry (Ronald Lacey) is starting a rival protection racket to Frank Romano's. Lollo Romano has grandiose plans for robbing £416,000 in used banknotes and the two rival gangs stage a fake rumble to put Gideon off the scent
19. The Alibi Man
The opening sequence captures well the excitement of a motor race, though these days, the close-ups of Bruce Carroway (Jack Hedley) are too obviously in a studio mock-up of his car. He's "the best driver in the world," according to young Matthew Gideon, yet he's not quite perfect, "you're as much fun as a broken hip," Bruce rants at his downtrodden wife. He's also getting tired of his latest mistress Marge, in fact he's a thorough all round rotter, and his business partner Jeff Grant (Geoffrey Palmer) has stumbled on to the fact that he's cooking the books.
Bruce kills him. His chief mechanic Eric, eternally indebted to Bruce as he saved his life after his racing car crashed, helps make Jeff's death look like a robbery gone wrong, and a smashed clock makes it appear this burglary took place an hour later than it really did. Thus the villains establish their alibi.
Sgt Brown has already worked out this evidence has been rigged before Gideon takes charge. He's soon on to the fact that the books are out by over £7,000, but how to break the alibi? Bruce is tailed, and Mrs Carroway tells all about her rival Marge. Seeing the danger, Bruce gets a slightly reluctant Eric to whisk Marge off to Paris by private plane. Into the dark and foggy English Channel she is pushed to her death.
Eric is even more nervous when Cathy turns up and starts asking about her missing sister. "What are you doing?" she asks Eric, who's busy removing her wardrobe from her flat. "Keep your head," Bruce advises him. With Madge's corpse washed up, it's evident Bruce is prepared to let Eric go down alone for the crime. Under Gideon's questions, Eric confesses to killing her and also Grant, a friend's ultimate loyalty

20.The Prowler
A sad story of a pathetic young man. He's prowling in a mask, following a girl in the night. He catches her and snips off a lock of her hair.
We can understand his behaviour a little when we meet the mother he lives with, dominating and self centred. Nor can Alan forget his fiancee Wendy who had killed herself. He goes to Winfield Square Chelsea where she used to live. Another girl called Marjorie lives in the flat now, and she kindly and unwisely listens to Alan's angst.
Gideon is worried enough about this case, to escort his own daughter to a concert at the Albert Hall.
Alan's breaking point is when he learns Wendy had been driven to suicide by his own mother. "Murderer," he shouts at her and storms out. It's Jen's bad fortune that she's in his way that foggy night. However she does rip off his mask and describes Alan to the police. Mind you, with three scratches on his face he's easily identifiable.
In a pub Alan picks up Sophie, who agrees to take him home with her. But she gets scared in Courtfield Gardens and runs off in a panic. Soon the police are sealing off the area, Somerset Street, leading to Winfield Square. You know he will end up at Marjorie's.
Police surround her converted flat, and his unstable character makes for a scarey finish. "If you come in here, I'll kill her."
Gideon starts a dialogue via a megaphone. Det Insp Keen clambers the roof. Alan toys with a bread knife, she gets him to talk, but fails to distract him and knock him unconscious. What will he do next?
Simultaneously Keen chucks a smoke bomb through the window and leaps to Marjorie's rescue as Gideon & Co burst in with gas masks.
All in a day's work, no they didn't say that, it would have been too corny. Gideon fails to deal with Alan's intransigent mother

21. The Thin Red Line - Surely Finlay Currie can't be robbing his own regiment? He's General Hellfire Mac who wants an "unofficial official" investigation into the disappearance of his regiment's Balaclava silver
22. The Great Plane Robbery - Inpsector Wexford is a thief! At least, it's George Baker who plays The Professor, mastermind behind a million quids worth of gold, stolen in a "damn well organised" heist from a plane at the airport. But the best laid schemes etc etc, as the Polish driver (George Murcell) goes beserk, and the Prof's deputy (Edwin Richfield) falls out with a rival and ends up with a face full of molten gold
23. The Reluctant Witness - Randall (but not Hopkirk, deceased) is a "tearaway" car stealer! An informer is beaten up, a girl Rachel witnessing the crime. Her touching romance with the local bobby (Trevor Bannister) lights up this tense drama before the conventional final chase and punch-up

24. The Millionaire's Daughter
Docking is the QE2. Shipboard romance, Alan Bates and Nina, millionaire's daughter.
To the millionaire Henderson he's "a fine young man." But he is a conman, known to Gideon of old. So is it love at first sight? It is for her for sure.
The couple tour London and in a fashionable Chelsea art gallery she is brought down to earth, kidnapped. Alan's two accomplices undress her, and one puts on her clothing. She is Erica (Georgina Ward), and though not one of the guest stars, is the best part of the story, along with Alan's other accomplice Phil (Donald Sutherland) as nasty and unpleasant as they come.
The new couple continue round the landmarks, the V and A, then back to Nina's hotel. Here the fake Nina disappears. Despite Mrs Henderson's protests, Gideon is in on the case. He has a heart to heart with Alan and though it is illegal, has his phone tapped. Gideon is soon on to the switch of girls, thanks to an alert constable. But when the Chelsea shop is searched, of course Nina has gone.
A million dollars is the ransom. A phone call makes the demand. Gideon tries to pinpoint where the call has come from, using the background of a train. But there are just too many places to search.
Sensing the net is closing, Alan informs Mrs Henderson that £100,000 will secure Nina's release. He takes her jewellery and runs. His two accomplices are left to hold Nina. Erica is caught but the maniacal Phil left alone with Nina, looks as though he's going to enjoy finishing Nina off.
Erica tells the police where Nina is held, underneath the Battersea arches. So it all ends happily, Kean even taking the released Nina out on the town.
This is a well worn storyline, but well executed and with some well drawn characters

25. Boy With Gun
In Moore Alley, yobs taunt "baby Chris," a fifteen year old, who is brandishing a gun. Chris shoots Mick, then runs off.
His dad had rashly given him the gun, he's Dr Kirk a police doctor, who may have saved Mick's life by his prompt treatment. The story becomes the search to find the frightened lad.
We also glimpse Mick's parents, caricature of a bitter Irish father, an ex-prisoner with a chip on his shoulder, and Chris' distraught parents, father sees son as a failure, mother had always wanted a girl. The contrast between Chris' home and that of Commander Gideon is well done, the great inspector even asks his son Giles advice on this case!
Chris has hidden in a lorry that travels northbound on the M1. How Chris pals up with a Borstal lad on the run, who can say. But Vince is a decent lad who actually admires Chris for his crime. The pair bother a farmer, then hide in another lorry, bound for East London, where Vince's brother Ches, another small time villain, can help them, "startin' a bit young aren't yer?" Passage to Australia for them, that's what he fixes up.
Gideon and Mick's angry dad head for their temporary hideout, Ches' garage. A chase round the docks and a stand off in a warehouse. Entirely unconvincing how it ends, all to do with the only friend Chris has ever had.
Not exactly an everyday police story, the storyline is very hard to take and the characters too stock, the dialogue sometines painful, "stone the crows!"

