Television Programmes from the Late 1960s onwards

DRAMA Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson
ATV: The Protectors
The Adventurer
THAMES: Special Branch
The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes
SOUTHERN: Noah's Castle
BBC: Paul Temple
Sutherland's Law
Francis Durbridge
Lord Peter Wimsey
COMEDY
BBC
Dad's Army
Bachelor Father
Wodehouse Playhouse
Hi-de-Hi
The Peter Principle
LWT
The Doctor Saga
Jeeves and Wooster
ATV - The Squirrels
THAMES

Father Dear Father
David Nixon Show
Harry Worth
GRANADA
Nearest and Dearest
YTV
- Fiddlers Three
SOUTHERN
: Hogg's Back
Lord Tramp
DOCUMENTARY
English Towns
About Britain - coastline tour

Motor SPORT

Formula One -1986 to 2005
Moto GP - 1992 to 2005
Superbikes - Carl Fogarty era
MISCELLANEOUS
On We Go (BBC)
Interceptor (Thames)
It's a Knockout (S4C)
Sale of the Century (Anglia)
Some of My Favourite Comedy Programmes
From the 1970s: Norman (1970), Nobody Is Norman Wisdom (1973) and A Little Bit of Wisdom (1976)- with the unique Norman Wisdom- surely we deserve to see these again!
From the 1980s: Hi de Hi! Jimmy Perry and David Croft, how we miss you!
From the 1990s: The Peter Principle is sadly neglected.
From the 2000s: Lead Balloon with Jack Dee showing off his dry wit at its best. Odd that it is not shown ad infinitum on satellite channels, unlike many a much less enjoyable comedy series.
CONTEMPORARY PROGRAMMES:
Quizzes: Thankfully Countdown is still running after 35 years, Rachel is better than Carol, though seeing repeats on the Challenge channel, made me realise how much we miss the witty incessant punning of Richard Whiteley.
Only Connect makes University Challenge look like child's play! VC, you've taken on the crown Thinking Man's Crumpet.
Drama Series: Father Brown bears little relation to the original novels, but is still enjoyable.

Question: identify this series, it's one listed above Answer
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Hi de Hi
Simply the best comedy series ever!
Simon Cadell as Geoffrey Fairbrother a university professor in charge of a holiday camp. A wonderful anachronism! Some outstanding support from old timers. All the cast are excellent, but we specially love Leslie Dwyer as the Punch and Judy Man who hates kids, and Barry Howard as the whingeing ballroom champion. When Simon Cadell left, David Griffin made a brave effort in the antithesis of the professor role, but the loss of Dwyer and Howard deprived the still superb series of that extra special magic.

Pilot (Jan 1st 1980)- A beautifully executed portrait of Cambridge professor Geoffrey Fairbrother, "in a rut," but seeking a new life as Entertainments Manager at Maplin's Holiday Camp. "A fish out of water," he does at least try and join in the fun ("pies, pies, who wants a custard pie"), a stark contrast to the ebullient camp comic Ted Bovis. Briefly introduced are the host of characters that are to make up this sparkling cast, only rock star Gary Storm being inexplicably axed. Surprising, as his evocative guitar provides background to a lovely montage of the week's fun, before Geoffrey decides to pack it all in. A grateful camper changes his mind, and the series is born....
1.1 Desire in the Mickey Mouse Grotto (Feb 26th 1981)- Geoffrey outlines to staff his plans for "broadening the camper's horizons." Blank faces. However his limitations in the nostalgic ballroom, as he tries to mix with campers are obvious, even more so when Ted fixes for him to be "respectable" escort to flirty Rose (Gillian Taylforth): "what lovely smooth hands you've got!"
1.2 The Beauty Queen Affair - "There are no limits to the spiritual heights...." claims Geoffrey, though perhaps his stumbling introduction to the holiday princess competition doesn't quite reach them. Indeed he's unfairly dragged down when he's given a large bottle of champagne for "fixing" the winner, which gets Ted off the hook for his birthday present fiddle
1.3 The Partridge Season - What a "berk" Mr Fairbrother is! Kindly, he has rescinded Mr Partridge's sacking, but he then hands the drunkard 10, enabling him to go on a "bender" singing Jerusalem, not the clean version either, whilst locked inside his chalet. Thus Geoffrey is obliged to perform Partridge's Punch and Judy Show, with willing assistant Sylvia cuddled up to him inside the booth- "give me a kiss Mr Punch;" it's a classic scene
1.4 The Day of Reckoning - It's 6am on a deserted promenade, as Geoff sends Spike on the long walk to Big Mac with a 200 pay-off. As Geoff's negotiating skills with the underworld are more than a little suspect, Big Mac is coming to Spike with 200 of hush money
1.5 Charity Begins At Home - The Campers' Amenity Fund it's called, another Ted Bovis fiddle. But when Geoff finds out Ted has used the proceeds in gambling, Ted is manouevred into donating the 400 winnings to an old couple who have been robbed
1.6 No Dogs Allowed - Bubbles is Geoffrey's dog, he has to hide in his chalet, against all regulations. The noises from within cause staff to think he is secretly keeping a woman...
2.1 If Wet, In the Ballroom - a "little perisher" spoils Whimsical Willie's magic show and receives his just desserts when Mr Partridge ties him up on stage. Geoffrey tries to placate the "nauseous" kid, unsuccessfully of course, as he persuades honest Spike to rig the dodgy clapometer in the talent contest to make the child win. But Ted's already rigged it and there's an unseemly brawl behind the clapometer to thwart Geoffrey's scheme. So it's left to Ted to properly fix the kid with a reward he can really appreciate
2.2 Peggy's Big Chance- a pool wheeze sees Peggy as a shark attacking a blonde bombshell, Spike actually. Sharkfighters dive in to rescue the blonde, but soon it's Peggy the shark who needs saving
2.3 Lift Up Your Minds - Perhaps the pick of the lot! Starting at breakfast, Ted loafing in bed, Barry preparing a bite for Yvonne: "we all eat a peck of dirt before we die." But Geoffrey wants the day to begin in a less "sepulchral" atmosphere and insists everyone attends the "frolics and games" in the breakfast hall. But with 80 extra meals a day, is Joe Maplin pleased? Encouraged however, Geoff decides to widen the campers' horizons and in imitation of his university days plans a musical recital, Discovering Shostakovich. Yvonne is pleased for this "ray of culture in this moronic wilderness." Ted however knows "it's bound to end in disaster." And he's right, there's a low turn out anyway, and we are given some lovely shots of mystified listeners. Geoff has to eat humble pie but Ted persuades him to run a second concert "with a bit of tune in it." Success!- which pleases Geoff, "a vulture for culture," though naturally it's all part of yet another Ted Bovis fiddle
2.4 On with the Motley - "low comedian" Ted Bovis is booked for the "toffee-nosed" Clacton Golf Club do in this bitter-sweet study of dashed aspirations: "it's all so glamorous," declares Peggy. The act is not a success: "hit 'em with a big un, Ted, so I did the one about the tarts and the sailor." Thus Ted ends up "back among the dead beats and has beens"
3.1 Nice People with Nice Manners - Formal invitations to Barry and Yvonne's for a midnight party in their "crummy" chalet. 'Tis to be "a little statement of gracious living." All ruined when Ted & Co gatecrash, and that's after the depths have already been plumbed with the That's Your Bum competition
3.2 Carnival Time - John le Mesurier was an inspired choice to play the Cambridge Dean who travels down to Maplin's looking completely at sea, in his best style, as Peggy greets him with a torrent of words. His bemused look continues throughout, as he stares on, watching Geoffrey, late of Cambridge University, organising the chaos surrounding a carnival float of the Wild West. Dressed in his dude's outfit he finally has to rescue Gladys from a real fire on the float. It's a brilliant muddle of an extravaganza
3.11 Sing You Sinners - A serious note as the chaplin to Maplins has to stop doing the Sunday Half Hour so Geoffrey takes on the task in his usual sombre style. Naturally Ted's effort the following week is rather more lively, the highlight perhaps being Barry and Yvonne's dance as Samson and Delilah, before the collection is taken, money to you-know-who. That's right, the vicar, who returns to take the money right out of Ted's clutches
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Harry Worth
Harry revived his career on ITV in the 1970's, first with Thames and later with a
less successful YTV series.
"Having a conversation with that fellow is like trying to knit fog!"

Thirty Minutes Worth (Thames, first series October - December 1972)
My name is Harry Worth (Thames, 1974)

1 There's No Place Like It - "I'm sorry you're getting a little confused," Harry tells Mrs Maybury at their first meeting. He tries to rescue her cat from the roof, and ends up at the police station in drag
2 The Referee - George (Reginald Marsh) is Mrs Maybury's brother, a policeman too. He insists Harry provide some sort of reference, so Harry gets one from his doctor, though it's "quite a surprise" as it's not actually his own reference
3 The Go Between - Almost touching, as Harry asks Mr Bunting (Peter Jones) at the Marriage Bureau for a partner: "you want to marry a man?" But it's for Mrs Maybury to whom, confusion over, Harry introduces Arnold (Derek Francis)
4 Don't Bank On It - A classic as Harry attempts to open a bank account "with everything I have........ 85p." Two dumb bankrobbers kidnap Harry thinking he's the manager. They soon realise they've taken on far more than they can cope with. A ransom of 20,000 for the supposed manager dwindles each succeeding hour, whilst Harry develops a nice rapport with the hapless Arthur and Mick. Finally the sad "nutcase" Harry realises noone is prepared to pay for his release. He decides to stay with the crooks! "Don't you want to go then?" they ask him pathetically. Finally Harry returns home, with a nice punchline
5 Normal Service Will be Resumed - Worst of the series. Mr Jones from Coopers Television Service takes away Mrs Maybury's perfectly good tv, and Harry tries to recover it
6 Just a Roll of Lino Please - Tim Barrett is the unlucky carpet salesman who has to deal with Harry- several times he licks his lips in frustration. More firm is Glyn Houston, the constable who patiently has to deal with Harry's problem over a stolen car. He shows all the skill of an old hand in dealing with this sort of confusion
7 The Family Reunion - "He doesn't talk sense," complains George (see story 2), about Harry of course. He soon proves this for himself. For Harry has been asked to look after George's daughter Sandra for the afternoon, so he buys the seven year old a teddy, amid much confusion by the shop assistant (John Clegg). But Sandra (Sally Geeson) is actually seventeen, so they go to the Freak Out Disco, where Harry gets into a bit of a fracas and ends up at the police station, and interrogation by George. Harry winds up in court, defending himself in a long scene that fails to ever get going
8 High Pitched Buzzing - A baffled Mr Veryl (Tony Melody) tries to deal with Harry's request for a telephone in his bedroom, but as he mistakes him for another customer, he nearly ends up demented, thinking Harry is the mad one. When the phone is ready to be installed, Mrs Maybury's new washing machine happens to be delivered, and the installers are puzzled by Harry's requirement "I want it right beside the bed." A phone call to Veryl to sort it out ends with him a broken man
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Thirty Minutes Worth
Three series (1972-3) For his first series "on the other side," perhaps it was wise that Harry attempted to change his format into a series of sketches, linked by his talking to camera. It works occasionally but ideas expired and the show quickly went downhill. Whatever, the idea was dropped for his next Thames outing in 1974.

1.1 (October 31st 1972). I liked the introduction with David Hamilton apologising that Harry isn't here: we discover why, he's gone to the BBC Centre, "old habits die hard." In his chat to the audience he even asks, "are we on the right channel?" He relates his interview with Philip Jones, Head of Thames Light Entertainment. Then the first scene, at King's Cross Left Luggage Office. In a fine touch it's Joyce Carey who is nicely scattier than Harry. It's a fantasy about lost sausages, and satire on Mr Heath losing same. The other main sketch with Paula Wilcox sees Harry locked out of his house. Soon she is too, and so is his other neighbour
1.2 Harry wants to know why his Premium Bond never wins, Mr Bradshaw (John Savident) deals with a very flat script as best he can. Sam Kydd is a flu victim, will good neighbour Harry cheer him up? Not a cheerful subject though the doctor's arrival does cheer things up, but poor Sam's only hope is to get Harry to go, in a touch of pathos
1.3 Poor intro, Harry has forgotten what he was to talk about. Also poor is the sketch with a commissionaire (Derek Francis) explaining to Harry about multiplex cinemas. A drinks machine confuses Harry, the mechanic (Roger Brierley) listens to his complaint. Much better is the 'Stair Trek' sketch, Mr Worth is beamed aboard to be greeted by Cpt Quirk (Anthony Jackson), Spotty (Richard Wilson), and Mr Speck, "I bought my nephew a pair of ears for Christmas," Harry informs him. There's a good bit of fun with the space age meal, "my compliments to the chemist," and more when the spaceship goes out of time control. But Harry is "a genius" and knows just the right spot to bash in order to correct the machine. A good punchline too
1.4 Harry tells a policeman (Glyn Edwards) that he's knocked down twenty four horses on Westminster Bridge. "We've got a right one here." Then there was this horse pulling a golden carriage, as the fantasy develops really well. Only mildly amusing is the sketch with Harry as a waiter in an Italian Restaurant with a Chinese chef and a customer (Richard Caldicot) who demands Italian cuisine. Even worse is the sketch with Fred (Tony Selby) Harry's dustman who falls victim to Harry's DIY, he's not the only one
1.5 This was awful. Harry talks about dieting. A sketch in Casualty after "a chapter of accidents" is related to the doctor (Meredith Edwards). Harry then plays a police inspector who bats ne'er an eyelid at the carnage caused by plenty of corpses, shot by a suave killer (Bryan Pringle), seriously overacted, with a punchline that lives up to the worth of the sketch. Harry is then a customer at a bank with an odd accounting system all his own. He talks at cross purposes with the manager (Geoffrey Lumsden) about a clerk absent in court. Laurel and Hardy had to reprise their gags in their film flops of the 1940s, and it's painful to compare this sketch with Harry's earlier
The Overdraft, in which even the manager is named Osborne as here, also the clerks Wilkins and Penrose, oh dear, this was L&H mark two
1.6 Harry's double booked into Room 5, already occupied by a couple- guess what's next, Harry hides. He also has something to hide at Customs, a suspicious officer (Bob Todd) ponders Harry's explanation. An amateur production of a costume drama needs a new leading man, who is really a music hall ventiloquist. Chance for Harry to revive his old act
1.7 Harry makes an appeal for his football team Twittington Wanderers, though later it's Twittering Wanderers. At Euston Station he deals with three phone calls simultaneously. In parliament Harry pesters his MP Sir George, who cracks up. Then another old chesnut (see To be Called For), Harry joins the AA (with Robert Keegan) then immediately phones the breakdown service
1.8 Harry carries a handbag at an identity parade, is picked out and questioned by a despairing policeman. Sir Francis Drake (Philip Madoc) prepares for the Armada with one incompetent captain, Horatio Worth, but this is not a funny historical sketch, in fact it's absolutely dreadful. Harry ends the series with a long, long monologue
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How's Your Father (YTV)
1.1 The Older Woman (1979) - "Is it Audrey he's with?" Young Martin is "sussing the field," with a woman (Lynda Baron) who Harry soon sees is "old enough to be his mother." So Harry has "to sort her out" in a meandering story with just glimpses of Harry's old genius
1.2 Trouble With Shirley - With Shirley staying at her godmother's, Harry, in the best scene with Judy Buxton, attempts to purchase some wallpaper to redecorate Shirley's room
1.3 The Dress - Harry enters a boutique in an attempt to buy a dress for Shirley
1.4 Harry Gets Out More - Harry attends evening classes where he has an all too brief skirmish with the art master (a bearded Robert Gillespie)
1.5 Who Wants To Move? - Tim Barrett is wasted as an estate agent when Harry thinks he wants to move. 'Wasted' also describes this script
2.1 The Disco - Harry is volunteered as a bouncer at the PTA disco but Martin soon proves Harry's not quite up for it. But "fuddy duddy" Harry enjoys some jiving at the disco before it's he who is bounced out, the fate that ought to have befallen this script
2.2 Help - Harry's been advertising for a cleaning lady for three weeks, and at last there's an applicant: "whatever she's like, she'll be better than nothing." That prophecy nearly proves fatal when Gretchen Franklin, who lives the part, steps in. There's also a nice mime sequence with Harry communicating with a newsagent through his shop window
2.4 Rag Week - Reporting to the police a planned student kidnapping of the mayor, Harry enjoys sparring with that fine pro Glynn Edwards. Of course, Harry is kidnapped by mistake
2.5 Fantasy Time - Harry's helping out in the hospital canteen when he somehow is mistaken for a patient (Sam Kydd) and is seen by a mystified doctor. Good in parts, the theme is not, sadly, properly followed through
2.6 The Promotion - Mr Withers has already considered four "broken men" for possible promotion and Harry might be the fifth! Withers and his wife are coming to supper! Joan Sanderson adds some fun to the meal
2.7 Every Picture Tells A Story - this final story has Harry, appropriately perhaps, rummaging through his attic where he finds- can it be?- a genuine Joshua Reynolds. He consults his solicitor (Arthur Hewlett) and the family plan a spending spree

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Fiddlers 3 (YTV 1991)
An underrated series by Eric Chappell starring Peter Davison as Ralph West. Paula Wilcox plays his adoring wife, Ros, whilst Charles Kay has the best part as "JJ" the boss. Although some stories were weak, once the series got going it provided some of the best laughs anywhere! (It's a reworking of The Squirrels)

2 NORMA DOVE (Feb 26th 1991)- Since new secretary Norma arrived there's been nothing but chaos. But Ralph doesn't behave like the other "schoolboys". To Norma, he seems like a friendly dolphin in shark infested waters. But who's keeping HIM at bay?
3 THE DARK HORSE - The Office Conference Weekend in the Executive Suite. A party in Ralph's room sees the new boss (Tom Adams) bring Norma whilst unknowingly JJ brings the boss's wife (Sarah Badel) (cp The Squirrels 1.2) .
4 The WHIZ KID - Fed up with only having a temporary promotion, ageing-failure Ralph applies secretly for another job. Interviewed, he describes his boss as a "meddling unstable geriatric", so JJ isn't likely to be pleased when it transpires Ralph's been up for his own job
5 The VELVET GLOVE - Alec Prescott (Paul Chapman) is from Head Office, the "iron hand capable of squeezing the juice out of a man, and the pips as well." He takes Ralph out to the Moulin Rouge, and Ralph's a snitch when he's had a few
6 DETECTIVE STORY - A groper is in the staff car park. At an identification parade, Ralph is picked out as the villain, and has to fabricate an alibi
7 TIME OUT - A new directive on staff promptness has to be enforced by Ralph, which is slightly difficult when he's expected to slope off to help choose a new bed
8 THE SECRET FILE - If Ralph's a success, why's he wearing his grandfather's suit? As it is, he can't even buy his kids a pile of sand. The panic is because it's the Staff Annual Review, and Ralph wants to know what's in his secret dossier. Finding it, he resolves to be a new tougher man
9 THE MAN MOST LIKELY - great story with Paul Darrow as Reggie, an old schoolfriend who dated Ros and bullied Ralph. Now he has a top executive job, so Ralph started boasting about his achievements. Fortunately JJ is called away so Ralph really can put on some swank ("Paris calling you, R.W.") - till, unfortunately, JJ unexpectedly returns. This has all the best elements of farce, the cast showing perfect timing (cp The Squirrels 1.3)
10/11 WE DON'T WANT TO LOSE YOU (in two parts).- "That could be Bob Crachit there"; actually it's office junior Osborne, whose name 'll be written on JJ's grave. Ralph's got to tell him he's sacked, but in an overlong story it's Ralph who gets the boot (different version in The Squirrels 1.1)
12 THE FIDDLE - the funniest story with Ralph unwisely purchasing 112 bags of crisps from Harvey. Keep them hidden, he's told- good advice as there's been a lot of "petty pilfering." The arrival of Hawke (Philip Stone), the auditor has a further deteriorating effect on poor Ralph, who's unable to find the key to the petty cash. Everyone, it turns out, has been borrowing from company funds.... (cp The Squirrels 1.9)
13 UNDUE INFLUENCE - Crawling's the order of the day, with promotion on the cards for somebody. Ralph throws a party but finally proves his integrity.

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The Peter Principle (1997) with Jim Broadbent as Peter Duffley, dinosaur bank manager. Along with Father Ted, I rate this as the best comedy of the 1990s.
Very odd how it fell out of favour, the final programmes being screened on BBC1 after 10.30pm.

1.1 - On Valentine's Day the bank is "out of money" according to Peter Duffley, at least as far as a gay couple are concerned. Peter receives a card from "your special love" which he takes to be Susan. "This woman's been chasing me all round the bank," he complains. His approaches are misdirected to the gay and he tries to cover his tracks by getting Bradley to recreate the video evidence. Yes, "Peter can be a bit eccentric"
1.2 - Cleaner Mrs Moss' 60 cash for her leaving present is blown by Peter on a business lunch, so her hastily concocted gift is one dead plant, plus, unfortunately, "a bag of vomit." Now Peter's health is in doubt during Banking for Fitness Week, but when the nurse finally comes for his medical, it's actually the new cleaner, who expresses mild surprise when he strips off
1.3 - Peter must win some new accounts, so he rashly promises to take on a new business which is handling 100,000 cash a day, and requires a 24-hour banking hotline. Counting the cash is soon stretching the staff, and phone calls at dead of night are wearing Duffley down. He's so exhausted at Lady Howard's piano recital, where he nicely falls asleep and is awoken by his mobile, that he sees he's "made a terrible mistake"
1.4 - Iris has won 250 on the lottery, but Peter forgets to buy her ticket. He persuades her to spend her non-existent winnings on shares which double in value! A gamble on a horse means she now has 10,000, or thinks she has. So Peter dabbles in insider dealing, and gets "tied up" with Susan and the case with all Iris' money in (nothing that is) in a great scene in a restaurant
1.5 - "Imbecilic" Peter has to pay 300 compensation which he borrows from petty cash. To cover his tracks, he has to shred the notes! In a fun complex storyline, he ends up with a pile of kid's furniture at the bank, and the bank's furniture in his home
1.6 - Peter is locked in the bank entrance foyer over the holiday. How will he survive? Something of a horror masterpiece. Prior to this Duffley declares he's "a very serious candidate" for the top Reading managership, after Susan's invited to apply. Lovely study as he tries to fill out his Proposal. The only way he can come up with anything, is to filch Susan's copy. Result - the interview, immediately after his "lock-in," finds him unshaven, starving, smelly! The only authoritative answer he can give is always from Page Seven, as this was the only sheet he'd had to read in his incarceration. "I've got to get that Reading job, I'm ideal for it."
2.1 - Peter's emasculated by Susan's promotion: just like a customer Peter assumes has had a sex change operation, leading to a ghastly error...
2.3 - Peter's lost a will but discovers he's in charge of a champion greyhound until the will is proved.
2.4 - Geoffrey is retiring, so it's open house with Peter. Interviews for his replacement are cancelled when Peter finds "the breast candidate." A royal visit means "smarten the place up a bit" which results in Peter getting glued to the spot and having to lean at 45 degrees to greet his royal visitor
2.5 - After the Christmas festivities, Peter has to make a cut in staff. Bradley's the obvious choice but he becomes convinced Bradley is his son - crazy scenes as he reminisces on his lost childhood, bouncing Bradley on his knee.
2.6 - Peter has trouble with the alarm system and police, Rita Davies having a lovely cameo as a customer who is set alight and then has to endure, stonefaced, Susan's slanging match with lover David. Susan decides to emigrate but Bradley finds out his dream girl is being diddled by Peter and has to be locked in the vaults to prevent him from snitching. Poor Evelyn ends up claustrophobically with him. At the eleventh hour, Peter repents and fetches Susan back Casablanca-style from the airport.
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Bachelor Father (1970/1)

Ian Carmichael starred. Also appearing in series 1 were Gerald Flood as Harry, Rona Anderson, and (after the first story) Joan Hickson as the housekeeper Mrs Pugsley.

1.1 Family Feelings - In which Peter's latest girlfriend Margaret leaves him, so it's "back to the monastery." Neighbour Harry sympathises, until Peter resolves to start a family, a foster family. The best scene is his interview with the children's officer (Colin Gordon), as two fine actors go through "the nice red tape." Peter interviews helpers, buys a new home and is introduced to his first child, Johnny. Not hilarious, but in the hands of seasoned pros, it's pleasantly watchable.
1.5 Birthday Boys - the undoing of most comedies with children is the difficulty of finding good young actors. Ian Carmichael tries to carry them through, but maybe the script too was lacking a buzz. It's Uncle Peter's birthday, though he doesn't realise it is also young Donald's. All hands to the pump, even baking the cake when Mrs P is called away. The party with a bevy of Donald's girl friends is ruined by the dialogue and acting, but neither does the script exploit several potentially amusing situations
2.2 House Guest- A study in snobbery, for Ronnie's dad is a famous cricketer, and his pending visit draws out all Uncle Peter's sporting memorabilia. Unfortunately Ronnie is Ben's friend, but now they have fallen out, so Uncle Peter is introduced to 'Ronnie' who is really swot Simon. Such young actors attempting farce fall flat, but things pick up with the arrival of Donald Hewlett as Simon's dad, who's an MP, cue Uncle Peter's library of political biographies. And Simon's mum (Barbara Shelley) is a famous film star, time to get out more memorabilia
2.3 Partners in Crime - New lad Christopher is known to "appropriate" things. The jokes are too obvious as he eyes Uncle Peter's goods, then even more trite when his dad emerges, fresh from prison. Peter warns his charges to be law abiding, but a visit to Peter's sister Nora (Diana King) sees Peter red-faced, the wrong side of the law, and it's worse for him when Nora tells the kids a few tales of Peter's naughty childhood. Back home, they are locked out, and Peter has to climb through a window, inevitably spotted by eagle-eyed police

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Father Dear Father
starring Patrick Cargill
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He was a master of farce with impeccable timing and facial expressions to match the absurd dilemmas he faced. Sometimes the scripts strain his efforts to breaking point, but generally he wrings every ounce of fun out of each absurd situation. Noel Dyson as the ever patient Nanny enjoys perhaps her best role, and Patrick's daughters, though no great actresses, keep things nice and jolly.

1.1 The Proposal (1968) -Opens with Pat fetching in the morning milk as the girls return from a party. Deciding the girls need taking in hand, Patrick proposes to agent Georgie, only to get cold feet at the wedding
1.2 Pussies Galore - Whilst the girls are gardening, a carelessly placed rake gives Patrick's Rolls a puncture. After this opening, there's a slow start before it's revealed Pat's allergic to cats. The girls have been asked to take care of one, and she's expecting any moment! Pat somehow gets hold of the wrong end of the stick and thinks one of his daughters is pregnant. Some entertaining situations ensue!
1.3 The Return Of The Mummy - Opening scene: Patrick is relaxing in the garden hammock when a shuttlecock lands in his drink. His ex-wife moves back in, with inevitable complications, not least in the form of Bill, her new husband
1.4 Publish And Be Damned - Opens with Patrick throwing his umbrella into a pond, accidentally. Karen has written Two Birds in the Bush, a true life story, with maybe some added "colour." Patrick finds everyone staring at him as a "hell raising womaniser."
1.5 It Won't Be a Stylish Marriage - Patrick rides a scooter. Surely young Cyril (Rodney Bewes) can't want to marry ageing Nanny? In a typical mix-up Patrick believes he really does!
1.6 I Should Have Danced All Night - Opens with Pat having his photo taken. Is he the Hampstead Heath Romeo? Boyfriend Steven (Richard O'Sullivan) psychoanalyses Pat to find out- "did you wet the bed when you were a child?" In fact, he's only been out learning how to ballroom dance with Mrs Parsons (June Whitfield)
1.7 Lost Weekend- Starts with Pat putting golf balls. A weekend in Brighton with his lovely agent is too good to miss, only why does she later claim it will be seen by the nation on TV??
2.1 Unhappy Birthday (1969)- Opens with Pat sunbathing and getting a soaking. He believes he's reached his last hours on earth, when a surprise party is kept hidden from him
2.2 We Can't Afford a Carriage - Opens with Pat playing cricket. Bill Fraser plays Pat's old army friend who finds Karen advertising her "modelling" in the newsagents and Anna working as a Bunny Girl. Unfortunately the script, after some funny moments, can't deliver a good punchline
2.3 Show me the Way to go Home - Opens with Pat rescuing a cat up a tree. Perhaps the weakest story, about Anna leaving home. So the obvious candidate for turning into a film then!
2.4 Thinner than Water - Opens with Pat playing tennis and trying to leap triumphantly o'er the net. Patrick: "I've just become a father again, thanks to nanny!" Worried whether he's really the girls' dad, Patrick calls together their possible fathers for a confrontation
2.5 Baby won't go Please Come Home - Opens with Pat the archer. One of the girls' arrows accidentally lands on a policeman. Uncle Philip (Donald Sinden) brings chaos, in the shape of a baby
2.6 Divorce English Style - Opens with the Rolls being cleaned, a simple process, but fraught with hazards! So he get get a divorce, Pat looks for someone with whom he can play Snakes and Ladders
3.1 This is your Wife (1970)- Opens with Patrick fishing. To impress an old fashioned film producer, Patrick has to introduce him to his wife. His ex refuses, so does nanny, so he prevails on his agent's friend (Jan Holden). It becomes a farce when his ex relents and turns up, making it 2 wives, whilst nanny finally makes it 3!
3.2 One Dog and his Man - opens with Pat accidentally in a motor cycle sidecar. When dog HG chews up Mr Patrick's latest manuscript it's time for him to go. But he's soon missed!
3.3 It's never too Late - opens with Pat shooting at a fairground gallery. Confusion by the vicar (Richard Wattis) leads to Patrick attending a wedding where's he's to be married to his ex-wife. In fact it's supposed to be daughter Karen's belated christening
3.4 Nobody's Indispensable - guest Dandy Nichols. Opens with Pat stuck in the stocks. Patrick thinks Nanny wants to get married, so he takes on all her duties - washing, ironing, cooking, which nearly finishes him off!
3.5 The Suitable Suitor - Opens with Patrick cementing the drive. Beryl Reid is on top form as a bookseller who thinks Patrick has his eye on her. Of course he hasn't but does she believe that?
3.6 A Man about the House - Opens with Pat on horseback, riding backwards. When daddy goes skiing in Switzerland, the girls invite Lesley (Doug Fisher) to stay. When Patrick returns unexpectedly, he allows the girls share the same bed with Lesley, not realising who Lesley is. Plenty of scope for farce here!
4.1 Last of the Red Hot Mammas (1971) - Opening: Patrick's golf shot hits a policeman. Very "vague" mother in Herne Bay comes to stay with Patrick in Hampstead. Now it's 2am and she arrives home with a Major Protheroe, "a catering corps Casanova." So Patrick offers to take her on the town himself, but he finds he just hasn't got her stamina
4.2 An Affair to Forget - Opening sequesh beach. A flyover past Patrick's bedroom window? Not if he can help it, though a misunderstanding leads to the Dep Sec of the Council (Beryl Reid) believing he's actually for it. In an example of farce at its best, she visits his home, he thinking she's from the Council for Unmarried Mothers
4.4 The Reluctant Runaway - Introduction: Pat falls into HG's bathtub. Karen runs away after Pat "wags a finger," but soon realises her error and sneaks back home. But by now Pat has called the police, though in fact it's only a taxi firm, which summons all their fleet of 15 cars to his door
4.5 Come Back Little Sheba - Opening: In the garden, a lawn mower runs over Patrick. Me against the weed, as Pat gives up smoking. He loses a pet hamster, cue for more obvious jokes, but redeemed by Peter Jones as twins, one a rodent operative, the other a pet shop owner selling Pat another hamster
4.6 A Domestic Comedy - Opening scene: Pat with a picture. Guest star Joan Sims plays a client from a marriage bureau, who thinks Patrick is looking for a new wife. Super scene when she's interviewed by Mr Patrick who's really looking for a temporary replacement for Nanny
4.7 The Naked Truth- Opening: Pat, tennis umpire, is knocked off his high chair. Tickets are sold out for Romeo and Juliet starring Anna, in the nude. The girls hide dad's trousers so he can't take his front row seat
5.1 Proposed and Seconded (1971)- Opening: Patrick on the river- naturally he falls in. After a wild party, Pat thinks he has proposed to his agent Georgie. Cargill gives a masterclass in his role as the reluctant fiance, even getting as far as consulting vicar, the Steptoe of St Stephens (Cyril Fletcher)
5.2 The Life of the Party - Opening: Patrick after horseriding steps down into a bucket of water. Crossed wires get Pat thinking his ex-wife is going kinky, plastic macs in the bath and the like. His idea of his daughters' party is Pin the Tail on the Donkey
5.3 Nothing But the Tooth - Opening: Pat is painting, the tin is knocked on his head. With toothache, Pat consults a young dentist (Richard O'Sullivan) who is awfully accident prone. Pat departs the surgery "in an orderly dignified panic." Accused of cowardice, he has to return and we get all the usual dental jokes, but so well acted. Cargill's facial distortions are a reminder of his brilliance, while Richard O' Sullivan shows how he would get the reputation as Thames' number one comedy talent
5.4 An Explosive Situation - Opening: Pat constructs a shed, "all my own work." With his younger brother (Donald Sinden), he attends an auction and in error buys some army surplus, that includes one live grenade. All rather too corny
5.5 A Book for the Bishop - Opening: Pat has a picnic... in a launderette! Brian Oulton plays an anti-pornography bishop and Pat, writer of "innocent rubbish" joins his fold. But a copy of his latest book sent to the bishop is actually Anna's erotic book...
5.6 A Case For Inspector Glover - Opening: Bullfighter Pat is scared of... a cow. Patrick receives threatening letters and investigates the case himself. His sleuthing reveals it's ... nanny! He waits for the killer to strike, but the police in the shape of Sergeant Sergeant he finds suspicious
6.4 Unaccustomed as I am (1972): Opening scene - Patrick and Nanny driving racing cars. Leslie Phillips invites Pat to play in a cricket match at his old school. When he's injured, he has to mime his Founder's Day speech, and ends up insulting the headmaster (Jack Hulbert)
Christmas Special 1972 - short sketch as HG gets lost and looking for him, Pat roller skates into a pond
Patrick dear Patrick - The best sketch from this hour long special must be Patrick singing a duet with 'mother.' Guests include Patrick Macnee, Beryl Reid and Bernard Cribbins - perhaps their best effort is the final song 'Mad Dogs and Englishmen'

