as Inspector Duval,
with Edwin Richfield
as Jean Mornay.
1 The Angola Brights
2 The Thirteen Innocents
3 The Money Game
4 The Sleeping Giant
5 The Two Headed Monster
6 The Long Weekend
7 You Can't Die Twice
8 Diamond SOS
9 Private View
10 Dead on Arrival
11 Air Switch
12 The Chinese Mask
13 Slave Ship
14 The Man's A Clown
15 Last Man Lucky
16 No Flowers for Onno
17 Mr George
18 The Thousand Mile Alibi
19 Act of Piracy
20 Game for Three Hands
21 The Collector
22 The Heiress
23 Payment in Advance
24 Finger of Guilt
25 The Girl with Grey Hair
26 Cargo of Death
27 Trial at Cranby's Creek
28 Ascent to Murder
29 Slow Boat to Amsterdam
30 White Blackmail
31 A Foreign Body
32 In the Swim
33 Three Keys
34 Eight Days Inclusive
35 Dressed to Kill
36 Desert Hijack
38 Absent Assassin
If you want a show which epitomises Fifties Television, this is it! When production ended in early February 1960,
having cost over £500,000 to make,
executive producer Connery Chappell was questioned about Rank's first TV series.
"We have naturally learned a great deal," he answered. "The physical production went very smoothly keeping to feature
film production values, we had no troubles, but of course we gave four and a
half to five days for each film."
The impressive opening sequence showed a car smashing through frontier barriers to this lively commentary: "Crime knows no frontiers. To combat the growing menace of the international criminal, the police forces of the world have opened up their national boundaries. At their headquarters in Paris, scientifically equipped to match the speed of the jet age, sixty three nations have linked together to form the International Criminal Police Organisation- Interpol." I'm afraid it was, sadly, downhill after that!
Certainly, critical comment was negative, and rightly so, "a little slow", wrote one, while another, obviously yawning, declared "the atmosphere, content and
characterisation is exactly the same as all the other whodunits."
I have to concur with his comment on the star Charles Korvin: he "is unspectacular while the rest of
the cast portray baduns and gooduns with equal amount of conviction." Despite this, surprisingly good TAM ratings were achieved..... for a piece of utterly Pointless information, you can't beat this- for the week ending 22nd May 1960 Interpol Calling was as high as seventh equal in the TAM Top Ten for the Tyne Tees area.
My favourite story:
# 34 Eight Days Inclusive.
perhaps #4, #20, #28- there are too many duds
To TV Crime menu
THE ANGOLA BRIGHTS
At the top of Shaft 7 at the Murico Diamond mine in Angola, 34 year old Dutchman Martin Bekker (Alfred Burke) is hiding some diamonds on his person.
To cover his tracks he blows up the mine shaft, killing 30 employees, and jumps from the ambulance taking him to hospital. He flees to South Africa, where Interpol has no jurisdiction.
Lt De Silva at Murico requests Interpol's help.
Inspector Duval flies to Johannesburg and to seek help from (Captain Jan Coetzee (Rupert Davies with a variable South African accent) of the Diamond Security Police. They call on Bekker at the Randsman Hotel.
As it's an offence in SA to have uncut diamonds in one's possession, Bekker will be under arrest. But as Duval snoops round the room, Bekker actually shows the diamonds to Coetzee- they're polished,
"and there's no law against a person having polished diamonds."
Is this a dead end for Duval? He consults a diamond expert,
who says he could prove the provenance of these Angolan stones if he could examine them. But how to obtain them?
Duval proposes a reputable diamond expert Meyer (Philip Ray) purchases them.
When the mining company agree to produce the necessary £240,000, the deal is done and Bekker sells Meyer the stones before dashing off to catch flight 207 to Iraq.
But Duval is waiting at the airport. "A worried man gets careless," he tells Coetzee, and when Bekker thinks he's going to miss his escape flight he panics. A cunning ruse sends him via property owned by the Allied Diamond Corporation, and there Coetzee has jurisdiction to arrest Bekker.
The diamonds are confirmed to be from Angola and so Bekker is proved to be a thief and a murderer. The end
Uncredited speaking roles: 1 A daimond miner. 2 Foreman. 3 South African policeman. 4 Female lab assistant. 5 Air Traffic controller. 6 Air Ticket Clerk
To Interpol Menu
THE TWO HEADED MONSTER
Million dollar racketeer Johnny Stefano (Alan Tilvern) has been deported from the USA, returned to Naples.