26. The Perfect Crime - Crane is a killer! Patrick Allen plays an uppercrust stockbroker, who doubles as a burglar by night. His accomplice, safecracker Casey is caught and Mrs Casey (Jean Marsh) demands £5,000 to ensure her husband doesn't squeal. She should have listened to our own words "that Todd is dangerous" for the nasty man kills her. Gideon ends up in court accused of assaulting Casey in jail, before he rounds up this smooth killer
Note: Programmes listed in production order.
To 60's Menu

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THE HUMAN JUNGLE

"No concessions will be made to trans-Atlantic TV market requirements." And for once, this resolve was kept. The series showed, said ABC Managing Director Howard Thomas, "British actors playing British parts with the natural home accent required by the locale."
This was a series with a difference, the casebook of a Harley Street psychiatrist. It's only occasionally entertaining however, and it's best not to watch it if you feel low yourself. Herbert Lom gives the stories a touch of class with his thoughtful yet firm portrayal of the head shrink. He lives with his wilful daughter Sally. Yet we rarely glimpse behind his facade to his private life, which must have its own sad secrets, for his wife "died several years ago" (story #3). Together they had bought a country house farm to where Corder can retreat (#10, 24). He drives a Rover, but later a Humber. Sally has a sports car 4529 KV.

The 1960s advertisement on the right for The Human Jungle contains two errors: the star's name is unaccountably "Herbert Long" while producer is the less well known "Julian Winter."