In 1978 Father Dear Father in Australia continued the tale of Uncle Patrick with Nanny, down under to write a new book. The series started with some promise, with the excellent old scriptwriters Cooke and Mortimer and with William G Stewart again in charge of production.
1 Once More With Feeling- Arrival in Oz, met by Patrick's effusive brother Jeffrey. Nice to see familiar face Bill Kerr on customs duty. Also good to see other constants, mother phoning from England asking for a pound of sausages, and Pat's ex wife joining her on the phone. Uncle also meets his two nieces Liz and Sue who reckon he'll be "easy to handle." Mistaking his film producer as a beach bum, is Patrick's first mistake down under. Perhaps the second was the rest of this series
2 A Home from Home - Patrick is homesick, specially when mother sends some mementoes. But kind ex-Brit George Randall (John Meillon) invites him round but with other ex-Brits at the party everyone becomes so nostalgic Patrick has to return home early. He finds the girls enjoying their own party but is a "brick." Nanny solves homesickness by buying a dog just like old HG
3 The Floating Hosekeeper- Aunty Tom is a rival to nanny, and to avoid offending either, both act as Patrick's housekeeper, independently of each other, leading to some fine moments of farce before Aunty Tom decides Patrick must be out of his mind
4 Novel Exercise - A lady from the Bureau for Patrick, a talk at cross purposes, and she declares he should be doctored. More problems in several brushes with a police officer
5 A Word of Appreciation - 37 degrees and Patrick is even more hot under the collar when an effusive fan, Enid, who steals the show, comes to tea. She turns him to jelly
6 Finding your Feet - Captain Cook, a pregnant cat, is mistaken by poor Mr Patrick for a funnelweb spider. Painful
7 The Lost Sheep - The girls are looking after Patrick, and making a mess of it, as Nanny is unwell. Though maybe not so much unwell, more she's gone off the rails, as Patrick follows her to the docks, where she descends to "complete moral disintegration." He persuades the vicar to have a talk with poor Nanny, though of course, it's all entirely innocent
8 A Novel Experience - To help Patrick's novel, nanny writes a confession which the girls take at face value. They also rewrite a chapter of his novel which amazingly seems to sell it to a Hollywood mogul
9 Straight from The Horse's Mouth - Good muddle as Mr Martin is welcomed by Patrick as an agent providing a temporary replacement for nanny, though he's really come to try and sell Brown Bessie to Liz. A beauty who doesn't need the whip is not quite what Patrick envisages. Less fun is the girls' attempt to phone Patrick from 'Hamburg,' the best bit when nanny accidentally gives the game away
10 Father Dear Father's Day - A bearded Charles Tingwell is a bright spot playing Dr Baker treating Patrick who is imagining all sorts of things. In fact brother Jeffrey is returning home for a surprise visit, but the script sadly keeps missing the opportunities
11 Twinkle Twinkle Little Star - After a poor start this builds nicely to a climax. Ex-acrobats The Polly Sisters leave at the house some admiring fan mail which the girls think are to nanny. Patrick wonders to which of the girls this Pickles is writing, but the real Pickles enters inquiring after both sisters. Shouts Patrick, "you're old enough to be their grandfather." But with Twinkle's expose due to be printed in The Sydney News, Patrick complains to the editor
12 The Wisdom of Patrick - Liz wants 'Mr Dishy' to take her to the Snowy Mts, but Uncle Patrick refuses. However when his dishy godson, the irritating Roger, hoodwinks him, Patrick realises he is no judge of character. Liz is allowed to go to the piste, only to find Mr Dishy has stolen Patrick's wallet in this dire Donald Churchill script
13 I Talk To The Trees - Patrick "may look like Methuselah," but perhaps overwork has turned him into a "psychoceramic." Neighbours Ethel and Herbert think a publicity session for Patrick's book arranged by his agent (Wallas Eaton) is an orgy, but after these frolics the story descends downhill into a tale of attempted blackmail
14 Thruppling Thursday - the very last, sadly just as well, in which, the worse for wear after a party, Patrick feigns an excuse for getting out of yet another literary function. It's Thruppling Thursday, and to prove it, he has to invent a recipe for the day's special cake, and a weird game of the same name. In that order, he eats it and plays it

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Francis Durbridge Serials

To black/white Durbridge serials: A Game of Murder, Bat Out of Hell

The Passenger (1971)
Typically watchable Francis Durbridge thriller, starring Peter Barkworth, as the police inspector, who offers one typical line, "it's not quite as simple as that." Or how about, "there's something damn funny about this case."
1- On a whim, David Walker, with problems at Cavalier Toys and in his marriage, picks up a hitchhiker, young and attractive. Next thing he knows, Det Insp Denson (Peter Barkworth) is questioning him about Judy, who has been strangled. Fortunately the policeman is shrewd enough to see that David might have been framed. Is it by Roy, who's having an affair with David's wife? Or Andy, his wife's brother? Or Sue, David's secretary, who also happens to be Denson's separated wife? The focus is mainly on the detective unravelling the case. Part 1 ends with a second death
2- Has David committed suicide, as his typewritten note suggests? The alternative is murder. Did he knew Judy as the facts suggest? Judy's landlady finds 300 under her mattress, marker 'Victor.' That is a winning horse owned by Col Reams (Derek Bond). His wastrel nephew Tom knew Judy, according to a friend, Ruth. However she and Tom are killed in a car accident. Someone is covering for Roy. Sue tells Denson, "it's no use," soon before a corpse turns up in his room
3- The dead woman is landlady Mrs Brodley. Denson asks Mrs Walker about his chief suspect, name not revealed to us. It's a calculated risk to lure out the killer. As he listens to Brahms, he is attacked, luckily Sue turns up to prevent another death. Recovering, he tells her Andy Mason is his target, but news comes in that he has just died in another car smash. Mrs Walker is distraught. But Denson proves the body isn't Mason, who is off to an airfield for his private plane. After a struggle he takes off. What he doesn't know is that one of his own bullets has pierced his fuel tank. He crashes. Not badly injured, he is arrested. Footnote- Sue and Martin Denson are together again

Breakway - The Family Affair (1980)
1- Insp Sam Harvey (Martin Jarvis) tells his colleague Chief Supt Sinclair (Glyn Houston) that he wants to retire to concentrate on writing children's books. He has had Dinner at the Zoo published already. Sam has seen his parents off on a trip to Australia. But they are shot dead from a helicopter while travelling in a van, with the name Marius of Rye on it. "I just can't imagine..." Sam investigates. Just who is Hogarth, whom Jill, the driver of the car that took them to Heathrow, mentioned inadvertently? His parents' neighbour, Walter Randell (Derek Farr) warns Sam not to believe anything his estranged wife Margaret (Angela Browne) says.
2- Margaret hands Sam a bag with the logo Marius of Rye on it. She'd seen a 11 year old boy enter his parents' house, and must have left it there. Inside are sketches. Sam is shown a film of his parents leaving the airport in the car driven by Jill. This film had been handed to a man named Corby, at a film shop, in mistake for his own film he had asked to be developed. Sam talks to the shop owner Naylor, but it's clear he is only saying what Corby has asked him to say. Sam leans on Jill as to where she drove his parents. "I had instructions," but before she can add more, a knife is thrown into her back.
3- Jill Foster is taken to hospital- Sam finds Hogarth's name with three phone numbers in her handbag. First number he phones is Randell, second Supt Harris who is officially investigating the case, and the third Harry Voss, the man who had ransacked Sam's flat. He fights with Voss, who runs away, then is shot dead. A man called Bradford is Jill's employer, she'd asked him if she could hide away for a while in his Essex cottage. Sam brings her flowers in hospital, where he also meets Mrs Chris Daley, a journalist who has written a very accurate report of Voss' killing
4- Chris admits she has been tailing Sam for some days. Jill won't talk, she says those phone numbers of Hogarth were not in her bag. Another mystery- what was Sam's dad doing at the exclusive Leopard Club with Margaret Randell? The place is run by Margaret's friend Katie. Adams, Sam's dad's lawyer springs another surprise, his estate was worth over half a million. He had also left an envelope for Sam, inside is a cypher, "it's what they were looking for." Sam chats with Hubert , Chris' husband who knows Jill Foster, "she saved my life"
5- Hubert reveals how they first met Jill, after a car crash. Sam discovers another man in his flat- he had broken in, but now has a knife in his chest, "quite incredible." Name of Phil Morgan. "When the doorbell rings, don't answer it," Supt Harris phones Sam to warn him. The bell rings
6- It's Jill. Sam opens the door. Peter Bradford is with her. She tells all. She'd been blackmailed, instructions always by phone, by Hogarth. It's drug dealing. She'd driven Sam's parents to Kent, he was making for Dover to collect a fresh consignment of heroin. Peter agrees to hide Jill away in his country cottage. Corby has paid Tom, an ex-con 500, to retrieve Sam's dad's notebook. He was the man Harris had warned about. But the book is in police hands, all it contains of any substance is three car registration numbers. A trap is set to catch Hogarth, is it Margaret, Hubert, Peter, or even George Adams? The villain's name is...
Note: Sam's flat is located in the Duchess of Bedford's Walk, Kensington, London W8

Breakaway - The Local Affair
Part 1: Supt Harvey travels to Market Cross in Suffolk to investigate the death of Rita Black, murdered on her way to stay with her unlikeable sister Isobel. She had been strangled by a person wearing gloves, given to her by the unknown 'Mitch.' Becky Royce had spotted Rita on the night she died, standing on a street corner. Her former fiance Ernest Clifford confirms this. Becky had seen him with famous agent Scott Douglas, who claims not to know the dead woman.
2: Isobel owes the taxman 800. Clifford, her accountant, discovers some gloves in his briefcase. A Mr Galbraid has been receiving threatening letters accusing him of murdering Rita. His wife had left him for a time because Rita had claimed they had once had an affair. The gloves prove to belong to the killer. They are identified as the property of Douglas. One thing we know- Douglas badly wants a letter he had written to Rita: a Miss Hathaway is blackmailing him over it. Giles Stafford, a friend of Becky's, hands over to Supt Harvey, a set of keys found near the body- are they the keys Douglas had reported missing?
3: Douglas is the elusive Mitch. Harvey checks Becky's account of her movements on the night she says she saw Douglas with Rita. She says she went to Scotland, but she was seen in London. Archie, who had found the corpse, is phoning someone- is he making threatening calls to Galbraid? No, he says he is phoning his daughter. Douglas has traced Geraldine, whom he had hopefully given as his alibi. He offers her a job if she'll confirm his tale. He receives a telegram from Jo Hathway, ordering him to meet her. She demands $200,000 for his letter, the one that proves he had an appointment with Rita on the night of her death. Douglas counteroffers $10,000. While Geraldine waits to dine with him, she is attacked.
4: Douglas finds Geraldine dead in his flat. Giles and Becky tell Harvey they didn't know Geraldine. But she did know golf pro Galbraid, even though he denies it, because Ernest Clifford his account says so. Well, Galbraid had not seen her for four months. It turns out Harvey is being a little unorthodox, as it is he who had sent Galbraid the threatening letter! Dr Tucker says Isobel Black is "an impossible woman." She is certain Douglas killed her sister and attacks him with a knife, despite being allegedly confined to a wheelchair! Harvey finds her in distress after Douglas runs away, and she tells Harvey of a photo she found of Rita with Douglas. Harvey approaches Jo, warning her, "I think you'll be strangled." She goes straight to Douglas saying their deal is off, that letter is actually in Becky's hands
5 Becky admits to Harvey that she'd not travelled to Scotland- she'd been in London to open a new agency. Giles was strongly against this. Then her MG explodes, luckily noone inside at the time. Jo Hathaway arranges for the person with Scott's letter to meet him, in return she flies to New York, expenses paid. Except that Harvey intercepts her at the airport, and she admits Becky had asked her to act as a go-between. But by whom? It is Dr Tucker who calls on Scott...
6 "I should have told the truth from the start," Scott Douglass explains to the doctor. But later he agrees to pay 100,000 for his letter. He hands the cash to Becky who takes away the money for the blackmailer, who is also blackmailing her. Harvey sets a sneaky trap and captures blackmailer and killer by helicopter.
Note- most of the external Suffolk locations are in Southwold
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Noah's Castle (1980)
David Neal starred as the autocratic head of the houshold, Norman Mortimer. An ex-Army type, he tries to run his family on military style lines, not the best recipe with teenagers. This could be serious kitchen sink drama, however it is told from the teenager's viewpoint, and is more like a Wednesday play soap opera, if there could be such a thing. Though the story starts with Britain on the verge of hyper inflation, prices rocketing out of control, global ramifications are not pursued, but issues are explored on a personal level. Norman can see it will end in anarchy and purchases a large house (how isn't explained) where, with his family, he will defy the world, rather like Noah of old, only less altruistically.

Episode 1- "A crisis" is developing, nationally, as well as in the Mortimer home. While most of the youngsters loaf about on the sofa, only Geoffrey has the practical skills to help his dad build a storehouse in the cellar, so when the balloon goes up, they will have enough to survive on, enough to barter with
2- Philanthropic Cliff exhibits the opposite to Norman, for he is offering food aid for vulnerable people, but his lorry is hijacked, "we gotta help ourselves." Here's a challenging contrast in attitudes, Norman's daughter Nessie siding with bearded Terry, whose family is on the verge of poverty. Terry helps out at Cliff's food distribution centre, while believing stealing is the only option for some, "money doesn't mean a thing any more." But dad's hoarded wealth enables him to suck up, with a slap up meal, to his boss Gerald (Jack May)
4- Norman believes the army will use "minimum force." but Terry doesn't find that when handing out free food. He has fallen out with Cliff over food distribution, as well as Ness. Terry pumps her about her dad's food hoarding, but she reveals nothing. However "evil" Vince Holloway's son is keeping watch on the Mortimer home. Mr Gerald is loafing in bed, Norman unbelievably sycophantic towards him, "it wouldn't do for me to leave." Gerald's slight blackmail extends to insisting he date young Ness. Barry's eyes are opened by Wendy, over her family's hardship, and how she could allieviate it if she were more pretty. He resolves to help by taking food from the store at dead of night, but dad discovers him...
6 Looters are being shot. Gerald guzzles as he watches shocking tv newsreel. Ness rows with dad and walks out with Terry. Longsuffering mum is next. Gerald finds it funny, and dad, exasperated finally, delivers him an ultimatum, work, or get out. That night the meal with dad and his two boys is interrupted by Vince, offering Swiss francs for half shares. Dad point blank refuses. Gerald surreptitiously helps himself from the cellar and packs his loot in his sports car and drives off.
7 Barricades up, Barry, Geoffrey and dad take turns keeping watch. Gerald has briefed Vince about the layout of the house- for a price, that isn't honoured. Encouraged by his mum, Barry tells Cliff and Terry about the hoard of food. That night, he lets them in the house, except the one knocking on the door is Vince with his gang. Luckily Terry and Cliff show up, "what a lot of people!" As Vince is outnumbered, he gives in gracefully, and despite Mortimer's protests, food is loaded into Cliff's van. However another gang shows up following more info from nasty Gerald, and looters grab everything they can, not a happy ending. The boys help dad clear up the mess, the family return, some consolation. What happens to the national crisis, we never discover
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WODEHOUSE PLAYHOUSE
The BBC were renowned for their skill at producing A1 comedy, yet somehow this series never quite took off. Compared with the later mostly superb LWT adaptations of 'Jeeves and Wooster' these stories appear too plodding and lacking that certain lightness of touch. John Alderton starred in each of the 20 stories and was always just a little too one dimensional. Perhaps the best that can be said is that the period flavour was spot on. True too, that when she appeared, Pauline Collins had that 1920's "it" sparkle, but the overall effect was one of let down.

3 Portrait of a Disciplinarian -Reggie Mulliner has travelled to Bingley-on-Sea for a dreaded meeting with his 85 year-old ferocious nanny Nurse Wilks (a splendid part for Daphne Heard). She's matchmaking Reggie with his estranged love Jane Oliphant, and both are punished by being locked, as of old, in the understairs cupboard, where romance is happily re-ignited
6 Mr Potter takes a Rest Cure -Bobbie Wickham does rather "embroider" things, but maybe she needs to when her "terrifying" mater wants to pair her off with crashing bore Clifford Grindle, "you must think me an absolute idiot." By setting him off against unfortunate recuperating guest Mr Potter, convincing them to believe both are set on killing, she averts disaster by creating another
7 Big Business -Reggie Mulliner inherits 50,000 enabling him to win the hand of Amanda, but her wicked Uncle Jethro (Derek Francis) diddles the mug, selling him worthless shares. Inspired by his tragedy he sings a heartfelt rendition of Ol' Man River, and plucks up courage to confront the "pot bellied old swindler"
15 The Editor Regrets -Wee Tots is what "drooling halfwit" Bingo is in charge of. But in error he gives all time American best selling authoress Bella the elbow and has to "play her like a stringed instrument," to win her contract. Unfortunately his wife Rose returns at just the wrong moment. 'Just' describes the plot which doesn't quite deliver any of the promising punches
16 Mulliner's Buck-Up O - John Barron is in his element as the stern vicar, whose daughter Jane wants to marry his timid curate. But when the latter's aunt sends him a tonic, his new consummate mastery causes a happy reunion twixt vicar and his old pal the bishop, so only the "bish's" wife stands in the way of "beatific bliss"
17 The Smile that Wins - Adrian Mulliner ace detective rescues the dog of Lady Shipton Bellinger, and it's love at first sight, "pretty stupendous." However her father insists she marry his friend Sir Jasper, but having, on medical advice, cultivated his smile, Mulliner insults his rival and dropping hints at financial irreularity, sees him off. It's only left to persuade her father, "I only smiled"
18 Tangled Hearts - Smallwood Bessemer scatters his advice even where it's not wanted. His fiancee Celia (Sally Thomsett) tires of it, and on the rebound gets engaged to Carter Muldoon, while Smallwood forms an attachment with Esme. A dull protracted foursomes golf match restores the status quo<
19 The Luck of the Stiffhams - Penniless pinhead piefaced poop Adolphus is not permitted to become engageed to Lady Geraldine (Liza Goddard) by orders of the "management," ie her irascible father Lord Wivelscombe (Leslie Sands, rather over the top). So Adolphus sails to America, there to make his fortune at craps off 'Mortuary Macabre.' "Brimming with dubloons," he returns to retrieve his missive to his lordship in which he called him "a low blister," haunting him as it's believed he'd done himself in

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To the earlier World of Wooster

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NEAREST AND DEAREST

This show remains a fitting tribute to our first comedienne of British telly, Hylda Baker. Perhaps it wasn't up to the standard of "Our House," but it certainly compares favourably with Hylda's last series "Not on Your Nellie" for LWT. That series lacked the innocent charm of this very parochial show from Granada, and which stands as the last hurrah for that Northern humour that was very much the forte of Frank Randle. Producer Peter Eckersley described the series thus, "Northern comedy in the good old-fashioned tradition." Whilst Jimmy Jewel sat there rather uncomfortably (and with too many "bloodys", I felt), Hylda sparkled with support from a repertory of players schooled in the Northern comic tradition. Who can forget her "I am a foooool!" and of course "It's a quarter past...... oh I must get a little hand put on that watch." Happily, all 45 stories have been reissued on dvd.

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The Protectors (1972/3)
1.1
2,000 Ft to Die, 1.3 See No Evil, 1.8 King Con, 1.10 A Kind of Wild Justice, 1.21 With a Little Help From My Friends, 1.22 Chase, 1.24 It Could Be Practically Anywhere On The Island, 2.14 Zeke's Blues, 2.15 Lena, 2.18 Burning Bush

Robert Vaughn starred as Harry Rule, with Nyree Dawn Porter as The Contessa di Contini, and also sometimes with Tony Anholt as Paul. Together they run a high class protection business, though adventures range far more widely then mere bodyguarding.
The two series lasted 26 stories each of 25 minutes duration. Action was fast and mostly formulaic when not inexplicable. The producer was Gerry Anderson, he of the puppets, and his characters mostly act as walking puppets. Nevertheless exotic locations made for some compensation, and the usual roster of scriptwriters from Brian Clemens downwards, ensured some excitement, even if heavily manufactured. Experienced directors of the likes of Don Chaffey, Charles Crichton and Jeremy Summers, helped moved events along at a fair lick. A familiar roster of British actors, with a smattering of foreigners, makes up for a few of the deficiencies.

Harry is based in London, Paul resides in Paris, and nominally The Contessa lives in Italy. The Rolls her chauffeur drives is CON1. Later she drives her own NSU, YMJ621L. Harry drives a Jensen BEA898J, and has an estranged wife and a son, who feature in #1.21. I never quite bought into the fact that Harry is cared for in his London flat by Suki, his au pair(!) who just happens to be an expert in judo.
I liked the action opening theme, though the moment with Harry cooking an omelette seemed highly improbable- the ending had a theme hit song all its own, bearing no relation that I could see with what had preceded.

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2,000 Ft to Die
A surprising selection for the opening story: a very cliched script that tries to offer too much and ends up thoroughly confusing, or confused.
Having successfully jumped from his parachute, of course, Harry dashes effortlessly to a country house, attaching a bomb to some poor old gent, to get a safe opened. Harry photocopies documents and, in a hurry, departs in a Rolls Royce.
Harry enjoys playing with a train set, before decoding the paper he has stolen. Five scientists have been done in, one more, Freddy, is naturally rather worried about his safety. The group have perfected a way of making synthetic gold. At a swinging disco, he meets Harry and the Contessa, in a dancing scene to make you weep- with laughter.
Harry and the Contessa have a quick gun battle with the baddies, highly artificial in a warehouse, how our heroes remain unscathed is a miracle.
I think this Freddy is also a stunt man. Harry warns him not to perform his next stunt, a sky dive. Freddy insists it goes ahead, so Harry participates, to double check his safety.
"The spare's rigger," the stand-by parachute has been nobbled. For good measure Freddy's wife Susan will die, unless Freddy himself dies in the stunt. She will be shot with a telescopic rifle. The Contessa with Paul's help prevents that tragedy, while Harry performs the death defying stunt, which fortunately for him, though not from my viewpoint, goes without the planned hitch.
Harry then prevents yet another attempt at murder, ramming Freddy with a Jag, in this cobbled mix-up of a drama

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See No Evil
A formulaic story that isn't even very exciting. The team are joined for this story by Max (James Bolam), "fastest gun in the West."

Senator Gordini (Leonard Sachs) needs protecting as he is about to blow the whistle on organised crime in Rome. However the incompetent Contessa loses him, his shoes later found in a wheelie bin.
Twelve hours later the senator surprisingly shows up, in a cafe toilet. In his pocket are photos of him with crooks, clearly blackmail to discredit his standing. Harry causes unnecessary mayhem in the cafe as he persuades a photographer to take him to where these photos were taken. The Contessa makes her own inquiries, and winds up at the same derelict building.
Harry is threatened with a blow gun, to get him to reveal everything he knows, which like us, isn't much. Max has been tailing him, and comes to the rescue. Together they search for The Contessa, who is locked in a room with a wild blind man, who is none other than Lucello, the boss of the gang. Harry saves her, while Max saves the senator by finding and destroying the damning negatives

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King Con
A very familiar storyline, not a bad example either.
An icon of St Anthony is sold to the Contessa at auction. "It's beautiful," observes Harry. She takes it to her friend Elena in Prague, who says it is the one conned from her by an Alan Sutherland (Anton Rodgers). He's "almost as good as I am," jokes Harry.
The Contessa determines to become Alan's next victim. As she purchases a new Rolls, she bumps into him, giving him "the brush off." She drives away in her new car, but crashes into Cribb (Ronald Lacey) the dim sidekick of Alan's. She pretends to faint as Alan comes to her aid. Off to Royal Ascot they go, where she introduces him to Harry, who is disguised as Van, a slick rich American. It seems he is very adept at spotting winners so that tempts Alan into a big wager, only the nag loses.
At the White Cockatoo, she confesses to Alan that "I haven't felt like this."
Then Van shows up, admitting he has blown a mere 100,000 on a bet, could Alan lend him the cash? As security, he offers a diamond that must be worth twice that amount. Alan falls for it, but is wary enough to get Cribb to tail Van. In a warehouse, Cribb hears a gunshot, Van emerges mortally wounded, or so it appears.
"I'm in over my head," Alan admits to the Contessa. He wants to get rid of that diamond quickly, so they go to The House of Diamonds, where Paul is waiting. He declares it a fake. The Contessa then exposes their hoax on the beaten Alan

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A Kind of Wild Justice

In his usual style, Harry is throwing a lavish party, but leaves for a late night assignation in Wardrobe Street London EC4, with, of course, a girl in a blue coat. She shoots him dead. End of series? No such luck. The Contessa finds Harry's corpse, which isn't quite, don't sob, expired. In an amazingly short time he is up and running, punching all and sundry in a fight. This is at a scrapyard, with the man who rented this unknown girl a car. Harry traces the MG (BBL777J) to a hotel, where in room 709 he once more encounters Kate.
She blames Harry for providing the evidence that got her dad convicted, worse, he had died in jail.
"He was a gangster," Harry calmly informs her, and to convince her, he takes her to meet some of her father's former associates. Among these are his accountant Regan, who tells Kate that her dad had got "sloppy" and his imprisonment was not down to Harry at all.
She seems convinced. What is a very basic plot, gets a needed twist, when Paul discovers something "strange about the bullet Kate shot at Harry." It was made of rubber. Thus Harry has been used, but to what end? It was so she could learn who her dad's associates were.
At this very moment she is demanding cash from Regan, that she reckons was her dad's. She is none too successful at this, until Harry & co intervene

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... With a Little Help From My Friends

A girl is being pursued. She makes for Harry's, naturally. Oh, she turns out to be Laura, Harry's estranged wife. It's the old kidnap routine, she had received this threatening letter. It turns out their son is missing.
The pair of them make for the usual large house, where they are greeted by the butler. They are introduced to a suspicious looking foreigner (actually Jeremy Brett) who requires Harry to do something for him. "Do as they say," urges Laura. President Ali must be assassinated.
Actually The Contessa is protecting this president, while Paul is at the airport to greet Ali off the flight from Turkey. Clearly one is a double.
Outside The Excelsior Hotel, Harry runs up to one of these and shoots him dead. Harry is shot dead in his turn. Hankies out please. The two corpses are removed to the mortuary, where they miraculously revive.
Papers carry the news of the assassination. However the foreign chappy has to tell Laura that she is expendable, as is her son. Paul tries swooping to their rescue, but is trapped hismelf. But then Harry of course is triumphant, as you'd expect, and so they all lived happily ever after, except that Laura and her son fly off into the distance leaving Harry all alone again

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Chase
Savage dogs are scouring woods on the trail of a hunted man, who is a missing diplomat Perston. It so happens that The Contessa is celebrating dear Harry's birthday at an old lodge she often frequented as a child. Her present to him is a rifle. That ought to come in handy when he helps the pursued man.
Harry easily staves off one attacker who brandishes a knife. The man in charge of the chase, Gardner shoots Harry, wounding him in the arm. Harry patches up his blood soaked arm before dogs pursue him. At a stream, Harry tricks the chasing pack, but after knocking out yet another of the opposition, the chase is back on. Harry blows up Garner's jeep before seeking refuge in an old folly tower. Iy's all go, isn't it?
The Contessa goes in search of Harry- on a horse (why?) and is herself sniffed out by the nasty looking dogs. She discovers the injured Harry in the folly, and takes him back to a nearby house. Here Gardner pounces, and the pair of them are trussed up with Perston, to enable us to learn the reason behind all this excitement, if I can call it that. Perston is wanted as part of a prisoner exchange. As no such exchange is forthcoming, Harry and the Contessa must be shot.
However no chains can hold Harry and despite Gardner hearing the fatal gunshots, and assuming Harry is disposed of, is suitably surprised when Harry materialises and turns the tables. But Harry is feeling pretty weak, and Gardner gets the better of him, only for The Contessa to shoot him dead, Gardner that is.
Thus all ends happily and Harry celebrates his birthday in peace. Patrick Magee is suitably evil as the redoutable Gardner

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It Could Be Practically Anywhere On The Island

Miss Linda books in to a posh hotel on vacation. Harry is staying here too (no sign of The Contessa in this story) and he comes in useful when Linda's Muffin disappears. That's her dog, a tiny poodle, the only nice thing in this whole story. Actually the kidnappers of Muffin are staying in the hotel too, their angst entirely unconvincing as comedic fare. They find it hard to get the puppy to eat anything, so Felix the dognapper tries to find out what the beast eats by chatting up Linda in the hotel bar. Of course Harry's attentions are thus drawn to him.
His boss Flynn wants to put microfilm in Muffin's collar, but unfortunately for Felix the dog swallows the film, one thing it does eat, no don't laugh. The only solution seems to be to kill Muffin, please don't cry. But Felix can't be such a brute, and decides to do a bunk, only snag being dear Muffin follows him out the hotel. Felix is chased, and shot at until Harry catches him at long long last.
The dog is pursued by Flynn, who must be a baddie since he calls dear Muffin "a stupid animal." Harry gives him a thorough lesson.
Linda has offered a huge reward for Muffin's return, so everyone is on the hunt. "What's going on?" asks a bemused Harry. A crazy scene in the hotel pool is more akin to Hi-de-Hi, only it makes little sense, none in fact.
Finally, if you haven't already died with laughing, a vet pronounces that the film ain't in dear Muffin any more, that surely must bring on you one last fit of humour, to kill off this excruciating episode

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Zeke's Blues

Harry offers The Contessa a bouquet of flowers before they visit The Condor Club, where Harry applauds the pianist Zeke (Shane Rimmer), who is an old buddy. His boss Kasankas however is leaning on poor Zeke, who makes up a foursome with cigarette girl 'Fred' before he puts up at Harry's swish pad.
He tells Harry that Bradley wants to see him. Now Bradley is a key witness in a trial. Zeke plants a homing device on Harry's Jensen, as Harry drives to see Bradley.
"What's going to happen to Harry Rule?" Zeke inquires of his boss. It's obvious. Zeke gives a suitably tortured performance on piano, as Harry makes for Bradley. Zeke decides to put The Contessa in the picture.
Harry arrives at a large mansion. Kasankas is not far behind. Bradley collapses under the strain and dies. It seems the evidence he had, has died with him. No matter. Then Zeke turns up, in time for him to be shot and offer his deathbed speech, if we had cared about him, it might have been more appropriate. But at least Harry is filled with angst apparently

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Lena

Another story taking advantage of settings in Venice, about the only goodish thing in this bland tale. Lena (Judy Parfitt) is an investigative journalist, out to solve the mystery behind the apparent death of Antonio Carpiano.
Harry and The Contessa join her when she travels by boat to a deserted mansion. Here she finds a corpse, while Harry indulges in a token punch up with some guy or rather.
"What's it all about?" he questions Lena. She enlightens Harry: Carpiano is still alive, his son Mario (John Thaw) is after his fortune, and is prepared to kill his own dad to get it.
It doesn't take much to trace Carpiano, who had faked his own suicide, and is in hiding. However Mario is close behind, treading on their tail, and chases them by lorry and boat. That ends abruptly with the old man plus the Protectors held prisoner.
Mario readies to shoot dad, but doesn't do so. He is far too suave and sophisticated for that. No, he has hidden away Maria Carpiano, a pawn in his game. That seems to decide the matter, but wait! Dad shoots his own boy, and the excitement, such as it was, is ended

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Burning Bush

No Contessa in this story. Religious freaks are an easy target, and this story offers us nothing new: an occult gathering, the leader Mrs Apsimon muttering repeatedly Salvation, an easy job for the scriptwriter to fill out time. Hysteria does gather until Sister Anne (Sinead Cusack) collapses.
She is daughter of wealthy Adam Ferris (Anthony Steel), who asks The Protectors to help rid her of this "nonsense."
He has seen Anne in the commune in a large suburban house, "you've been brainwashed." She will not see him ever again.
Harry poses as a drunken tramp and in the street attracts Anne's attention. She takes him to her leader. Harry says he wants to join. He is placed on probation for a week. At a gathering, Anne's late mother wants to speak to her! She wants Adam to join the commune.
Of course, as with so many religious freak-type stories, this sect is indeed a fraud. Harry knows it of course. He finds a will that Anne has signed.
He is knocked out and tied up in a cellar by Mark, one of the crankiest of the cranks. He ties Anne up also, and prepares to kill them both. However he ain't got the bottle. He has cracked up completely. He shoots randomly at Harry in an absurd finale. "Sometimes," says their leader, "it is better not to question..." though I must question whether this writer should not have been put down, in attempting to out-Clemens Brian Clemens, an impossible task

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Special Branch (Thames, 1969-1974)
The first series in black/white starred the very reliable Wensley Pithey, star of many detective series, mostly now wiped, Jacks and Knaves (1961), Call the Gun Expert (1964), and especially four series from 1957-9 in which he played Det Supt Charlesworth. Perhaps the most interesting character in the early stories was Morris Perry as the suave intermediary Charles Moxon. Derren Nesbitt was the main star, but I found it difficult to think of him as a policeman when all his life he seemed to be playing villains.
In 1973 the series was revived on film, much more slick, with new star George Sewell.

