BRITISH TV 1950s FILMED DRAMA

The Man Who Walks By Night Strange Experiences High Definition Films Theatre Royal
Douglas Fairbanks Presents The Vise Sailor of Fortune Errol Flynn Theatre
Overseas Press Club O.S.S White Hunter The Flying Doctor
Tales from Dickens . . . . . . . In Row 1 below are US series which included some British episodes, then row 2, series made abroad with British involvement
Back to Zero Wire Service Rendezvous The Veil One Step Beyond
Jungle Boy (filmed in Kenya) African Patrol (filmed in Africa) Whiplash (filmed in Australia) Seahawk (filmed in Bermuda) Tugboat Annie (filmed in Canada)

For 1950's UK filmed crime dramas
For 1960's UK filmed series.
For European made 1950's filmed dramas

Most of these filmed series have sadly sunk into oblivion. One Step Beyond can be found on dvd, and Whiplash has curiously been issued on the Network dvd, who have also given us the very much forgotten Overseas Press Club. For the rest, series like the prolific Douglas Fairbanks Presents seem to have gone to ground.

Dinosaur TV Picture Puzzle: Can you identify the two stars from the story The Conquering Hero in the series Assignment Foreign Legion? I must admit I have never seen any of this rare series which was hosted by Merle Oberon. Anyone luckier? Answer.

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High Definition Films
In 1955, Norman Collins, deputy chairman of ATV, was in charge of a company by this name who, in association with HM Tennent Ltd, made a series of films at Highbury Studios. The executive producer was the great Harry Alan Towers. As far as I can ascertain, these films were actually transmitted in the Television Playhouse series.

My review of
TV Playhouse 1.12
Quay South
(December 12th 1955)
It is autumn 1940, an appalling voiceover informs us, after we have been shown shots of a patently amateurish model harbour.
After this wobbly start, this develops into a static play, unsure whether it is a comedy or no. Irascible old sea captain Dan Thwaite (an ideal part for Roger Livesey who can't quite rescue the play) is refusing to allow his ancient ship to be used for the war effort. A brusque adjutant named Billy (Allan Cuthbertson, with the best part, of the type he portrayed so well) remonstrates with the old salt, but to no avail.
Other characters include Frederick Elwes (Richard Pearson) a weak private who is set to guard Dan's blockship while it stands in dock. The only thing he seems good at, is playing the violin.
Then there is the one person who can best old Dan, his wife Hilda (Miriam Karlin), younger than he, but twice as bossy. Billy tries getting round her, to persuade Dan to have "his dirty old barge" filled with ballast so it can be the more effective as a blockship. And can she get him to allow soldiers on board? "Leave him to me mister," she promises, when she sees Dan will lose his pension unless he complies.
"I won't have any soldiers on my ship," he reiterates, but he's a broken man and though his ship is the apple of his eye, he has to yield.
However when a boarding party move in, they cannot get on board as wily old Dan has moved his vessel to the middle of the harbour. A facer for all Billy's bluster. "You don't think I'm going to let that old fool get away with it."
At 2300 hours, he plans a night raid on the ship. But Dan has wind of it, and has to do what a cap'n has to do. A quick trip ashore for a drink and an apology to Hilda for losing his pension. She however refuses to accept his nonsense and they part bitterly. Donning his best naval uniform, he departs also.
The adjutant's boarding party meet no success whatever, even being fired at by Elwes in mistake for the enemy. And anyway the ship isn't there, it has put to sea. "He must be stopped," cries a suddenly worried Hilda, adding more in character, "he'll pay for this."
"I can't stand it any longer," shrieks a hysterical Hilda. Too true. The adjutant receives a few home truths about his inflexible attitude that hastened this crisis. But can he make Elwes the scapegoat?
Suddenly we see that Elwes and his girl Agnes are young prototypes of Dan and his wife. But what else the play is I have no idea- what action there is is always off camera, and I don't think it is a comedy, though Miriam Karlin's character was the sort that Peggy Mount really cornered
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Whiplash starring Peter Graves
"In 1851, the Great Australian Gold Rush, The only law a gun, the only shelt'r, a wild bush."
All 34 stories are
available on dvd