1 The Vacant Chair - Sir Geoffrey collapses in the boardroom, who will succeed him as next boss of this huge multinational company? Dr Corder is asked to decide between George Hunter (Ronald Leigh-Hunt) and Basil Phillips (Lloyd Lamble). After listening to supporters of both spouting "a lot of inane drivel" like a "squabble of mice among cheese," he's to choose between a democrat and an autocrat, the privileged or the self made man. Corder sits in on board meetings, while his daughter Jennifer dates Hunter's cocky son Peter. When he dumps her in the middle of nowhere, surely that puts an end to Hunter's chance. But Corder's decision is based on the best interests of the company, and is fairly predictable, though I guessed wrong! Feminists might take exception to one of his comments
2 The Flip Side Man - "Pop Goes The King of Pops." "Too jumpy" is pop star Danny Pace (Jess Conrad) when he cracks up on stage, seeing his double in the audience. No Dr Corder is really needed to unravel this one, but despite the confusing mix of Victorian Melodrama and the Swinging Sixties, this is nearly absorbing, an updated version of the Hollywood musical of little person makes good. "I've got it made, I can date any girl I want." When Danny runs off, Corder finds him in the dance hall where it all began, and where his late wife had lost their unborn child. "You feel guilty. That person is yourself." Sad, but with several rock numbers like Downtown Tonight
3 Run with the Devil - Brother Hewitt (Derek Farr) wants to confess his unintentional sin, but cannot spit it out to Dr Corder. Sadly he's another of those stereotyped religious nuts, "wrestling with a ghost." More sympathetic and well rounded is the Hyde Park speaker who tells Corder about Erica, Hewitt's wife, she runs a boutique of all things, "doesn't sound like a very good match." Will the whole truth emerge before he finally goes bonkers and kills someone? That's putting the plot unkindly, but the premise does seem implausible that he had actually married a tart
4 Thin Ice- fourteen year old Verity Clarke (Janina Faye) will be World Ice Skating Champion soon. But after she slips on the ice she claims to have pains in her leg, are they imaginary? She tells Dr Corder she will never skate again, her fears of a crack in the ice. Ambitious mother at loggerheads with failing father is her real problem. Does he want her happiness, or "a big fat cheque" by way of compensation? "Everything gets sorted out," though perhaps the explanation is a trifle forced, "I liked her very much"
5 The Lost Hours - Julia (Ursula Howells) throws a wobbly at a party. "I died," she apologises to her husband Henry (Leonard Sachs). This couple are "like two bricks without cement." Is the other woman "a figment" of Julia's imagination? Certainly "the basis for suspicion is there." The issue is, what does Henry get up to on those evenings away from home? "It's quite puzzling." The answer is found at The Cat's Picnic, a way out beat joint, man. Here's "the oldest teenager in the business," absorbing if you can suspend your credulity
6 Fourteen Ghosts - Lady Shaw, wife of judge Sir Desmond (Andre Morrell) is caught shoplifting, "what would your mum want to steal anything for?" daughter Susan is asked. "I don't know," is the thief's bland response. It's up to Dr Corder to unearth the answer, which is very obvious to us viewers. The "impeccably self righteous" judge is Corder's real patient, "he has no weaknesses," yet he is "beyond redemption," hiding in his own pompous world. "That man is not even human." Surely there cannot be any happy outcome?
7 A Friend of the Sergeant Major - Old school Sgt Major Bennett (Alfred Burke) is soon to retire, but is facing a court martial by orders of young Lt Grey. "It's the army that's on trial, not SM Bennett," thus Corder, "our secret weapon," is drawn into the undertones of political intrigue. Bennett is cocksure, for "the army looks after its own." There is no Perry Mason here, but the expert witness, Dr Corder, angry at being used, gives the old timer a few home truths, leading to a powerful conclusion
8 Fine Feathers - Penny (Jane Merrow) has been spending beyond her means and resorts to theft. She hasn't seen her parents for years, and David her husband had quarrelled with his father. When she attempts suicide, her parents are traced, "she was ashamed of us." Under arrest she becomes unco-operative, but Dr Corder finds the key to unlock her inferiority complex
9 The Wall - Throwing beer bottles through his bedroom window is Jan (Jeremy Spenser). Any idiot could tell Dr Corder that it's his extended Polish family who are stifling his life with his wife Rita. Corder will have him cured "in five minutes," though he does use up the whole fifty minute programme, role play helps Jan and Rita gain the confidence needed to stick up for themselves. More bottle throwing proves that, at least to Corder. This is soap opera "that is good," er, I think not. An argument between the young couple is poorly acted, but though there are no complaints about the rest of it, you do weary so much of this claustrophobic family
10 A Woman with Scars - Eleanor cracks up, putting all the wine glasses in the washing machine and smashing them. She was secretary, now wife of MP Geoffrey Petlen (Frank Lawton). After irrationally shooting dead three swans she threatens suicide, phoning Dr Corder. She pretends he has attacked her, a court case looms. Corder's dilemma: destroy her or be destroyed. Discreet inquiries uncover her affair with "a megalomaniac maestro" conductor. Corder had treated him, and she blames Corder for causing their affair to end
11 Two Edged Sword - The rather laboured point about the dangers of hypnotism is made in two absorbing tales. The proper use of this two edged sword enables Dr Corder to help Mrs Stokes understand why she wants to reject her baby. Mrs Bridges' hypnosis years ago at the hands of a quack is the root of her troubles, her parents-in-law had persuaded her to be hypnotised, thus she married their paranoic son. Fortunately there are some lighter scenes in between the depressing stuff
12 Time-Check - Burglar Bert (Melvyn Hayes) is a compulsive thief, spends his time smashing people's clocks. It's an "obsession," pronounces Dr Corder though the police are sure he's "bonkers." "It's like a drug," Bert admits. In a struggle during his latest break-in, a householder trips and is knocked unconscious. In court Dr Corder proves it's The War that's to blame, a sad tale of a young child orphaned. There's an interesting plea for more understanding of the criminal mind, to the end that it won't be long before the police "are out of a job"
13 Over and Out - X58 crashes, pilot Mike injured. Dr Corder has to pontificate if he has cracked up, or is it a fault in this prototype plane? The key is Honey and the old eternal triangle, "mentally he's all in pieces"
14 Success Machine - A family bust up leads to a fire, and young Robin even more disturbed. High flying Tim Gotha (Edward Judd) asks Dr Corder to treat his wife Margo, but is he really the root of the problem? "I'm the cause?" he asks Corder furiously, "it's her fault, all of it." An accident at his workplace, an enormous building site, sparks a crisis there and Corder piles it on telling him bluntly, "you're a fake." That drives Tim beserk and he almost does a Harold Lloyd
15 Conscience on a Rack - Dot Wyley (Flora Robson), headmistress at a posh private school, suffers from insomnia and anxiety, but will not allow Dr Corder to help her, "noone can help me." When she attempts suicide, she explains, "I must be punished." Dr Corder probes and the mundane truth emerges, she's lied about her age. Yet a still darker secret is locked in her mind
16 Struggle for a Mind - Striptease on the London underground, at first people pointedly ignore Liz (Joan Collins) amazingly. She is an ex-patient of Dr Corder, he thought he'd cured her. Now Dr Tate tries his own therapy, "you've had your chance, Corder." A bitter crippled father is at the root of her depression, and Corder stakes his reputation on helping her, but frankly he's too naive in this case, and a family trick which Corder ought to have envisaged, tests Liz to the limit. A revelation explains all, "I can't forgive," the worry is, will it drive her to suicide?
17 Solo Performance - Famous actress Jean Forrest (Margaret Lockwood) jumps into the Thames, "a has-been." Her estranged husband Richard and her estranged lover producer Paul seem to be her problems. This is a not entirely satisfying parable of ageing, and of the elusiveness of showbiz glory: I wonder what, further-down-the-cast Rona Anderson as the Nursing Sister felt? It's hard for us to tell which of Jean's tantrums are real, "nobody has ever loved me," but Dr Corder has the wisdom to know the right course of treatment. A simple ruse, "a stroke of genius," can he help her get through her next opening night?
18 The 24 Hour Man - Cpt Alvar Bell on the Regent's Canal is having visions, and consults Dr Corder, and for this gets the sack from his waterbus. Blaming the psychiatrist he bashes Corder on the head, then buys a gun and it becomes more serious. It's a race to prevent murder, and Dr Corder shouts him down- believe it or not, he's only suffering from lack of sleep!
19 Wild Goose Chase - why does 18 year old babysitter Mary (Francesca Annis) fake a robbery? When we see her doting mother, "she's all I have," it's obvious. Mary compounds her error by identifying as the thief William Jones, who is ill himself, obsessed by flowers. The climax in a Hampsead derelict mansion is nicely understated, better than the story deserves
20 Heartbeats in a Tin Box - Miss Christine Box can't keep order at Hedley Secondary Modern and severely beats Gina a pupil (Susan George) during a biology lesson. "I know it was a mistake." In court, she is found guilty, but most improbably she is allowed back in the classroom next day, teaching geography! Her stolen handbag, and a snapshot of her as a child reveal the key to her problems
21 Dual Control - "I'm not batty," cries Jane, who, "cheerful," stepped in front of a taxi. Her family are the problem, her distant father (Dennis Price), workoholic sister (Peggy Cummins) and sympathetic brother-in-law (Lyndon Brook). "She needs help badly." Her stifled vocation with handicapped children has a false restart, then a family bustup sees Dr Corder having to treat another family member, as Jane turns into the "belle of the ball"
22 Enemy Outside - Crane operator Broadley falls and cracks up, he's frightened of the sun. A lighter storyline is Stanley, who denies paternity. These two clash in hospital, but this is too tediously frustrating to watch. It's well done, but hard going, especially as some medical decisions seem a mite dubious
23 Ring of Hate - Boxer Leigh Garner (Dudley Sutton) is a "dead duck" in the ring. 'Tis a pity he's not more sympathetic as a character. Probing his childhood, Corder risks him losing his big fight, to make him "all right" as a person. The fight is too long unless you are enamoured of boxing. One oddity is Leigh's dad, played by Bernard Lee who mimes a folk song (No Sally in this tale)
24 Skeleton in the Cupboard - Dr Corder is asked to investigate the sanity of dead financier Sir William Bridley (Roger Livesey) who drew up his will 20 years ago. A conlficting picture emerges, Dr Corder needing to determine whether he was "tyrant" or "paragon." With delicate subterfuge Dr Corder chats to his "sponge" of a wife, away from her domineering sister-in-law. This pair is well portrayed by two fine actresses, Nora Nicholson and Sonia Dresdel, with happy touches of humour to lighten the mood
25 The Quick and The Dead - Jimbo Harris (Richard Johnson) ace Formula One driver leads by an amazing three laps, but instead of taking his foot off the pedal he breaks the lap record and crashes. Dr Corder has to find out what's bugging him, testing his conflicting neuroses on a go kart track racing his son. But his diagnosis isn't right and an impatient Jimbo insists "I'm driving at Silverstone." Corder knows his mind isn't right yet, "you could easily kill yourself." First test drive- crash! Finally Corder uncovers his problem, related to the war, this time the Korean
26 The Man Who Fell Apart - the series ended, even slightly fell apart with this tale of Patrick Grant who has "burst a dam." Nightmares about dogs licking him? But in reality it's the eternal triangle, the other woman Joy, who runs a kennels. The centrepiece is a confrontation between the two women, this is more one for marriage guidance and Dr Corder is all but redundant. A melodramatic climax somehow brings about an ending where all three seem satisfied, even if the viewer isn't