1.1 Troika
1.2 Smokescreen
1.3 The Promised Land
1.4 A Date with Leonidas
1.5 The Kazmirov Affair
1.6 A New Face
1.7 You Don't Exist
1.8 The Children of Delight
1.9 Reliable Sources
1.10 Short Change
1:11 Exit a Diplomat
1.12 Care of Her Majesty
1.13 Visitor from Moscow
1.14 Time Bomb
2.1 Inside
2.2 Dinner Date
2.3 Depart in Peace
2.4 Miss International
2.5 Warrant for a Phoenix
2.6 The Pleasure of Your Company
2.7 Not to Be Trusted
2.8 Borderline Case
2.9 Love from Doris
2.10 Sorry Is Just a Word
2.11 Error of Judgement
2.12 Reported Missing
2.13 Fool's Mate
3.1 A Copper Called Craven (1973)
3.2 Round the Clock
3.3 Inquisition
3.4 Assault
3.5 Polonaise
3.6 Red Herring
3.7 Death by Drowning
3.8 All the King's Men
3.9 Threat
3.10 The Other Man
3.11 You Won't Remember Me
3.12 Hostage
3.13 Blueprint for Murder
4.1 Double Exposure
4.2 Catherine the Great
4.3 Jailbait
4.4 Stand and Deliver
4.5 Something About a Soldier
4.6 Rendezvous
4.7 Sounds Sinister
4.8 Entente Cordiale
4.9 Date of Birth
4.10 Intercept
4.11 Alien
4.12 Diversion
4.13 Downwind of Angels

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Troika

London 4am. Det Con Morrisey is one summoned to an urgent briefing given by Det Supt Tom Eden. Three dawn arrests are planned: William Arthur Cowley in Ealing, Christine Morris in Clapham Common, and Robert Greenaway in Kensington.
The old school tie bosses sit and wait as Special Branch swoops at 6am precisely. It is still dark as Cowley's household is awoken. Insp Jordan brushes aside a bemused wife and his men search Cowley's house for a missing classified document. No rough stuff, only cups of tea. Cowley claims he was investigating a leakage of information in Whitehall himself. He offers to share all he knows.
Miss Morris is more obstreperous. with Sgt Webb.
"Heavy weather" of Greenaway. The bosses hear nothing for a while, though they do know he had sent an incomprehnsible coded message shortly before disappearing. Det Con Morrisey reports the bad news to Eden. Greenaway had slipped the net in drag.
Still in his disguise, Greenaway boards the Warsaw flight. Too late, MI5 realise he is out of the country. The good news is that the stolen file is recovered. The bad news is that the escaped spy was a major in the KGB, one of their top agents. Eden is left to work out who had tipped him off

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Smokescreen
Following on from the first story, Tom Eden interviews Cowley in the Scrubs. He won't talk and Eden impresses upon him that the Russians are unlikely to do an exchange of prisoners for such small fry. Next day Cowley hangs himself.
Dr Foster Hamilton is up for a key post, and Inspector Jordan has to check him out, even though the smooth Moxon of the Home office is assured the man is "clean." Moxon himself visits Miss Morris (see the first story) to see if she can tell anything more.
Jordan's inquiry leads him to Mavis, a political activist and one of Hamilton's many girl friends. Hamilton asserts he hasn't seen her for years. However Jordan knows he is lying as Hamilton's phone has been tapped, and his report states Hamilton is "unreliable."
Eden is on the end of a most uncomfortable questioning at Cowley's inquest. He has to refuse to reveal the nature of his conversation. Afterwards he is on the carpet.
However Moxon is pleased by Eden's performance. Hamilton is appointed to the job, despite the report. All utterly mysterious, something about a Smokescreen, I found it entirely unsatisfactory, probably it was trying to be too clever clever

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The Promised Land
Here is another illegal immigrants story, with nothing very original to offer.
A group of Pakistanis land on British shores, but Special Branch have had a tip off and pounce. All are arrested, except one, Majid, who eludes his pursuer.
Theo Spaak is the owner of the boat, "who gave you the money?" He acts dumb and insolent, but one of those detained is caught flushing a piece of paper down the loo- it is an address in London.
It is that of an organisation run by Alex Rushmer (Geoffrey Bayldon) who bores us with a lot of political posturing. He is running this racket in immigrants for entirely altruistic and political motives. However he is blind to his partner, Charles Settle, who is making money from the trade.
Majid 's painful slow progress is shown. He is lucky in being befriended by a Good Samaritan on a caravan site. From here, Majid is driven in a van to the London address. But he is very sick.
Alex has to call a doctor who insists Majid is hospitalised. But that cannot be. However the doctor tricks Alex and Majid receives the treatment he needs in the proper place.
"You've been had," Supt Eden informs Alex, who is under arrest, but refusing to believe anything bad of his friend Charles who has done a bunk. But in the end he has to be convinced he has been thoroughly conned.
That's the end, though a version these days would surely show what happens, or doesn't happen, to those immigrants

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A New Face

Margo Sutherland (Nicolas Paget) is one of the leaders of a student protest group. She wants organised demos, though 'chairman' Sean Dunlop has his own ideas, "anti-violence is playing their game." Into this group comes a new face, the 'conservative' Peter Harris, more on account of his falling for Margo than any political idealism.
The extremism of the students is old hat these days, and the script is far too trite and laboured, but thankfully moves away from these cliches, for Peter is the son of Inspector Matt Harris (Anthony Sager) of Special Branch!
Matt's dual responsibility is well portrayed, as Supt Eden warns him to ensure he keep his son well away from the protest march. Father and son then inevitably fall out over "social justice" and the status quo. Peter storms off, but finds he is hardly welcome with the students who have learned of his father's job. A Special Branch search of Margo's flat only reinforces them in their anti-establishment views.
Peter is blamed for the raid, unfairly. But propaganda leaflets are found, "fascist pigs!" When the protest takes place, Special Branch has it well contained, even though it is violent at times. In the aftermath, Inspector Harris has to be transferred, while Peter doesn't know where he stands

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You Don't Exist
Barbara Cartwright (Mel Martin) is detained by immigration at London Airport as her Rhodesian passport isn't recognised. Dt Con Morrissey deals with the issue, and arranges for her to get the next flight back to Salisbury at 11am tomorrow. She can stay in a hotel until then. "This is a nightmare," says Barbara, or so the acting says. In fact the whole story is that for the viewers.
Perhaps unwisely, Morrissey, as he has free time, "uses his discretion" to show her the sights she has come to see. A Chelsea boutique, beer in the gardens, walk up Parliament Hill, Post Office Tower, Madame Tussauds, Tower of London, Morrissey isn't the only one to find it a very long day. The conversation is often stilted, sometimes near cringeworthy. Cleopatra's Needle, it's all here, the American market will love this!
All this time Special Branch is wasting valuable effort trying to get in touch with Morrissey as he is needed urgently in court. The tension is almost bearable, and you wish they'd the brains to find him sooner, to spare us.
"I've been talking too much." That's Barbara, and who dare dispute that? More embarrassing is the visit to a Club, against Morrissey's wishes, where she is offered pot, man. Yes it's all happening. Apparently he's humiliated by it.
"We've slept together!" I missed that bit, I must have nodded off. As they visit her family grave, hand in hand, he says, "I love you." Naturally we have lots of angst as they says their farewells. She to her plane, he to court. Special Branch have found him- if that was ever important.
Certainly a different type of story, one not to attempt again. Not even a last twist to make it better, like learning she was married, or Morrissey being run over by a steamroller

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Reliable Sources
Following on from the first episode Troika, and its weak sequel Smokescreen, here is almost the final story. It proves to be an absorbing one, even if the conclusion is inevitably fuzzy.
A committee exonerates Eden from any blame, but he naturally wants to discover the insider who had caused the security breach. Clive (Tony Britton), journalist, is also sniffing round the story. Major Alexandroff who had been behind the operation has now defected, and Clive wants to find out where. Eden applies for a warrant, but the enigmatic Charles Moxon refuses.
Clive receives an anonymous tip-off that makes the headlines. Is Eden the source of his story? As he is the most likely suspect, Eden is more determined than ever to discover the truth. Arthur Prendergast is his own hunch.
Moxon orders Eden to call off his observation of Prendergast. But Eden has got Jordan to tail Clive and when he meets up with Prendergast, they drive off together. "I wonder where he's going?" Their destination is a barge. On board is Moxon, "it's unbelievable." Well perhaps not completely.
Clive now has a real scoop, the only snag is his editor receives a D notice banning publication! Clive informs his boss the Deputy Commander about Moxon's activities. But Moxon suavely explains all, or most of it, to Eden.
Eden will be transferred from Special Branch for the rest of his career. Jordan is his replacement, or so Jordan hopes and believes, until the Deputy Commander announces it will not

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Short Change (first story in colour)

More repercussions from the first story, Troika, when Christine Morris escapes from an open prison. However she is quickly recaptured, and her accomplice, Brewer, is interrogated by the new Special Branch boss, Supt Alec Inman. He's a "by the book" man, and immediately clashes with Insp Jordan.
Brewer admits being paid 500, and under pressure identifies his paymaster as Romanowski, a well known gardener. However Moxon insists this agent is not in Britain! Thus the KGB cannot be behind the escape.
Jordan interviews Miss Morris, "hard as nails," she seems careless about her future imprisonment. It emerges that she is not really Christine Morris at all, but had adopted the identity of this dead person. In the presence of a Russian offical, Moxon talks to her, the outcome being an exchange of prisoners.
The Russians hold one of our students, demonstrations for his release had been held in London, during which Det Con Morrisey had hit a protestor, as a result of which he has been suspended. Inman gets hold of film which proves Morrisey had been attacked, and his innocence in the charge. Jordan's hunch is that this prisoner exchange is a set up, the Russians want to get back their agent, Miss Morris, and replace her with another agent. Though there's no proof, Inman concurs.
"Very ingenious," agrees Moxon, yet he will not act on it. All very unsatisfactory, if likely to be realistic

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Exit a Diplomat

Caught stealing perfume and other goods in a department store, Mera is arrested. It transpires that she is the wife of a Czech diplomat, so Morrisey of Special Branch is brought in to question her at the local police station. He soon has Inspector Jordan on the scene, for Mera refuses to phone her husband Jan, claiming that he is "restricted" in the embassy. It seems he had spoken out against Russian control in his country, and is to be recalled. Despite her diplomatic immunity, Jordan insists he see her passport, which she says she doesn't have. So Jan is asked to bring her passport from the embassy. Actually Jordan finds it hidden behind a radiator in the interrogation room.
The press get hold of the story, and Jordan is on the carpet.
The embassy produce the passport, but she still refuses to leave the police station since her husband has not brought the document in person. When he is, reluctantly, produced, she insists on seeing him, alone. She wants him to ask for asylum, but he will not agree to this.
Moxon expresses his regret to the embassy over the incident. No further embarrassments will occur. Or will they? At the airport, Jordan has his men discretely stationed, in case Jan should change his mind and ask for help. But Moxon orders there be "no interference," and tells Inman why.
An exciting story

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Care of Her Majesty

Chief Insp Jordan flies out to a major British embassy in Eastern Europe to investigate the theft of 10,000 from the ambassador. His starchy assistant Desmond Whittaker shows Jordan the impeccable credentials of all the staff.
During a cello recital, alarm balls ring out- Jordan had succeeded in breaking in to the allegedly secure strong room. That's how the robbery took place, but who did it? Even Hornby of MI6 is baffled.
Chief suspect is Jimmy Ansell, who left for England with his diplomatic bag on the night of the theft. But there are other suspects, Sandy the clever archivist, Col Dysert an expert in safes, and Cpl Doyle who acts suspiciously.
Supt Inman flies out with 10,000 to add his wisdom to the case. Ansell is cleared of suspicion, though guilty of accepting a large bribe. Then Jordan is "put in the picture," the theft is only a ploy to catch a traitor. Jordan devises a trap to lure him, and during another recital, he and Inman wait patiently for the traitor to reveal himself

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Visitor from Moscow
Col Kamarov of the KGB checks on security for the forthcoming visit of a Russian VIP, "everything must go smoothly." Jordan hits it off with this Russian KGB officer, or more correcty he is Ukranian. Andre Kamarov takes him and Charlotte Rose to dinner then they go back to her flat for coffee. To the KGB man's amusement, the couple betray a certain tension.
Possible anarchists are questioned, including Peter Watson, who has been making angry protests about being separated from his Russian fiancee for the past six years. Kamarov insists Watson be "detained," but of course that's not the British way. It's an interesting study of the clash of ideologies. Surveillance on Watson only reveals he knows he is being watched. "We've no evidence to hold him," Jordan affirms, who becomes angry when he learns Charlotte is also being watched after Kamarov had gone to her flat.
Watson chats to a blonde in a park. Her flat is close to the Russian embassy. It's a pressing issue, should he be placed under preventative arrest?
Watson comes to Jordan in his office, to complain he is being harassed. He comes to make friends, or so he says. But he then eludes his watchers, and a big manhunt begins. He is found and brought in. His solicitor escorts him away, for there is "not a shred to hold him on."
"The visit is off." The usual double game that is being played out behind the scenes. But Watson is cheered with the news that his fiancee is being allowed out of Russia. However Jordan and Kamarov end up in a blazing dispute, which isn't entirely convincing

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Dinner Date
With Constable Morrissey, Jordan is flying out to Frankfurt, to bring back from the East Zone, Selby who had disappeared two years ago and has only now resurfaced.
The city is busy with a book fair, and the officers learn that there is "a slight hitch," as Einhof, a lawyer, is seeking an injunction to prevent Selby leaving the country. But Selby informs Jordan that he has no lawyer!
The wheels of the law must turn, even if slowly, and while Jordan waits, he meets, in his hotel bedroom, his next door neighbour, an old acquaintance, Eva from Moscow. But Jordan can't remember her name, it's not her real name at all events. Pohl, Jordan's West German counterpart, tells him later that she is a KGB officer.
Moxon and Inman back in London are mystified also as to what she is up to. Jordan tries to argue with Einhof, unsuccessfully. The lawyer says he is acting to uphold Selby's rights.
Jordan is arrested by local polcie for the attempted murder of Selby. "That's very funny," laughs Pohl, who secures Jordan's release.
Inman flies in, worried about Eva's activities. But she has checked out of the hotel. Jordan chases after her, will he "vanish?" He is in a car heading for East Germany. However Eva herself stops his abduction.
In its way, this is all very sentimental. Enjoyable also, though somehow a little too lacking in excitement. The injunction is thrown out and safe in London, Moxon reveals the truth

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Depart In Peace

Edward Kirk (David Langton) was once a Special Branch operative in Kenya. Now retired, the government in Kenya want him to return there to testify in a trial of a terrorist. "Nothing doing," is the firm response. So Alec Inman, as an old friend, goes to his antique shop to try to persuade him. He has no success either.
Moxon however is determined, and briefs Sullivan, a journalist. Zinwe was a Kenyan village, scene of an alleged Mau Mau massacre. Even though Kirk was absolved of any blame, was he responsible in any way? His reluctance to return to the country, Kirk will not explain. As Inman refuses to pester him any more, Moxon speculates with Jordan over Kirk's work in Kenya and over his connection with the prisoner on trial. Inman feels forced to talk further with Ted Kirk. The Zinwe file has not been destroyed, as was supposed. Now Kirk says he will not go to the trial since Mary his wife has leukemia. You would have thought he could have explained that earlier.
Sullivan has been probing, and puts Jordan in touch with a nurse now working in London, who had witnessed the Zinwe massacre. What was Kirk's role?
Moxon and Inman enjoy a final slagging match in this gripping story, not much substance and over wordy, but very well done. Even Mary wants her husband to go. So he travels up to London to tell Inman. He'll go to clear his name

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Miss International
Threats to a beauty queen, daughter of a foreign president. Jordan has the enviable task of protecting her while she is in Britain. She is Miss Tangier and so we are treated to watching rehearsals, where there is the usual bitchiness. A chandelier falls, narrowly missing her, but Miss Zagreb saves her.
Inman tries to persuade her to withdraw, but she will not hear of it, for she is here in protest at her father's old fashioned view of women in her country.
Moxon reveals that Nina, Miss Zagreb, is not whom she claims to be. Chaperone of the girls Mrs Foster, is briefed to spy on the two girls who are now sharing a room. Posing as a photographer, Jordan takes pictures of Farida, Miss Tangier, away from her chaperone, who turns up in time to stop any nonsense.
Jordan notices that a known international spy, Deverill, is shadowing Farida. However Moxon insists he is not questioned. That angers Inman, who appeals to the Deputy Commander.
"You have rather upset me," Moxon later calmly informs Inman, and the pair part on the worst of terms.
Mr Foster senses that Farida and Nina are planning something for tonight. In fact, Farida is feigning illness, then the pair elude everyone and enjoy a night on the town. But they are watched, even though Moxon orders 'no interference.' In a club they meet Deverill, and Farida is taken away feeling faint, genuinely this time. After a long while she is brought back.
During the dress rehearsal for Miss International, Jordan searches Nina's belongings and finds some obscene photos. Obviously taken last night, they are of Farida. Moxon orders no action be taken.
After a row, Nina storms out, clearly part of a plan for her to disappear. As ever, Moxon explains why he has been urging all this inaction
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Warrant for a Phoenix
A distinguished Greek professor is flying to London, bringing a phoenix worth around 50,000, to sell at auction. Dt Insp Jordan meets him and his wife at London Airport and arrests them. Apparently the Greek government accuse him of stealing it, and wants him extradited. However Prof Kazakos produces a document of authorisation.
Constable Jane Simpson escorts Mrs Kazakos around town, while the professor has to wait in Brixton Prison. For sure this is a political frame-up. However Interpol who passed on the extradition request are non-political, or are they?
"It a simple matter," claims Moxon in his breezy way, but Inman is baffled when Patrides, who is alleged to have signed it, states the letter of authorisation is a forgery. He reckons the professor's younger and extravagant wife is behind the plot. But Inman stands his ground when Patrides wants to take the phoenix away, the necessary court order must be obtained, and that cannot be until Monday.
Kazakos insists the letter is genuine, though on close questioning admits he did not actually see Patrides sign it. Kazakos talks to his wife, mysterious talk of The Cruise. He wants her to remain in Britain when he is deported to his home country.
Inman has not been idle. He has found an expert who says the Phoenix is a valueless copy! Thus the extradition is void. Moxon is suitably distressed as Kazakos is released. Inman wants him to stay in Britain, yet he insists he must go back.
The action slows as Jordan and Jane Simpson realise they have missed something. They are just in time to examine Mrs Kazakos' luggage before she flies off to New York

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The Pleasure of Your Company
Ed Potter will be the new CIA man in London, very different from Swift. These two dine with Inman and Moxon who know of some doubtful practice in which Ed was involved in his previous post in Vienna.
In a shoe shop, Jordan is staggered to spot Christine Morris, his one "lapse," for which he was on the carpet before Inman (see the very first story, and four subsequent ones). Though unwelcome in Britain, she is here under diplomatic immunity, since she is now wife of Anatoly Golovin, a Russian visiting Britain to sign an important 25 million trade deal. Moxon wants this to go through.
Returning home that evening, Jordan finds her in his flat. He orders her out. She is being watched, but by who?
Against Inman's strong protests, Moxon orders that Jordan be assigned to guard the Russian couple. He shows them the sights, but the mystery of who is watching them increases. Jordan tackles the shadower outside the house where the Golovins are staying in Hampstead (scenes in Ingram Avenue). No luck.
Ed Potter is seen meeting Mrs Golvin on several occasions.
Jordan is at home again when his surprise visitor is Moxon himself. He is ordered to dine tonight with the Golovins. After the pleasant meal, Jordan learns of a plan cooked up with the maverick Potter, nothing less than Golovin's defection. The reason Jordan has come to dinner is so he can stop this! For Potter is acting on his own.
The crisis is "delicate." "Potter's got to go." Jordan goes to the appointed rendezous Potter has arranged with the Golovins. "Go to hell" is the response he receives. Potter is off on the next plane, alone, once it is established that he had ordered surveillance on the Russians.
Next visitor to Jordan's flat is Inman. As an expression of thanks, Inman invites him to dinner. As he waits for Jordan to get ready, he takes a phone call for Jordan from a cousin, not realising this is Mrs Golovin herself
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Not To Be Trusted
Dr John Clifford (William Lucas) is ordered by Whitehall, ie Moxon, not to attend a conference in Budapest. He is angry since he was to deliver an important lecture there.
Sir Hugh Lodge, Clifford's boss, is informed that his former secretary Miss Gillian Heyman might be involved with Clifford, and she was the subject of a security leak in the past.
John Clifford however plans to get away in his boat, taking his Swedish girl friend Karin. From the yacht club, Jordan spies on them. It is learned that Karin's husband Sven is involved with an anti-NATO organisation, though she claims she has left him. Inman interviews Clifford and comes clean with this reason as to why he cannot take Karin on his boat. However John then disappears, after receiving a letter from a shadowy character named Shaeffer. Karin has gone too, but it turns out, only to rejoin her husband. As for John, his sad wife Brenda thinks he might have had orders from this Schaeffer, a German communist. He has offered John a job as head of research.
Inman interviews Miss Heyman who is in jail, trying to make her reveal who her contact was in the security leak. She will not crack. But by examining her file at work, the case is solved. Her contact makes a run for it, not getting very far.
Not a very intriguing episode, too many red herrings

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Love From Doris
RAF serviceman Higgs has found a penpal in Doris. He is in trouble since he has written her details of a new bomber.
Doris is one of four pen pals with an address in a London flat. In fact they are all the imagination of one man, Costello, who dictates the letters for his secretary Miss Williams to type. Jordan tracks the pair down to a seedy office.
He meets one dissatisfied customer, Banks, who is actually a plant designed to put Jordan off the scent. Jordan does not meet Costello here, who is photographed running off.
Special Branch keep surveillance on the office, and also Banks, who drives in his tatty Jag to a block of flats to consult Arnold Drysdale (Kevin Stoney). But is Banks having an affair with Mrs Lisa Drysdale?
Dear Stan, begins a letter composed by Inman with a lot of entertaining assistance from Miss Simpson. It is designed to confuse the gang of spies, being signed "love from Doris."
Costello opens this letter, and thinks it must come from Banks. Then Miss Simpson, pretending she is Doris, phones Stan Banks. "What's your game?" he asks.
He informs Drysdale who decides it is time to make a run for it. Jordan, posing as a taxi driver, is waiting to neatly escort the gang away to a cell.
An explanation is offered at the end which is maybe vaguely satisfying

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Sorry is Just a Word
Det Sgt Des Davies (James Cossins) is asked to investigate threats to a Czech au pair Karolina (Gabrielle Drake), who lives with Mr and Mrs Ellis and their children. As Des has to attend court, since he is disputing his daughter's right to marry, he deputes Constable Morrisey. But when he calls at the Ellis home, Karolina has disappeared.
Back from an argument in court, Des takes the matter up. We see Elsie his wife waiting for him to return home, late as usual. He is attending a colleague's retirement party. His dinner is waiting in the oven. It was supposed to be his day off.
Into this storyline, unusual for this series, comes news that Karolina is the daughter of a potential future president. A meeting in Inman's office clears the air. Bilak the Czech embassy official- previously seen in Exit a Diplomat- wants there to be no publicity. So the search for Karolina quietly intensifies.
Davies tries to see Mr Ellis, but is turned away from his home. Then he takes Elsie out for a rare meal together, spoiled by argument over his treatent of their daughter. But it does make Des remember something he had noticed while searching Karolina's room.
Next day he knows where he can find her. The Ellis children are in a playgorund with a girl who knows where Karolina is. Karolina explains she had quit working for the Ellis family, since they had been reporting back to her embassy about her movements, so her father could keep tabs on her. Des realises that there is an uncomfortable parallel with his attitude towards his own daughter.
"Very satisfactory," gloats Moxon, as Karolina is deported. Jordan has a pertinent question for him

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Reported Missing
Leonid, a Russian librarian of a ballet company, is in London on a goodwill tour. He is closely chaperoned by his 'secretary' Ilena, suspected of having information to pass.
Jordan and Inman attend a reception for the group, and meet Lydia (Nicola Pagett) a minor dancer, who is bright enought to reject Jordan's flirting and to perceive that Inman is "a policeman." Next morning Moxon demands to know the substance of their conversation with her, since she has gone missing.
Jordan is quickly on the case, visiting the theatre where the company are to perform. Ilena tells what she knows of Lydia's background, but is not worried, expecting her to return of her own accord. Outside the theatre a small scale protest is taking place about the freedom, or lack of it, for Russian writers.
Jordan questions girls who attended the same ballet school as Lydia. Firstly, Miss Sheila Franklin, where Lydia is actually hiding. She asks to meet Inman.
In Regent's Park, she tells him what she most desires is Western freedom. It is a moving exchange. Inman has to reluctantly advise her to go back, not to apply for asylum, though he does later consult Moxon to see if it might be feasible. He might have half a soft spot for her.
Alan Pritchard, organiser of the demo, is expecting Leonid to pass him documents from repressed Russian writers. However Ilena finds the papers, "you will be put on the first plane home."
Lydia has leaked her plight to the papers, this brings on a diplomatic crisis. Inman sees she has been too smart for him, using her youthful beauty to win public support. This unlike poor Leonid, who has managed to elude his captors and taken refuge in Pritchard's office. In the ensuing political maelstrom, Moxon insists on "remaining realistic." That means there is no hope for Leonid, though Lydia is ready to start an exciting new life and new job in the States. She bids Inman farewell with a tiny kiss. That soft spot has evaporated
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Fool's Mate
A gripping final story to this second series.
Inman is one of the contestants in a chess simul, grandmaster Christopher Hadden sweeps the field, though he recognises in Inman, "a dangerous opponent." Hadden is NATO's best cryptographer. He is about to participate in a chess tournament in London, and with the threat of "spooks under the bed," he is given the full surveillance treatment by Jordan.
Neither he nor Inman know that Moxon has arranged safe custody for a girl who has defected. Security Services summon Jordan to answer questions about this girl, who is none other than Christine Morris. "You know her very well, don't you?" Both professionally and personally, this is true. She has been asking to see him.
At the tournament, Hadden collapses and is rushed by ambulance to hospital. Moxon orders Inman to get Hadden away from hospital to a nursing home in Guildford, in case he reveals any of his work as a code breaker on the latest Russian code named Volga. There is much regrettable publicity as 'Mr X' is whisked away. It seems Hadden had actually been drugged.
Despite Inman's protests, Jordan is allowed to meet up with Christine, and they row.
Hadden is back playing chess. Inman talks to him, fairly certain the man had drugged himself. It was on orders of Moxon, Hadden reveals.
Moxon tells Jordan that as she is "an embarrasment," Christine will be sent back to Russia. The main reason is that she is unable to help with Volga.. "They'll kill her," cries Jordan.
But actually Christine breaks away from her safe house. We see her with Jordan, in bed. They are making plans to get away together to Ireland.
Inman is scouring the country for them, but the smooth Moxon is the one who reaches them first. They are semi-clad as he informs them, "she can stay." They cannot run anywhere, and Jordan knows it. That is not quite the end for her, as for Jordan, he is suspended. The ending is inevitable, and sad. Only Moxon is "very proud," for Volga has been scrapped
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Paul Temple (BBC, 1969-71)

Francis Matthews made a fine hero in this adaptation of Francis Durbridge's radio hero to tv. Ros Drinkwater co-starred as his wife Steve. Ron Grainer's theme was, for me, the best of his many tv compositions. What a pity that so many of the stories have been wiped! Thankfully some of the 52 stories have survived:

2.3 Games People Play (Apr 19th 1970)
3.4 Corrida (Feb 7th 1971)
3.7 The Specialists
3.8 Has Anybody Here Seen Kelly?
3.10 Motel
3.11 Cue Murder!
3.12 Death of Fasching
3.13 Catch Your Death
4.3 Ricochet
4.4 With Friends Like You, Who Needs Enemies?
4.6 The Quick and the Dead
4.9 The Guilty Must Die
4.10 Game, Set and Match
4.11 Long Ride to Red Gap
4.12 Winner Takes All
4.13 Critics Yes! But This Is Ridiculous! (Sept 1st 1971, last story)

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Games People Play

Film star Mark Hill (George Baker) - "never heard of him, claims Paul Temple- is rather "beautiful" according to Steve, though she changes her opinion when she spends the evening with him without her husband at his remote luxury home.
"He's always playing games" with his entourage, though they're "for real" in his eyes. His obnoxious unpleasantness angers Steve, thank goodness Paul has checked up on her and challenges Mark to a game of Paul's own devising, Fright, "ridiculous."
The aim is to get Mark so scared, what a "fantastic" notion, he deserves it.
"You think you can scare me, you must be mad."
After chatting to each of the hangers-on round the star, Paul devises his plan. The good part of the story is that you long to see that self confident man's downfall, or as Paul expresses it, "he's got to be taught a lesson."
In the end, Paul's game seems more akin to that of a shrink. "Five people who hate your guts" might all wish to bump him off, in a game of double bluff that is not much fun for anyone.
Mike does learn who his true friends are not, perhaps that was Paul's aim. Splendid moments, but ultimately unsplendid

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Corrida

Paul and Steve are on holiday in the south of France. In a deserted Roman stadium they witness a man being shot dead.
They then drive to a lonely country farm where, fate seems to be chasing them, they hear a loud explosion. We have seen a wooden basket stuffed with straw being deposited there. Two young lads examine it and pay for it with their lives.
Later Paul and Steve find an English sculptor, Philips, scouring the ruins, in some distress. He's one of the gang, evidently scared of them. With very good cause, for he is run down by a lorry.
Paul talks to Philips' distressed widow. "They were destroying him." Who? Charles Panier and his mob. He's planning to spring his brother Gaston from jail, then shoot him, to eliminate his rival. This poor Lindsay Galloway story is a muddle of Italian Mafia and Spanish bullfighting, but in France. I found it very confusing.
The President, that is Panier, takes Paul to a quarry for a showdown. "I know a piece of cheese when I see one," Paul informs him. I don't, so I won't bother you with the so-called climax, as the baddies fire on Charles, and on Paul by default for being there, only I must point out they are very poor shots. Stevie has called the French cops, who swoop and make their arrests. "Why didn't you tell me what was going on?" How could I?