1 Convict Town
2 Rider on the Hill
3 The Legacy
4 Barbed Wire
5 Episode in Bathurst
6 Twisted Road
7 Dutchmans Reef
8 The Actress
9 Divide and Conquer
10 Remittance Man
11 The Sarong
12 Solid Gold Brigade
13 Stage for Two
14 The Bone that Whispered
15 Day of the Hunter
16 Canoomba Incident
17 Rushing Sands
18 Fire Rock

19 The Hunters
20 Stage Freight
21 Portrait in Gunpowder
22 Ribbons and Wheels
23 The Wreckers
24 Storm River
25 Flood Tide
26 Dilemma in Wool
27 Magic Wire
28 Dark Runs The Sea
29 Haunted Valley
30 Love Story in Gold
31 Secret of the Screaming Hills
32 Act of Courage
33 Adelaide Arabs
34 Other Side of the Swan
"The filming of the stories of Cobb and Co was given authenticity by location shooting in Central Australia, and by the building of a satellite town in French's Forest Sydney." So says ATV's blurb, but nothing can disguise the fact that this is a very dull series. I confess to having a morbid fascination.
Planning for the series began in early 1959. Originally to be called "Cobb and Co" the title had to be changed because NTA had bought up this name, but never made such a series. The first producer was Maurice Geraghty, and Jennifer Jayne had come from England to be the "female lead." Set designer Peter Mullins flew from England in April 1959 as the art director, taking his wife Jennifer Jayne. She explained- "when they heard that Peter was married to a television actress they extended the invitation to me." A report in August states "Jennifer is busy doing a lot of riding, to get used to the horses." According to a TV Times article, she spent nine months in Australia- but there is little to show for it except her lead role in #8 The Actress! At the end of 1959 ATV's Leslie Harris flew down under because of "concern over progress." Probably the excessive costs were the real reason: a budget of six hundred and fifty thousand Australian pounds for the series was being consumed at the rate of three thousand Aussie pounds a day, and only four episodes had been completed, including dubbing. He stated "I am going with an open mind."
But by January Val Parnell and Lew Grade were reported in the Sydney press to be "furious" over allegations that the series was to be abandoned. Production had been "postponed for four weeks," they explained "chiefly on account of bad weather." Possibly! But reading between the lines, my guess is there were some staff changes! Geraghty was one to depart, and Peter Mullins another, as he was back in England in the spring of 1960. Others who seem to have been replaced included Editor Don Saunders, Director of Photography Ross Wood and Property Master Jock Levy.
Shooting restarted in March with new producer Ben Fox. Does the fact that only 34 films were finally completed by mid 1960 suggest that it was a success? And why the lack of prominence accorded to Jennifer Jayne? At all events, in February 1960 she returned to Britain.
Leslie Harris felt moved to write to the editor of Television Today after the first episode had been transmitted. Under the headline "Anxiety over Whiplash", he pleaded rather tellingly: "I was very pleased your critic liked Whiplash. The first effort in Australia has been a real problem child. Some of the later shows have some marvellous aboriginal footage shot at Alice Springs, where for the first time the aborigines actually acted in a tv film." Whatever he may have said, ATV sold their Aussie studios Artransa, and no more ATV/Australian co-productions were made.

My favourite episode: 18 Fire Rock, for some of those aborigine scenes promised by Leslie Harris. Story #21 is quite good too.
Dud episode: 5 Episode in Bathurst, one of Geraghty's surviving episodes- definitely the pick of the pits
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. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Flying Doctor with Richard Denning