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ESPIONAGE (1963/4)
American backed British series that had promise, but never really delivered, for me. Reviews of selected stories:
1 A Covenant with Death - Two wartime resistance men are on trial for murdering two old Jews- the question is did they have to steal from them and kill them? It's a depressing tale of Jews on the run from Gestapo brutality and finally either facing it or being killed by the Allies to avoid betraying vital secrets
2 The Weakling
3 The Incurable One
4 The Gentle Spies - Old Lord Kemble leads the CND protest group which leaks details of a government bunker in the event of nuclear war. Young Gerry Paynter (Barry Foster) of the Secret Service infiltrates the group by making up to Sheila (Angela Douglas), who sings a couple of protest ditties in an American accent. Paynter's task is to expose the traitor passing secret information to Kemble, but quite expectedly, Paynter begins to sympathise with the protest group, and more particularly with Sheila. Serious issues are touched upon, though without taking sides
6 To the Very End - Prof Moreau (Clifford Evans), is kidnapped by students lead by his ex star pupil Paul (James Fox), helped by Jacques, Nicole and American Bob. The prof is in charge of the French nuclear programme and thus there's discussion on the pros and cons of the H bomb, and plenty of it, before Paul's real motive is exposed, Moreau had shot his father as a traitor in the war. The group try to use the prof to get publicity for their cause though the press either suppress or distort the story to their own ends, thwarting the kidnappers. These characters are well drawn but with so little of anything except dialogue, the plot dies, resolving nothing, fizzling out
8 The Whistling Shrimp - 0 out of 10 for this New York made bunkum. Are the Americans trying to instal a new regime in volatile Mattai? Journalist Ed (Arthur Kennedy- "it always worked for James Cagney") sniffs out the unexciting truth from politican Owen Rutledge (Larry Gates). A verbose story with a paucity of action despite a near commie takeover. But it's all "six thousand miles away," as political integrity is pretentiously examined, "is there such a thing as qualified truth?" It's all summed up in this ghastly line- "Owen, you're a practical visionary, something like a purple giraffe"
9 The Light of a Friendly Star - Kit is the precocious teenage daughter of a British Embassy official in Germany (Ronald Howard), and she reads Winston Churchill apparently for pleasure! Improbably she goes on the run with a spy, "why wouldn't he let her go?" This familiar storyline of two opposites together, not quite like 39 Steps, just a hint of Whistle Down the Wind and an ending more King Kong if anything, "sorry to be such a nuisance"
13 Never Turn Your Back on a Friend - With Michael Powell as director, you expect something a little special. Well, there was this Englishman, an American and a Russian, joined in the war on a raid on a power plant. The action focuses on the aftermath when this daft Englishman (Mark Eden) drags back this German scientist. Ja, he has discovered this "staggering" new explosive. So what should the trio do mit him? "His mother should have drowned him," is the anti-nuclear line, but which superpower should now "get the bomb"? The story makes its point about "the implications of power" too ponderously to make the drama absorbing. As in real life, the three fall out, correction the two fall out, Britain is eliminated. Then there was one, or even none, and midst the arguments, the secret is scattered to the four winds... for the time being
18 The Frantick Rebel - this appears to be a cross between Carry On and the eighteenth Century Blackadder. The rich fruity tones of Roger Livesey as Samuel Johnson blend with those of the blackadderish Stanley Baxter overacting as Boswell, pursuing an object of idolatry on the London stage. "The lemon, sir," or how the Americans won the War of Independence could be the plot which is truly awful. I believe Michael Powell was highly regarded as a director, but this is indulgent Cinema Absurde at its bonhommic pitz
19 Castles in Spain - After 25 years "beloved enemy" Professor Kemp (Chester Morris) returns home to Spain. Bill (Neil McCallum) meets him at Madrid Airport and takes him to his house. But on the way they befriend a man wounded, he says, in a fight over a girl. However he proves to be a student terrorist. With the help of an English doctor (Roland Culver) they try to outwit the police. Interesting questions over morality in Spanish politics are raised, and even the Gibraltar question gets a mention
21 Once a Spy - M'bala (Earl Cameron) is on trial in an African dictatorship and needs British help to flee the country. The task, "the full cloak and dagger bit," is assigned to Sue (Millicent Martin), whose boyfriend Phil Mason (William Lucas) has just been dismissed from the service as "dangerously unreliable" by his scheming boss (Peter Vaughan). The main focus of the story is Sue and Phil's relationship and only ten minutes is left for the simple rescue, which is only marred by volunteer Phil's old "weakness for self-dramatisation"
24 A Free Agent (final story) - A newly married couple throw their presents into a lake. Both are ex-spies, and from opposite sides, but "you can't contract out," that's the theme of this story as both sides try to drag them away from "a normal life." Had the characters been more sympathetic, the story might have been more absorbing, but as it is, the ending always keeps you guessing
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COURT MARTIAL (1966)
Generally rather dull, in my view, only enlivened by the integrity of Peter Graves' acting.

15 Operation Makeshift - with Robert Beatty and Errol John. Summary from The Viewer: "The case of one desperate, dedicated Army Sergeant who seems willing to sacrifice his freedom, his honour and his career. Captain David Young takes on his defence but receives no assistance from the Sergeant." Our more prosaic summary: Five army trucks are stolen. The dramatic trial includes the subpoena of a general. The story is set in politically sensitive Persia, not much different there today, sadly.
17 All is a Dream to Me - "A real loser" (Donald Sutherland) steals an army jeep crashing it outside the Anchor pub, killing an army lieutenant. The episode title is a quote from Goethe, found in a book under the crashed vehicle, which leads Capt Young to the village spinster Laura (Gwen Watford) and an old man who's lost his memory. In the end, it all goes back to Dachau concentration camp