"Three of Europe's worst criminals" from Germany Spain and France have converged on his impressive mountain mansion for a "summit meeting." Interpol puzzles over what Johnny is up to.
Duval questions Johnny's sister Maria (Marla Landi), who believes Johnny isn't bad.
He had been a farmer until one year his vineyard was ruined. Aaah.
And this is Johnny's new scheme - The Vineyard Protection Society. Phylloxera, a vine pest, is stolen from labs. Then for starters, two hundred thousand francs is demanded from a Burgundy vineyard owner, Georges Debre (Robert Cawdron). He won't pay up, and Interpol arrives too late - a tin of the the pest has been chucked on his land and his crops must be burnt.
Debre is asked to identify the extortionists, but he refuses to identify the hoodlum who'd demanded the money, Cartier, as he's afraid the pest might be introduced to his remaining crop.
So Duval appeals once more to Maria. She refuses to reveal the secret hiding place where Johnny is likely to be storing the stolen bugs.
However she does go to a ruined church and in the crypt she finds the pest. and has to accept he is a criminal.
Duval has followed her. "You were right." In the nave there's a shootout, but when Stefano runs out of bullets he drops a statue on Duval- missed! In a hand to hand tussle, Stefano falls over a balcony.
"It's better this way, he'd never have changed," is Stefano's epitaph.
Interpol Calling Menu
"£500,000 Art Theft" are the newspaper headlines after Sir Isaac Spendler's private art collection is stolen from his 23rd floor penthouse suite, "sealed off like Fort Knox." In the haul are a Van Gogh, 3 Rembrandts, a Renoir and a Lautrec -the thieves knew which ones to nick! "They only took the best."
The "fruit machine" at Interpol headquarters, or in other words their enormous computer, produces three likely suspects, but it's the fourth nomination, from Mornay, that proves the best. Computer technology isn't everything! Mornay points to dealer Wolf Barstrom (Michael Goodliffe) in Stockholm.
We watch him and his blackmailed partner, "undesirable" Frederick Pimm, aka Ferenc Pimescu, hiding the paintings on a barge moored at Chelsea Reach.
Daughter Nina Pimescu (Moira Redmond) is painting a new abstract over each picture, in a variation of the old 'painting-over' trick.
But Inspector MacAndrew (Ernest Clark) is already on Barstrom's trail, thanks to Interpol.
Duval flies over to London to examine Spendler's flat. Then they dash to London Airport where Barstrom is reported to be flying out with six paintings. An Xray machine ought to show up the originals underneath the Pimescus. But "nothing."
Only a red face!
The detectives call at Pimescu's home, 36 Borthwick Hill Hampstead, where Duval discovers a large camera obscura. It is trained on Sir Isaac's home.
Then a report is received that Pimescu's body has been found in the Thames. And Nina lives on the river!
She's sailing from Southampton - so another race there and surprise surprise, she has six abstract paintings- xrays prove they've been treated with the overpainting trick.
Although Nina knows her dad's dead, she refuses to split on Barstrom, so Duval arranges a trick. He announces that her six paintings are being sold by auction in London so Barstrom rushes to the saleroom at Piccadilly Circus.
A bidding war- "four thousand for an abstract!" "For once, Barstrom," Duval warns him, " you have overbid."
Apparently this is enough to get him arrested!
Note- uncredited speaking roles: 1 Interpol Paris operative. 2 Female Interpol Operative. London constable. 4 Airport Official. 5 Landlady of Pimescu's flat (Rita Webb). 6 Police sergeant. 7 Mortician. 8 Ship's captain. 9 Technician on ship. 10 Auctioneer. British cars seen include: SLN228 a Morris van, MGJ559 police car, and UXL804 taxi
To Interpol Calling Menu
The Chinese Mask
A suspicious character on a plane. A gas mask in his brief case. Ticking sounds therefrom. It's a hi-jack! The plane is force landed in the Burmese jungle, 350lbs of platinum nicked. "Must take a lot of nerve."
A picture of the Chinese criminal is composed from the eyewitnesses, and it is learned he had hired a light plane in Hong Kong in order to make his getaway.