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The Specialists
Who is trying to kill Ted Caine? His firm is going bust, since his company secretary is awaiting trial charged with embezzling funds.
Paul and Steve dine with Ted and his wife Penelope. The record player blows up, "it was intended for me." Caine goes into hiding. Surely Paul is the man to help him! Why Caine selects a deserted warehouse is something of a mystery, but he had chosen his own bodyguard, the burly Brad. Paul chips in by driving Ted with Brad to Cardiff, where he is to testify against the company secretary. Their route down the new M5 is hardly recognisable, hardly a car on it! Some shots are on the motorway, but for the accident that follows, this is so obviously on another stretch of road with no markings.
So has the prisoner paid for a contract on Caine's life? He's not the only one wanting him dead: Tommy Lloyd is cheesed off with the prospect of losing his job, and wants "something to happen" to Brother Caine. Steve learns Penelope is having an affair with Arthur, Caine's assistant.
According to Sammy, the contract on Caine has been cancelled. This from Lewis, who arranges such things. Paul breaks the good news to Ted.
But then Ted is attacked. Someone does want his "removal." According to Sammy, this is now scheduled for 10am tomorrow.
Caine goes missing. He's boarded a train. It's almost ten o'clock. Paul and Brad urgently search the train for him. Paul is knocked out. Ted is snatched. At a nearby airport Steve luckily spots Brad and Ted's female secretary. Their plan is halted. Their nasty plot is exposed

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Has Anybody Here Seen Kelly?
"Did he give an explanation of what's going on?"
A line that sums up the plot. The best part are the two British agents Springett and Carlton (Peter Barkworth and Richard Vernon) who offer us a latter day Naunton and Radford. The other good feature of the story is the lovely South of France scenery.
But the plot is both baffling and disappointing, promising much but not delivering. Richard Kelly (David Sumner) is on the run for a crime he thinks he has committed. Certainly he is shown the corpse of Brechan (Glyn Owen), a sailor he has apparently killed. But Brechan's double is now offering Kelly the chance to flee the country. This man is in the pay of the rich Charolais (Griffith Jones), evidently hatching some evil scheme to sabotage American naval manoeuvres in the Med.
Paul Temple and Steve are in town as, to Paul's exasperated jealousy, Steve wants to look up an old pal, yes Kelly.
Police inform her that it's "an open and shut case" against him, then are given what is clearly a cock and bull story from Carlton about him. Paul chats up Francoise, Kelly's girl friend, and the trail leads them to Charolais' impressive villa.
But police swoop, Paul tries to extricate Kelly, but our two British charmers prevent him and offer him, and us, some sort of explanation. Kelly had been acting as an undercover agent to identify these spies. I think it all just about hung together

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Motel
In the bleak snow, a large trunk labelled Williams is delivered to Moose Lodge Hotel. It is dragged to room 7 by the owner Mr Kerr, kindly assisted by one guest, Murdoch, here for the fishing, except there hasn't been any so far.
Other guests seem rather interested by the trunk, Mrs Sandford, Reggie Styles in Room 5 (Reginald Marsh) a shady black marketeer, two obnoxious lorry drivers, and a late arrival in room 3. Paul Temple and his wife are stranded by the snow also.
Then Mr Williams books in. Paul recognises an identikit picture of him, wanted in connection with a 500,000 bank robbery, and yes, the cash is in the trunk- we see it. But in a brief power cut, Williams is shot dead.
Paul and Steve work out the sequence of events. Paul gets a lucky break when he takes a call from a Mr Smith, asking to tell Williams he can't make it. So Paul pretends he is Smith.
During the night, a case is delivered to his room. The payoff. While investigating, he stumbles on the body of Williams in a car, Paul is knocked out, and comes round with a gun in his hand.
With his shotgun, Murdoch rounds up all the guests. Is Paul guilty? Paul solves the case, with an improbable explanation, which is a let down after the intriguing build up

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Cue Murder
Humphrey Dean (Philip Madoc at his best) is host of the crime series Guilty Party. Special guest is Paul Temple, who is to offer fresh revelations about the Walczak Case. Lucy Walczak aka Walters, had been killed in Fetchingham, Suffolk.
Also on the panel is the ex-inspector who had headed the murder hunt. Inspector Margolis (Donald Houston) had failed to make an arrest.
All the panellists are threatened with death themselves if they expose the killer. Watch for that man in dark glasses in the audience!
The programme starts by describing Lucy's murder. She'd been in league with a gang of post office raiders. Mrs Godfrey, who lived in the adjacent cottage, describes her and her crooked husband. Chief suspect had been Bernard Donnelly, police however were never able to trace him.
On to the set, Paul brings Mrs Donnelly, who explains her son was "mentally retarded." Paul reveals Donnelly was already dead when the murder took place. A direct satellite link to Canada, Galina, Lucy's sister gives her evidence. There's a bang. It's only yet another technical hitch, that used to happen often in those days.
The show restarts, but then Paul asks for the recording to be stopped again. In a flash, he'd just realised that the death occurred the night when the clocks are supposed to change to British summer time. Noone it seemed had thought of this before. It affects the timing of the killing.
'Glina' had been Lucy's dying word, everyone thought she'd been calling for her sister. But it is Polish slang for police, says that man in dark glasses. He is Lucy's husband, and he draws a gun. It's pointed at the killer. It makes for good if improbable tv.

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Death of Fasching
There's some kind of rave-up in Munich. Steve gets separated in the crowd from Paul. A mysterious blonde takes him blindfold to her, apparently it's all a huge joke, the fun is lost on Paul.
They are invited to stay with millionaire Baumann, who has been receiving threats, probably connected with the amalgamation of his business with rival Shroder, which is being celebrated tonight with a fancy dress party. At this wild evening, Hans Shroder's engagement to Baumann's daughter, the blonde, is announced.
The costumes are splendidly vivid and it's all very way out man. But it gets more serious when Baumann doesn't show up. "You're all playing games," observes Steve, and Paul can only concur.
Of course, the expected game turns deadly serious in Baumann's continued absence, "the joke's gone sour."
"Will you please tell me what's going on?" inquires Mrs Baumann (Isa Miranda), echoing all our thoughts. I tried hard to follow Wolf Rilla's script. What Paul Temple uncovers is blackmail, political manipulation and youthful revolt against capitalism. Quite a lot! A mock trial with grim executioners, disintegration of credulity in an orgy of cleverdickery," you must be mad."
Yes, "I didn't think it was funny, " nor me neither. "We shall never know..." that ultimate cop out of a last line

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Catch Your Death
A burglar's night in a mansion ends in tragedy, he gets locked in a cold store, temperature minus 76 degrees centigrade. The place is a research centre run by Sir George (Patrick Barr), assisted by Steven (John Carson), a friend of Paul Temple's.
Paul is called in. He learns virus cultures are kept in the store. An American had offered 5,000 for one, not stated which.
The dead burglar is Ray Wilson, a professional thief. But he clearly had inside help. So which of the staff could it be? Steve reckons it might be Steven as he is living beyond his means. Though his wife is a model, she's not earning much at present.
Sammy finds out Wilson had been paid by middleman Henry Roach. He had been asked to obtain one of the viruses, GB23, by a man codename Reno.
Is this O'Keefe (Allan Cuthbertson), a professional dealer in shares? A tycoon, very successful, but a manic despressive. Paul surmises he might have wanted to use GB23 to cause all the workers at Ryden Plastics to get colds and thus depress the value of the company's shares before their takeover. O'Keefe is planning to buy the firm out. Yet is this too "obvious"?
Another break-in at the mansion. A strain of cholera developed by researcher Duncan has gone. But how did Duncan get that scratch on his face? Rupert the nightwatchman says he had scratched the intruder. Duncan claims he'd made a pass at Steven's wife, she'd scratched him.
All these red herrings taking us "up the garden path"! At Ryden Plastics comes the showdown, the mastermind exposed. All very clever, too clever

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Ricochet

"Heidi must help me," orders Angelo, Into this tense situation in the Swiss nountains, Steve and Paul drive for a meal. They give Heidi a lift to St Moritz, where she works in the hotel where the Temples are staying.
Heidi is being forced to search guests' rooms for valuables that Angelo can nick, and Steve catches her snooping in their room. Heidi is also made to hand Angelo her pass key. His hold over her is some minor coffee smuggling racket that her village is involved in. Paul discovers this after a fight with Angelo's dumb bodyguard. Bernard, Heidi's dad, reveals the hold Angelo has over them.
The Cresta Run is the high point of the Temples' visit. Paul's father had been a winner, he had also had to disqualify Paddy Nolan who is in town promoting his son Dermot, whom he desperately hopes will win the event. Dermot's big rival is Bianci and after three runs, the latter wins by the narrowest of margins. Paddy is naturally disappointed, specially when Dermot announces he'll never compete in the event again.
Very early next morning, Heidi interrupts Angelo, stealing the Cresta Cup on display in the hotel foyer. She is attacked and nearly dies. But of course Paul knows who has the cup and where to lay his hands on it

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With Friends Like You, Who Needs Enemies?
"Bent" Bill Stacey (Victor Maddern) is living the high life on the Riviera. Sammy Carson is his guest, and finds himself in hot water.
Sammy buys a large urn from potter John Charlesworth. His wife Helen retrieves it and somehow Sammy gets himself arrested for killing her.
Paul Temple visits him in his prison cell. "It's a set up."
Bill Stacey is one suspect, certainly Sammy believes he dunnit, for he'd once been very friendly with Helen before her failed marriage to John. But Stacey has an alibi.
However Stacey is very open with Paul when the pair get together. Stacey gives him a free run of the place to uncover whatever he can.
It's Steve who spots that the urn now in Sammy's possession is not the one he originally purchased. She buys a second urn from Charlesworth and his girl friend Jeanette. But it's the same as the one Sammy has, not identical to the first one.
Steve is irritated by Paul's seeming assumption of Sammy's guilt. They fall out over Sammy's angst, lying in his cell. While Steve works out who must have killed Helen and why, Paul goes to the potter and buys yet another urn. Keeping his cards close to his chest, to Steve's intense annoyance, he plays his trump to catch the murderer.
The only fly in the ointment is that the frustrated Sammy breaks out of prison. He nearly spoils Paul's scheme. But Paul stylishly gets to the truth exposing a diamond smuggling racket in a superbly done final scene

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The Quick and The Dead
"Everyone acted so strange"- that sums this story up.
Paul and Steve are staying with friend George (Peter Sallis) in Upper Marston, where 13 year old Jill has been killed in a deserted church. In this holy place, archaeologists are digging for relics, but the crypt is evidently being used for pagan rites. In an underground barrow, there is a rock fall, deliberately caused, but why?
Several shifty characters populate the church, the organist Wormold (Tenniel Evans) and the sexton (John Stratton). Lots of lurking secrets. The cleaning lady is suspicious, and the single choirboy Michael "very imaginative" and not entirely innocent either.
Death in the Crypt. George's digging companion Norman is murdered. Who and why? Could it be the disturbed Michael with his muddled religious ideas? The cleaner is bitter, the sexton is definitely hiding something, and Mr Wormold looks guilty.
Paul's investigation starts with Michael, who spills the truth about Jill's demise.
"I've got a pretty good idea who it is."
It's well done, if you like loads of red herrings. But at least they steer clear of much pagan mumbo

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The Guilty Must Die
Start: classic bank robbery, getaway car an iconic Jag. But the crooks drive off and run down and kill a man and his small boy.

A friend of Steve, Ann (Sheila Sim), has become engaged to Peter, who is one of these robbers (Patrick Mower at almost his villainjous smarmy best). He's a car salesman selling the most expensive vehicles with his senior partner Alex (Joe Melia).
Steve is sure Peter's a wrong 'un, and resolves to show him up before Ann. She gets friend Sammy Carson to prove he's "a screwball." But her scheme falls flat, despite his blatent attempt to seduce Steve, Ann seems determined to marry the villain, and buy into his business.
Steve gets Carson to fix a sting on the crooks. They steal these posh cars, latest a GXL1600, "really nice job sir." But this stolen car belongs to Ann's own accountant, and he wants it back. He says he will not press charges if Peter announces that it's all off between him and Ann.
Peter informs Alex they are through, and they part not on the best of terms, with Alex swearing his revenge.
So far, we have seen little of Paul Temple, who has gone to the country to write his latest novel. But Carson has kept him informed, and Paul decides that now is the time to sort it out.
We had guessed some time before this why Ann is so detemined not to let go of Peter. It was to do with that opening sequence. In a deserted windswept scrapyard, she is now trying to run down Peter, who is losing his customary cool. Paul Temple appears too late, she has already flattened the nasty Peter. Good riddance

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Game Set and Match
Andy King is to make his tennis comeback, but he has enemies. Kelly and his cronies.
Paul is picking Steve's brains over the plot for his latest novel, when her friend from the past, Andy, turns up at their doorstep. Maybe Paul is a trifle jealous, but in truth, Andy is more your typical annoyingly swaggering Aussie star, who repays the Temples for their hospitality but forging a Temple cheque to the tune of 20,000. He has to pay off his debt to Kelly somehow.
Andy even gets Paul to act as his tennis partner to practise for the forthcoming tournament. But Andy's game deteriorates when he sees one of Kelly's henchmen is silently watching them knocking up. Paul is quite bucked by winning the practice.
The Tournament of Champions is at the West London Arena, only ad in sight, one for Radio Times! Andy does win his watch and the prize of 100, and gains entry into Round Two, a match against Johnson. But he is ordered to lose so that Kelly can make a killing on the betting. Ironically, that's why Andy owes money in the first place, betting.
Andy's fiancee Marge (Dilys Watling) had broken off their engagement because of his money woes, but she is kidnapped in an attempt to persuade Andy to comply with orders. But Andy could not be so dishonest.
Paul breaks into Kelly's office to try to learn where Marge might be being held. He easily rescues her.
Round two. Paul wins the first set six love. Soon he's won the match, and he sits in his dressing room, awaiting trouble. The crooks corner him, he runs off, they give chase. Improbably they are kept at bay by Andy and Paul firing tennis balls at them

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Long Ride to Red Gap
At times almost The Avengers, but not, to be honest, half as well done.

On a lonely country road, Sammy's car crashes into a fallen tree. Though it's near Guildford, he is attacked by Red Indians!
The next night another driver is attacked and robbed on the same stretch of road.
The gang are teenagers from an approved school run by headmaster Wilson (Kevin Stoney), who is one of those progressive, freethinking types. He is also tipsy most of the time. "They're up to something," notes Sammy who is a volunteer helper there. That's no shock, since there are so very very few staff visible.
Wilson discovers some stolen dynamite on the premises. Ineffective, he does not act. Paul is a little more pro-active. His search uncovers an Indian den, complete with rifle. One of the gang, Chris, not like the others, tells Paul all. He's a more sympathetic character than the other louts.
Sammy is held prisoner by the rest of the tearaways. "This is no game," yet it verges on the wholly improbable. Henderson is their leader, "he rules the roost." He has planned to use Chris' dad, nightwatchman at a factory, to get them inside this factory to rob the safe.
Paul prevents them in a stand off that takes a lot of swallowing

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Winner Take All

Steve and Paul Temple bet on a horse running at the Curragh, but though fancied, it romps in last. Paul wants to approach the owner Major Robert Bennet (Peter Dyneley) about why it ran so badly, but Mrs Cora Bennet won't allow him anywhere near her husband. She also prevents Paul from talking to Captain Harris who had flown the horse over to Ireland.
So Paul pays a nocturnal visit to the major's mansion, where Bennet is meeting with rich Jack Radford. They and Bennet's cronies are arguing. Bennet is trying to break away from Radford. One of Bennet's cronies is the sinister Farrant, a little simple, but tasked with disposing of the over inquisitive Temple.
The old sugar in the petrol tank trick, and Paul's Rolls grinds to a halt. Farrant has been following, but doesn't shoot Temple, for his own Triumph crashes. His death however is as a result of poisoning.
Paul's own horse is to be flown to Ireland for a race, only of course it is nobbled. Paul's friend, the trainer Harry, is killed and Paul insists his horse be withdrawn from the race, and the flight. But it turns out the animal isn't even on the flight at all, merely the sound of a horse neighing to satisfy customs. The operation is a front for smuggling arms, "I still can't believe it." Yes, it does take some effort, but we are given an explanation that fits most of the facts

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Critics Yes! But This Is Ridiculous!

A vandal has defaced Paul Temple's novels in a Scottish library. In his Merc, Paul drives up north with Steve, to stay in a posh hotel.
Paul meets a man in a pub. There are local shots of a town that I think was Hawick? The man Paul encounters is Peerie Elliot (William Gaunt), a reporter who has now recovered from a bad hit and run accident. Causing trouble in the pub is local layabout Japp, a way out beardie who lives in a nearby commune. The group live in a mansion bought by Jenny Moffatt whose estranged dad runs the local factory. His son David is another dropout, though not a weirdo at the commune.
Elliot takes Paul to the library, where Mr Macgregor checks who had borrowed any of Paul's books recently. Jenny is one. It turns out Japp had apparently left a letter in this book as a bookmark and had returned to the library to retrieve it. Why he had vandalised the book is less clear.
More books are molested that night, "habit forming, isn't it?" Paul drops in to the commune, not exactly warmly welcomed, and finds Japp has hanged hismelf. By his corpse is found LSD.
Steve consoles Jenny who was an er item with Japp. She explains Japp had indeed been at the library searching for this letter, but not last night.
Paul's hand has come out in a rash. Why has Elliot's hand come out in similar spots?
Another death. Old Jocky Wilson, LSD in his house too. The facts are, he had been blackmailing Japp over Elliot's accident. Japp had been the driver, though later Jenny confesses it had been her. The letter contained evidence of these facts, though it is never found.
Elliot has to confess he made the second break-in. He'd been in love with Jenny. At the commune there are Chinese primroses that bring on an itchy skin condition. That's the evidence that convicts the killer of Japp and Wilson.
A complex story, but simply untangled. Good job Paul is on hand at the commune, for the police inspector stares blankly as the case is proven. As the commune surround the killer and kick him down, the inspector still stands impassively. Paul however jolts into action, "get an ambulance"

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The Mind of JG Reeder (Thames)

Series 1 (1969)
1.1 The Treasure Hunt
1.2 The Stealer of Marble
1.3 The Green Mamba
1.4 Sheer Melodrama
1.5 The Strange Case
1.6 The Poetical Policeman
1.7 The Troupe
1.8 The Investors

Series 2 (1971)
2.1 The Duke
2.2 Man with a Strange Tattoo
2.3 The Shadow Man
2.4 Death of an Angel
2.5 The Willing Victim
2.6 The Fatal Engagement
2.7 Find the Lady
2.8 The Treasure House

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Sutherland's Law
A surprising hit on national BBC, this Scottish-made series starred Iain Cuthbertson as the Procurator Fiscal.
(Note- a pilot story had been made in 1972 with Derek Francis in the lead.)

Series 1 (1973)
1.1
A Cry for Help
1.5 The Running Man
1.6 The Return
1.7 The Ship
1.8 The Runaway
1.9 The Climb
1.10 The Family
1.11 The House
1.12 The Prodigal
1.13 The Killing

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A Cry for Help

Late at night, two lovers in a car witness an old lady knocked down in a hit and run accident. Scared of being found out, they too run away, only later phoning police.
Police note that a car had been near the accident, and try to trace the occupants, as well as the guilty driver.
The Procurator Fiscal John Sutherland is in court in a shoplifting case, and while he is busy, Frank, editor of the local paper, is working the story into a tale of police corruption. For a patrol car had failed to spot the old lady wandering about at dead of night. A reporter traces Alan, the lover, he runs the youth club. He describes the car as one of a similar make to Sutherland's. With the danger of local gossip, "however unjustly," Sutherland becomes convinced that the advice he has been given, to accept he needs an assistant, is correct.
But he is at least correct in his deduction that Alan is lying and he "gets at the truth."

Rather a slow shaky start to the series, but improvement was round the corner

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The Running Man

On Ben Dorm a corpse is found. Not a case of murder, it had lain exposed and undiscovered for around four months.
Having checked up missing persons, the body is identified as Willie the Milkman, who had escaped from Ardmore Prison. Sutherland's new deputy Alec Duthie learns that the proceeds from Willie's bank robbery were never recovered (this amounted to 30,000, though the crooks later say it was 50,000).
Hughie Ross had been Willie's cell mate, he's out now and two Glasgow heavies have worked him over. He's dead.
Sutherland switches his attentions to tracing a girl called Sarah. Although Willie was said by the prison authorities to be single, evidence is found that a fortnight before the robbery, Willie had married her quietly. The thugs find her, working as a barmaid in Glendoran. Christine, Sutherland's secretary, does some quick thinking and dashes to the pub to find the girl, Sally, hysterical. She is not actually the wife, but she has been forced to tell them the identity of Willie's spouse. It's the days before mobiles, so Christine runs along Glendoran's main street to warn Sutherland. who is at the police station.
In the Glendoran Tourist Office, the heavies are duffing the wife up. In bursts Sutherland and after some rough stuff, the heavies are duly subdued and the leader of the gang exposed

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The Return
Stella (Veronica Strong), having travelled on a rattly old train, alights, and walks through the town to a large boarded up house, Graffiti reads Stella Ross Must Hang. She's out having served her seven year jail sentence, convicted of killing her husband, manslaughter.
The silence of her lonely house is impressively conveyed. Sutherland is her first visitor, warning her he has received threatening phone calls about her, "there's bound to be prejudice." You are waiting for the inevitable brick through her window, but there are also letters.
Next day she phones Ralph (Ronald Hines) who refuses to talk to her. Ralph's wife Maureen is upset by it all. Stella beards Ralph in his office. It becomes apparent that Stella had taken the sentence due to Ralph, but then he had married Maureen. His only response to Stella is to ask her to leave.
More unpleasantry, then a death threat. However Sutherland surmises that Stella has been writing these letters herself, and so refuses to help her.
"He's coming tonight," she phones Sutherland in the middle of the night, "to kill me!" Go to sleep is Sutherland's cold reply. So she phones Ralph, who against his better judgement agrees to protect her this night, on the understanding she'll leave for ever tomorrow.
At her house, it is he who is shot dead, Sutherland a little too late arriving to find his body.
As an aftermath, we learn she is acquitted and watch her leaving on the train, the ending not perfectly fulfilling the promise of the start, though nonetheless, this is a memorable story

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The Ship

Sutherland is in court in a simple case of resisting arrest. But he is shocked to find Chester Morhgan, eminent Glasgow lawyer defending the accused, Stevie Sampson. He works on a ship owned by Samuel Mowat, under Captain Keith.
In Stevie's possession had been found some cheap watches as well as an Asian pendant, worth 400, The mystery is, who is paying for Morgan's services? Surely not Stevie.
Procrastination in court leads to an adjourment, enabling Sutherland to probe further. Mrs Sampson suggests Captain Keith might know more.
Then a breakthrough. On the seashore, under a heap of seaweed, a corpse is discovered. It's of an Asian. He had smallpox.
Sutherland surmises that the man must have come from Captain Keith's vessel and he conducts a search of a ship. This yields nothing.
Then more cases of smallpox, and the theory is developed that these are the usual illegal immigrants in transit. When more corpses and dying Asians are discovered, the case is complete.
However Sampson's case resumes and he is acquitted of resisting arrest. But outside the courtroom Captain Keith is immediately arrested for murder

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The Family
(surviving print is b/w)

Charlie Connolly is being followed. He doesn't like it, so he appeals to the procurator fiscal, claiming police harrassment. Police deny they have put a tail on this known petty criminal, so Sutherland keeps his own eye on Charlie, who lives with his parents and sister Teresa.
Duthie questions her about her brother, with the result that Charlie insists Sutherland does not poke his nose in any longer. However there is definitely someone shadowing the criminal.
Det Sgt Wishart (John Grieve) from the Glasgow police, fills Sutherland in on Charlie's misdemeanors. He's a loner, so it's unlikely any fellow crook is after him. But Charlie had been suspected of murder, even though an alibi had cleared him.
The unseen enemy breaks into Charlie's home and paints the walls with graffiti. He warns Teresa, who runs scared to the procurator. The frightened girl is given shelter by secretary Christine Russell. "He's going to kill Charlie," she sobs, and also her parents John and Maggie (Kathleen Byron).
As Sutherland waits patiently for Teresa to be ready to tell all, there are a series of psychological scenes in which the guilty secret comes out, worthy of the Wednesday Play, though the showdown with Charlie and The Invisible Man is more dramatic and abrupt

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The Runaway
Schoolgirl Mary Campbell is supposed to be cooking lunch for her ungrateful dad Ronald. He advises her to forget all about her mother.
Mary has stolen her teacher's purse, so she can purchase a train ticket for Glasgow. From Queen Street she walks to St Enoch, and thence to the home of Peter Andrews, who, it seems, has run off with her mum.
Sutherland's secretary Christine Russell, with noone else in the office, decides she should go after the girl. Mary has discovered Peter is no longer at the address from where her mum had written, but a kindly old lady drives her to where he now resides.
He tells Mary he has split with Mary's mother and allows the girl to stay, listening sympathetically to her sad tale. It is now dark when Christine gets to Peter's, but he gives her the brush off. Luckily she finds out he's lying and as Mary showers, the hints are well conveyed that he has indecent designs on the girl. The tension mounts.
Christine returns to the place to find the door ajar and the house empty. Peter is chasing Mary in her dressing gown down the street. In a deserted ruin he catches up with her. "I meant no harm."
He apologises. Police with Christine in tow catch him in time.
Next day, a grim Sutherland tells his secretary off, a little unfairly, but, yes, she should have called in the police at the start.

There's some much needed light relief from the elderly lady who gives Mary and later Christine a lift: her eccentric driving is a joy to behold!

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The Climb

Two brothers, Willie and Callum are mountaineering. On the bare mountain once called The Vicious One, Willie falls to his death. "I blame myself," admits Callum, a sheep farmer. "He's taking it hard."
It seems to be a straightforward accident. Sutherland however is suspicious: the rope's too short. Callum's explanation doesn't fit. But if Callum is lying, how can it ever be proven?
To determine the facts, Sutherland takes Duthie on the same climb the brothers had undertaken. With the weather closing in, it makes for good drama. It's also a good excuse for showing the scenery and gives Sutherland a day out of his office. But it's more than that, for Sutherland is exorcising his own ghost, for his last climb five years ago had ended in tragedy.
Anxiously at the foot of the mountain, police and Miss Russell wait for their return.
After lengthy scenes on the craggy face of the rocks, Sutherland's doubts are justified. Back in the office, the whole story emerges

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The House
Excellent story of widower Angus, who nae speaks a word of the English who purchases a strip of land adjacent to that of the Laird Sir William (Allan Cutherbertson). The latter is worried when he sees a small wooden dwelling erected in a valley, "I can't have that." The two are embroiled in an argument, not made easier since Angus converses only in the Gaelic. A rifle shot scares Sir William off.
Angus faces prosecution for not obtaining planning consent. He had ignored enforcement notices. Sutherland, however, is inclined to take a lenient view, and has a quiet word with Sir William, who is apologetic himself for losing his temper.
With Sutherland away on a case in Edinburgh, Duthie has to handle the case, which escalates when Fletcher The Sheriff serves a writ which Angus rips up. Two shots are fired by Angus.
Next visitors are the police. The issue is- was Angus shooting at the sheriff, or at a rabbit, as he claims. Duthie finds himself under pressure from all sides. What Sutherland has failed to tell him, is that Angus had earlier fired shots in his altercation with the Laird. Pringle, Sir William's solicitor, is the most pressing.
On his return, Sutherland is not amused to find Angus is being sent to the capital for trial. He discusses with Duthie the intricacies of the case, and has to admit he ought to have informed Duthie about the incident of the rifle with the Laird.
After the verdict is given, Sutherland tells his colleagues of the decision, and then walks the long walk to see Angus for a final neat twist

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The Prodigal
This story is set entirely in court, where James is charged with arson. In numerous flashbacks, we learn why he is there. By the end, you don't honestly care why, or whether he is guilty.
James is accused of burning down the garage of Hamish. He had been released from prison and gone to live with his gran Annie on an isolated isle. She is a widow and needs him to work the fishing boat, her livelihood. Hamish is top man on the isle and wants Annie's house and boat, but she is dour and obstinate and will not yield to him.
Young neighbour Jenny explains most of the locals dislike James since he was known to be "a lag." She says Hamish tried to prevent James fishing by not selling bait, and denying Anne and him any fuel. She clearly has fallen for him, the only young man for miles.
The jury retire. The obdurate Annie has refused to testify for her grandson, "he was no good in the boat." It's very dispiriting, with no shafts of light- shove it into the Wednesday Play slot for heaven's sake. You miss the buzz of the Procurator Fiscal's office, indeed, Sutherland, although prosecuting, is a mere lapdog for the writer's tedious and feeble... oh dear, I fell off my seat in boredom

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The Killing

A lorry runs out of control, Joe Malcolm (Anthony Bate) the driver escapes his burning cab, but is unable to rescue his passenger and friend Keith.
Gossip has it that the pair had fallen out over Joe's wife Ann, who was having an affair with Keith. A search is made for a possible murder weapon, for Duthie believes it is a case of murder. The lorry's missing starting handle is discovered in undergrowth and he has "no doubt at all." The charge becomes one of murder.
Sutherland falls out with Duthie over Joe's intentions at the crash scene. He persuades a reluctant Mrs Ann Malcolm to testify. Perhaps what she says is a trifle hard to swallow. Then it is Joe's turn. In detail, he describes the crash and we reach the truth that has truthfully been fairly self evident from the beginning.
With the case concluded with a somewhat confusing verdict, Sutherland and Duthie exchange views again, arguing over the ethics of the case. While interesting moral as well as legal questions are raised, no clear answers can possibly be given, and I had the feeling the writer didn't want to commit himself either

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The Adventurer starring Gene Barry (1972)

1 MISS ME ONCE, MISS ME TWICE,
AND MISS ME ONCE AGAIN
2 POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL
3 THRUST AND COUNTER-THRUST
4 THE BRADLEY WAY
5 RETURN TO SENDER
6 COUNTERSTRIKE
7 LOVE ALWAYS, MAGDA
8 NEARLY THE END OF THE PICTURE
9 DEADLOCK
10 HAS ANYONE SEEN KELLY?
11 SKELETON IN THE CUPBOARD
12 TARGET!
13 ACTION!
14 FULL FATHOM FIVE
15 I'LL GET THERE SOMETIME
16 TO THE LOWEST BIDDER
17 GOING, GOING...
18 THE NOT-SO MERRY WIDOW
19 MR. CALLOWAY IS A VERY CAUTIOUS MAN
20 DOUBLE EXPOSURE
21 THE CASE OF THE POISONED PAWN
22 THE SOLID GOLD HEARSE
23 MAKE IT A MILLION
24 ICONS ARE FOREVER
25 SOMEBODY DOESN'T LIKE ME
26 THE GOOD BOOK

An ageing star dating dolly birds in exotic locations, with incomprehnsible plots. But somehow fun!
This was the last in the line of those ITC series that melded fantasy into reality, and unlike its Sixties counterparts, this really was filmed in such dreamy paradises as Nice and Monte Carlo. Not like The Saint where poor Roger Moore had to make do with a studio mock up. By now those swingers of a decade earlier had grown old and a little plumper, and this was their imaginings back into the glory days of the past.
Gene Barry starred, far too old, and his absurd outfits are only matched by his absurd dialogue. Yet somehow, if you can suspend your disbelief and wallow in the outlandish abstruse plots, hidden deep down you can find a little of what made the ITC adventure genre so appealing. Reliable old directorial hands Val Guest and Cyril Frankel knew how to put across a good old heap of nonsense.
I like the half hour format, this was back to the old days of the late Fifties, it allows more rigorous dialogue and tighter plot lines, but, if the characterisation isn't much shakes, who cares, if it's fun you're after, and glamour, and lashings of cream on your fantasies, take this millionaire Adventurer slob to your heart.