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Ghost Squad

1* TICKET FOR BLACKMAIL
2* BULLET WITH MY NAME ON IT
3* HONG KONG STORY
4* HIGH WIRE
5* THE BROKEN DOLL
6* EYES OF THE BAT
7* STILL WATERS
8* ASSASSIN
9 DEATH FROM A DISTANCE
10* MILLION DOLLAR RANSOM
11* THE GREEN SHOES
12* CATSPAW
13* PRINCESS
14* INTERRUPTED REQUIEM
15# EAST OF MANDALAY
16* SENTENCES OF DEATH
17# THE GRAND DUCHESS
18* THE DESPERATE DIPLOMAT
19# THE GOLDEN SILENCE
21* THE BIG TIME
21* A FIRST CLASS WAY TO DIE
22# LOST IN TRANSIT
23* QUARANTINE AT KAVAR
24* RETIREMENT OF THE GENTLE DOVE
25 THE THIRTEENTH GIRL
26# DEATH OF A SPORTSMAN
27* HOT MONEY
28# THE MAN WITH THE DELICATE HANDS
29# THE LAST JUMP
30* THE MAGIC BULLET
31# POLSKY
32* THE HEIR APPARENT
33* ESCAPE ROUTE
34# THE MENACING MAZURKA
35# MR. FIVE PER CENT
36* GERTRUDE
37# SABOTAGE
38* PG7
39# THE MISSING PEOPLE
Stories in ATV London transmission order. * with Nick Craig. # with Tony Miller.
ITC's first hour long filmed series. A pilot was made by Rank eventually titled 'Death from a Distance', featuring Hazel Court as Jackie, an undercover agent and William Sylvester as police officer Brett. A TV Mirror reporter describes his visit to Walton studios as they were completing the pilot in September 1960. (It had been intended to make it at Rank's Pinewood.) The story editor for this pilot was Lewis Greifer. Leslie Harris of ATV had planned the series be partly filmed in Hong Kong, but changed his mind, saying "when I surveyed the possibilities in Hong Kong I was appalled. There is only one ramshackle studio there." With sales guaranteed to America, the pilot was reworked and 12 more stories were filmed at Beaconsfield, shooting beginning on April 17th 1961. A couple of months previously producer Connery Chappell had stated, "I hope Hazel Court and William Sylvester will be acting in many of the episodes," but rumours in June suggested that Sylvester walked out. In fact the star was Michael Quinn as agent Nick Craig, with Donald Wolfit as Sir Andrew Wilson. A long 1962 Equity dispute caused Rank to pull out, and ATV moved production to video. New agent Tony Miller (Neil Hallett) was introduced alongside Nick Craig with Anthony Marlowe as new boss Geoffrey Stock. The magic of the filmed stories was gone!
Ghost Squad hq was in Park Lane, London.
When the series returned in 1964, now oddly renamed G.S.5, there was a surprise, agent Nick Craig was dead, agent Tony Miller was joined by agent Peter Clarke (Ray Barrett). One viewer fairly complained in TV Times (No 435), "everyone associates the dashing Nick Craig with this wonderful programme. It will never be the same without him." It was explained that Michael Quinn was "commtted to other work in America." Episode 1 showed Nick's murderers being tracked down. Publicity for GS5 stated- "The death of his old colleague Nick Craig has made Tony Miller bitter and tougher than ever. A shrewd operator is he, quick witted and a man to fear." Hallett said of his role: "It's an all-action part and really something I can get my teeth into." As for Peter Clarke, he "looks and acts the city gentleman, is always cool and self-assured and uses his own charm and subtle humour to get him out of tight spots." Barrett said of his role: "I thoroughly enjoy the role of Clarke. He is a man who does not like to use violence, a man after my own heart." In fact Barrett is only in a few of the 13 episodes, another agent appearing in the starring role in one story, Sally Lomax, played by Patricia Mort. She also has bit parts in two other stories, having made her debut in the Ghost Squad story The Thirteenth Girl, and it's possible ATV were considering building a future series around her.
Best story: I do like 13 Princess. Dud episode: 15 East of Mandalay.
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The Sentimental Agent (1963)

Carlos Thompson was the star of this short lived series, playing Carlos Varela who runs Mercury International.
Only 13 stories were ever made, a spin-off from the Man of the World story #6 in which Carlos Thompson first appeared.
Other semi regulars were Burt Kwouk as Chin, and Clemence Bettany as Susie Carter, Varela's secretary.
John Turner, having been introduced as Bill Randle in #6, then starred alone in 4 stories, the interesting question is, was Thompson ill, as was suggested at the time, or replaced?
Distinguished directors included Charles Frend, John Paddy Carstairs and Harold French.
The storylines mixed drama with more humour than in most ITC series, but the plots seem stretched, often there's a long and needless coda to fill out the fifty minutes


These are the 13 stories made-
1 All That Jazz
2 The Beneficiary
3 Express Delivery
4 Never Play Cards with Strangers
5 May The Saints Preserve Us
6 Meet My Son Henry
7 A Little Sweetness and Light
8 The Height of Fashion
9 A Very Desirable Plot
10 Finishing School
11 Scroll of Islam
12 Not Quite Fully Covered
A Box of Tricks
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Man of the World (1962)

"Nothing like it before on British TV," claimed ATV- good job nothing like it since either! The star was Craig Stevens who played Mike Strait, international photographer. Stevens was from that American school of acting where you only move from the neck upwards, and even in a crisis betray little emotion.
Mike Strait was initially assisted by Hank (Graham Stark) in story #2, while a more regular helper was Maggie (Tracy Reed) who appeared in about 8 stories. In #6 The Sentimental Agent, he is all but replaced by Carlos Thompson. Later stories saw Craig Stevens all on his ownsome.

26 episodes were planned but due to an actors' strike production was halted in late 1961. By Easter 1962, Leslie Harris head of production at ITC, was threatening to axe the series. In the end, only 20 were made. They are listed below in ATV transmission order

Best story: #9 anticipates some of the fine later ITC storylines. #5 The Frontier has a fine climax
Worst story: too many of the others! Perhaps #19 is the pits, while #14 The Bandit suggests the producers had too quickly run out of ideas.


1 DEATH OF A CONFERENCE
2 MASQUERADE IN SPAIN
3 BLAZE OF GLORY
4 THE RUNAWAYS
5 THE FRONTIER
6 THE SENTIMENTAL AGENT
7 THE HIGHLAND STORY
8 THE NATURE OF JUSTICE
9 THE MINDREADER
10 PORTRAIT OF A GIRL
11 SPECIALIST FOR THE KILL
12 A FAMILY AFFAIR
13 SHADOW OF THE WALL
14 THE BANDIT
15 THE ENEMY
16 DOUBLE EXPOSURE
17 JUNGLE MISSION
18 IN THE PICTURE
19 THE BULLFIGHTER
20 THE PRINCE
Trivia- The working title for this series when it was first mooted in 1960 was A Man of the World
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Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (1969)
For me, ITC seemed to be getting a little desperate for new ideas in their latest offering, which never manages to decide if it is drama or comedy. The fantasy is well done, but the adventure genre was by now in decline.