So to there Duval flies, to be greeted by airport staff officers Reg Coutts (Howard Marion Crawford) and Bill Grant (Bill Nagy), the latter we recognise without his disguise as the suspicious chap. He lives in a very posh apartment with his wife Jane (Jan Holden). With the police seeming to be closing in, they concoct a plan.
Bill dons his suspicious Chinese character again and announces himself at airport reception. When the police swoop, they only find in the washroom Bill, "someone did come in," he admits, but points to the open window. Later the man's clothing is found with a bullet hole in the harbour. But like us, Duval has seen this type of trick before. He works out the man is a European, and gets Bill to provide a list of all such working for the airline.
With the net closing in, Bill despatches his wife to catch flight 201 to Tokyo.
She is a decoy for Bill to slip away by boat to Macau. But though he knows he's beyond the reach of Hong Kong police there, Inspector Duval knows Interpol will soon have him arrested.
Notes: Uncredited speaking parts: 1 Air stewardess. 2 Hong Kong Airport official. 3 Female airport receptionist. 4 Manager. 5 Police sergeant. 6 Hong Kong undercover man. 7 Waiter.
"Coutts," the airport official, is so identified by the sign on his door, However the screen credits call him "Couts."
Continuity: The first scene with Inspector Duval shows stock footage of him entering Interpol headquarters wearing gloves, but he's lost them as he enters his office
Interpol Calling Menu
Certainly a familiar storyline, but the main characters are sympathetically drawn, making this one of the better of the series.
Predator Ronald Millais (Maurice Kaufman) is arrested for kidnapping Louisa Howard (Julia Lockwood), daughter of a millionaire. But Inspector Dubval has made a mistake, she's with the man of her own free will. She says she is going to marry him soon.
Her father had invented this kidnap story in a desperate attempt to stop the ruthless Millais from swindling her out of his fortune. Duval becomes interested when facts come to light about Millais' other romantic entanglements.
"We're in love," Louisa informs Duval, and that seems to be the end of it. But was Millais already married in 1957 when he took a second wife? His first wife Emma he'd married eight years previously, can Duval charge Millais with bigamy? No, because Emma died in a car crash.
However Duval questions Dr Martin (Austin Trevor) who had signed her death certificate. She died in a car crash of multiple injuries.
The persistent Duval flies to Rome to talk to wife number two. She bitterly regrets ever meeting Millais. She'd left him because he'd tried to kill her, in circumstances strangely similar to Emma's death.
At the Kit Kat Club in Geneva, Duval gets wife number two to talk to Louisa. She warns Louisa, "I was as pretty as you once." But Louisa cannot be persuaded.
Dr Martin is Ronald Millais' father! Faced with the truth, the retired doctor confesses that Emma was dead before the crash. His son is "a homicidal maniac."
The maniac is taking his fiancee on a picnic. Her father interrupts the happy occasion offering to buy the crook off. The confrontation ends in a scuffle, and the couple resume their journey to the picnic.
This is by a lake above a cliff. As Louisa has signed a will in Millais' favour, all he has to do now is bump her off. On the edge of a cliff, he pushes her. It would have been good to see her reaction. But Duval is watching it all and saves her.
Millais flees, pinching off in a truck that had been used in the film Hell Drivers. If you know the film you'll be able to guess the ending here as footage from the final reel is interestingly borrowed from that to end this story. Millais' lorry has in large letters on the side HAWLETZS, look carefully however at the final shot as it careers over the cliff and you'll see it is the same lorry HAWLETTS as used in the feature film.
No Edwin Richfield. Uncredited speaking extras: 1 Waiter. 2 Hotel porter
To Interpol Calling Menu
The Girl with Grey Hair
On the studio beach a pile of clothes are dumped.
Hugo Ballard (Ronald Leigh-Hunt) has apparently committed suicide.
That makes his paintings soar in value, and two years later, three are put up for auction. His wife Anita causes a sensation in front of bidders by slashing one of the pictures, The Girl with Grey Hair, and claims it is a fake. However an expert is certain it is genuine.
Duval is mystified why she slashed the picture: it suggests a premeditated act. So he flies to San Remo where Ballard had died. His body had never been found, and his paintings have gone up in value ten times.