After Richard Denning had spent a little time down under filming with producer David Macdonald (though co-star Jill Adams did not make the trip), filming the series proper started on the Elstree production floor in October 1958 and was ten months in the making. Celebrations were in the air "as they neared completion of the last story- "little flags were waving over cameras, dolly, boom...." Apparently this story was "all about a secret missile... a huge thing, an upturned battered truck, and even Patrick Holt all gory with studio blood."
September 11th 1959 saw the series previewed at the plush Viewing Theatre at The Mayfair Hotel with a screening of episode 1. Guest of Honour naturally enough was the High Commissioner for Australia (Sir Eric Harrison). No sign of the star although supporting cast Alan White and Jill Adams were there.
A critic wrote of this episode 1: "Star Richard Denning emerged as an extremely sympathetic personality. It is too early yet to judge whether the several hundred feet of location shooting in the outback will show up sufficiently brilliantly to lift it out of the ordinary." Let's be honest, this wasn't a masterpiece. However I rally to its cause when I read what another snooty contemporary critic wrote:
Guy Taylor (9 June 1960) -"hackneyed, corny, cliched, scenes opening up with actors obviously waiting for their cue, cardboard sets and cardboard characters."
Two weeks later he recanted, just slightly.... " I was staggered at the low standard of the material. I wrote a searing review because I thought it an insult to the intelligence of a British audience to screen such banal rubbish. (Rather a cliched review don't you think?) To be absolutely fair (my bold type!) however I took another look at The Flying Doctor to see whether there was a glimpse of improvement. The script of 'The Secret' was written by Philip Levene... and while it was better than the previous one I had seen, the standard was still low."

7The Hideout- Across the studio desert crawls a battered man. He's in luck for Dr Greg Graham is flying overhead and rescues Barney Mason
36 The Conspiracy- "Sell him the wool," a wife orders her stubborn husband, "or next time they'll kill you." Sheep farmer Mason (Bill Kerr) needs treatment by Dr Graham
38 A Call to London - Grubber Evans (Robert Beatty) makes an urgent phone call for help- his mate 'Windmill Wilson' has been in a coma for days. Only Dr James Harrison knows how to cure him, but he's away in London

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Theatre Royal (1955)
aka Lilli Palmer Theater
Lilli Palmer introduced these 25 minute playlets.

Sadly, this is a seriously rare series at the moment.
I have these filmed introductions by Lilli Palmer, but not the complete stories:

3 The Door by Robert Louis Stevenson
with Sam Wanamaker as Denis.
Lilli is standing in a white dress, and recounts the time when she first met Wanamaker on the set at Warner Brothers. He seemed most interested in the technical side, unlike her

8 The Little Black Book
With Flora Robson.
Lilli is seated in a white pleated dress introducing this "macabre comedy," with the "remarkable actress" Flora Robson. Lilli recalls seeing Flora on stage in a tour de force, Close Encounters

20 Just Off Picadilly
with Michael Gough.
Lilli is sitting wearing a long flowing dress. This is the story of a haunted house in London. Michael Gough is "quite brilliant"

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African Patrol (1957)
starring John Bentley

Promo 5 The Baboon Laughed 7 Bad Samaritan 9 The Duel 17 Shooting Star 29 Hell hath no Fury 30 No Place to Hide 39 The Trek

Much as I like John Bentley, I have to confess this is probably the worst filmed series of the era. I think what's worst is his forced American accent, which he rather enjoyably for us, occasionally forgets. John Bentley later claimed: "We had far more adventure behind the camera than we ever recorded on film. African Patrol is one of the most dangerous assignments I have ever had." One example was when filming was close by a herd of elephants. "One of the bulls started to trumpet. With my gun in my hand, I had to time it just long enough for the camera to get a shot of the elephant charging, but still leaving me time to jump into the car. And then the engine stalled!"
On the back of the feature film Escape in the Sun, which starred John Bentley, the company Gross-Kasne undertook the making of 39 tv films, on location in Kenya. However one viewer complained to TV Times (edition 146 Midlands region) that a van was seen in the series with a Nottingham registration KAL. He was rather mystified, in view of the statement that the series was filmed entirely in Africa. The answer is given that this KAL registration was also a local one in Kenya.
The location shooting gives the series the merit of authenticity, unlike its counterpart, White Hunter, but it conveys an atmosphere of amateurishness, that might be acceptable if the acting were more enthusiastic- as it is you feel the burden of having to produce so many stories was all too much for the production crew and the actors, not to mention the banal scriptwriters.
My favourite episode of ones I've seen: #29 Hell Hath No Fury
It's nice to know real-life romance blossomed on African Patrol, when Dorinda Stevens (in The Baboon Laughed, and Man and Beast) got engaged to producer George Breakston's personal assistant Michael Boultbee. They married on April 8th 1957 at St Francis's Church Karen, near Nairobi.