1 My Late Lamented Friend and Partner- John Sorrensen (Frank Windsor) electrocutes his wife in the bath, detective Marty Hopkirk is on hand and must be eliminated. He is run down and killed. Buried, he can still communicate with his amazed partner Randall, helping him lure Sorrensen into a rather unconvincing trap. "Why don't you stay dead like everyone else?"
2 But What A Sweet Little Room- "Bunny, there's a funny sort of hissing noise..." Julia asks Jeff Randall to find her missing rich aunt, but when Julia herself is run down and killed, Marty's wife is sent to Madame Hanka's seance. Seek advice from someone called Arthur, is the message for her. Marty scares the fake medium at her next seance, while Arthur (Michael Goodliffe) locks Randall in that room with the hissing. Luckily Marty is on hand
3 For the Girl Who Has Everything- Millionairess Kim Wentworth (Lois Maxwell) needs her castle exorcised, so who better than Randall with Hopkirk deceased? It seems obvious that her seventh husband Larry is frightening her, except he is then shot dead. This could have been an interesting storyline, a ghost after a ghost, but one is laid to rest, or rather a hoaxer is, as our ghost enlists a psychic to rescue Randall from death in a priesthole
4 A Sentimental Journey- A mundane story with a few good supernatural touches, Randall's job is to escort the annoying Dandy on the Glasgow to London sleeper. "What's it all about?" "Don't try to understand." It has something to do with a pact by gangsters and rare stolen stamps that actually look worthless. Dandy does a double cross, Marty helps find the stolen property
5 You Can Always Find A Fall Guy- Jeff is lured to a convent to recover £6.000 from a crooked accountant. But it is a trick and he finds himself accused of stealing secret documents. It's an elaborate frame-up, over elaborate, involving half a million. Marty neatly enlists a ghost's help to save his partner
6 Who Killed Cock Robin?- Who is shooting the birds of the late Mrs Wentworth-Howe? As the relatives will only inherit when the birds all pass away, it's easy to guess the motive. But which heir is the guilty one? This is a variation on And Then There Were None. In the same old Edgwarebury building, Marty gets a medium to get Jeff out of a locked cellar
7 The Smile Behind The Veil- Rich racing driver Caroline Seaton is killed in a car crash. The murderers kill Jeff too, though he is resuscitated by a stranger who turns out to be the real heir to Caroline's fortune. A second attempt on Jeff's life has him dumped down a well, only Marty can rescue him
8 It's Supposed To Be Thicker Than Water- £50 for Randall to find old Joseph Crackan's nephew who is on the run. Easy job, then another, guarding Crackan Manor while relatives gather for a reunion. Only one of them will inherit, so it's the old familiar storyline. Though this attempts something different, it is entirely unconvincing
9 The Trouble With Women- Randall is asked by a blonde to tail her husband, who turns out to be a big time villain. Marty helps by getting Jeff to win at poker. Jeff is set up for the husband's murder

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Man in a Suitcase
Richard Bradford was the unique star, "morose but frustrating." Perhaps difficult to work with too. His character matamorphoses as the series progresses, or do I mean disintegrates? That memorable theme tune was by Ron Grainer.

1 Man from the Dead - introducing McGill, disgraced CIA agent. Or is he? For Rachel has seen her father Harry, presumed dead, in a London street. He could easily clear McGill. Top brass warn McGill off, but he knows she will lead him to Harry. But she refuses. It takes 35 minutes to find him in the White City, and Harry does promise to clear McGill's name, once he has seen his daughter. Of course, it's not nearly so simple, and McGill perceives that his life will have to "go down the drain"
2 All That Glitters - In a peaceful Cotswold village young Steve is growing up, but when he disappears, McGill upsets the locals as well as Hornsby his secret father. Kidnappers demand £50,000 and after a tense shootout there's a happy ending, though McGill himself winds up in hospital. Bitter sweet as ever
3 Sweet Sue - Millionaire Mandel needs McGill since his spoilt daughter (Judy Geeson) "is running wild" with two villains. But McGill can't "turn her into Snow White," though he can outsmart the baddies. But he can't get Sue to see the two are crooks, though they do that themselves, at some cost to McGill
4 The Bridge - Tim (Rodney Bewes) is a potential "bridge jumper." Robert Muller wrote more often for Armchair Theatre and Wednesday Play and maybe he merely adapted one such offering for this series. Bradford himself described it as "a terrible script." McGill is called in to act as Tim's shrink. "There's no girl," claims Tim, whose angst centres on his having killed his friend on Albert Bridge. However Annabelle (Jane Merrow) was Tim's "goddess," and knows the truth. Her daddy offers to help McGill's reinstatement if he lays off, but that's not McGill's way. When he is beaten up, Annabelle is persuaded to reveal all (figuratively), on the bridge
6 Brainwash - Denham Golf Club Halt is where McGill is abducted. Col Davies, former president of a tiny African republic, offers him £50,000 if he will reveal some secret from his former employment. "Everything is getting out of hand," certainly I was exhausted watching it all, and McGill is nearly driven round the twist
7 The Girl Who Never Was- down on his luck Captain Kershaw (Bernard Lee) knows where to find a valuable painting of Venus, that went awol in the war. McGill is tasked with finding it also in a story of a sad has-been, even lower than McGill, no winners here. But McGill proves he has a heart
8/9 Variation on a Million Bucks - A drawn out two parter, real romance with Taiko (Yoko Tani), and a rare pal for McGill in Max (Anton Rodgers) who has stashed a million in a Lisbon deposit box. When he is shot, he tells McGill where the key is. The many "vultures" make one wonder whether the quest is worth a wounded shoulder plus numerous bruises, regulars can guess how it'll end
10 Day of Execution- Moira (Rosemary Nicols) is "gone" on McGill, who is receiving death threats. You're supposed to share McGill's frustration, but the tale itself is what is frustrating. The characters are poorly introduced, and the story needed serious editing. The ending is dramatic but by then it is too late
11 Web with Four Spiders- Eminent American lawyer James Norbert is being blackmailed. McGill scours Manchester for traces of the gang. As usual he is fighting more than one enemy, "Norbert, what do they want?" Nothing less apparently than control of, er, outer space or something. "You're up against the machine." As usual the machine gets McGill a few bruises, all for a loser, and even the universe isn't saved
12 Blind Spot- Only witness to the murder of an old lady is the near blind Marcelle (Felicity Kendall). McGill's the man to recover her stolen jewels, except they are paste, and he uncovers something more sinister, in a well constructed Victor Canning story
13 The Boston Square- Oceanographer Dalby (Vincent Ball) has disappeared with his firm's research. McGill flies to Corfu and vies with Rudnik for the papers, though it is all far more complex, to do with subs and "world security at stake." Of course McGill saves the world!
14 Jigsaw Man- An Italian banker needs McGill to find his younger brother Silvio, so he can receive his half million inheritance. The dreadful narration and other corny touches threaten to derail the story, though the characters manage that anyway. McGill's problem is that Silvio doesn't want the money, "doesn't make sense." But enough to persuade McGill to change sides, the most improbable bit is when McGill's Hillman Imp overtakes the baddies' Jag
15 The Sitting Pigeon- a straightforward story of McGill paid by the police to protect Rufus Blake (George Sewell) who may testify against his two brothers, and incidentally get hold of their criminal fortune. In Kew Gardens hothouse, the pair are cornered
17 Somebody Loses... Somebody Wins?- McGill has to track down a violinist in Dresden. Ex-agent and ex-pal of McGill's, Miss Ruth Klinger is out to set him up. Showdown with her in a Bier Keller, all in the cause of counter espionage. To give Ruth Commie Credibility, McGill has to fall in with the inexorable turn of events
18 Dead Man's Shoes- "the smell of terror" in a frightened village, even though it's hackneyed, all down to leather clad Lucas, played by Derren Nesbitt, ever nasty, but here looking as though he wanted McGill's role, as he half looks like Richard Bradford's double. The pillaging and looting is to flush out John Gilsen (John Carson) who has a dossier on an international dope ring. McGill's enigmatic tole turns into one of cornered hero in an ancient dovecote
19 The Whisper- McGill has to investigate a Jesuit priest (Colin Blakely) who works in Central Africa, is he stirring up the native workers? Certainly it is proved he is not genuine, yet he is not running. In this slow moving drama, McGill finds himself in some sympathy with the 'priest,' "stop this farce." If only...
25 Property of a Gentleman- Old Chester Farson is selling his Cezanne at auction, which is interrupted by his daughter Jane (Justine Lord) crying out, "that painting was stolen!" She is not permitted to see her her bedridden old dad, since her brothers have installed an imposter, an actor played by Gordon Gostelow who becomes entertainingly above his station, mostly too much brandy. "This thing stinks"
26 No Friend of Mine- 'Beloved Enemy' Masuto wants peaceful independence for his African colony. Bad white men try to keep power for themselves. McGill helps blow up an engineering company, he's undercover to uncover the terrorists. Amid the politics, natives get restless, and optimistically McGill is "the one man who may be able to stop bloodshed"
27 Which Way Did He Go, McGill?- Earle (Donald Sutherland at his most irresistible) was the only vicious crook convicted after a huge gold bullion robbery, now he has served his sentence he's after his share of the loot. McGill, after the 10% reward is after him, the police watch happily on as Earle eliminates his gang in search of the loot which the boss has. (The opening scene at Waterloo Station is odd, since a train announcement can be heard for trains to the north of England, while later the train Earle catches is according to a newspaper from Victoria!)
28 Three Blinks of the Eyes- On behalf of a rich wife McGill has to follow her wayward husband. The search takes him to Paris and the attractive owner of the Club de la Guillotine. But she is murdered, McGill is arrested and has to escape from police to expose the killer, in a sad pathetic finish
29 Castle in the Clouds- Dennis (Gerald Flood) has enjoyed a fling with Magda, but after a row they part. She keeps a valuable broach he lent her. McGill has to retrieve it, but she is elusive, tediously so
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The Baron
with Steve Forrest as John Mannering, the one they call The Baron. Sue Lloyd as Cordelia joined the series early on, made her mark, and stayed. She is in #4, 7, 9-26, 28-30.