In the Italian mountains, Duval finds the location of the painting. The local priest is certain the painting is at most one year old. Coincidentally Anita is in the area, and she does admit the suicide was faked. But her husband must have left her for this striking grey haired girl, who is actually only aged twenty, name of Michele. She says she knows nothing.
But Anita Ballard gets to the bottom of it, or her. The suggestion that there's money due to Hugo, gets Michele to agree to fetch him. Of course Anita is intending to shoot them for doublecrossing her, but Duval has been keeping a watching brief. Girl friend and wife's meeting ends in argument, and an arrest, but actually it has a very good final twist that I hadn't guessed.
Note: uncredited speaking parts: 1 Auctioneer (Raymond Rollett), 2 French policeman. 3 Art expert. 4 Marie, Interpol secretary. 5 Art dealer in San Remo. 6 Priest. 7 Landlord
To Interpol Calling Menu
Cargo of Death
A crate of 100 boxes of live cholera vaccine is stolen from the Chandra Laboratories in Karachi. It "must be tested before use," but the thieves don't know that. At a Delhi Health Clinic Dr Kaul collects the material for her inoculations to natives up in the hills. Another doctor there is killed as thieves try and recover the stuff.
Duval flies out there. More cases are found in Bengal, and the distributors are traced to Pan Asia Drug Laboratories, run by Mr Buchanan and assisted by Porton (Laurence Payne). They had dispatched 40 boxes there.
Fifty more boxes turn up in Mombasa, again from the Pan Asia firm, so the place is thoroughly searched. Porton turns out to be a crook named Wilson, ex army medical corps, sacked from there as a black marketeer. He admits he had tried to recover the vaccines once he had realised they were dangerous. His accomplice silences him with a knife.
It is a race against time to recover the missing ten boxes of vaccine, that the Delhi doctor is now adminstering to her patients. However this is not an exciting concluding chase, these days a simple call on the mobile would of course solve the crisis instantly.
Uncredited speaking parts: 1 Scottish doctor. 2 Native. 3 Savi, Dr Kaul's assistant. 4 Indian gangster. 5 Male Interpol switchboard operative in Paris. 6 Dr Kamar. 7 Laki, Porton's assistant. 8 Indian man. 9 Rado operator. 10 Motor cyclist
Note- I suppose a British Land Rover with the numberplate DGE124 might possibly have featured in the robbery in Karachi?
To Interpol Calling Menu
In The Swim
Trevor Reid plays a police inspector for the second time in the series (first in #11), albeit with the different name Cummings, and what with an appearance by John Horsley, this is a nostalgic episode! Edwin Richfield is, for once, not seen in this one.
Finnish swimmer Lars Lucas has been swimming the English Channel. At dead of night, although apparently he is late getting to shore, he has broken the record for a cross channel swim by 78 minutes!! He is greeted on the English shore by an enthusiastic crowd, but is shot dead by a marksman. "Nobody saw the murderer."
Local photographer Johnny Benson took a series of pictures, but nothing is very helpful. However a tape of Lars' last words are more telling, "I've just found...."
Pierre Montell was Lars' trainer and manager. He has already returned to France to concentrate on his protege Millicent Rayburn (Dorinda Stevens). Inspector Duval searches Montell's boat and hides when a stranger enters, depositing two flasks. When the coast is clear, Duval examines them and finds narcotics. These he switches with sugar.
"Be careful," Duval warns Millicent whose attempt at the swim begins from France at 4am.
Applause greets the end of the trip. Montell has been closely watched, and never passed anything. Still nothing at his hotel. While he breakfasts next morning, a search of his room proves the drugs have disappeared. Slow as a flash, Duval perceives how it happened. The "hotel shoeblack."
Montell is in trouble with his superior, who is not pleased to be handed mere sugar. Montell deserves to be shot, but Duval is on to the gang and the whole lot are arrested.
Throughout this story Duval shows incredible powers of deduction, perhaps he'd read the script in advance, just as well since Inspector Cummings is so splendidly inept.
Uncredited speaking parts: 1 Benson. 2 A bystander on the shore. 3 Man who helps Lars ashore. 4 Lars. 5 A reporter. 6 French innkeeper. 7 French policeman. 8 English plain clothes man
Interpol Calling Menu