Well recommended- the dvd release with insightful interviews with Stuart Damon and also Barry Morse.

For the record, Gene's London address is 29 Westminster Mews- amazingly, John Steed had lived in this same mews in early episodes of The Avengers!

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Lord Peter Wimsey

Ian Carmichael starred in this BBC series
with Glyn Houston/ Derek Newark as the urbane Bunter.


Clouds of Witness (1972)

The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (1973)

Murder Must Advertise (1973)

The Nine Tailors (1974)

Five Red Herrings (1975)

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Clouds of Witness (1972)
Part 1: Lord Denver (David Langton) kicks out of his stately pile Riddlesdale Lodge "utter swine" Captain Cathcart, for cheating at cards. But when Cathcart is shot dead, Denver is chief suspect and Inspector Charles Parker takes the back seat in Lord Peter's meticulous investigation. The story begins with rather a dull set of upper crust types, but certainly picks up when Georgina Cookson momentarily steals the scene
Part 2: Detailed forensic work and consulting Denver's lawyer Impey (Francis de Wolff). It sends Lord Peter to sleep, and us also for the quiet pace is unknown to today's speedy directors. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the memorable scene in which Lord Peter calls on his neighbour over the moor, the surly Grimethorpe (George Coulouris)
Part 3: Kate O'Mara as Cynthia brightens up the action, as she reveals Lady Mary was a member of the Soviet Club. Mary confesses to the killing, but is she protecting the man she was eloping with, George Goyles? Yes, she's "in a frightful tangle" as she returns his engagement ring
Part 4: At the Rose and Crown, Grimethorpe's alibi is investigated, and a "yawnin' gap" of six hours is uncovered, by Jove. An uncharacteristic lack of intelligence sends Lord Peter to the depths of a bog, Bunter to the rescue, in a quite unconvincing scene. Recuperating at Grimethorpe's, Lord Peter chances on a valuable clue, a letter from Lord Denver
Part 5: In the House of Lords, the commencement of Denver's trial, while Lord Peter sails to New York to question Cathcart's mistress. Lord Peter then makes the dangerous flight home carryin' a letter from Cathcart that reveals all. Mrs Grimethorpe is thus not needed to testify, and is sheltered under his lordship's protective wing
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The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (1973)
generally, an improvement on the first story, much more absorbing as a mystery

1 Mysterious Circumstances: An old colonel dies in his club, but when exactly did he die? On the answer hangs the inheritance, for his rich sister Lady Dormer happened to die the same day. Younger grandson George inherits, or is it his elder brother Robert, or niece Ann could get the bulk of the fortune
2 Mr Oliver: "The facts are rather difficult to ascertain" but Lord Peter questions a taxi driver to work out the dead man's movements. Just who is the elusiver Oliver, maybe the last to see the colonel alive? Foul play is suspected, so the corpse is exhumed
3 That Damned Dorland Woman: Cause of Death: Digitalis. Main Suspect: Ann Dorland, who had motive and opportunity. George appears to be going mad, he's another possible suspect. There is also a slightly more serious jibe at the power of the press
4 Execution Day: "We haven't got a case- yet," admits Insp Parker. Is one of Miss Dorland's paintings the vital clue? Ois it that bottle of digitalis in George's house? "I'm getting sleepy," complains George, and this slow denouement had that effect on me also. An unsatisfactory finish, "unpleasant business" indeed

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Murder Must Advertise (1973)
1: Lord Peter becomes Bredon, "a cross between Ralph Lynn and Bertie Wooster," a new employee at Pym's advertising agency, where his predecessor had fallen to his death down a winding iron stairway. This Victor Dean had left a dark letter of foreboding, in with the wrong lot
2: At a garish Den of Inquity presided over by Major Charles Milligan (Peter Bowles), Bredon gains one admirer in the shape of junkie Dian, whose former lovers had come to bad ends, lastly Dean. Bredon also returns Ginger's catapult, the murder weapon, tipping with a Queen Elizabeth coin despite the 1930's setting! After a near murderous attack on himself, Bredon lures Dian into the woods, "I'll show you how to get a kick out of life," she offers. She provides a lead to the drug peddlers
3 Dian and Milligan gatecrash the Duchess of Denver's party, "oh how horrible!" Lord Peter sees them off, after tipping them that his cousin Bredon is a bad lot. Thus Bredon gets in with the Major and the two plan to oust the unknown head of the drug racket based at Pym's
4 The death of Mountjoy under a tube train, leads Wimsey to the dope collection point in a pub, selected by a clever coded message sent via a Pym's advertisement, "it sounds pretty complicated." Then Bredon is arrested for murdering Dian! The real killer's confession is too verbose, "a tepid pig to catch the tigers"

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The Nine Tailors (1974)
Part 1: This recounts how Sergeant Bunter rescues Major Wimsey in the Great War and later becomes his butler. But the tale opens with the story, related by Wimsey to Bunter, of the theft of Lady Maggie's emeralds, worth a king's ransom, when she attends the wedding of Sir Henry. We see that the model butler Deacon isn't all he seems, and for once the butler did do it, steal the jewellery. It was fortunate that Lord Peter Wimsey was a guest and in his sparkling 1914 Mercedes pursues the accomplice Cranton. He is caught and grasses on Deacon, they are sent to Dartmoor. Deacon escapes from the quarry, kills a soldier, and, his bad luck, is sent to the front. But the emeralds were never recovered
Part 2: Beautiful photography of Fenland is some compensation for a rambling but intriguing storyline, with Donald Eccles as Rev Venables providing a masterclass in enthusiasm. Wimsey is stranded in Fenchurch St Paul on New Year's Eve and helps bell ringing, the peal of The Nine Tailors- still ringing at 3.20am, surely there'd be complaints these days! Spanish flu sweeps the village, but spared is Will, second husband of the maid Mary, Deacon's first wife. Easter marks the death of Sir Henry and where he is to be buried is discovered a corpse, battered, but it's that of Nobby Cranton. (Note- The poor coroner is taking copious notes when his pen snaps)
Part 3: Lord Peter pulls up the corpse's hat from a well in the churchyard. Some subterfuge uncovers a French letter from Suzanne, who had married a deserter. Cranton isn't dead, but is alive and just about well enough to affirm Deacon had hidden the emeralds, but where? "The whole bally thing's somewhat oppressive," though the story becomes lighter when Rev Venabes helps Lord Peter decipher a message in cipher, quotes from the psalms. "What's all that supposed to tell us?" Singing Holy Holy in church, the penny drops
Part 4: "Well I'll be..." there are the emeralds. Only mystery is, who killed Deacon? Will does a bunk, no less than the Archbishop of Canterbury helps find him. The denouement drags on with a surfeit of interrogation. The Fenland village is flooded and the church bells peal their warning, with Lord Peter in the tower! Bunter rescues him again, and incidentally the mystery of Deacon's death is solved, though I'd long since lost all interest
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Five Red Herrings (1975)
Too many red herrings in this story, though the attractive scenery provides some compensation. Director Robert Tronson seems mesmerised by it all and is far too lethargic. The character of the police inspector eagerly and thoroughly investigating his first ever case of murder is a bonus, offset against the negative of one weak female actress.

Part 1: On holiday in Galloway, Lord Peter Wimsey has a brush in a pub with belligerent Scottish painter Campbell, whose several enemies think "ought to be annihilated." Indeed his body is discovered by Lord Peter in a stream, "the most popular thing Campbell ever did"

Part 2: Lord Peter proves that Campbell's accident was murder, one of six local painters is the wanted man, "you're getting a wee bit warm my lord." Bicycles seem at the heart of the case, lack of alibis seem another feature. Betty the maid, who innocently dotes on Bunter as a second Ramon Novarro, learns the secret of her master's attic

Part 3: A monster seen by Betty has mysteriously disappeared when the attic is searched, though according to the evasive butler Alcock, it was never there. Obviously he's "lyin' his head off." Helen, another maid, says she witnessed a fight between Campbell on the night he died. This rambling story ends with Lord Peter all but pushed over a cliff

Part 4: A bevy of confessions clear the air, but too much padding, why for example do we see the arrangements for Campbell's funeral? Lord Peter reconstructs the crime in fine detail, the police of course blindly admiring of his informed guesswork, "there was only one possibility and you spotted it"

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DOCTORS

DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE

DOCTOR AT LARGE

DOCTOR IN CHARGE

DOCTOR ON THE GO

LWT's long running saga loosely based on Richard Gordon's books, started amateurishly with some feeble scripts and atrocious acting. However persistence paid off, and in Robin Nedwell and Richard O'Sullivan they found a winning formula.
Perhaps Geoffrey Davies as Dick Stuart-Clark was the most likeable of the rogue doctors.
Ernest Clark as brusque Sir Geoffrey Loftus added the necessary contrast by providing a pompous dignity to proceedings.
Ralph Michael as the laid-back Dean was also memorable.

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DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE
1.1 Why Do You Want to be a Doctor? (1969) - Upton somehow passes his interview for St Swithins and on his first day meets Duncan Waring (Robin Nedwell) and eternal student Dick. They're greeted by an appallingly monotonous, but brilliantly funny, speech from the dean before Professor Loftus gives them a much more forthright, but equally fun, welcome: "I am going to give you hell!" John Cleese and Graham Chapman's script hits just the right anarchic note. After this, Doctor In the House was all downhill
1.3 It's All Go - a viva in the dissection room. Prof Loftus is hardly impressed with Waring and Upton's scant medical knowledge, making them drown their sorrows in the local. Thus they are the worse for wear as they return to their lectures, and a far too long demo by Prof Pearson (Martin Miller)
1.4 Peace and Quiet - We're away from the hospital environs, and no better for it. Upton's digs are so noisy, he finds an alternative where the daughter of the house is excessively flirty. After various other duff experiences, he finds solitude in the spacious accommodation provided by Mrs Muir (Renee Houston). However she is cannier than Upton, and he finds himself sharing with his old mates. It's all faintly cringeworthy, corny, the script and actors self indulgent.
1.5 The Students Are Revolting -incredible what these university scruffs got away with in scriptwriting. This Garden and Oddie story has Mike Upton on the carpet for having his photo on the front page in a student demo. "I don't think that's awfully funny." Never was uttered a truer line, though what follows, an embarassing student sit-in with some duff new characters is much worse. Somehow Professor Loftus winds up on the carpet this time, before The Dean who struggles with his naff lines
1.6 Rallying Round - somehow a madcap car rally gives Mike the chance to nearly deliver a baby- the scene where he practises with a teddy is the brightest moment
1.7 If In Doubt- Cut It Out - Mike has got appendicitis and goes under the knife of cack handed Dr Crowfoot (a nice cameo by John Warner), "there's nothing to worry about." However a second op may be required since Crowfoot can't find his contact lens
1.9 Getting the Bird - Rigor Mortis is "a sort of girl," a staff nurse, played by Helen Fraser. She's just the one for Mike, symptomatic of 60's morals, echoing Barry Evans' film exploits, only without the sex, or indeed laughs. Duncan's problem is even more serious- he has proposed
1.10 The Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Casino - "There aren't people like that," says Upton, but there certainly are here as The Heavy Mob muscle in on the students' amateur casino. Bernard Bresslaw as the bouncer is too over the top, but John Barcroft as The Boss is spot on. Mike and Duncan go to work for him at his club, unfortunate that The Dean and Prof Loftus happen to check the place out, just when there's a police raid too
1.11 Keep It Cean! - Mike has to produce this year's ward show He enlists the help of his brother Terry, high camp, every cliche in the book, so amateurish, it's meant to be thus. The show must go on, utterly childish
1.12 All For Love... - Mike's fallen head over heels for Valerie, then he finds out she is Prof Loftus' daughter. He's prepared to give up his career for her, you nearly cringe, occasionally smile, "do you think we went too far?" The scraping of the violin is the last straw as well as the first
1.13 Pass Or Fail - After a long drag act, time to swot. The practical exam isn't designed to increase your faith in doctors, the viva with Loftus is a little subtler. Then the Dean announces the results, surely a travesty, no wonder the NHS is.... etc etc

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Series 2

2.1 It's All In The Little Blue Book - After too many second rate moustache gags, it's first day for the second year students, under the kindly gaze of Prof Loftus. Upton has to perform a practice examination of a patient, female, with a lump... "stop!"
2.3 Take Off Your Clothes... & Hide- Completely tasteless, and that is only the opening scene in the bar. From there, the boys go to a strip club, where Rita the stripper faints, Rushed to hospital, she receives inordinate medical attention, and is improbably persuaded by Upton to become a nurse. She tries it none too successfully, like this script, and the acting, but all is eventually revealed, well nearly all
2.4 Nice Bodywork, Lovely Finish - Collier buys a car for 30, a hearse actually. Not knowing there's a coffin in the back, he, Upton and Waring drive to Cambridge. When the latter pair are stranded with the corpse, they have to spend the midwinter night in a ruined chapel. It's not very funny, though the finish with the dean is much more like it
2.5 Look Into My Eyes- Mike hypnotises Duncan into barking whenever the word Dog is uttered. Prof Towers lecture on Pavlov's dogs gets frequent interruptions. Unhypnotising him proves harder, and Duncan wanders the hospital, his pals seeking him by shouting Dog. The professor tries to cure him but goes under himself, as do all of them. Not quite as corny as it could have been
2.6 Put Your Hand On That- Mike's first operation, Loftus in charge. Mike faints and has a macabre nightmare. Even more worrying is when he and Duncan are put on emergency call. Mike's jitters are cured when he thinks he has to operate on poor Duncan, though it's a put up job. Not for the squeamish, and a little too serious perhaps
2.7 The Royal Visit- meticulous preparations for the visit of the Prince and Princess, nothing must go wrong, but it does, sabotage of the furry loo seat replacing the prized wall plaque. Mike's "brief" speech is interminably extended so as matters can be righted, but this is the sort of sketch in fashion 50 years earlier
2.8 If You Can Help Somebody... Don't!- Mike is sorry for a malingering patient, old Mrs Brown. Loftus knows how to deal with her type and she is discharged, but Mike calls at her home to make her tea, does the dusting and offers to do the shopping. When her daughter Margery turns up, he sees he has been duped, but is sorry for Margery who is trapped by her mother. She is "a bit straight" but turns up at midnight at Mike's door to move in with him. Luckily his drunken friends put her off- in other hands this could have made it to Armchair Theatre
2.9 Hot Off the Presses - Ingrid is the hot property on the cover of the dry hospital magazine, "it's a bit, er..." 4,000 copies sold, but Prof Loftus is not amused and orders all copies be returned
2.10 A Stitch in Time - Casualty is incredibly quiet until a criminal (Dudley Sutton) requires attention. Things improve a bit when Prof Loftus requires stitching up, Ernest Clark does it all with a deadpan brilliance
2.11 May The Best Man- Mike gets a black eye after an argument over "tottie" Jenny (Susan George)- all very childish. A diner a trois is equally predictable

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DOCTOR AT LARGE
3 You Make Me Feel So Young (b/w)- A new job in a run down district with Dr 'Major' Maxwell (Arthur Lowe), though of more interest is his daughter Sue (Madeline Smith). All the patients believe Mike is too young to be a doctor, the obstreperous Mrs Baxter (Marjorie Rhodes) their ringleader. The cockney characters are faintly embarrassing as played by middle class actors, rather the same as later occurred in The Good Life
4 Doctor Dish (b/w)- Mike has to lecture to a class of nubile girls, the subject is... sex. Usual jokes about mummy's tummy, it could have been a lot funnier, if more risque. He wins lots of admirers who descend on his surgery, and write love letters. Paul naughtily replies to them as a backlash, these days it seems merely tasteless and definitely non PC.However there is a nice punchline from the girls' teacher Bunty (Barbara Mitchell)
5 Modernising Major (b/w)- Guinea pig for Dick's ancient ECG machine is Mrs Baxter (Marjorie Rhodes, stumbling over some lines), it's part of the modernisation of the practice, which ends in a morbid script at odds with the earlier attempt at slapstick
6 Congratulations- it's a Toad!- Paul is incomprehensibly out in pouring rain at 2am, collecting toads. His new pregnancy testing scheme has its failure, "she's only two!" His ads draw the wrath of Dr McKendrick (Fulton Mackay), and the toads must be hid from him- this nearly comes off, as a script, offering Arthur Lowe a chance for some fine facial expressions
7 Change Your Partners - Methought this was a script written by gauche teenagers, but the credits at the end refer to Garden and Oddie. Mike takes out Dr Caroline Cook to oblige Dick, but falls for her, to the consternation of Sue and her dad Dr Maxwell. This is dangerously unfunny, a love story without real love. Only inventive moment is the use of cartoon
8 Trains & Notes & Veins - A lady's varicose veins pass a mundane train trip to Mike's parents. But Dr Upton Sr is not amused, for the patient (Jean Kent) is his patient, and Mike has contradicted his diagnosis. Not to be outdone, Dick offers a third treatment
9 Lock Stock & Beryl - Upton's last day in Casualty, Nurse Beryl ever persistent. He "pinches" Bingham's patients, "it's unethical!" But the script loses its way with arguments over a job opportunity and utter embarrassment with a sozzled Beryl
10 Upton Sells Out?- Garden and Oddie's script starts well at the snobby Harley Street practice of Dr Whiteland (Fabia Drake). Dick persuades Mike to apply for the job, which seems to involve mundane tasks like walking poodles. An unusual sherry party is his first 'clinic,' but then comes the collapse with Collier crashing in as a tramp. Trying to make some serious point, the whole thing utterly flounders
11 Saturday Matinee - Oh dear dear, was this scriptwriter John Cleese's nadir? Dr Upton is on call and tries to treat George Meacham MP. With his patient naked, he has to deal with Maxine (Maureen Lipman extraordinarily bad) who has been snubbed by Dick. Was this drama or comedy? It would be an insult to say either, this is childish, amateurish corn
13 Students at Heart - Wanting "a stab at surgery," Mike applies for a post with Mr Rivers' firm, Bingham his only rival. High jinks after a rugger match go over the top, like the script, as Rivers is dumped in a pond- by Mike. To shut him up, poor Rivers is tucked up in the nurses' home
14 No Ill Feeling! - Harrow as a GP, that's Mike's new post under Paul's hypochonriac uncle (Brian Oulton). He boards at the Bella Vista, a proto Fawlty Towers, with an assortment of guests, mostly Jolly Mr Davidson (Roy Kinnear), who is put in his place by Paul and Dick
16 It's All in the Mind - Audrey Watt (Patricia Routledge) practises white magic, luring away some of Mike's patients. He has "a cosy chat" with her, thus falling foul of her, making him think that he and Paul are under her curse. To undo it, they perform their own ceremony in her garden
17 Cynthia Darling - Hattie Jacques provides an object lesson in how to throw yourself into a part, she plays a smothering mother trying to marry off her daughter. Mike gives it to her straight, but this is taken as a proposal of marriage. Mike's only solution is to send in Paul for an insulting job. When daughter Cynthia packs her bags, Mike faces a tidal wave of hysteria
18 A Little Help from My Friends - Smartening up the image of their temporary practice, with a new Rolls, cinema ads etc, gets Dick and Paul the order of the boot. Mike gets a lot more assistance from his new Dr Barrington, even though she is Nicky and a girl. Note: Christopher Timothy has a small uncredited role as the Rolls' chauffeur
19 Devon Is Lovely at This Time of Year - Dr Nicky has made "an impression" on Mike who is up for the vacancy on the dean's firm- but so is she! Will love conquer all? Faintly embarrassing portrayal of young love doesn't help the story
20 Operation Loftus - Dick's Open All Hours Bar has to be swiftly closed when Professor Loftus rejoins the hospital, and his illegal booze in the bedpan store removed. The dean performs a brilliantly erratic ward round, though he is too over the top when he is too inebriated to perform an emergency op on Loftus, which Mike has to do with running commentary from the over enthusiastic Dr Bingham
21 Mother and Father Doing Well - An improved Cleese script with Dr Huw Evans in Casualty as a patient, his wife Pippa in Maternity. She irregularly assists in Huw's minor op, while Dr Upton fails to spot a couple of nutters
22 A Joke's a Joke - Poor Lawrence Bingham is the butt of junior doctor humour, ending up nude in the library. With Dick he joins forces, as Mike and Paul have crossed their names off the Anatomy Demonstrators list. They get the students to ask impossible questions, then change the slides in Upton's lecture, Prof Loftus comes in at an unfortunate moment
23 Pull The Other One! - When Paul tells Mike that Rosemary is "matron's sister," the date is off. Then Paul's sister Susan (Janina Faye) is dated by Mike, her brother keeps a watchful but mistaken eye
24 It's the Rich Wot Gets the Pleasure - Dick inherits 50,000 and celebrates with Upton and Bingham. Striptease follows, and at the police station, Insp Barker (Rupert Davies) arrests them. After Loftus bails them out they are sacked but luckily reinstated. Richard O'Sullivan, his face smeared with lipstick, is a sight to behold
25 Things that Go Mump in the Night - Could Mike Upton have gone down with mumps a second time? Why is Dr Bingham ordering a blanket bath for him, and an enema as well? Could be he's jealous of Upton's attentions towards Nurse Allison (Angela Douglas). Sadly, another patient irritates and loses the impetus of the story
26 Mr Moon- Mike joins Dick at a health farm run by Stanley Moon (John le Mesurier). John Cleese's script has all the usual jokes plus a few quirky moments, "give me my grapefruit." It ends on very orthodox lines after Mike tries fasting and leads everyone astray, even the eccentric Moon caving in
27 The Viva - the oral exam: "Boy wonder" Bingham is highly garrulous, Collier highly nervous, Upton merely late. His car has conked out and he phones Loftus and does his viva via phone from a rowdy pub. Appearing as the Scottish professor is veteran star of pre war musicals, Clifford Mollison
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DOCTOR IN CHARGE

9 Face the Music (1972) -
When Waring's poor golf shot knocks out the chapel organist, Lawrence Bingham volunteers to replace him. Waring hardly atones for his mistake by spiking Lawrence's drinks, leading to the least solemn memorial service ever
10 Mum's the Word -
In casualty is Duncan's mum (Mollie Sugden), but to impress the board of governors, Dunc has claimed she's a countess- so Dick kindly and amusingly poses as the effusive Mrs Waring
11 The Fox -
Dunc suggests Lawrence should "live it up," and some trickery in this daft story sees poor Lawrence "desire" to smother the new severe matron with kisses
17 On the Brink
18 Amazing Grace
19 Shut Up and Eat What You're Given
28 The Merger - Loftus is "on edge" as St Swithin's is threatened with being pulled down for redevelopment, so the docs create chaos when Sir John the developer tours "the worst hospital in the world"
31 The Epidemic
35 In Place of Strife (1973)-
Waring mistakes the painters for new students and permits them to "fondle" a dolly patient. Then he brings them out on strike when he does a spot of painting and finally the whole hospital grinds to a halt as he and Collier fail abysmally to stand in for nurses on a ward
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DOCTOR ON THE GO

After peaking with Doctor at Large, and Doctor in Charge, the series went downhill rather, and though not anything like as excrutiating as some of the first Doctor series, overacting and over indulgence don't usually make for good comedy.

1 Keep Your Nose Clean (1975)
6 M*A*T*C*H - When Dr Gascoygne drags poor Duncan away from the football on telly to examine a patient with a supposedly rare disease, Dunc gets his own back by tricking the naive Gazza into believing one patient really has an obscure disease. Sir Geoffrey's next ward round is not a success....
8 What's Op Doc with George Moon, Johnny Briggs
10 A Heart in the Right Place with Robert Dorning
Doctors Menu
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The David Nixon Show
From the 1950's, David Nixon had been producing his magic on both BBC and Commercial TV. For
a little on his 1965 ABC series.
Below, a few surviving shows from the long running 1970's series.
1.5 (June 5th 1972) with Matt Monro - Freddie Davies lets David see his performing flea. David shows his double The Rabbit Game. Penny is introduced to him and Matt Monro, and does a striptease... behind a screen. David sings with Matt while suspending Penny in mid air. Rod Hull hypnotises Emu, or so he thinks, in a fun scene before Emu sings Lucky To Have a Friend Like Me. Matt sings Sarah's Coming Home. Final trick: Mr Tweet (FD) drives a motorcycle into a large crate which is lifted in mid air and then demolished

1.7 (June 19th 1972) - Freddie Davies and David play with hats before George Chisholm sings and plays some dire numbers. He is too over the top sadly, though this whole show looks really dated variety. David does a trick in the audience with keys that does seem absolutely impossible. Finally Freddie in a space suit sketch and David with a flying saucer trick

1.11 (July 17th 1972) with Bob Monkhouse - David, full of his recent Far East visit, does a trick his assistants have failed to perform. Under the eye of a member of the audience, Jean from Barnhurst, he performs four neat tricks. Anita Harris sings a rather dreary song I Wish You Love. Bob Monkhouse quips with David and they draw sketches of each other. Bob jokes and sings a novel number Happy Families. David's finale with Anita and Bob uses oriental costumes in which Anita- or is it Bob?- disappears

1.12 (?) with Ali Bongo- After a few jokes about FIFA etc, Anita Harris helps David push a bottle of beer through a book. Ali Bongo, the dancing musician, is followed by swinging bananas that move according to the will. Anita sings a romantic I Could Spend My Life, then with two members of the audience from Twickenham, David performs a trick with Tarot cards. The final illusion is The Thai Torture Trick, Anita in a steel neck collar is locked in a cabinet. Swords and then several saws are pushed through but of course she emerges unscathed, David nicely quipping, "you can hardly see the joins, perhaps if you look very carefully... but we mustn't look very carefully!"

with Ray Allan and Anita Harris - the audience are handed jumbo sized cards, and DN predicts three of them. Puppet Ollie Beak is in a cage, best place for it, and meets Lord Charles, DN joins in with his mind reading. Lord Charles keeps calling DN "Dixon." Then an enthusiastic DN shows us some historic magician's props, finally "my favourite trick," an orange, a glass of rice and checkers. Ollie admires photos of DN in the Far East and watches the Indian rope trick. AH is locked in a large cage which levitates
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Hogg's Back (Southern TV, 1975-6)
Perhaps the most enjoyable collaboration between the fading talent of Michael Pertwee and Southern TV. Derek Royle added his zany skills in the title role, and gives children enough to raise a good few laughs.

1.1 Vacancy for a doctor at Little Belling, mix up sees the incompetent Hogg on his "comeback." En route he crashes his car, no surprise, the victim a bank robber. But the badly shaken up Hogg is mistaken for the robber. Pearl, the doctor's secretary is delighted to find her new boss is so young and attractive... but that turns out to be the thief!
1.2 First patient is an old man "with ears" (Arthur Ridley). Then the general (Robert Dorning) whose youthful elixir is accidentally drunk by Hogg. To Pearl's delight, it seems to rejuvenate him, though in fact it's only the doctor's young son
1.3 Hogg cooking is as dangerous as Hogg shopping in the supermarket. Here he accidentally takes home a baby. It results in two black eyes for the innocent local bobby (John Clegg)
1.4 Some fun with Henry the skeleton, who causes a flag seller to faint. Then Hogg buys fishing equipment from a drunken salesman (Michael Ripper), At the lake, Mabel's skirt is ripped off, accidentally of course. Then Hogg ruins her picnic before finally landing a catch- Henry
1.5 I liked the story though it begins slowly with Hogg stranded in pouring rain on his rounds. Since Pearl cannot drive and rescue him, he resolves to teach her how. Mind you, his own driving skills are pretty poor, so poor that police stop him, and he only fortuitously avoids arrest by driving into an empty removal van. Fred the driver (Sam Kydd) is a crook, decides Hogg, and he tells the police so. The sergeant (Robert Gillespie) patiently listens, "you've had half the force out..."
1.6 Yet another incompetent diagnosis on a patient (Reg Lye) before Hogg dashes off to the railway to see Pearl off as she's leaving the series. Mann (Geoffrey Chater) of the Medical Council has to keep discreet watch on Hogg. What he sees is a stripper applying to be Pearl's replacement, then a sword swallower, and finally a lady magician who saws Hogg in two. The script builds to a zany climax
1.7 A children's audience (or is it canned children?) now tells you when to laugh. Workwell is the new butler, and helps Hogg with a patient with a sore throat. Mugsy, the robber from the first story, requests Hogg put up his daughter Colette (Wendy Richard). Hogg collects her from the station, but she is much older than expected. "Common" too, causing Workwell to storm out. Colette, whom Hogg always calls Pearl, acts as maid, receptionist and nurse, a different uniform for each
1.8 General Balding is selling his ancient pile, with the aid of a hired butler, whose hiccups Hogg cures with The Kiss Of Death. But Hogg is left to "butle" ie serve evening meal to a potential buyer. Each of his gaffes reduces the offering price for the mansion, until some ancient salmon reveals a hidden treasure
1.9 Michael Ripper is in the drunk charge of The Unlikely Travel Agency. His brother Cecil runs the camping shop. They enable Hogg and Pearl to go on a camping holiday where Hogg climbs a mountain, and is pushed down again. Then they pitch tent, which drifts away during the night
1.10 Jangle has dandruff- Hogg soon administers a permanent cure. Then Hogg runs to the gym via the vicar's garden, and once there, much first aid is required. He is escorted home to cure Jangle of his baldness, and nearly poisons the vicar
1.12 A storyline with plenty of fun. Farmer Brown is ill so Hogg 'helps' round the farm. After imbibing his medicine, Hogg decides Brown is dead, and calls the vicar. Plenty of confusion when the undertaker (Gordon Rollings) shows up, believing Hogg is talking about his own funeral
1.13 General Balding has injured himself decorating, so Hogg bandages him up. "Anyone can stick up a bit of paper," so with the aid of two crippled patients, Hogg makes the attempt. A lot of slapstick which has certainly been done a lot better elsewhere, though here performed with some gusto
2.1 After crashing a pram, Hogg treats General Balding, who is seeing things. His bandaging skills gets everyone in a tangle, nearly on a par with the chaos at the village fete
2.2 The local newspaper prints annoying comments about Hogg, ditto General Balding and the vicar. Editor Grimm urges them to "make way for younger men." To prove him wrong, they decide to build a new health centre. After a series of slapstick disasters, it is opened, only Grimm sabotages the sauna, but missing are most of the comedic possibilities
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Lord Tramp (Southern TV, 1977)

Michael Pertwee's script is typically whimsical, but it appears as though it were written in half an hour flat. Nevertheless there's a fine cast, starring Hugh Lloyd as the tramp who inherits a fortune. Joan Sims is Miss Pratt the housekeeper, George Moon is too exaggerated as the forgetful butler Tipping. It's only a pity the script serves them so very poorly.