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African Patrol Promotional Film
This twenty five minute film was produced to sell the series to tv companies.
Extended clips from four of the stories are linked by a narrator.

The clips are from these episodes:

15 The Hunt

25 The Mortimer Touch (with Ferdy Mayne)

27 Breakout

33 The Accident (with Patricia Plunkett)

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17 "Shooting Star"
Inspector Derek is at the airport to oversee the arrival of Zodiac Films' big star Ray Gilbert (David Oxley), an obnoxious feller who "takes pleasure in needling people," even the illustrious inspector whom he addresses as a "boy policeman." Remarks Collins, his press agent, "someday, someone's going to kill him." How right he is! The big star is united with his team- director Victor Bennett introduces his leading lady Miss Susan Barry (Monica Stevenson). "I am the star of this picture," he pompously tells her, in his long flowing satin dressing gown.
On location there's an "explosive" atmosphere as Derek pays a casual visit. A large light from a gantry drops almost on top of Gilbert, who accuses the director of trying to kill him. Motive- Bennett's wife left him for Gilbert. "I'd like to see him dead," admits Bennett, whilst denying he had anything to do with the falling lighting.
Another accident, as a runaway truck demolishes Gilbert's tent. Luckily, at least for Gilbert, he wasn't inside. Another suspect might be Frank Vincent, an old pal of Susan's, who regards the star as "a bighead with no brains." But then, nobody seems to like him at all.
Gilbert is shooting a scene on a lake, paddling his canoe as we see film of some crocodiles- "he's not going to be lonely-" even though they never ever seem to get anywhere near him. "The boat's sinking!" Bullets rain across the lake at the distant crocs whilst Inspector Derek paddles furiously to the floundering star. Gilbert moves ne'er a muscle he's so calm, it's done extremely unconvincingly.
Shooting has to cease on the film as Derek examines the canoe. It doesn't need a Sherlock Holmes to notice the six holes drilled in it. Film of the proceedings shows everyone on shore exhibiting concern except for one person, and that's sufficient for Inspector Derek to make his arrest
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5 "The Baboon Laughed"

“Lay off my wife,” Raymond Larsen (Conrad Phillips) is warned by bully Robert Gibson (Peter Dynely-sic-). Safari hunt leader Alan Tarleton is so worried for the safety of his expedition, that he phones Inspector Derek to tell him he's sitting on a "case of gunpowder that's about ready to explode."
Derek drives his jeep up country, but before he arrives, the feud has reached its crisis point. “He should be strung up by the thumbs and left to the cats,” Larsen is telling Gibson’s wife Helen (Dorinda Stevens) about her obnoxious husband. “We’re gonna make Bwana Gibson a very unhappy man,” Conrad Phillips utters in his best American accent. But that’s the last of his dialogue, for he is shot dead.
Rather late, Inspector Derek arrives to interrogate Gibson and his wife. As Helen has an aversion to guns, surely there is only one suspect?… As John Bentley summarises very succinctly, and very cornily, “the big question was, who fired the rifle?”
Gibson seems to have a watertight alibi, as he was with Alan Tarleton at the time. “You don’t like him do you?” Derek asks Alan. “As much as I do a cobra,” Alan replies.
The men’s animosity had centred on Helen, who is suddenly chased by a ferocious leopard. She ends up in its jaws (presumbaly it’s a tame one actually!) but Robert strangles it. Later she is quite open with Inspector Derek, explaining that Larsen had been Gibson’s ‘secretary’ but more than that, as his boss had sought to best him at every opportunity, giving him “unmerciful beatings.”
After examining the area where Larsen had been shot, Derek tells us “I was ready to make my arrest.” The killer would have had to be a pretty competent marksman. But when Derek discusses it with Alan Tarleton, he learns Gibson, whatever he liked to boast, was not much good with a rifle. So Derek returns to the scene of the crime with Helen. By a simple trick, he gets her to shoot, despite her proclaimed abhorrence of guns, at a charging lioness. As a dummy is chucked at their feet she kills the studio prop. That persuades her to admit she killed Larsen, it was because he was threatening to leave. Unlikely, you must admit!