This ITC series marked the decline of the adventure genre. The mediocrity of The Baron in comparison with the high point of the suspiciously similar sounding The Saint can perhaps be put down to the desire to have an American star, and one who clearly didn't win too much respect from his English colleagues. Then also the longstanding partnership of Baker and Berman had split up, and maybe the rehashing of some old Saint scripts, thinly disguised, was a recipe for failure.
As you can gather, I am not a fan. If you are, my apologies, and tell me what I'm missing! Perhaps it was significant that the old satellite channel Granada Plus showed six episodes, but then didn't screen any more. Further, ITV3 and ITV4 have repeated numerous colour ITC series, but never The Baron.

1 SAMURAI WEST
2 RED HORSE, RED RIDER
3 THE LEGIONS OF AMMAK
4 DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY
5 PORTRAIT OF LOUISA
6 FAREWELL TO YESTERDAY
7 EPITAPH FOR A HERO
8 THE PERSUADERS
9 SOMETHING FOR A RAINY DAY
10 ENEMY OF THE STATE
11 THERE'S SOMEONE CLOSE BEHIND YOU
12 AND SUDDENLY YOU'RE DEAD
13 A MEMORY OF EVIL
14 MASQUERADE
15 THE KILLING
16 LONG AGO AND FAR AWAY
17 YOU CAN'T WIN THEM ALL
18 THE SEVEN EYES OF NIGHT
19 THE LONG, LONG DAY
20 THE EDGE OF FEAR
21 TIME TO KILL
22 SO DARK THE NIGHT
23 THE MAZE
24 NIGHT OF THE HUNTER
25 STORM WARNING
26 THE ISLAND
27 ROUNDABOUT
28 THE HIGH TERRACE
29 THE MAN OUTSIDE
30 COUNTDOWN

Programmes are listed in production order, with grateful acknowledgement to the Network booklet

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MR JERICHO (1969)

ITC snapped up Patrick MacNee after The Avengers ended, with this one-off adventure directed by Sidney Hayers. The awful title song by Lulu is best forgotten. This is a sort of proto-Persuaders in its setting, and displays the usual ITC flair for excitement.

Patrick MacNee plays confidence trickster Dudley Jericho. "He could be a millionaire by now, but he has scruples."
On the Riviera, he has had made a replacement for the Gemini diamond, only two of which are known to exist, one being in the hands of the wealthy Rosso (Herbert Lom). Jericho plans to elude all Rosso's security devices, which appear to make his mansion impregnable, steal the gem, replacing it with his fake, and then selling the original back to the unsuspecting Rosso for half a million.
The plan seems to work childlishly easily as Jericho steals the real Gemini avoiding all the costly security devices, but just as the plot is starting to tail away, a rival Gemini seller, Claudine, materialises. Jericho finds out he somehow never stole the original after all and has to commit burglary number two. Once again he somehow ends up with a fake Gemini.
There's a lot more conning the conmen, and conwomen before the final showdown at Rosso's villa, which is followed by a car chase along the cliff tops. Some good twists keep up our interest, as Jericho finally ends up happy, if no richer.

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The Persuaders! (1971)
Very much the climax to ITC's years of glory, some regard this is their pinnacle, though that is to do disservice to some other fine series.
The pairing of Moore and Curtis was the inspiration, even if an expensive inspiration, for the pair spark off each other, and while it is utterly tongue in cheek, it is also utterly watchable and nearly, well nearly, credible. The main worry producers surely had was how to balance English triumphs and American victories so that both sets of audiences were satisfied. In the end it seems the Brits won on viewer ratings, and so did some of the rest of the world, with only the Americans out of step, not for the first time.
Best story: 3 Five Miles to Midnight, with Joan Collins making an unexpectedly good threesome.
Worst: 4 Angie, maudlin sentimentality.