1 His lordship has died intestate (cue joke), his title passes to a very distant relative, a tramp named Hughie. Inevitably he is turned away when he announces himself at the front entrance. He doesn't enjoy eating in solitary state, nor can he cope with his too comfortable four poster. He's more at home in the pantry with Lucy the new maid.
2 The Daily Echo offer 500 for an exclusive. Hughie's train journey is awfully boring, for us. He buys a new wardrobe and holds an At Home. His friends The Duke (Jack Watling) and The Bishop (Leslie Dwyer) and Hughie himself are chased away. Jokes include Trousers falling down, and Miss Pratt's line: "may I forget my station?"- with the obvious response
3 After breakfast in bed, Tipping fills in Lord Hughie over his jobs, He is introduced to Grimes the head groom (Tony Sympson), then Mr Partridge, and together they chase and catch a poacher (Alfie Bass) who is an old pal of Hughie's. The level of humour can be judged by these jokes: Hughie worries about apes in the apiary, and an awful one about his "dear stalker" hat
4 After dropping the breakfast tray, Tipping indulges in some rum with his lordship. Today is Lord Hughie's Exam Day, and Miss Pratt puts him through his aristoratic paces, a window for plenty of corn. The Duke and The Bishop come to stay, Tipping is ordered to frighten them away by playing ghost
5 As the estate is all but bankrupt, the house is opened to the public, with no help from 'Priggy' Pratt's Uncle Fred, who has to help them disguise themselves, goodness knows why. Further confusion with the arrival of two bank robbers. Puns include one on a stud farm, jokes include being frightened by a mouse. Best line: "Hitler wasn't a car park attendant"
6 Tipping is frozen stiff as the heating has failed. Diana of Mayfair with Hadji (Jimmy Thompson) are appointed to give the place a facelift, something this programme badly needed. The story muddles on, corny jokes include The Bishop getting a new tank for the oil heating, a real army tank. It ends in an inventive fantasy of pipes in the library that could have been so much funnier

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PUBLIC EYE
A unique series really made by the superb acting of Alfred Burke as Frank Marker, and by some generally excellent scripts. It started as a black/white ABC production and was one of the few shows that survived the transition to Thames.

TV Menu

1.2 Nobody Kills Santa Claus (1965)
1.12 The Morning Wasn't So Hot
2.2 Don't Forget You're Mine (1966) - First Birmingham client is Mrs Jessop (Pauline Delaney, later to become Mrs Mortimer), whose younger husband is missing. Tis the usual reason, another woman. Seedy and predictable, but a well told story. Writer Roger Marshall's knack is to divide your sympathies before giving a clever unexpected twist before Frank proves himself "a private detective with honour"
2.7 Works with Chess, Not with Life
3.9 The Bromsgrove Venus (1968)
To detailed reviews of Series 4

5.1 A Mug Named Frank (1971) - rather sad, as Frank Marker's romance with Mrs Mortimer is inevitably written out. He helps a dear old Brighton lady (Nora Nicholson) whose son (Barry Foster) is 3,000 in arrears. When the son steals his mother's rare silver casket, Frank persuades him to confess all to the local police in Windsor, thus winning, at last, the respect of the law, at least in Windsor
5.2 Well- There Was This Girl You See - New opening titles now Frank's in Windsor, and at last a client, a girl who wants to share with Frank the 300 reward for returning a stolen necklace. She wants to shop Sheldon her ex-boyfriend who has ditched her- "I don't like your type," Marker tells him. Nor does Percy the police inspector, but Frank "plays games" too long and, typically, overplays his hand
5.3 Slip Home in the Dark - The case of the anonymous phone caller who blackmails Barbara whose hubby is trying to make a new start out of jail. A sad case, but at least Frank cracks it. "Mr Marker, I don't like you very much"
5.4 I Always Wanted a Swimming Pool - (now in colour) An opportunity for some shots around Windsor as Frank trails an errant husband. His main case is related to the rather sad Charles Loose (Cyril Luckham) who seems to be selling fake paintings of the Norwich School artist Manton. As he is patron to a young artist (James Bolam) he seems to have the opportunity. Marker poses as a connoiseur who wishes to purchase a genuine Manton. "Success makes for carelessness," Frank as usual getting too involved, but he comes out quids in for once when there's a brilliant twist to the story
5.5 The Beater and the Game - "Life isn't all happiness," older man Stanley warns his young girl friend. Certainly not for Frank either, when Stanley objects to Frank trailing him. Poor Frank is being used to track Stanley down by a "monster" (Terence Rigby)- "a very nasty business"
5.6 Come Into the Garden Rose (b/w)- Rich old Rose (Madge Ryan) announces she is to marry Harry, the porter at her home (George Sewell). Marker exposes him for what he is, but she runs away with him anyway. All a little embarrassing, the story that is, more so perhaps because, though it's not made explicit, Marker can see something of himself in Harry
5.7 And When You've Paid the Bill...- Peter Kulman, aged 23, has jumped off his uncle's office block. Frank delves his motives in a sad but fascinating tale, marred by some poor acting. The truth is even more painful than expected, as the script collapses, like Frank's typed report
5.8 Who Wants to be Told Bad News? - Some fine acting here: Glyn Edwards as usual, as Bain the irascible estate agent; and Mollie Maureen as his aunt, who asks Mr Marker to find a 1917 newspaper. But his main job is to check out Bain's Asian client, who wants to rent an isolated cottage: "something funny there, if you ask me." Too late, Frank goes to the cottage, but the con artists have flown, not that Marker is that bothered
5.9 The Man Who Didn't Eat Sweets - Is my husband Eddie (Peter Sallis) cheating on me? Yet he seems so innocent in this sad but moving story. But three wives on the go is quite a juggling act, and Frank tries to resolve it by facing Eddie with his polygamy. "No excuses," he admits, as it all comes crashing down
5.10 Ward of Court - Martin Bailey has fled from Sheffield to Windsor, with his son. Marker traces him and serves a court order, only to reluctantly get involved in a tug of war between father and "monster" of a mother. Superbly done, you don't know just where your sympathies lie
5.11 Transatlantic Cousins - For once Frank has an assistant, reluctantly, in the shape of Lana, daughter of an American who wants Frank to unearth his aristocratic roots. This makes for a novel variation, except she's such a feeble actress. They dig up "a dreadful old man" in straitened circumstances, and Alfred Burke enjoys a nice scene with him. As Marker remarks "I always end up disappointing somebody"
5.12 Shades of White - Are Jimmy and Simon a bad influence on 18 year old Anne (Lesley Anne Down)? Allan her bullying dad thinks so, and wants Marker to find out about them. Frank flirts with the housekeeper to help catch the two thieves in an excellently written tale (Robert Muller) full of well-drawn characters
5.13 John VII Verse 24 - Not entirely convincing story when Inspector Firbank advises Frank to "stick to the facts," after he suspends one of his juniors who's accused of theft. Frank finds himself as go-between, defending the young copper
6.1 The Bankrupt - Mel Peters (Ray Barrett) is filing for bankruptcy, so how come he's still driving a Rolls? "This fellow's been having you on," as he attempts to bribe Frank Marker who tangles with the usual array of dubious characters including a crooked solicitor. You hope Peters'll come a cropper, though retribution comes from a surprise source, "get stuffed"
6.2 Girl in Blue - Brian Summers (Richard Leech) gets a shock when he sees his estranged daughter Janice appearing in a blue film The Parson Knows. He asks Frank Marker to trace her, though "he hasn't got much chance of finding her." But against the odds, there she is, in Hounslow, "I got lucky." Final scene: Father and daughter reunited?
6.3 Many A Slip - Frank is asked to check the credit ratings of five applicants, one is Mrs Pembroke his doctor's wife, only Frank's inquiries show she is not married, "I don't think it's as simple as that." In King's Lynn, Frank digs up the truth about the doctor, not that it's much use to him, though it profoundly affects others
6.4 Mrs Podmore's Cat - Frank's broke, so any case is welcome, though widow Diana Podmore (Jean Kent) "eats me for breakfast," and asks Frank to look after Bertie, that's her cat. She staying at a health farm, and leaves him to pick up the pieces of her private life, fending off the attentions of the criminal Clive and her toy boy Ronnie. The theft of two of her valuable medallions might prove embarrassing for our detective
6.5 The Man Who Said Sorry - Oh dear, a rare flop. Frank Marker is asked by a Mr Barrett to investigate his wife, "a little younger than I am." he says she's having an affair, but really he's just wanting to waste Marker's time after he allegedly let him down in a case back in October 1967, long forgotten by the private detective. The scenario of the neurotic on the edge of suicide takes far too long to unfold, "what the hell are you going on about?" asks Marker and you sense he might have been ad libbing! This style of writing by Richard Harris was entirely inappropriate for this series, as a play, the main and almost only character is tedious and you almost wish he'd get on with it and kill himself. When he does so, it's meant to be tense, but Marker has washed his hands, and so have most viewers. Not to be watched if you are feeling low, or feeling anything
6.6 Horse and Carriage- Christmas cheer for Harry Longstaff (Tony Melody) who allegedly "enjoys being jealous" of his wife Lilian, "the most desirable woman in Windsor, well the world really." He's an old client of Marker's, wasting his time making him watch her while he's away. But is he using it as a cover for a dalliance with Pauline? Lily engages her own detective to follow Harry but a potentially explosive outcome turns merely into a tasteful comedy
6.7 A Family Affair - Old Charles Knight wrote his own will sharing his estate between his two sons Henry (Ralph Michael) and John (Norman Henry), and his long term housekeeper Harriet. When Marker investigates her circumstances, she appears very well off, had she been fleecing her employer? "I always knew she was out for herself." A can of worms is opened as the brothers' reactions are studied, but for me the conclusion didn't fit quite right
6.8 The Golden Boy - Where is Sir John's son Vivian? Why did he suddenly leave his Oxford College, a brilliant career ahead of him? Meet two old farts, one unconcerned, his own father even, but the other, his old Latin tutor, enlists Marker's aid. Students friends lead him to the high class tart Carol, "he was too much," she admits. He's found in a pub, where Marker pals up with him and gets very drunk. His odd tale emerges over odder philosophy, not very absorbing, something on the lines of freedom or bacon or..?
6.9 The Windsor Royal - Clem Lawrence (Raymond Francis) is worried that his lovely new variety of rose has been stolen, and suspects his ex-partner Hayward. Marker's investigation is complicated by the secret romance twixt Clem's daughter and his rival's son, "it's all perfectly inncoent," and more akin to a storm in a teacup, but a pleasant teacup
6.10 It's a Woman's Privilege - 10.02am at the railway station, Helen Mortimer has come from Brighton to consult Frank. It's a nice touch and you wish that after two years, Frank might be a little less professional towards her. However he does take on board her concerns for her son Nick who has purchased a house in Datchet he couldn't possibly afford as he has paid 27.500 for it. He's become an account in a business run by the shady Everard, selling cheap photocopiers. Frank applies to become a salesman with the firm and is interviewed by Nick. He somehow manages to inspect the books, and after a shouting match convinces Nick to "get out now," as he's being set up as a fall guy when the business inevitably crashes
6.11 Home and Away - Amateur football manager Don (Bryan Pringle) may be having an affair, his wife asks Frank to find out. Frank gets pally with Don who introduces club 'mascot' Gladys, no hint of romance with her. Frank in fact is only a pawn to try and make Don jealous, to rouse him from his "soul destroying" existence. Good characters, that's all here, "I don't like ball games," admits Frank, "especially when I'm being used as the ball"
6.12 Egg and Cress Sandwiches - Improbable casting of Brian Blessed as a vicar, ah, but he's a trendy vicar, at odds with his churchwarden the general (Robert Flemyng). Blackmail letters about the vicar's "fluttering among the hens," draws Frank into this ecclesiastical brouhaha as the story skirts serious issues and ends in a search for a missing painting. It really hinges on two simple folk, "do you remember Doncaster?"
6.13 The Trouble With Jenny- Frank is being chatted up by a hotel proprietor a la Mrs Mortimer and in a repeat of a plot in series four, he saves a young girl from suicide. Her older husband (Donald Houston) asks Marker to find out why. Frank uncovers a jukebox romance, a baby and blackmail, but you sense it'll never be a happy ending
7.1 Nobody Wants to Know (1975)- this grittier series begins with prisoner Joe Martins needing Frank to find a witness, Janet of Ascot, to prove he wasn't involved with a robbery. "You don't know what you're doing, Frank." It turns out the elusive Janet was in with Joe doping her father's horse, "you're a mug, Frank." His professional persistence finds her, but his duffing up is inevitable." You can't admire the ending, though the duffing story continues next time
7.2 How About A Cup of Tea? - Helen Mortimer, last seen in #6.10, is back, wanting to cheer up a depressed Frank in hospital after his duffing up. But she cannot get through to him, he refuses all approaches and she inevitably departs unfulfilled. Inspector Firbank attempts to help also in a practical way by getting Frank a job, to see tenant Mrs Grant who refuses to be evicted, broke, husband left her, more depressing even than Frank's saga. Get help, advises Frank, but like him, she is unwilling, for in her "you caught a glimpse of Frank Marker." A poignant study of depression, religion, life
7.3 How About It, Frank? - "Right bastard" Chief Insp Tyson wants facts from Frank about his duffing up so he can nail the perpetrator Tarrant. Frank won't play, he's investigating computer expert Brian Hart for his mate Ron Gash, a fine study even if the brief storyline is too familiar. With Joe Martins (see 7.1) Frank unwisely puts the screws on "moral imbecile" Tarrant and receives a monetary pay off. That gives Tyson his chance, and Frank is brought in. Good old Gash rescues Frank, who in his turn does a favour for the likeable Brian
7.4 They All Sound Simple At First - Working as Ron Gash's "assistant," Marker helps a Polish man (Philip Madoc) after sharing vodka with his extended family. The man is owed 692 by his brother in law Croxley (Peter Bowles). He's a philanderer, and despite his refusal to pay up, a little "strong" leaning by Gash works the oracle
7.5 The Fall Guy
7.6 What's To Become Of Us?
7.7 Hard Times - Another new office, this one's in Station Approach Chertsey. An uncommonly friendly bank manager Mr Pearce (Tenniel Evans) who finds Marker "a nice man," presses him to up his modest fees, "they're not high enough." His first job is from some nasty characters, Find Jimmy. As he's laundering money, Frank knows he's on "a hiding to nothing"
7.8 No Orchids for Marker - Mrs Alexander of The Laurels Farm Lane interrupts a night intruder in her conservatory. Here's a slow moving but interesting story as Marker sleeps on the job and unearths, literally, the truth, as the pleasant afternoon tea atmosphere turns into 10,000, well nearly
7.9 The Fatted Calf - Sociology student Giles Robinson has run off after a row with his father over a sit in at his factory. Marker finds him easily enough, but he's under the influence of Commie Vince (Alun Armstrong). He disappears once more, but Marker's quickly on to him. However Vince is using Giles to blackmail his father over a bomb threat Vince is persuaded to make. "There won't be a next one," as dad coughs up. Markers offers to deliver payment and adds a sermon
7.10 Lifer - Arthur Biddle (Norman Bird) asks Marker to find his wife, gone off with Brian. Two days' surveillance produces Brian but no sign of the wife, not surprising as she died over ten years ago! In fact Marker learns Brian had been convicted of killing Biddle's daughter, and Biddle is out for a warped revenge. Frank nobly attempts to stop his pathetic client who understandably has murder in his heart
7.11 Take No For an Answer- A study of widower Mr Jenks (a typical role for Richard Pearson), fastidious chief clerk at an engineeering firm. His daughter asks Marker to find out what's worrying him. It's to do wth the dubious Carter, who has caused him to descend to defrauding his company. Marker's attempt to solve the problem only makes matters worse. There's one well drawn scene as his secretarial pool peep at him as he opens his farewell present
7.12 Fit of Conscience- Collapse of a block of flats. Council employee John Friendly knows he took a bribe from the builder, and asks Marker to locate George Berry (Griffith Jones), his co-conspirator. "I can only tell you the facts," Marker insists, but he does go above and beyond to advise the man with the guilty secret. However the ending is a convenient swindle
7.13 Unlucky for Some - Mrs Waterfield of the Rivermead Hotel asks Frank Marker to check on her new daughter-in-law Paula. What is her relationship with Fellows, "very aimiable isn't he?" Marker's career ends with a case of blackmail concerning Paula's first husband's death, and the chance for a reward, 10% of 80,000 is surely in Frank's grasp
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Nobody Kills Santa Claus
A rather slow story about obnoxious dynamic businessman Paul Garston (Keith Baxter) who runs his firm with the aid of his subordinate, accountant Eric Hart (Peter Barkworth). His rivals "all come out bent and battered," as does Marker when he's hired to protect this unlikeable tycoon. For, "hardly surprise of the year," he's receiving threatening phone calls.
Several candidates present themselves to Marker, including his ex-wife, or maybe Ray who is being given the runaround by his wife Anne, who is off for another dirty weekend with Garston. Then there's Wheeler, whose firm Garston is trying to buy up on the cheap. But surely above suspicion is Timpson who is to finance this deal. Marker acts as Garston's chauffeur, winding up doing other menial tasks like opening his champagne bottles. "You don't like him do you," Anne comments to Frank, but then only she really does, or so it seems.
When Ray finds out about the affair, he forbids her to see Garston again, a forlorn threat. So he contacts the shady Ellis to arrange for Garston to be made "a hospital case." Unfortunately it's poor Frank who is given the treatment in error.
Naturally rather shaken up, Marker wants to know why Ray duffed him up. But evidently he's not the main man, the one who is making these threats. Anne however, realising her affair is coming to an end, informs Garston her husband is the culprit, and will only stop if he's paid 50,000, to avoid nasty publicity. In fact she's only paid 20,000, which she takes away with a man posing as her husband. But even this is an illusion, for "they're easily tricked," falling for the old one of stuffed blank paper covered by a few genuine pound notes. But Marker uses all his wiles to pay 10,000 of Gartson's cash to find out who the blackmailer is.
Result: Eric is sacked, ""you did a good job Marker." Though perhaps Garston is less pleased when he learns what it cost him. Frank wisely turns down the offer of a permanent job working for such a nasty man. Later stories started to focus more on Frank Marker, whereas this early effort spends too much time exploring the unpleasant client
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The Morning Wasn't So Hot
Sleazy if realistic story of prostitution, Philip Madoc has a typical chilling role as the creepy Dannon.

It's still steam train days, as the Hull train draws in to London, bringing Jenny (Carole Ann Ford) who makes for a snack bar. A smooth operator, Mason, spies her and chats her up.
Frank Marker's client is a Mr Drummond, solicitor, who wants Jenny traced, now missing six weeks, no relatives in London. Marker perceptively starts his search at the snack bar, but is not given any help. She has now been sold by Mason, after a lot of negotiation for 300 to Dannon, "I provide items for collection."
Thus when Frank tracks Jenny down, she's flown. He meets Sue, another of Mason's new call girls, she's from Sheffield, though she only knows Jenny left trying to improve herself. Frank departs after giving Mason a piece of his mind.
Jenny is now entertaining Gordon Reynolds who at an executive restaurant introduces her to salesman Alan. He hatches a scheme with Jenny to blackmail Reynolds. This subplot adds little to the story.
Having purchased Jenny who has gone to ground, Dannon wants her, and offers Marker 100 to find her. Not that Frank would dirty his hands with such a rogue. A taxi driver friend finds her for Frank, who has a fatherly talk with her to absolutely no effect, she is as hard as nails confidently believing she has made it. "These people are not to be fooled about with," Frank warns.
She's too confident however to be shaken. We hear Frank being beaten up by Dannon's thugs, watching her reactions as she listens on.
"She's a goner," Frank later informs Drimmond, though a slight shaft of light is Sue who asks Frank to contact her family to see if she can return home
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Works with Chess Not With Life
A young girl is claiming that she has had a bad stomach upset after eating mushrooms at a hotel. Clearly an anticipation of today's dreadful compensation culture that enriches noone but lawyers. A medical can reveal no evidence for her allegations, but nothing to disprove it either, so Frank is hired to investigate if she is malingering or not. He poses as a stylish salesman, not short of a bob, treating her to a top up meal. That certainly disproves her case for nausea!
That leads Frank to the case of the doctor who examined the girl. Dr Alan Skerrett (Derek Waring) is having an affair with Susan (Ann Lynn) and is ever waiting "the right moment" to tell his wife Nancy that he is going to leave her. Frnak learns this by following them to a tryst in a quiet church where the couple discuss their future, she earnest, he uncertain. She tries an ultimatum, she is leaving next Friday, will he come with her or not?
Even Nancy knows of his dilemma, though he doesn't know that she knows, she's only deduced it. Accordingly she asks Frank to act as a catalyst to make him decide. The vacillating Alan has finally decided to pay Susan off. Now only grateful he has rid himself of the dilemma, he kindly prescribes Susan a sedative, this a trick by her to blackmail him unless he goes away with her.
Facing the medical council if not, Alan requests Frank retrieve the prescription, but Frank is not that sort of investigator. He does agree to talk to Susan and try persuasion. In a memorable scene, he spins her a line and helps himself to the prescription, she convinced to leave the city alone. Another fine scene when husband learns wife knows of it all, when Frank talks to her. This time it's she who doesn't know that he knows
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The Bromsgrove Venus (March 16th 1968)
This could have been titled The Venus Flytrap, in honour of the dead fly that is continuously on the VCR machine!

Out of the rain, Frank Marker slips into the library, where a photographic competition is on display, organised by John Ingleby. Pride of place seems to belong to The Bromsgrove Venus, a pastiche of the celebrated National Gallery picture with a photographed head and body of a different woman. It's actually the head of Maria, who is the wife of the boss Paul. Who took this compromising photo, that's what Paul wants to know.
Marker first questions Ingleby who had actually submitted this photo, but he is unhelpful. But Marker finds the photographer who had developed this print, Ridge. He had made several copies, one had been stolen apparently. Marker is fairly sure Ingleby is the one who had stolen the photo, then submitting it in the competition.
According to Ridge, Box 30 had originally commissioned this photo, Marker calls at the address, but meets another brick wall in the owner. So he decides to follow Maria, who goes to the address of Box 30! Here, Marker overhears her asking for the name of Box 30, and some cash elicits the name, which is written down, so Marker is none the wiser. So he has to continue following her, she goes to an address, the Church Militant Union. She does not go in.
Back at his office, Marker gets a shock, Maria is waiting for him. She asks him to help as she is being blackmailed. Seven years ago she had had an affair with a man named Busby, a keen photographer. He'd taken this photo of her as a joke, but now she is handing 5 per week to Box 30.
Now Marker calls at the place, where Pauline's Dance Parlour is in full swing. Marker enrols for some private tuition in the tango, which he does with some style.
Her surname is Busby, and Frank Marker faces her with her blackmail. Easily he obtains the copies she's made of the photo as well as her side of the story. "I just wanted to make her pay."
Pauline and Maria are brought face to face, and they concoct a story which they tell Paul at the dancing school. Somehow all parties are satisfied for a jolly finale.
As a study of estrangement between a middle aged husband and a younger foreign wife, this is well told

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PUBLIC EYE
In Series Four the programme achieved a very high standard of writing, with a sensitive account of an ex prisoner's problems in attempting to reintegrate into society.

The series starts in Ford Prison, and shows Frank Marker being released and trying to make a new start in Brighton. With reluctant help from his probation officer, Frank obtains employment, but runs into various difficulties, not always of his own making.
At the same time he does settle into his digs run by Mrs Mortimer, and the beginnings of a relationship are just visible, even in a loner such as Frank.

4.1 Welcome to Brighton? (1969)
4.2 Divide and Conquer
4.3 Paid in Full
4.4 My Life's My Own
4.5 Case for the Defence
4.6 The Comedian's Graveyard
4.7 A Fixed Address
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4.1 Welcome to Brighton
This is a sometimes moving character study of the problems of a prisoner on parole, and a very lonely parolee at that. A sad portrait of a loner on the very periphery of society.
759413 F Marker, HM Prison Ford, convicted of receiving stolen property is being released on the morrow. Yes, he is going straight, though "once you're in their little black book, you're there for ever."
Mr Hull his probation officer provides an accommodation address, the governor gives a personal goodbye also, asking a few probing questions of his personal life. "Who've you got?" The defensive Marker replies "myself," he's no choice.
Next day the van drives him to the station, the only prisoner on release. A strangely moving scene as he tastes freedom of sorts on the platform. The 42 train stops. An empty carriage for Marker. In Brighton he makes for number 24, in sight of the sea and the pier, where Mrs Mortimer makes him feel welcome. She's a widow.
Savouring his freedom Frank Marker walks along the prom, as he recalls his experiences inside. On the front is Tony's restaurant where he takes soup and a mixed grill. By the pier a tart picks him up, Grace, they kiss, she helps herself to his wallet, and the mood passes.
Freda Jakeman is the wife of one of Marker's few acquaintances inside. He'd promised to look her up, but she's not living where her husband has said. Some of his old inquiry agent skills help Frank to find her quite easily, and the reason she'd stopped coming to the prison are soon evident. Marker's no marriage counsellor and it is she who gives him home truths about being married to a habitual criminal.
From this sad place to Mr Hull and a conversation, a reluctant conversation, that is at first on the general theme of how prison reforms so few. They discuss making friends, that's not for Frank, and the job Hull has obtained for him on a building site. "I'm off officaldom," Frank finally admits
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Public Eye Series 4

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4.2 Divide and Conquer
Slow but absorbing account of Marker's first days at work.
A seemingly unrelated subplot follows two leatherclad motorcyclists (perhaps Thames couldn't afford a bigger gang?), who swindle the owner (Ken Jones) at a cafe by Palace Pier.
Frank Marker is given tea in bed and a cooked brekker, before starting work at Black Rock repairing the sea wall. Then back to his digs and a chat with a defrocked solicitor, but Marker isn't the "sociable" type and it's a rather one sided conversation. But they make for the pub, and there Marker brushes with one of the yobs Harry (Terence Rigby) trying his same swindle on the barman (Norman Mitchell). It ends in a scuffle, Frank Marker winded, but at least they earn a free drink.
Harry and his mate Frank want revenge and attempt to run Marker down. "We'll teach him something."
Next day on the beach the chance comes. It's a bit like, though not a lot, Cary Grant on that desert road as Harry and Frank confront Marker by the lonely sea wall. Harry taunts Marker by eating his egg sandwiches. Marker responds, at a distance, by offering Harry a few tips in a tense filmed scene. Marker tries to put the gentler Frank against the belligerent Harry. "I'm going to fill you in," boasts the nasty Harry. Two years inside, Marker retorts, and that gets Frank's namesake worried. Marker can become more confident now, and even snatches the spade in Harry's hand. "You got a big loose mouth," cries the losing Harry, as Marker's graphic account of life inside frightens off Frank.
The stand off is over. This is a slight story that shows the vulnerability of the ex prisoner, at the mercy of so many nasty types. The final camera shot pulls back from the beach where Frank Marker works all alone, it's a memorable picture
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Public Eye Series 4

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4.3 Paid in Full

Frank Marker is now delivering toilets and is able to collect his first pay packet. In the Lanes area he nearly buys a flash shirt, and then in the window of Fanny's Curios, he spots a porcelain figure that reminds him of his childhood. The kindly shopkeeper, having listened to Frank's singing a hymn to rather changed words, sells the figure to him at a bargain price.
Kenrick, Frank's boss, has bad news. The pay packet of Arthur Wilson has gone missing, and as this is the first time such a problem has arisen, Wilson is pointing his finger at "the jailbird." Dt Constable Brown quizzes Mrs Mortimer about her paying guest and then the unhappy Frank who realises "I'm favourite," as his room is searched. Nothing found, and Mrs Mortimer sympathises with some whiskey in a nice exchange. She opens up a little herself, revealing she's no widow really, her husband simply left her.
Next day at work proves difficult. Though Frank contributes to a fund for Wilson, everyone assumes he is guilty and when the empty stolen paypacket is found in Frank's clothing, he has to be taken to the police station for questioning.
En route, Brown has to stop on the A27 to arrest a young thief Barry who appears to have killed someone.
At the station Brown admits that he believes Frank is innocent. Mr Hull comes to sympathise. But Frank has that sinking feeling, "it's not going to work is it?" he asks rhetorically, "the unclean notice is up."
Barry's case is in the Evening Argus, and Frank talks the story over with his landlady over a cuppa. Jenny, Kenrick's secretary, comes to his digs to offer help, asking if he could provide an alibi. She does recall telling one employee about Frank's record. This clears up the case quickly, and Jenny rushes to break the good news to Frank. Trouble is "people jump to conclusions," and when Frank reports back to work an apologetic Kenrick has to turn him away. Mr Hull tries to calm down the angry Frank, in a very sad finish.
This was clearly a problem just waiting to happen for the ex-prisoner, and the story is told very honestly and sympathetically. You wish Frank Marker could trust those wanting to help him, but at the same time, you know he's not that kind of man

To Public Eye Series 4

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4.4 My Life's My Own

With his landlady away, Frank is left in charge at the guest house, and takes in a new lodger, young, pretty, but agitated. She keeps phoning someone called Chris, and seems in even a worse state than Frank, who's looking for a new job.
It's 2.20am when Frank, hearing her radio still noisily playing, kindly brings her a cup of coffee to her room. She doesn't answer his knock, so he breaks in, and finds her asleep, clearly drugged. Bravely, he makes her sick and causes her to come round, interestingly doing all this on his own, as surely Frank would, without seeking medical aid.
He makes Shirley take a long walk along the prom, to prevent her from relapsing into a stupor. Then back home, black coffee as she tears up a note she has left for Chris.
Next morning he makes some soup for her, and she explains about the trouble with Chris who is married. So while she sleeps some more, Good Samaritan Frank calls round to see Chris, and finds Chris is a woman, married to a doctor. Shirley had been a nurse for Chris during her illness. Matter of factly the doctor clains she did it to get attention, "she's a strange girl." It is not a happy meeting, one suspects the couple had words later after Frank has departed.
Encouraged by Frank's kindness, Shirley phones Chris, who is pleased, though her husband is a lot more unpleasant. Thus when Frank returns after a walk, Shirley has left. Landlady Mrs Mortimer comes home and is inquisitive about her unseen guest. "I thought I could cope," is Frank's typical line.
"You've taken on too much," is her pertinent reply," but before they can do more, Chris phones, receiving the sharp end of Frank's tongue. However anxiety is dispelled when Shirley phones also, to say all is well.

An interesting story that reveals a lot about Marker's character, but is not entirely convincing or satisfying

To Public Eye Series 4

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4.5 Case for the Defence

Frank Marker's new job is stacking supermarket shelves, where a friendly local policeman meets him to offer him something more up his line, working for a private detective.
"They wouldn't want an ex-convict," retorts Frank, but Mr Rylands is prepared to take a chance. However, as usual for Frank, it's not as straightforward as all that.
Day one, he meets Davies, a solicitor. His client, the brash and rich businessman Osborne (William Lucas) needs assistance in reducing the charge his son is facing of murder to that of manslaughter. Barry Osborne has admitted killing Flockton, but can Frank gather anything to show that the killing was not premeditated?
The dead man owned a garage near Plumpton, so Frank hires a Morris Minor and drives to this garage to buy some petrol. He pumps the attendant who proves to be Mrs Flockton, and then her son, a mechanic there. Flockton was a burly man and the puzzling thing is how he could have been overcome by Barry at all, unless it was a surprise attack.
At the local, Frank takes a half of cider and finds out that Flockton had had one spell behind bars in Lewes prison. Osborne is mighty pleased to get this news! Eagerly he gives Frank a lift in his Rolls so they can talk with the victim of Flockton's crime, Jackson, though he is not all there for he has had a stroke. Osborne hopes that stroke might be the aftermath of Flockton's attack. However his methods are not to Frank's taste, and anyway bribery is of little effect.
"There are degrees of guilt," Osborne tells his son, who is at least honest- he refuses, like Frank, to allow the evidence to be manipulated.
At the University of Sussex Frank talks to Barry's girl friend who says it all with "Osborne Senior has a lot to answer for." She reckons Barry might have killed Flockton for kicks. But to Osborne, who wines and dines her royally, she considers his bribe to say she had given Barry LSD. But what she will say in court is never revealed.
Sick of this evil, Frank persuades Barry to plead guilty, for they are both fed up with the rich man's high handed criminal dishonesty. It's not an action that gains Frank much glory, though he does at least retain his dignity

To Public Eye Series 4

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4.6 The Comedian's Graveyard

A memorable story set on the now defunct West Pier in Brighton, with Joe Melia and Leslie Dwyer as two tired old show biz pros, without hope rather like Frank Marker, eking a living running an end of pier show. It's a well worn storyline a la JB Priestley's The Good Companions, but so well executed.