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7 "Bad Samaritan"

There’s poor Inspector Derek trudging through the lonely bush country. He’s all in. Then he is aided by the man he is pursuing, Brooks Todd (Peter Dyneley). When Derek regains consciousness, he’s lying in the European Hospital.
”I owe him my life,” breathes Derek to Alan Tarleton sadly. And the policeman’s repaying that kindness by sending Todd to the gallows! In his bed, the inspector relates how he had been called to an up-country trading post to investigate the murder of a man named Ward. Todd had had a feud with him, and it was “inevitable” that such bad blood would end in death. Todd had since disappeared, but where to?
In the Massai Basin area, Derek learns Todd’s buddy, pilot Basil Jones has been seen. So Derek drives there, and finds Todd clearing a landing strip. He’s arrested and taken back to Nairobi. But that is not possible, for there’s some bad luck, Derek’s jeep has conked out. It’s a matter of an 82 mile cross country hike. With Todd handcuffed they walk on, past rhino and elephant, until a snake bites Derek on his leg. Todd removes the poison and bandages Derek up, and doesn’t even escape. He insists on sticking around to ensure the injured Derek returns safely to Nairobi, and doesn’t fall victim to any prowling lion.
In the heat they continue slowly on, at night they rest. The “noble” Todd admits he will get away, once he knows Derek is safely back at base. Thus Derek ends up willing his prisoner to run away, but as he won’t, it is Derek who totters away one morning by himself. Yet “the decency of the man” rescues the ailing Derek from a rather skinny looking leopard.
Now from his hospital bed, Derek is resolved to testify in Brooks Todd’s favour at his trial. But that’s no use, for he learns Todd has died from the snake venom he sucked out of Derek’s leg. Here's an absurd cop-out for an ending, as Alan Tarleton consoles our inspector, "as I see it, the whole decision was made by Somebody much bigger and wiser than all of us."

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9 "The Duel"

with Patrick Holt

Review to follow

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29 "Hell hath no Fury"
At a swish outdoor cocktail party, Inspector Derek congratulates Delphia Collins (Gene Anderson -here credited as Jean Anderson) on her engagement to Teddy. One of her four previous fiances Tom (Raymond Young) doesn't believe she loves this "stuffed shirt." He shouts at her "you're not going to marry anyone but me."
Del's sister Anne (Nancy Poe) is so worried, she asks Paul Derek to help: "she doesn't care about anything or anybody." It's not just Del's recurring headaches, she's been involved in two traffic accidents recently. But Del's widowed father (Kenneth Edwards) puts it all down to youthful high spirits, though he's evidently over indulging her.
Inspector Derek becomes professionally involved when he sees Del, alone on safari, a lion charging at her. She seems oblivious of any danger, and after Derek rescues her, she explains, "just wasn't my time." They chat about her latest fiance to get the push, Teddy. "Del, why don't you tell me what's bothering you?" She won't talk.
But Tom recounts to Derek how she'd broken off their engagement after a trip to London. No explanation. "Everything she's done lately, makes me think she doesn't care about anything or anybody."
On Route 79, there's an automobile accident. Del is killed. Her car had been doing over 100, but it's murder! Derek spots a tyre with a bullet hole. "Why should anyone want to hurt her?" asks Tom.
The tragic truth now comes out. Her father wearily explains that when in London Del had been diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour, "speed took away the pain which steadily was growing stronger." Finally that pain had been unbearable: "I pray every night I won't wake up in the morning." As she'd "suffered enough," her father had fired the bullet at that tyre. (A good shot he must have been at that speed.) "Now she's where there's no such thing as pain."
Here's a sombre tale of mercy killing. Derek has to arrest him, though he confidently affirms to Anne that her father won't end up in jail.

Footnote- Gene Anderson flew from London to Kenya for two weeks on Sunday 29th December 1957 to make this story and one other. The report also refers to her appearing in The Adventures of the Jungle Boy, but this may not be correct.