1 Overture 8*- Sacred are the potent combination of English lord and American millionaire, this witty opener introducing us to them as they race along the Riviera coastline, and then enjoy a bar brawl. Called to investigate the bona fides of a girl, a very beautiful girl naturally, they are in their element, their competitive element. This is the precursor to nailing a notorious gangster
2 To The Death, Baby 7*- Soap Millionairess Cherie (Jennie Linden) is being conned, so our heroes "brighten up her horizons." Danny helps out with counterfeit notes, while Brett impresses her too with his winnings at poker. But who is conning who? In the end it's down to the old chivalry of rescuing a lady who's no lady in distress
3 Five Miles to Midnight 9*- The stars flirt enjoyably with Joan Collins as they try to smuggle a gangster out of Italy, police and Mafia on their trail. Big Boy and The Scarlet Pumpernickel avoid obstacles such as "Mr Charm Himself" (Ferdy Mayne) and a good old fashioned gun siege, during the trek which has echoes of a couple of great Saint episodes
4 Angie...Angie 3*- Actually Angie is the name of Danny's childhood buddy, whose dumb girl is involved in an attempt to murder a union boss who is out to expose corruption. Brett falls out with Danny over Angie, so the story misses the mark since their usual sparkle and banter is largely absent. Childhood games become a grim reality, accent on the grim
5 Powerswitch 7*- Brett and Danny find a corpse in the sea. A girl called Julie, her friend Pekoe is certain she was murdered and the trail leads to financier Lanny Koestler who had had an affair with Julie. The boys narrowly avoid a car accident when "somebody fixed the brakes"
6 The Gold Napoleon 6*- At Nice Airport someone takes a pot shot at Danny, or is it at the girl he is chatting up, Michelle (Susan George)? Her uncle is a dealer in gold coins, he is being used to transport millions worth of gold. Danny and Brett chase after the crooks with Michaelle, enjoyable enough
7 The Old, The New and the Deadly 5*- Now in Paris, The Man Who Sold France to the Germans (Patrick Troughton) puts a contract out on Danny. After two botched jobs, top man Groski (Derren Nesbitt) has to the job. It is all about the pursuit of a bronze bird. To get it, Groski prepares to shuffle Danny and Brett off this mortal coil
8 Take Seven 7*- "Mark is dead"- but has he returned to life to inherit the vast family fortune? Sister Jenny needs Danny and Brett's help, and they're delighted to offer it. "This is stupid," and perhaps the twist is
9 Someone Like Me 4*- the old double motif, as Brett is knocked out and recuperates in a hospital that is not a hospital. He resurfaces at home alive and well, but then attacks poor Danny. It's all a plot to kill a very reclusive businessman, but the motif here is a little too tired, the fun between the two stars mostly too strained
10 Chain of Events 7*- a dying man attaches a chain with a case to Danny's hand, the contents of which make him a target, "you'll never get out of here alive." Though of course he does, but the case is actually a bomb for the chief on British Intelligence
11 Greensleeves 8*- No visitors allowed inside Brett's mansion- Brett needs to know why. A double has been hired, as in story #9, but actually Brett plays his own double. His job is to meet a visiting Prime Minister, yet another of Brett's personal friends. Danny as the new butler offers the chance for plenty of clowning
12 The Ozerov Inheritance 8*- A Russian princess and her gran The Duchess herself (Gladys Cooper) require Lord Brett to provide proof for them to claim the family fortune, locked away in a Geneva bank. Arnold Ridley as ultra boring Uncle Rodney has the evidence, as our heroes enjoy plenty of fun defeating the wicked nephew, 'Ivan the Terrible'
13 The Morning After 7*- It seems Brett has married in Stockholm, only he cannot recall the wedding to Kristin. He plays along with the convoluted plot, while Danny is framed for murder. At Brett's mansion, a top United Nations man (Griffith Jones) is staying, and a gang plan to abduct him
14 Element of Risk 6*- At Heathrow, Danny is mistakenly picked up by crooks who take him for their "undisputed master criminal" who has planned a robbery of gold gullion from a US army base. Brett is brought in to pilot the getaway plane, but they are rumbled and coerced into assisting the villains
15 Someone Waiting 4*- Another of those motor racing dramas with Roger Moore as an ace driver: the Sinclair Special nearly runs Brett down, he must throw the race or else. Danny has most fun trying to protect his pal in this medicore episode in London
16 Anyone Can Play 7*- Danny wins a fortune at a crooked Brighton casino, he's mistaken as the paymaster for a spy ring. A chase round town and on to a train where gather the comrades for a terrific round of fisticuffs
17 The Time and The Place 4*- Danny find a corpse in Lord Croxley's woods, but it disappears, only to resurface in a lake. The body is of a political columnist, "keep out of it," our heroes are warned. Of course they don't, uncovering a plot to kill the prime minster on a tv show. It's a disjointed story
18 The Long Goodbye 4*- Scientist Brian Wilks died twelve years ago in a plane crash, it was assumed he had been defecting. A plethora of doubtful characters want his papers, so Danny is kidnapped, when that fails bribery is attempted, then claimants to be Wilks' daughter show up. Several counter bids to buy the papers, ranging from £12m to nothing, all of which results in amusing interludes in a mundane storyline
19 A Home Of One's Own 4* - You should see what Danny has bought, Meadow Cottage, a derelict dump. Local squire Rupert offers to buy it, but Danny's in love with the crumbling place. A corpse in the well is his first surprise, followed by painted warnings to Get Out. Rupert's heavies take him away at gunpoint, some forged American dollar racket apparently
20 That's Me Over There 6*- Brett is kidnapped by the "truly evil" Krane (Geoffrey Keen) to prevent him using the evidence he has to convict the racketeer. But Danny impersonates Brett- "preposterous!"- in order to obtain the last piece of evidence against Krane. Roger Moore gets to be Tony Curtis too, in this otherwise drawn out Clemens script
21 Read and Destroy 4*- After a dull start, Brett gives shelter to Felix, a spy on the run. On the other hand, Danny is employed by US Intelligence to find him, and the memoirs he is writing. How can only one of our heroes win? Naturally the Russians are on the case too, not to mention two of Felix's wives. Pursuit of the memoirs becomes too silly and corny, "outsmarted by a dum dum"
22 Nuisance value 7* - Lisa is your typical spoiled frustrated heiress, ransom half a million. Her unpleasant daddy (George Murcell) even suspects Danny is involved and orders his death. Brett is go-between and rescues her, only she doesn't want to be rescued. Getting her back tio daddy is quite a job
23 A Death in the Family 4* - Brett's uncle is blown up by a tank- toy size. Other relatives depart in much the same fashion. "I am next in line," admits Brett, who gets to play several toles in this very run of the mill plot
24 The Man In The Middle 6* - The final story introduces Archie (Terry Thomas), upper crust relation of Brett. He helps Danny protect Brett whom the Brits think is a traitor, the opposition think he is too. Unfortunately Archie is "a teeny weeny bit on the cowardly side," when he helps rescue the kidnapped Brett, then in a coda, they all rescue attractive Brit agent Kay

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