Billy Raybold is holding auditions and seventeen year old Judy (Tessa Wyatt) tries her luck with A Bird in a Gilded Cage. "She looks good," so they give her a go. Billy, rather too old for her but ever hopeful, warns her of the hard graft Judy'll need.
Frank has been working on divorce cases, but now he's asked to find this Judy who ran away from home ten days ago. She sent a postcard from Black Rock, so she's in the area. "She wants to be a singer," Judy's aunt, Mrs Reid, tells Frank. (You sense there's another storyline hidden here, but it is never developed.)
Not too optimistically, Frank scours the theatres, then on to the pier where Raybold says he's not seen her.
But in her period bathing costume she's handing out leaflets promoting the show and Frank is lucky and spots her. "You did know her," he confronts the pessimistic Raybold.
Frank breaks the good news to Mrs Reid who is staying with Frank's landlady, Helen Mortimer. The three go to watch the show. Raybold's patter is typical end of pier, then it's Judy's turn. Shots of her nervously waiting in the wings as Raybold concludes his jokes. She sings Daddy Wouldn't Buy me a Bow Wow. Afterwards in the dressing room, she calmly tells her aunt that she's staying put. The two are left to talk while Frank and his landlady get as close as they ever do in the series. Helen suggests Frank set up as a private detective on his own again, but that needs money. She offers him 1,000 to get started.
Frank sort of solves Judy's case in a kindly way. He gets Doris, Billy's estranged wife, to tell Judy a few home truths, it's a gritty heart to heart, the old pro and the young innocent as Judy sees Billy's darker side. There's a pathetic parting and Frank is in trouble too, for closing the case far too quickly. Such lack of integrity in his employer makes Frank walk out.

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4.7 A Fixed Address
Over the washing up, Frank chats easily with Helen Mortimer about a possible office for his new business. He is even waiting on two guests, young Pete and Rose, who are clearly not hitting it off together, although evidently they have run away together. After four days living here, they are more arguing than loving.
Frank looks over one basement office, dingy but inexpensive, and asks Helen to come and give her opinion. But before she can do so there appears a fly in the ointment. It's Helen's estranged husband Denis, "seven years too late," who says he's come to see if Frank is OK, and he is clearly out to be a nuisance, out to needle Frank. Helen seems too slow in dealing with his snide comments and Frank not unreasonably retreats back into his shell. It's not helped by Mr Hull, Frank's probation officer, who has talked on the quiet with Helen and learned she is hoping Frank will stay on. Hull, furthermore, is against Frank restarting his old trade though he does reluctantly agree to allow Frank to take his chance.
Dinner at the guest house, the young couple still bickering, Frank and Denis at separate tables, in a strained silence. "We must talk," Helen urges Frank, but he has clammed up.
Pete and Rose are finally parting and Denis and Helen live out their past failure, that leaves Frank on his own.
Howeever Helen helps Rose drown her tears and cut her losses, something she must do herself, all this while Frank has a bit of a heart to heart with the surly unthinking Pete, two losers together.
So alone Rose departs, as Frank gets his new office ready all alone. Denis and Helen have a final talk, in which he asks her to join him abroad for his new job. She at last sees why he has returned, he needs a wife to clinch this post, and she turns him right down. So he departs in a huff, and she goes at last to inspect Frank's new workplace, "thanks, you're a pal."

To Public Eye Series 4
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The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes (Thames, 1971)
Intriguing dramatisations about forgotten Victorian detectives.
1 Dr Thorndyke (John Neville): A Message from the Deep Sea (20 Sept 1971). An eminent and self assured forensic scientist is Thorndyke, who casts a fatherly eye over the first case of his student Dr Hart. A woman has been stabbed in the neck in a Harrow Alley brothel. In charge of the case is "the worst kind of idiot," Det Sgt Bates (Terence Rigby). Equally blustering is Dr Davidson (Bernard Archard) whose post mortem is unthorough in the extreme. The inquest is a little too predictable, defence counsel for the innocent accused is mildly incompetent (Nicholas Smith- a mix of Harry Secombe, Mr Pickwick and Mr Rumbold). Thorndyke delights in all their blunders and turns the case with his revelations and despite the coroner's pleas, refuses to name the real killer until he has revealed all his "essential facts." This is unashamedly an imitation of Sherlock with admirably drawn main characters and meticulous fairness with the evidence
2 The blind Max Carrados (Robert Stephens): The Missing Witness Sensation. Inspector Beadle's case against post office robber Mr Rank is threatened with collapse when a witness is produced, one Thaxted, who states he'd been with Rank at the time of the crime in Richmond Park. But Carrados knows he's lying, since he'd been talking to Thaxted in the park himself. To silence him, Max is kidnapped by Irish revolutionaries. Yet Max bravely refuses to succumb to their blackmail. His deductive powers enable him to pinpoint where he is being held, and he appears confident he'll get free, but on precisely what basis is hard to imagine. "You're a whimsical fellow, Mr Carrados," Robert Stephens playing the slightly foppish detective superbly
3 Horace Doddington: The Affair of the Avalanche Bicycle and Tyre Company Limited. Ideally cast as an eccentric with those rolling eyes of his, Peter Vaughan plays this unscrupulous detective living the high life with all his usual hints of menace, though perhaps not his finest role by some way. He worms his way into the life of ex-cycle racer Ralph Stedman (John Carlisle). After dining at the Garrick Club they attend the cycle training session of temperamental Frank Gillet "who rides like an angel." But he nearly joins the angels when a seat is thrown on the track and he is nobbled for the season. Doddington investigates and exposes a double dealer of his own ilk, boss of the firm Paul Mallows (John Stratton), here's an opportunity for blackmailing him. "Have you no moral sense?" he expostulates, though Mallows has his own underhand ways that nearly get the better of the rascally detective. Here's a Victorian anti-hero in tune with the modern era
4 Simon Carne (Roy Dotrice): The Duchess of Wiltshire's Diamonds. Carne has a "bad egg" alter ego, Klimo private detective extraordinnaire. In one clever scene, we silently watch his transformation from one to t'other. At the ball of the Duchess (Barbara Murray) both of him attend to relieve her of her diamonds, "marvellously simple." But has he "overreached himself"? Will Supt Vyvyan catch him "in flagrante"? Of course not, so His Grace calls in no less than Klimo to investigate, "the man's mad"
5 Carnacki, Ghost Detective (Donald Plesence): The Horse of the Invisible. Often there's one dud in a series, I even found the background music too obtrusive. Mary is engaged to Lt Charles Beaumont, but local legend is that she will die under a ghostly horse. "Favourite cousin" Harry must be suspicious, as he's played by Sherlock Holmes, or rather by Geoffrey Whitehead who later played the great detective. The joker is caught with half an explanation, but it's all very silly, laughable if it wasn't so daft
6 Horace Doddington: The Case of the Mirror of Portugal. Solomons is offered by Doddington the legendary diamond lost during the French Revolution. There is only one thing needful, it has to be stolen first. Job completed with the aid of a broken chloroform bottle and much devious dialogue. Well nearly stolen, now sunk in the Thames by Richmond Bridge. This second Doddington tale is less absorbing with Peter Vaughan only occasionally his real self
7 Dixon Druce (John Fraser): Madame Sara. The lovely Beatrice will inherit two million pounds from her late uncle, if she survives her half brother Henry and her sister Edith. The lady of the title is the "mysterious and beautiful" owner of "the most magical place in London," a beauty salon in fact. Multi-talented, Sara "sings divinely," she's evergreen, eternally young, an enigmatic match for any true detective. "I have no fear of age," she smiles. Stylish, at times beguiling, the drama kicks in with a death, poisoning. Finally Dixon shows his detective skills as he reasons out the ingenious crime with his butler Finch, in a wonderfully entertaining way. "I had thought of something like it, but not this"
8 Jonathan Pryde (Ronald Hines): The Case of the Dixon Torpedo. Who in Britain is printing forged Russian banknotes? It's the same man who is spying on inventor Dixon (Derek Francis). Plans for his secret torpedo are stolen, "this is serious." Chief suspect is junior employee Roberts (James Bolam), but you can easily work out Roberts' sister Maggie must have been compromising Dixon. Pryde works it out later, then persuades Roberts to help trap the Russian spy. A few too many characters to make a rounded satisfying drama
9 Lady Molly (Elvi Hale): The Woman in the Big Hat. That Lady Molly is so skilful a detective, they will soon have to "close up Scotland Yard for good!" Inspector Saunders (Peter Bowles) dabbles into the poisoning of a man in a superior restaurant, but of course it's Lady Molly who solves the case with her assistant Mary, played by Ann Beach who steals the show, eclipsed only briefly by Una Stubbs as a beguiling shoplifter
10 Martin Hewitt (Peter Barkworth): The Affair of the Tortoise. A French servant's tortoise is killed in the house where Miss Hester Chapman resides. The killer is Rameau, who looks and dresses like a madman. He is very well off, with lots of expensive jewellery, but he is found murdered by Milly the maid. When police arrive, the body has gone! Inspector Nettings "couldn't find a monkey in Oxford Street," so Hester asks Mr Hewitt to investigate. A voodoo doll provides a clue to political intrigue as the story loses itself, "you're supposed to be dead." So to the enigmatic conclusion, "I don't know"
11 Romney Prince (Donald Sinden): The Assyrian Rejuvenator. On the track of Jacobs a con man selling fake medicines, Romney meets a doddery colonel who has wasted a fortune on the stuff. He's enamoured of Collins' Music Hall starlet Suzie Shepherd, who also takes Romney's eye. Posing as a Major Parkins, Romney goes to the swindler's office, "we'll have the law on you." Scared, Jacobs runs off, all very straightforward. However Romney now takes over the running of the business, assisted by Jacob's scretary Doris. While he does entrap the crook, and leaves behind a broken heart, he also lines his own pocket very nicely thank you
12 Bernard Sutton (Robert Lang): The Ripening Rubies. Sutton is a West End jeweller who is offered a priceless necklace by a tramp. It had been made by Sutton himself, for Lady Maud Faber. He returns her property and is asked to guard the jewellery while she holds her sumptuous ball. Despite the attention also of the incompetent Inspector Illingworth (Windsor Davies), several other neckaces are stolen. "I thought you were a fool Mr Sutton," the thief teases him and orders he is pushed downstairs to his death
13 Martin Hewitt (Peter Barkworth): The Case of Laker, Absconded. Also with Ronald Hines as Jonathan Pryde. Bank runner Mr CW Laker "has vanished into thin air" along with 15,000 of his employer's cash. "Charles didn't do it," protests his fiancee Miss Shaw. Though police seek his arrest, Hewitt believes her and traces the abducted Laker to a cellar. It's a run of the mill tale

2.1 Polly Burton (Judy Geeson): The Mysterious Death on the Underground Railway. "The loveliest corpse Holborn has ever seen," is found on the train at Farringdon Street. Aspiring crime writer Polly investigates the mysterious Frank Errington, with a little help from nice Sgt Frobisher (Richard Beckinsale) and her uncle Sir Arthur who turns out to be Errington's lawyer. This is more two long court scenes, and Sir Arthur appears to have "backed a loser." But he demolishes an eyewitness, and Polly risks all to come face to face with the killer
2.2 Inspector Leo Lipinzki (Barry Keegan): The 500 Carats. The unconvincing opening sets the story off on the wrong footing, though the characters gradually grow on you as you get into the plot, Aideen O'Kelly the most absorbing. The de Beers diamond is stolen from the secure office safe, we might suspect the potential buyer Cornelius, who's played by Alan Tilvern who always plays baddies doesn't he? But the guilty man is Marsden (Martin Jarvis). "I know you did it," Lipinzki tells him, but he can't prove it. But Marsden falls out with his sidekick over the proceeds and the love of pub landlady Bridie Sullivan
2.4 JT Laxworthy (Bernard Hepton): The Secret of the Magnifique. The mysterious Laxworthy greets first Mr Wing from outside Parkworth Prison, then Mr Anderson off the Dartmoor train. He makes the pair an exceptional offer, help rob select hotel guests in Paris,. However Laxworthy has an ulterior motive, more altruistic. "I'm a little confused," admits Anderson, and this is so intriguing it becomes a little too clever for itself. "I don't understand," though the plot does become clearer, all to do with a revolutionary new torpedo
2.5 "France's greatest detective" Valmont (Charles Gray): The Absent Minded Coterie. Insp Hale needs Valmont to get proof against Ralph Summertrees, a skilled forger of five shilling coins. Ralph's remarkable butler Podgers is a police plant, but the promising case turns into a bland stagey anti climax
2.6 Lt Holst (John Thaw): The Sensible Action of Lieutenant Holst. The tale of an ordinary conscientious policeman in the "quiet" city of Copenhagen. His task today is to protect a frightened Russian countess from being murdered by her brother-in-law. Holst also listens to the count's side of the story of his "unbalanced" sister who is squandering the family fortune. An interesting moral dilemma for Holst that boils down to a background of Russian revolutionary sympathies, "perhaps now you'll believe me." Resisting diplomatic pressure from all sides, Holst insists on adherence to Danish law, but overruled, tragedy follows. Compelling and different
2.7 Professor Van Dusen (Douglas Wilmer): The Superfluous Finger. An intriguing story with a former Sherlock Holmes in the title role as well as Charles Morgan (late of Sergeant Cork) as Det Sgt Mallory. A surgeon (Laurence Payne) refuses to amputate a lady's finger, since it is perfectly healthy, but then she deliberately mutilates herself and he has to operate. The trail leads to the fortune of the woman's uncle, the eccentric Sir Hector Drummond (William Mervyn)
2.8 Dagobert Trosler (Ronald Lewis): The Anonymous Letters. "Good God sir, you've hit a Habsburg!" With lines like this, no further comment is really needed. The sets are magnificent, but not compensation for the acting, which lacks sparkle. Some needless nudity lowers the whole tone still further. In Viennese high society, Countess Nadja (Nicola Pagett) is being blackmailed. "Daredevil bachelor" Trosler identifies the likely culprits- and as Francis de Wolff is in the cast, everyone including Trosler knows it must be him since he is always a baddie. However it is not quite so straightforward, though still pretty obvious
2.9 Dr John Thorndyke (Barrie Ingham): The Moabite Cipher. Anarchists are out to blow up a Russian duke who is visiting London. A mysterious code is key to the drama, the mysterious Mr Barton however leads Thorndyke with his faithful friend Dr Jervis (Peter Sallis) on a wild goose chase, or rather train chase. Lighthearted touches turn far too heavy handed when a professor (Derek Smith) joins the cast to translate "the bladerdash." Thorndyke's alternative solution seems to be "a joke," according to the Yard inspector, but all is revealed
2.10 William Drew (Derek Jacobi): The Secret of The Foxhunter. "A beastly underhand business," actually it is also lacking in excitement and tension, despite high production values. Denise Coffee as Drew's contact is the only bright spark. Drew investigates a Prussian spy staying in a country house, where dwell also Davidoff from Russia, and the enigmatic Beatrice, none however offer the slightest competition as rivals of Holmes
2.11 Mr Horrocks (Ronald Fraser: The Looting of the Specie Room. In 1910 the RMS Oceanic is out to beat the Atlantic crossing record. In cabin A15 someone is after the valuable cargo of gold bullion on board. Horrocks the purser is suspect number one when the gold is spirited away. Novel but bland
2.12 Hagar (Sara Kestelman): The Mystery of the Amber Beads. Gypsy Hagar Stanley runs her late Uncle Jacob's pawnshop and buys some beads for 5 from a "funny" customer Rose. Dt Sgt Gruber (Joss Ackland) informs her that the beads are stolen, the owner murdered, Sarah the maid chief suspect. But Hagar hides this deaf mure, fighting against Gruber's dim intelligence to save her from the gallows. A "dodge" works the oracle
2.13 Charles Dallas (Robin Ellis): The Missing QCs. I liked this final story from the series. Dallas is a junior QC to Sir Revell (John Barron at his CJ best), in love with Millie who insists he obtain her father's permission to marry in the middle of a court case, and yes Sir Revell is her dad! The trial of Thomas, charged with murder has its own charm, with Sir Revell clashing with the prosecution led by Ladbroke (Jack May). Poor Inspector Mayhew (Gordon Gostelow) is baffled when both QC's disappear "into thin air." The mystery deepens further when Millie dashes off to a lunatic asylum run by the eccentric Professor Dyne (John Phillips). The plot turns now to more Hammer horror with a touch thrown in of Carry On Screaming
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The Squirrels
After a lost pilot had been made in 1974, ATV were not quick to spot the potential of this series with Bernard Hepton, Ken Jones and Patsy Rowlands. Some of the plots and even storylines and characters were later reused in
Fiddlers Three.

1.2 Men Without Women (July 1975) - the weekend conference, Rex has to go without his wife. There's a party in Rex's room!
1.3 Man Most Likely to -"Sponge" Rex meets old school bully Reggie Parsons.
2.1 Ashes to Ashes (July 1976)- Rex isn't Bob Cratchit, but he must have a day off for another funeral, or is it the Test Match? JF thinks it's Rex's coffin in the lounge
2.2 Fluffy-Bun - Rex must cover up for Harry who's had a night at the Paradise Rooms. He goes there to meet a secret admirer, many eyes watching, all in dark glasses
2.3 Burke in Clover - after the office party, Burke is in a position to grab a few blackmail perks and even plans to get married
2.4 The New Broom - Rex is in temporary charge when the new MD inspects the office, though somehow the new cleaner (Lee Montague) is confused for the boss
2.5 On the Carpet - 20,000 is missing, JF's old carpet is in Rex's house, in this Kenneth Cope script that doesn't pass muster
2.6 The Renaissance - "lovely looking" Heather beguiles JF, but then he finds out who she is
2.7 The X Factor - JF's payslip is in Carol's envelope, it's "a war of nerves" finding out who knows what about who's pay (no PR)
2.8 The Weaker Sex - "Interfering busybody" Miss Smedley is doing a study of the office efficiency, but she also brings women's lib to Rex and Harry's wives
3.1 The Snatch (Nov 1976) - the adventures of Rex Mason, with a bag containing 5,000 strapped to his wrist
3.2 Leapfrog - "35 years up the spout, stabbed in the back by an amateur Brutus," thus JF who must not let management know of his bad back
3.3 The Cruise - David Craig is here to "brainwash" staff into the merits of Europe, with the offer of a cruise, or is it a "last journey"?
3.4 The Bonus Scheme - "Your big chance, Rex," he must devise a cost cutting scheme- so who's for the chop? It points to ....
3.5 The Long Hot Summer - the heat sets off Harry's practical joking. Permissiveness rears its ugly head in the staff garden, and revenge on Harry
3.6 The Argument -"It's him or me," Harry/Rex. They have fallen out, too much for JF, who retires home
3.7 What a Way to Go - To get the vacant job in Jamaica, JF needs to prove to the interviewers he has a reliable wife- Rex's will do
3.8 Shoulder to Shoulder - Rex needs a pay rise to pay Sweeney (Alun Armstrong), "the one with the tattoos." JF refuses, so a strike, who will crack first?
3.9 The Game's the Thing - Rex wants to join the golf club, but JF is a notorious blackballer
3.10 The Cover Up (no PR)- none too funny. Northwood Black is on the prowl, Harry thinks he uncovers his swindle
3.11 The Break In - The Chairman's landed! His inventory may show up all those little things that Rex and the others have borrowed
3.12 Men of Straw (final story) - the new office coffee machine, Rex is chosen to head the opposition
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On We Go (BBC, 1973, on 16mm films)
Dramatised stories, each 15 minutes long, designed to teach the English language. Well scripted, with simple well constructed story lines offering some humour, as long as you re-mem-ber that each ac-tor has to en-un-ci-ate the words clear-ly. (One of several BBC English language series (see also
English by Television.)
Perhaps the series is most of interest, if a little sadly, for the part taken by star Ronald Howard, near the end of his career, who played Mr Yates. He appears in most of the first fifteen stories. The cast also included: Patricia Lawrence as Mrs Yates, Christopher Strauli as Mark, Mark Griffith as Ted, Madeline Cannon as Ann, and Brenda Cavendish as Kate. Scripts except where noted were by John Tully. Director: Gilchrist Calder, then for later stories Kevin Sheldon.
Picture: from #27.

Thirty stories were made:
9 Who Is In the Bathroom? - Mr Yates must be going deaf. "What's the matter? Someone's in the bathroom." There's quite a discussion, and some peering through the keyhole until Mrs Yates resolves the puzzle, "I remember now"
10 A Surprise for Mrs Yates - The fridge is over full, the boys eat so much, so Mr Yates places a huge order for frozen food. Where's it all going to go? "That's a lot of food." Mrs Yates hurries off to complain, not realising a freezer has been ordered, but hasn't yet arrived. When it does, it is placed in the shed, the boys getting hungrier all the while. But they're in for a disappointment, as the frozen chicken has to be thawed before cooking, and they'll have to wait eight hours... (With James Appleby as Vanman. No Brenda Cavendish).
11 Ted's Girl Friend - Ted has met Sheila at this judo club, "she's wonderful." Or is it his money she finds attractive? Her potentially expensive tastes prove Ted's downfall, in a story the cast clearly have some fun with. (Sheila's unusually large role is taken by Heather Wright. No Patricia Lawrence despite being listed in the credits)
12 We Like You - The girls are discussing someone who is "very good looking," the boys overhearing can't agree to which of them they are referring. When Mr Yates gives the girls theatre tickets the remark is, "he's a marvellous man. He likes to give us a surprise." Again the boys overhear, and smarten themselves up, but over a meal their presents and efforts to impress fall flat. Worse, they learn of their error. (No Patricia Lawrence)
13 The Necklace - Kate's friend (Phoebe Shaw) lends her a necklace to wear at a dance. But it gets left on the kitchen table and the boys accidently drop it in the bin. Kate has to go to the dance without it, but next day Mrs Yates like a detective retrieves the lost article
14 Share With Me - Tom (Eric Carte), Mark's friend at art school, takes his words of wisdom about sharing literally, and comes to stay. But he's awfully noisy, "I couldn't sleep." So Ted and Mark do some 'sharing' of their own, borrowing Tom's clothes
15 One Cold Day - Oh dear, it's cold and the boiler's gone wrong, just when Kate's mother (Clare Austin) is coming from America. "She hates the cold." So a fire is lit and when Kate's mum arrives she finds Kate's face all blackened with soot. Luckily, some amateur repairs to the boiler get it going
16 Mark is Ill - Mark's been at a dance until 2am and though it's his turn to do the cleaning jobs, he pretends he has a pain in his arm, and goes back to bed. But when Ann examines his arm, Mark has some difficulty remembering which is the arm that is suffering. The doctor (Norman Bird) diagnoses "nothing wrong," so Ann adminsters some foul tasting medicine and Kate soaks Mark with water, so he might as well do the cleaning, and gets the last laugh chasing them with the hoover.
22 Albert- Kate is raving over a romantic novel so the boys write her an admiring letter, as in the story. It's from someone named Albert, who after flowers, even telephones, so Kate dates him. Ted dons a beard and sunglasses but Kate pulls them off to expose the tricksters. Still, it ends in smiles, "I like Albert" (No PL)
23 Mrs Yates' Nephew - Mrs Yates' nephew is coming to stay but when a vacuum salesman calls, he's mistaken for the newcomer. Ernie (Richard Jones Barry) unaccountably wants to demonstrate his cleaner and after a dusty failure, Mrs Yates returns with Charlie (an uncredited actor), her actual nephew
24 Come To The Dance - With two extra tickets for the dance, Mark gives one each anonymously to Kate and Ann. They both think that he's inviting them, buying new dresses for the occasion, leading to embarrassment for poor Mark
25 Lessons - This script is an early effort from George Layton and Jonathan Lynn. Ted can't paint, Mark can but he refuses to teach him, he's too lazy. The girls tease |Mark that he's not fit, he can't even lift a cupboard. But Ted can, when it's secretly emptied. That convinces Mark to agree to teach Ted to paint if Ted will take him running. Neither of these pupils are much good, Mark returns exhausted after his run on the common. Ted's picture is awful too, but the girls persuade Mrs Yates to admire it, to Mark's utter amazement
26 The Burglars - Beware! Burglars on the prowl. At night there are noises and plenty of fun as Ted and Mark come in late. Then thinking Mark is pretending to be a thief, Ted accidentally catches the real burglar (Terry Baker)
27 Fancy Dress - The most visual of the stories, Kate has bought a fairy costume for a fancy dress party, but "it doesn't look quite right."A sort through of Mrs Yates' old suitcase provides each housemate with a choice of costumes, though in the end they all choose to go as tramps. So another try, Ted isn't quite right as Julius Caeser, and opts for a painter's outfit. And even Mrs Yates gets the chance to go, wearing the discarded fairy costume!
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ANOTHER SIX ENGLISH TOWNS
Three hugely enjoyable series by Alec Clifton-Taylor (1907-1985) on English towns were broadcast from 1978 to 1984.
These half hour films are idiosyncratic, self-opinionated yet very intimate and appealing. These I kept are from 1984.

3.2 WHITBY - Woolworths gets the Taylor condemnation but a 1980 supermarket surprisingly gets the thumbs up. After a tour of the church he finds some gems in the town: "a truly ghastly example of what is known as ribbon pointing." His interrogatory style is exemplified in - "did you ever see such a brutal way of treating stone?"

3.3 BURY ST EDMUNDS - "Georgian elegance." The council offices on Angel Hill are praised faintly: "the building is uninspired but at least well behaved." He looks mystified for a moment by a plaque - "one of a number in Bury which are quite tantalisingly uninformative. Louis Phillipe. Yes, but what did he DO here? Have a cup of coffee?" There are often hobby horses, such as this comment on Suffolk Pink - "the further it gets away from strawberry ice cream the better."

3.4 DEVIZES (available on line) - where the castle is a "film set". We get a long joke about pebbledash, which he declares is "like porridge." One Georgian house gets the Taylor sarcasm: "but what has our own century contributed to this house? A new roof. Just look at it! These harsh machine-made tiles on a building of this quality are shocking. How any responsible person came to authorise them is a mystery." Obviously in jocular mood, he asks "what would Devizes be without the Bear Hotel? . . And the answer is- wait for it - unbearable!"

3.5 SANDWICH - he particularly admires its roofscape. The climax is the visit to a Lutyens' masterpiece. Even though the guide to Kent dismisses the place, Alec finds plenty to love in it. He returns to his dislike of painted walls and shows us some colours: "strawberry ice cream . . . . vanilla . . . . . weak cafe au lait . . . . French mustard . . . . battleship grey . . . . the aesthetic propriety of whitewashing brickwork is controversial. In general," he concludes, "the better the bricks the less the justification for it."

3.6 DURHAM - Alec leads us on a reverential tour of the cathedral - "the finest Romanesque building (pause) . . . in the world." His final appearance is at the station where he boards an Inter City 125, first class of course.
Sadly, his death the following year, robbed us of any more such programmes
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Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson (1979)
A quarter of a century after he had first produced a tv series about Conan Doyle's celebrated detective, Sheldon Reynolds produced another series of twenty four 25 minute stories in Poland, this time starring Geoffrey Whitehead with Donald Pickering as Doctor Watson, and Patrick Newell as Inspector Lestrade who was really only a comic foil to the duo. Some of the stories were lightly rewritten from the earlier series.

1. A Motive for Murder
2. The Case of the Speckled Band
3. Murder on a Midsummer's Eve
4. Four Minus Four Is One
5. The Case of the Perfect Crime (identical storyline to #36 in the 1954 series)
6. The Case of Harry Rigby
7. The Case of the Blind Man's Bluff
8. A Case of High Security
9. The Case of Harry Crocker (plot very similar to #9 in the 1954 series)
10. The Case of the Deadly Prophecy (plot identical to #22 in the 1954 series)
11. The Case of the Baker Street Nursemaids (plot same as #26 in the 1954 series)
12. The Case of the Purloined Letter
13. The Case of the Travelling Killer
14. The Case of the Sitting Target
15. The Case of the Final Curtain (same storyline as #32 in the 1954 series)
17. The Case of the Body in the Case
18. The Case of the Deadly Tower
20. The Case of the Luckless Gambler
21. The Case of the Shrunken Heads
22. The Case of Magruder's Millions
23. The Case of the Other Ghost
24. The Case of the Close-Knit Family
To Sheldon Reynolds' 1954 series starring Ronald Howard
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1 A Motive for Murder
Script by Sheldon Reynolds. Director: Sheldon Reynolds.
Dr Watson describes his first encounter with Sherlock Holmes in the winter of 1881. At 221B Baker Street, Mrs Hudson tips him off about the man, "bit strange... one of the most extraordinary men of the times." Certainly this great detective deduces a lot about DrW before they even start talking.
"There's been a murder," that's a message SH receives from Anthony Denham (Norman Bird), solicitor to George Markham, the dead man. At the scene of the crime, they encounter a satisfied Inspector Lestrade who apparently has solved the case, at least to his own satisfaction, "I know who did it."
The dead man, wealthy George Markham had made his fortune in the US gold rush. His niece Andrea will inherit his fortune, so she's the one about to be arrested.
But SH has worked out that someone will return to the place, and after a patient wait he's proved right. SH and DrW watch as Andrea's half brother Peter (Julian Fellowes) opens the safe, places a gun in an urn and burns the will.
"I'm going to arrest him," declares the impetuous Inspector L. But SH shows him otherwise. And though Andrea is now clearly innocent, SH persuades her to confess, SH carefully observing as she does so.
That draws the real killer into the open with a desperate attempt to kill her in her bedroom. However SH is on hand and L can finally arrest the correct killer.
A Lestrade gaffe. He remarks to DrW, "you must be put off by the sight of a corpse."
"Dr W (stiffly), "I'm a doctor"

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The Case of the Speckled Band

A well made condensed version of the Conan Doyle story, only the music a little obtrusive, tension well maintained though you wish the budget might have stretched to getting Christopher Lee to play the evil Count. No Inspector Lestrade in this tale.