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30 "No Place to Hide"

Farmers are facing an economic crisis as a result of a virus, and flocks are having to be culled. One of those suffering is Jim Stevens (Kevin Miles) who can't repay his loan from moneylender Charles Sidram. He is foreclosing on Jim's farm amongst others. Despite Jim's plea for an extension, Sidram's "associate" Philip Gynos (Raymond Young) warns "if you can't repay when due, there's no sense in prolonging the inevitable."
Jim gets so angry he utters rash threats against Sidram, a very stupid thing to do, for Sidram is later found murdered. It's Glynos who discovers the body of his employer.
Inspector Derek is quick to spot the likely link of the foreclosures and Sidram's death- it doesn't need a Sherlock Holmes to do that. First to be interviewed is Jim, except he's not at home. His wife Stella admits she knows Jim is the murderer. But she doesn't seem that distraught- either she's a poor actress or she has something to hide. The actress is a very young Zena Marshall, so let's assume it's the latter.
The case because less clear when Inspector Derek learns Sidram had been suffering from an incurable disease. He had only a month at most to live. A doctor tells the puzzled inspector: "his loss will be felt for many years." The philanthropic Sidram had donated generously to a hospital, and Sidram's attorney likewise sings his praises. Perhaps Inspector Derek will need to emulate Sherlock after all!
It turns out that it was Glynos who was enforcing the foreclosures, behind his boss' back. Derek takes a dislike to this smooth shark and finds out he had once been engaged to Stella. In fact she is still in love with him.
Jim is having a showdown with the two of them. Glynos stands by smiling, as Stella draws a gun on her husband. "I don't understand," says poor Jim. They enlighten him.
"Drop that gun!" interrupts Inspector Derek, just in time. Unlike Sherlock, he needs that gun.

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39 "The Trek"
Alan Tarleton is with Inspector Derek, waiting at Kikuya Station for the arrival of a group of immigrant farmers. Their unofficial leader is James Craddock (Andrew Faulds), others in the group include Grace Bowler (Honor Blakcman) and her husband Sam (Colin Croft), Ferrari (Eric Pohlmann) and his son and daughter, and Don Regan (William White) and his son and daughter Jill (Leigh Madison), "quite a party." All, at least according to Craddock, are escaping officialdom in Britain, to start a new life farming in Africa.
Lake Tula is their destination, with Inspector Derek and Alan Tarleton to lead the way, but that is a hundred mile walk and though porters help carry the luggage, a sewing machine and a cello are far too heavy items to take all that distance, according to Derek. Craddock however insists that they are not going to be bullied by any more officials and Derek has to yield to their independent nature. It's going to be tough going he warns.
Craddock finds his sewing machine a burden and proposes a short cut, which the group elect to take against Derek's firm advice. But somehow the characters never come to life in this story by Basil Dawson, perhaps there are too many of them to make much impact. Two of the offspring, Tom Regan and Anna Ferrari are in love, but Ferrari promises to kill Tom if he goes near his daughter- that sort of interaction, meaningless without more background characterisation. Similarly Honor Blackman's character is very much on the peripherary.
The older Regan has a fever and Jill wanders off to fetch him some soothing water. He does so also and finds a stream- watch out for those crocs! No more Regan. Jill is depressed and totters out into the dark night, "I've nothing to live for now." But Derek catches up with her and comforts her.
Twenty long miles still to walk, Sam Bowler is in despair, it's a "long slow death" they face. But it's Ferrari who is next to crack when he is attacked by a cobra. His cello provides a useful defence and it gets slightly battered. But once bitten, that is the end of Ferrari also.
Yet it gives Craddock his moment of truth as he understands the "whole fiasco" is his fault. "I killed them." Minus one sewing machine the trek plods onward. "We'll make it, "promises Derek.
And they do, to start their new life. But no more life for this series, not that it had much anyway, for it ended after this story.
On 16mm film

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White Hunter
starring Rhodes Reason


3 Inside Story 12 The Trophy 13 Web of Death 14 Pegasus 17 The Lonely Place
30 The Sickness of Kilimanjaro 31 Moment of Truth 33 Marked Man 35 Voodoo Wedding 38 Deadfall

One producer was Bernard L Schubert, and the series was distribued by ITP, later to become ITC. This announcement began each episode:
"True stories that actually happened, as told by the greatest of the African white hunters."
It was claimed that all the scripts were submitted to the Kenyan government because of the political and social problems current in that country (TV Times No 151 p15).

White Hunter was filmed in 1957, but the fact that some stories were made at Twickenham and others at Halliford Studios might suggest the series was made in 2 batches.
Also in 1957, Rhodes Reason made a feature film Man-Eater in which he played a white hunter named John Hunter, as in this series, although the personnel on the film were otherwise entirely different.

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3 "Inside Story"
Hunter is asked to take ace journalist and photographer Sherman Wick (Phil Brown) and his assistant Martha (Barbara Shelley) to interview a tribal chief Arusha (Cy Grant) who is a Cambridge graduate. It’s a long journey to the foot of mountains where Mao Mao terrorists still hide out.
There’s some ‘previous’ between Wick and Arusha, for the reporter had written a rather unbalanced report earlier, about Arusha whilst an undergraduate, and it’s evident that this time it’s going to be similar. At the village, he is determined to see the place as a concentration camp, refusing to accept Hunter’s explanation that the fence round the village is to keep out any marauding lions, and those who wield guns are there to protect tribesmen from the wild beasts. He also photographs a lion hunt in which the animal is hunted and killed.
Feelings against Wick are running high in the tribe, and one breaks in to his tent to steal the camera, but Hunter stops him. Wick blackmails this man into taking him into the mountains so he can get some good pictures. This sparks off a full scale search for the idiot, whom they eventually locate. “You’ve worn out your welcome,” Hunter warns him. This leads to a fight, and Wick gets what he deserves.
”Wait till this story gets to the stands,” the vengeful Wick promises. His slant will be “Cambridge education chief amuses himself killing a senile lion,” and other misrepresentations of photos he has taken. “And you’re supposed to be reporting the facts,” comments John Hunter ironically.
In his epilogue, Hunter informs us that “fortunately…. Martha gave the true inside story of Arusha.” In her account, she exposes Wick’s hypocrisy.
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12 "The Trophy"
Atimbu, John Hunter's gun bearer, is beaten up by a white man who adds the warning "I'll settle with John Hunter later." He's a rival hunter, Doug Gordon (Robert Cawdron) who has sworn vengeance on the pair because they had testified against him in court. He does indeed follow up his threat and attacks John, right in front of his latest clients, Bill and Laurie West (Charles Stapley and Jill Melford).
Hunter is taking them to photograph African wild life, "at least it's a change from shooting them with a gun." Gordon trails them, having been commissioned by the slippery Kern to find a big trophy. The pair bide their time following Hunter's group, until there's something decent to shoot.
Rufus, a giant elderly lion is their game. Whilst Bill prepares his camera to shoot, Gordon and Kern ready their guns. Luckily Hunter spots them and fires in the air to frighten what they jibe is "his pet lion." They try several times more to no avail, and decide to use more drastic methods. A deer caracase is bait for Rufus, and to lure Hunter's men away, Gordon ties up Laurie, who's left behind in camp, and hides her in the bush. Hunter finds her just in time to prevent her being bitten by a snake, but with the field clear, Kern purrs "there's the lion now...." His shot only wounds the poor animal, so they follow him ready to claim their trophy when it's too weak to attack them.
Hunter catches up with them and orders them to put the lion out of its misery. Scared of yet approaching the wounded beast, Gordon runs and it's left to Hunter to perform the last sad rites.
Epilogue- Bill West's footage becomes celebrated, and it is used as proof against Gordon and Kern, ensuring they will never hunt again
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13 "Web of Death"
There were these two uranium prospectors, Dr Elvin and Jack Palmer (Peter Illing and Peter Reynolds). Their target is a disused copper mine in West Tanginyka, abandoned for fifty years, which they believe might contain pitchblend.
They enlist John Hunter's services, planning to kill him when they have found the mine.
En route Maria Conti (Jeanette Sterke) joins the group. She had been walking from coast to coast on foot, alone, and Hunter knows she is in great danger from the wildlife so he orders her “you’re coming with me.”
Palmer falls for her, but then disappears, and is found dead.
The rest of the group travel on, and find the overgrown mine. Inside, a geiger counter helps find some uranium.
Suspecting Dr Elvin’s foul plan, John Hunter and Maria agree to keep a close watch on Elvin. Except when they are kissing of course.
Whilst John sleeps, Elvin creeps up with a knife. Maria shoots him “through the heart.” Then this “smart girl” proposes she and Hunter keep quiet about their discovery, and the deal is sealed with a kiss. But he’s not that daft, knowing she intends to keep that mine for herself, and Hunter finally sees through her loving advances, and realises she has planned the death of both the prospectors. He promises her “I’m taking you back myself.” She won’t allow that, and draws her gun. A spider happens to drop on her to thwart her well and truly. Sudden end to story.
In his pompous conclusion, Hunter tells us: "The justice of the jungle takes many forms. I would never have thought my life would be saved by a spider."