A snake slinks into the bedroom of a young sleeping beauty. She screams. Downstairs, alone in the dark, an elderly man listens impassively.
Mrs Langley (Melissa Stribling) is worried about a letter she has received from her niece Helen, whose twin sister Julia had recently died, "frightened to death."
SH and DrW are engaged and they take the boat train and reach an imposing country house, the property of Helen (Victoria Tennant), who is cared for by her stepfather, The Count. He is a wealthy art collector, though both visitors think he has more fakes than Rembrandts, DrW being sure one Meissen piece is not genuine.
Helen is suffering from lack of sleep, diagnoses the doctor. She relates how Julia couldn't sleep, being kept awake by a whistling sound, her dying words had been incoherent, "something about a speckled band."
Lucifer is the Count's savage dog, you wouldn't want to meet it on a dark night.This night he is on the prowl, Helen "sleeping like a baby" in her room which is locked. SH wisely awakes her and gets her to move to another bed, so when the snake slithers in, it finds nothing. A whistling sound, and SH informs the baffled DrW the case is solved. All the clues are there SH says, though the doctor can't piece them together.
The pair now occupy Helen's room, and await the Count's next move. SH orders his partner, "watch the bell rope." Enter one snake. Exit same snake injured, bruised by SH's attack on it.
"It's more dangerous now," and a scream confirms this. The Count is no more.
Back at 221B, Mrs Hudson brings in a large box, a gift from Helen. Inside is the Meissen figure

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Murder on a Midsummer's Eve
Lord Warminster is involved in "a terrible argument" with his host Albert Neale, a lawyer. The latter dies, the former disappears.
Lady Warminster (Colette Gleeson) is convinced her husband is innocent of the crime for which Inspector Lestrade is waiting to arrest him. "He's guilty all right, there's no doubt about that," announces the confident L. In a comedy interlude, Mrs Mulligan the maid, tells SH, who has agreed to investigate, that there had been this loud argument. It was Mrs Neale who had discovered the corpse, and she hadn't phoned the police straight away. Mrs Neale (Sue Lloyd) herself can't guess any motive for the murder.
Dr W expounds his own theory to SH, though SH knocks it flat. Nevertheless, a liaison between Lord Warminster and Mrs Neale supplies a motive.
SH in his turn, surmises that a letter from Lord Warminster's bankers holds the clue to the mystery. He's right, naturally!
L is reluctantly persuaded to exhume Neale's corpse, to L's great embarrasmment it seems this is not Neale at all, but Lord Warminster. We see Neale (Robin Parkinson) who is hiding in his home, shielded by his wife. He'd been swindling his employer Lord Warminster, who had just found the truth out.
Albert, for not entirely clear motives, kidnaps Lady Warminster, in order to obtain enough cash to flee the country. But the cab he takes just happens to be driven by SH and Neale is promptly arrested.
Lady Warminster thanks her rescuer, and L has egg on his face. SH explains both to him and Dr W how their theories had fallen down, though he doesn't elucidate his own methods in this very slight tale

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Four Minus Four is One
Script: Ian Bishop. Director: Sheldon Reynolds.
In a London pea souper, a bobby finds a man hanging from a lamp post, shot by an arrow. Scotland Yard is of course baffled, which is why Paul Devon approaches SH. He's one of a team four professors who had been excavating in Egypt. He feels there must be a curse on them, for Professor Martin had died trying to open the sarcophagus, now there's this second death. He's worried for the safety of Professor Taunton whose ship has just docked at Liverpool, and at this moment is travelling down to London to stay with his niece.
Devon leaves it to SH, but the great detective is unable to prevent Devon's murder, as he departs in a hansom cab. Shot with a bow and arrow.
Inspector Lestrade is baffled, as ever. But even SH claims to be confused. But for once DrW has solved the case, find Professor Taunton, "he's the murderer," for, "there's noone else." Of course SH disagrees, the mathematics is all in favour of DrW, but SH is of course infallible, hence the title of this story.
They call on Miss Taunton, and as they wait for the front door to be opened, someone shoots an arrow at them, but misses. They enter and SH gallantly opens the unopened sarcophagus. He knows what he'll find inside... Taunton's corpse.
SH gets L to place a police guard on the house.A baffled L agrees, watching with DrW as the funeral men collect the sarcophagus. "What are we supposed to do now?"
They follow the hearse which transports the coffin to Turner's Funeral Parlour. "What are we supposed to do now?"
Here Miss Turner is attacked, but leaping out the coffin is SH. His absence is thus explained. He prevents her murder.
Back in Baker Street SH is annoyingly silent. The very curious and unsatisfied DrW, receiving no encouragement, stalks out of the room. But we have seen that the murderer is----
Get back to the
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The Case of The Perfect Crime
The plot is identical to the 1954 Holmes story, The Case of The Neurotic Detective. It's a fun story, not surprising it was used again.
Directed by Roy Stevens.

1886. State secrets are being stolen by London's greatest ever criminal, and inevitably Inspector Lestrade ("not that I really need any help") is completely baffled. Even worse, SH refuses to offer his usual insights, claiming he is too busy. The latest robbery is of the royal ceremonial jewels from the National Museum.
DrW is puzzled and indeed worried, for has he spotted the missing jewels in his friend's tobacco tin? He decides he had better follow the "erratic" detective, but inevitably SH spots him and he has to call it off. But still determined, he diguises himself as a cabby, but SH sees through him again, "there's a corner of your beard that's motheaten!"
But the cabby does pick up a passenger who is also following SH, destination 816 Bleak Street. Overheard is a conversation between SH, a man and two women, with Holmes uttering the baffling, "we are the most successful thieves England has ever seen."
Fearing for his friend's sanity, DrW consults Professor Alfred Fishblade (Robert Goody), but he seems more than a little odd himself. In a role reversal, SH starts to analyse the professor.
That scheme having failed, DrW confides his fears in L. "I can't believe," cries the inspector. The pair try to employ SH's deductive methods to work out what SH is up to.
At a minister's home there's a magnificent ball, an unusally spacious scene for this series, which the great detective attends. SH and L conceal themselves in the room waiting for SH to crack the safe, and sure enough the once great detective creeps in. However he doesn't open the safe, for he has spotted DrW's feet catelessly concealed behind the long curtains. Then the Commissioner of Scotland Yard enters to congratulate SH, much to L and DrW's amazement. SH had been on an official assignment to test and expose the weaknesses in national security.
"Why didn't you tell me?" complains poor DrW. Crestfallen L can only gulp.
Over a slightly frosty meal next day, SH is wondering whether DrW had ever thought he were King of England

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The Case of Harry Rigby

A policeman is smoking on duty when he espies a man lying on the pavement, knifed in the back, in his hand a letter for Sherlock.
"The Case That Got Away" is how the newspapers describe it. "A case Sherlock Holmes could solve but not prevent." A jovial Lestrade is worried once more. He knows who the killer is. His men had been watching where Harry Rigby, an escaped bank robber, had been hiding. He had three accomplices in this robbery, and the dead man is Rogers, one of his gang. But Rigby has the perfect alibi for this crime, for police know he never left the house where he was.
A note from another of Rigby's accomplices to SH is followed by his appearance at 221B, dead on arrival.
Mrs Sarah Bailey (Cheryl Kennedy) is the wife of the only surviving member of the trio of accomplices. She works at The Crown in Allen Street but refuses SH's offer of help. Her husband Charlie is in hiding, and she won't say where.
Yet another note, this one from Charlie himself, asking to meet SH at midnight. At the appointed hour the rendezvous is kept, only Charlie has a knife in his back. Mrs Bailey is not amused, she thought "the famous Sherlock Holmes" could have protected him. L also is on the sharp end of her tongue, "I'm going to kill Rigby," she cries.
Yet Rigby has this watertight alibi again. SH puzzles it out. He asks L for a ruler. Mystified, L obliges. Then SH announces the "obvious" solution, that Rigby never left his rooms. The ruler is used to prove Rigby is not the murderer, for the angle of incision of the knife wounds indicates a shorter person.
Returning to the pub, SH informs Sarah Bailey that the mystery is solved. Rigby has been set free. But when she leaves her pub, she is confronted by Rigby. "I did it for us," she cries, they can share the bank loot. But the man to whom she utters these words ain't Harry Rigby, but DrW in disguise. She is condemned out of her own mouth.
In the final scene we see the inspector who is glowing with pride having been praised by his superior for solving the case. However he has to ask DrW what on earth is meant by the angle of the knife wound

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Blind Man's Bluff
A sailor is murdered in Limehouse, this follows on from another sailor killed in Liverpool. Suggestions of another Jack the Ripper? No, not this time, we can recognise in his dark glasses the actor John Carson who plays the murderous Vickers.
Inspector L has dropped in for tea. It's DrW he wants. Can he identify this object? It's a chicken leg with a ribbon tied round it. Found with both dead sailors. The two agree but look baffled. The all knowing SH chips in, to explain it's a death warning in Trinidad.
Dr Jonas of the Kensington Marine Hospital receives such a leg. He claims he has no connection with the sailors and ridicules the suggestion, which L has annexed as his own, that the solution be found in Trinidad. SH pointedly tells Jonas that he's a fool to lie. Afterwards, the doctor receives a blind visitor who reminds him of his spell as a ship's doctor on the Gloria North.
Without asking, SH searches the hospital records for data on Jonas, "Holmes that's unethical." The evidence that he had served on the Gloria North is discovered. But they cannot confront Jonas as they find him dead. "One more to go," announces SH. The captain is next on the killer's list. His name is Captain Pitt.
A blind man opens Pitt's door when SH comes calling. Of course it's Vickers. SH is admitted. Vickers claims to be a friend of the captain, staying with him while he is in London. Helpfully, SH explains the reason for his visit. "You're not blind," claims the perceptive detective. Question: "where did you hide the body?" Vickers explains his motive, a good one. The ship smuggled slaves from Trinidad to England, amongst them Vicker's wife and child, ditched overboard to their deaths when officials were about to find out the truth. Vickers points his sword at SH.
Enter Inspector L to make his arrest, branding an improbable gun.
Back in Baker Street, L brings a present he had found on his desk."What does it mean?" Maybe another death threat, though we can but suspect it's a joke by the great detective
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A Case of High Security
Inside a top secret government building, a young employee called Carter has shut himself in a booby trapped room, promising to blow himself and the building up in an hour's time. Inspector Lestrade is, as ever, at a loss as to how to proceed. There's only one man he can turn to, SH.
He rushes to Baker Street, but the great man is out for a walk, "just when I really need him." When SH does return, he frustrates poor L in his dilatoriness in reaching the scene of the crime. Even when he gets there he is "apparently unconcerned," which as Dr W notes, is the keynote to his great ability.
SH admires the outside of the building even as L rushes to the room. Head of the department Sir Charles (Derek Bond) thanks SH for coming, and supplies details of Carter's background.
Nothing as unsubtle as breaking the door down will work, but SH is more interested in why Carter is apparently not scared, unlike L for example, of any explosion. Sir Charles supplies a list of the contents of the room, and SH notes there is no ink or paper there, yet Carter has passed under the door two notes to police.
Confident there is no danger, SH bravely enters. He finds Carter dead. "That's impossible," declares the baffled L.
While the corpse is removed, SH explains to Sir Charles and his assistant (Julian Fellowes) what it all means, and after a neat trick exposes a dangerous spy.
Congratulations back in 221B. SH congratulates a surprised L on his masterful acting, certainly L is more Lestradish than ever in this one

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The Case of Harry Crocker
Here is The Case of the Disappearing Escape Artist, and Inspector Lestrade thought he had arrested him!

Harry Crocker (John Judd) is accused of the murder of a dancer, Miss King, but he claims he is innocent. He appeals to SH.
Inspector L comes a-searching for him at 221B. Crocker hides in the cupboard. Triumphantly L opens to make his arrest, but the cupboard is bare. L departs frustrated.
SH very much admires the way Crocker seems to be able to disappear at will and promises to investigate.
A second arrest, and a second escape. Willis the stage doorkeeper (Robert Gillespie) explains to SH that he'd seen Miss King and Crocker leave the theatre together on the fateful night. Miss Za-Za (Stacey Dorning) who'd discovered the corpse, mentions a locket Miss King wore, that wasn't on her body. Harry has it. He must be guilty.
At the morgue, SH explains his deduction to DrW that the attacker was someone Miss King knew very well.
A trunk in the theatre is Harry's latest hiding place. A frustrated L this time places handcuffs on him. But SH points out his innocence via the great trunk trick. SH denounces the murderer and proves his case; "you overlooked something," he informs the guilty party.
To conclude SH performs a disappearance worthy of the great Harry Crocker. The pair swap professional secrets. Then back at 221B, SH materialises via his cupboard

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The Case of the Deadly Prophecy (no Lestrade)
This plot and story are all but identical to #22 in the 1954 series.

4am in a boys' school dormitory in Belgium. A boy seems to be sleepwalking. Antoine leaves the building, walking down the street, followed by the matron Mlle Marie Grande and the headmaster Henri Carolan. The lad enters a church, then returns back to school. But on the floor of the church are chalked the words Death for Carolan. This is not his first prediction of a death.
SH is brought in on the case when Mlle Grande asks him to come, after Carolan's death, even though it has been from natural causes. The new headmaster welcomes him. Holmes talks to Dr Dimanche who is positive Carolan had not been murdered, he had died of heart failure. The same was true of the other deaths, nothing suspicious.
Mme Soule is an old woman who sells potions, she'd offered them to the victims who had died. If only, she tells SH, they'd accepted they might not have died.
DrW is despatched to Paris to investigate the previous career of Dr Dimanche. SH stays at the school, keeping watch on Antoine, who again commences a nocturnal walk.
"Not tonight," SH stops him. Instead SH walks to the church, where he finds Mme Soule, who had been expecting the boy. A chalked message is already there, Death for Sherlock Holmes. She offers her a charm, for which he hands over 1,000 francs. A gun is fired at him. Missed.
Just before midnight, SH convenes the suspects. The killer, SH announces "he'll name himself!" Listening to him are Marie, the new headmaster, Dr Dimanche and a count.
All the victims were murdered, SH announces. The motive? The count had been blackmailed, or else his name would have been chalked on the church steps. SH explains. Antoine had been hypnotised and will come here to point out the person who had hypnotised him. That forces the killer to reveal his identity.
Back at 221B DrW is enjoying his pipe, enjoying that is, until SH says this "excellent" tobacco had belonged to the murderer

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The Case of The Baker Street Nursemaids

The plot is identical to the 1954 Holmes series, the script lightly rewritten, but the names of most of the main characters, and even the jokes are the same.

A basket is delivered to 221B Baker Street, and after much speculation SH opens it to reveal a screaming baby. SH knows many things, but he has to seek medical advice here, asking DrW if it's a boy. Enter L, "what's that?" he asked in surprised tones, and after the rather obvious suggestion, "you look," to see if it's a boy, the trio take turns in holding the child. "Make it a cup of tea," suggests the great detective, but after this comedy, he uncovers a note from the child's mother that seems to explain all.
Tony is the son of Dr Henri Monteron who has recently disappeared. He had just invented a ship that sails underwater.
However with DrW holding the baby, SH and L have left him to his fate, to be knocked unconscious and the baby snatched. "They've got the child."
SH receives another message warning him to keep off. It is actually signed, by a Count Tennow. He is planning to leave the country as soon as he has obtained the plans of the new ship.
"They are not here," the Count informs SH and DrW when they call on him. However a crying baby rather gives away the fact that he is lying. But the count holds all the aces and sends SH away. But as they depart, DrW smartly knocks out the butler and returns to the count, knocking him out also. Now he and SH are free to search the mansion, and little of SH's deductive skills are needed to locate the prisoners, only a spot of fisticuffs. Cries from Tony lead to the right room and the captors are overcome and the doctor, his wife and child are freed. SH blows the old whistle and that brings L and his police to arrest the kidnappers. "Everyone safe."
Yet one shock remains, for it turns out baby Toni is a girl. "Good thing we didn't look!"
Returning to Baker Street, SH is worried for a moment to find another basket. But it only contains fruit, a thank offering

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The Case of the Purloined Letter
Director: Val Guest.

SH plays cat and mouse in this story that featured Richard Greene as Lord Brompton.
In his lordship's home, a safe is cracked and an important document is removed. In making his getaway, the thief has to shoot a servant. Missing is a letter of obvious use to a blackmailer, for it has revelations about Brompton's days as a "wild youth."
SH is present in the house and though the burglar had not been recognised, he is able to deduce that it is David Ballard (Tony Caunter).
With Inspector L and DrW watching Ballard's home, SH climbs the steps to his room. The thief refuses to return the property, so SH starts his cat and mouse game. "I wouldn't want to be in your shoes during the day," he warns Ballard, since the document is so important. Ballard scoffs, but when he goes out, he is immediately threatened by the most nasty looking villains you ever saw, though all are L's men in disguise. Hastily, the scared thief retreats to his room.
SH is calmly waiting there and after initially being met with a refusal, is handed the letter. Now it's SH who is in danger, the man for whom Ballard was working will want that bit of paper!
SH also persuades Ballard to sign a confession as to who was paying him for the job, and his name is Dr Sergius (Arnold Diamond). "I believe you were expecting me," he tells SH as he enters 221B. Hand it over, over DrW will be shot dead- there's a gun pointed right at him.
So Sergius has to be given the letter, as well as Ballard's confession,which Sergius is happy to burn in SH's presence. The criminal departs, happy. Not that SH looks too unhappy.
At an important conference Lord Brompton makes his address. Sergius is there, and slyly places the document on the table, a warning to Brompton not to make his speech. When his lordship does continue, Sergius dramatically waves the piece of paper. But lo and behold, it is only Ballard's confession, one moreover that implicates Sergius.
"Couldn't have done it better myself," declares L modestly. Later, SH explains to him and DrW how he had done it

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The Case of the Travelling Killer
Director: Val Guest
A revolver is loaded. The killer enters a pawnbroker's shop, "you shouldn't have gone to the police." A gunshot and the victim is dead.
An agitated SH interrupts his breakfast when he reads in The Times of this murder. SH has detected a link between this killing and ones in Paris, Amsterdam and New York. In all four crimes, the murdered person had not been robbed, even though valuables could haver easily been stolen.
DrW is baffled why SH leaves his food untouched, so as to go to the pawnbroker's. Here "nothing is missing." While DrW is assigned to question the surgeon who conducted the post mortem, SH follows a young lady who had been peering through the shop window. Through streets thick with autumn leaves she walks, to a large ramshackle greenhouse. She says she doesn't know who murdered the man, yet she happens to have been in each of the four cities where the crimes were committed. She departs, begging SH not to follow.
SH uses his deductive powers to prove that the pawnbroker had confessed to the police that he was part of a gang of international thieves, stealing uncut diamonds (why Inspector L couldn't have told him, I can't say). The killings had been a warning to other members of the gang, not apparently very successful warnings. SH has further worked out the identity of the killer, Jacob Jenkins, a clown and owner of an international circus.
At the circus SH learns that the girl who had talked to him, Theresa, is dead, an accident on the trapeze. SH is next on the madman's list. SH proves to him that Theresa must have been murdered, and Jacob readies his gun. Enter L, for one of those familiar chases round the theatre, this one slightly different in that SH and DrW stand inexplicably motionless on the stage watching the police pursuit. They spring to action however when gunshots are fired. Tripping down some steps, the clown dies.
However SH hasn't caught the gang leaders. The case, he says, has only just started (I'm not sure when it finished)
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The Sitting Target
Director: Aurelio Grugnola (the art director on this series).

Philip Rayburn and Michael Lambert were key witnesses six years ago in the trial that convicted Peter Channing (Tony Caunter). Now Rayburn has been gunned down outside his own home.
"I killed him," the evil Channing boasts to SH. "I'm going to kill Lambert too." Then it will be SH's turn, for the detective had been the one, of course, who had caused his arrest. "I'm going to enjoy breaking you." SH's response is to offer Channing a cup of tea.
"The man is a psychopath," observes DrW, though SH has his own devious scheme to avoid assassination. Inspector Lestrade is his unwitting dupe. SH plants Channing's notebook on a murder victim, Muldoon of 46 Begley Road. Confidently L arrests Channing, but since he can provide an alibi, L has to release him. Now a corpse appears in Channing's digs, and the man is rearrested. Released and fed up, he shoots SH as he paces his Baker Street rooms. Or rather he shoots at an outline of SH's figure, "you'll have to do better than that," SH teases him.
So the wily Channing devises his own cunning plan. A girl posing as Lambert's niece (Glynis Barber) is to lead the great detective into a trap. Priscilla spills a cock and bull story about her uncle. Naturally SH can see through her, and L agrees to follow Channing while SH plays the girl along. She leads him to an empty room, nothing there. Nobody there. Along a dark foggy street Channing has stalked them, and in a window he sees SH sitting, waiting. He shoots. That brings out L and his boys in blue to effect the arrest of Channing. His task had failed anyway, for SH yet lives and explains that in fact the criminal had been shooting at a mirror image of him, "extraordinary"

Notes: the shooting at a mirror element of this story is reminiscent of the shooting in the 1954 story, #23 The Christmas Pudding. Tony Caunter, who plays the villain with a fine sense of evil, had appeared earlier in the series, as a different criminal.
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The Case of The Final Curtain
The plot is identical to the 1954 Holmes story, The Case of The Impromptu Performance.
Directed by Val Guest.

A condemned man's last request before he is executed is to see SH. Thus the great detective meets Edward Brighton in his prison cell. Briefly, for he is to die in five hours, he relates how he had been convicted of killing his wife Phyllis. They had only been married six months, but on the fatal night they had had their first mild argument over her make-up, though others claimed this was much more violent.
He had gone for a long walk, during which he had suffered a mild heart attack. "When I came to, Phyllis was dead." He was accused of strangling her. One puzzling thing he does recall, is seeing some unidentified object before he had become ill.
SH pores over the police notes, while L stands smugly by, convinced the evidence is conclusive. Then SH is off, off to talk to Edward's tobacconist, Carstairs (veteran actor Clifford Mollison), of 25A Hanover Place, who used to sell Old Tawny to the condemned man.
It is now but two hours to the execution, and from the shop, SH goes to one of Carstairs' other customers, Langley Priam. However he is not at his lodgings, though the landlady (Patsy Smart) thinks he was expecting to come into money. SH finds some make-up, which takes him to a theatre where Priam is starring in a Shakespearean play. However Pettyfoot, the theatre manager, despite SH's protestations, insists that the show must go on, so the great man has to bide his time by searching Priam's dressing room. Here is discovered the vital clue.
11.30pm, the curtain falls, the execution is at midnight! Backstage, SH accuses Priam of conspiring with Phyllis to poison Edward. Though she had agreed to this originally, she had fallen in love with her husband, and Priam had killed her in revenge. Seeing the game is up, Priam draws a dagger, SH is stabbed, but as the dagger is a theatrical prop, there's no damage done. L makes his arrest and in an unnecessarily long coda, SH demonstrates how the dagger works, "it's harmless"

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The Body in the Case
Script: Tudor Gates. Director: Roy Ward Baker.

John Courtney calls for a trunk at Victoria Station that has been discovered to contain human remains. "You are under arrest, sir," pronounces Inspector Lestrade. The corpse is that of a kept woman, Josephine Potts.
The "young and very attractive" fiancee of John, Lady Helen Fairfax engages SH. It seems that Hugo Verner (George Mikell), John's employer, had sent him to collect the trunk. It's a straightforward case. Hugo had been in love with Helen.
Jenkins, a porter at Verner's art gallery, who had accompanied John to collect the trunk, has mysteriously been given a few days' leave. He's not at home, gone fishing at Henley. More correctly Jenkins is being fished out of the Thames there, dead.
Feeling guilty that he had inadvertently caused Jenkins' death, SH decides to trap Verner, letting him know that he is suspected. "You can prove nothing," Verner confidently asserts.
SH's charade begins with L questioning Verner. Did he know Josephine? No. Nevertheless he invites Verner to Josephine's funeral. L states his theory is that her angry husband has done her in. At the burial, SH whispers to Verner, "the murderer might be here," he might be bent on revenge for having been crossed. "I told him it was you," SH calmly informs Verner, who hastily runs away.
After a chase round the graveyard, "Murderer!" cries a bearded man, maybe Mr Potts. That prompts Verner seeking shelter in L's arms, and a hasty confession.
This is a very basic story, no deductive powers needed by SH, and which ends with the delivery of a sculpture that SH had ordered from Verner

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The Case of the Deadly Tower
Tarleton Manor, home of railway millionaire Lord Tarleton and his wife. His obsession to contact the other world ends in disaster, but he would seem to have had some foreknowledge, for he had written a letter to SH which is handed to the great detective by his lawyer Morton Hadlock (Geoffrey Bayldon). The letter is a request to investigate the circumstances of his death, "no matter how I die."
But his death certificate, signed by Dr Rinaldo, states he died of a heart attack. Lady Sylvia his wife (Catherine Schell) inherits half his estate, others receiving a 10% share are Arthur Smythe his close business associate, Dr Victor Rinaldo, Elizabeth, Tarleton's ward, his lawyer and the British Institute of Parapsychology.
At the reading of the will, SH surprises them all by anouncing that Lord Tartleton had been murdered by someone in the room.
Not that he has proof as yet. But in the Tower Room, where his lordship had died in his quest to contact the other world, SH awaits developments. Footsteps. DrW breaks down the door of the room to drag SH's body out, only to collapse himself. When they come to, they reason that there is something dangerous in the tower, not much deductive skill needed for that! Candles, exclaims SH, they had been treated with some substance.
The following evening, the recovered SH organises a seance in the tower room. He will reveal the murder's name and Inspector L is invited to come in order to make an arrest.
SH lights "the mystic candles" then begins his charade contacting Lord Tarleton. Three knocks. "Indicate your murderer," SH announces dramatically. Of course the killer knows they will die from the fumes so has to speak up. "I'll take that," L pronounces officiously.
Back in Baker Street SH lights some more candles, but are they the poisoned ones? L almost comes a cropper
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The Case of the Luckless Gambler
Director: Roy Ward Baker
George Wharton (Derren Nesbitt) fears for his life. His young son Christopher, who wants to be a barrister when he grows up, asks SH to investigate his father's disappearance. As Inspector L insists he is dead, naturally SH knows he's not, and though Christopher is no budding actor, we can get the drift, that the lad's father is missing, presumably to escape his creditors.
When questioned, L explains there must have been a violent struggle before George's abduction. A bullet had been found in his overcoat, from which L deduces that the man had been shot. Even though there's no body, he's dead, declares the Yard detective.
At a prize fight, SH chats with the loser of a bout, with the unfortunate name of Powerhouse. He tells SH that George had owed money to the biggest of bookmakers Jack Driscoll (Tommy Godfrey).
SH tracks him down to a race track. He owes me 100, claims Driscoll but as George is dead has little hope of recovering it. SH approaches Powerhouse and trains him how to fight properly, poor DrW getting a few knocks in the cause. Thus when Powerhouse wins, SH's bet with Driscoll wins him 200. This he can put to good use. To L, he disproves that theory of George's demise.
RMS Glencastle is sailing for New York, and George is just embarking. SH gets George to participate in a little charade, in which he has apparently rounded up a dangerous spy, for which he receives a reward of 100. Thus Christopher still has faith in his father and George promises to reform for the sake of his family. However as evidence that he is a budding barrister, the young boy doesn't show himself as green as even SH believes, for he has seen through the subterfuge.
The nice little touch is poor DrW with his black eye and bandage, all won in the good cause of helping Powerhouse win his bout.
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The Case of The Shrunken Heads
In a parcel adressed to SH is a small head, "I've been expecting it!" Inspector L tells us how he sometimes deigns to asks SH's advice, as in the present case. He'd received a shrunken head too.
They had been stolen from explorer James McIntyre of Hampstead. The heads are followed by a ransom demand, 50,000 or McIntyre will be killed. Signed Mendoza (Simon Oates), an old enemy of the explorer.
Off to Hampstead, and another Mendoza note. Freddy, stepson of McIntyre has instructions where to take the money.
SH and DrW keep watch on the place, as do L's minions, L himself is in disguise as an organ grinder. Freddy carries the money into a large building. Mendoza is spotted high on the roof. Gunshots and he topples to his death. No sign of the cash Freddy had handed him.
Mendoza is none other than Harry, an East End crook. "We've been taken for fools," sighs SH.
Freddy had devised the swindle, it's something to do with McIntyre's terminally ill wife. But why did Freddy want Harry killed?
Freddy himself receives a shrunken head. Sent by SH! He tells Freddy how he had committed the crime, and why. But he has no proof. So SH promises that he will get rough justice. He'll inform Harry's East End cronies what Freddy has done.
That stirs Harry into making "a run for it." There follows a slight novelty, a horse and carriage chase, but as in the gangster films, Freddy's cart overturns. At least it doesn't, as in the gangster films, instantly burst into flames. Freddy is killed.
The cash is recovered and back at 221B SH discourses on why policemen's heads need to be square shaped. L listens in bafflement, and slightly insulted, makes an exit, in offended silence
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Magruder's Millions
Director: Val Guest
In his wheelchair, old Malcolm Magruder cries in vain for assistance. He's a recluse, his assistant Fred Kimberley has just been murdered. When his servants answer his call, Magruder fails to recognise either of them, neither Raikes nor Chesney (David Buck).
His letter appealing to SH to help does not fall on deaf ears. SH first asks Inspector Lestrade about Kimberly. But according to L's version, there's no crime to investigate, the man shot himself accidentally. Further, in L's opinion, Magruder is "bats in the belfry."
On arrival at Magruder's mansion, SH immediately spots that the butler is a "stooge," indeed the crooks have replaced Magruder with their own man. Miss Collins (Sue Lloyd) advises SH that her master is too unwell to see anyone, but the persistent SH refuses to go away, and so is ushered into the old man's presence. SH is given the quick brush off, but has noticed the deception and for that he's locked up, along with the real Magruder.. Escape seems impossible from their shuttered room.
Enter L, who of course remains oblivious to the drama, and proves an unwitting accomplice to the crooks in their swindle of two Frenchmen, who are to pay them via Magruder a fortune.
The great SH has naturally found a way of excape, a clue in Magruder's piano, notes played in the right sequence, a hidden lock in the fireplace opens, and the way out is through that dark passageway. As SH and DrW creep along it, they overhear the deal, the signing of documents by the Frenchmen. To a startled L, SH whispers the whole diabolical plot through the thick wall. Luckily L is on the ball and as per SH's instructions, announces "that money is counterfeit."
Consternation among the crooks, and L is quickly able to effect their arrest. SH even praises him. To round the non drama off, he does also declare that Kimberly wasn't actually murdered at all.
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The Case of the Other Ghost
Script: Tudor Gates, based on a story by Julian Fellowes. Director: Val Guest.

The butler at Kindersley Hall requests that SH investigate the demise of Mary, a maid, who had been frightened to death by a ghost, tumbling downstairs. "There's a presence in the house," the butler concludes in sinister tones.
After a teasing interview with Inspector L, SH persuades the Scotland Yard man to get Sir Charles Kindersley, owner of the hall, to invite him and DrW to stay. They are shown the fateful staircase, "she screamed first and then she fell." SH deems that a key point, one not covered at her inquest.
That night, there's another scream. This time, the poor old butler is done in. He is stabbed to death in the hallway, though his corpse is not found here, but in the street.
Soon, SH has developed his theory, that the maid was killed in error. The intended victim for Mary's death was Sarah, Sir Charles' rich wife. There was a third murder, SH explains mysteriously, that was 100 years earlier, "the key to everything." And even a fourth! Sir Charles' cousin Lady Helen, died ten years ago. Though she apparently hanged herself, "that makes four murders."
We are treated to some unusual narration from Inspector L, before we see that SH's theories are, naturally, correct. Sir Charles is placing wire across the staircase, so that his wife trips and falls. The chandelier in the hall is then secretly released to kill her, before returning to its wonted place, "just another unfortunate accident."
He's mad of course. He'd been in love with his cousin, but it's all to do with money. His trap fails, thanks to the invisible SH, and in a neat turn of fate, it's Charles who is killed in his own trap.
In the final scene back at Baker Street, L is wondering if he has seen a ghost himself, no less than that of SH

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The Case of the Close Knit Family (No Lestrade)
It's near Christmas, though no evidence is ever seen of the fact, as SH and DrW stay at the Bristol Palace Hotel where a lady is robbed of the necklace round her neck as she sleeps.
The distraught hotel manager turns to his "genius" guest, but SH declines. So it has to be left to DrW to attempt to emulate his master and solve the crime.
Lady Noell was "insured after a fashion," she explains, for in fact the necklace was one of a pair, and she is still wearing the other half, which is evidently going to be the target of the thief's next attentions.
His head swollen just a little, DrW explains how he will trap the robber, having studied the great man's technique.
There are plenty of other characters on whom he could fix his suspicions. There's Sir Oliver who owns The Star of Mahler, a sapphire. Then there is the beauteous Miss Ryland (Janet Spencer-Turner) who has a precocious sister Victoria who sleepwalks. Her brother Jonathan is DrW's fencing partner, though it seems DrW is not much good at the sport, for even Victoria has the upper hand against him.
That night DrW thinks he has the situation under control, a guard posted in the hotel corridor. Miss Victoria sleepwalks, closely attended by her governess Miss Elly. Despite the watch being kept, Victoria slips into Lady Noell's bedroom to stylishly remove the necklace part 2. Will DrW ever solve this case? "It couldn't have happened," he flusters. SH steps in with the vital truth, being one step ahead of poor DrW.
Miss Ryland alias Victoria alias almost everyone else, uses her extensive wiles to elude the amateur detective though the "genius" is able "almost immediately" to recover the stolen property.
Almost fun, but though the storyline eventually becomes manifest, it isn't half as clever as it thinks it is
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On We Go
The scene is from the inventive #27 Fancy Dress
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