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14 "Pegasus"

After four months on safari, John Hunter can now sleep "in a real bed." But he's immediately awoken by Trevor Harrison (Trevor Reid) with orders to be in his office in ten minutes. There, Hunter is introduced to Dr Howard Sheldon (Arthur Lawrence) who had masterminded the Pegasus satellite project, which has now made a forced landing somewhere in the Aberdare Forest. Hunter is needed to help Sheldon locate the satellite urgently.
Sheldon is a determined man, but also a sick one, and he nearly falls victim to a raging river, but not, thanks to Hunter's quick action. Journalist Marge Wilson (Patricia Roc) barges in to the expedition, and after a tiring search the three are taken prisoner by a tribe who threaten to land their captives "in the cooking pot." These benighted savages have found Pegasus, worshipping it as "their god who came out of the sky." (Just remember that this series is, allegedly, based on true happenings!)
When a tribesman dies, evidently after exposure to a dangerous chemical on board the satellite, it looks black for the trio. But whilst the dead man is being buried, Hunter breaks out of their makeshift prison and with Sheldon, retrieves top secret equipment on board Pegasus. The tribesmen spot they have escaped, but the superstitious fools believe their prisoners have been devoured by their god. (Another reminder- these stories are supposed to be based on true tales.)

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17 "The Lonely Place"

In Somali country, "a world of desolate and lonely places," District Officer Rankin (Andre Morell) is preparing for a siege. The heat has clearly got to him, as, when John Hunter and his survey exploration team draw near, they're greeted by a volley of machine gun fire. Anyone who comes near his waterhole gets similar treatment.
Hunter dodges the bullets, climbing into the fort. He tries reasoning with Rankin who's there alone with his daughter Margaret, but it's impossible. "Mr Hunter is the man who killed your mother," Rankin tells her. "You're insane," responds Hunter. After a fight, Hunter tries to make Margaret see the truth.
Local tribesmen, deprived of their waterhole, are getting restless. They gather outside the fort, taking prisoner the man left in charge of Hunter's party. Hunter parleys with them- he has until High Noon to hand Rankin over to them in exchange for their prisoner. The deadline passes, Rankin rambling on, reliving the day his wife died in an earlier siege. "His mind's gone," Hunter tells Margaret sadly.
Hunter decides to play along with Rankin's fantasy. The two walk out of the fort to face up to the tribemen. In a nice twist, the natives see he's gone bonkers, and now worship Rankin as "a holy man." Thus the stand-off ends peacefully.
"It wasn't easy to take their holy one away from the Somalis," Hunter explains in his epilogue. But surely no harder than swallowing this story.

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31 "Moment of Truth"
After three months with two "shoot-'em-up-boys," John Hunter is so pleased to be able to relax with his girl Carol Rutledge (Dorinda Stevens). "You look awful" she tells him, so he smartens himself up in the bath, only to be interrupted there by Andy Stevenson with a request to help a tribe who are being attacked by lions.
John just has time for a mamba with Carol, but even this is interrupted by old colleage Pete, who insists on introducing John to his son Denny (Tim Turner) and Barbara his fiancee (Jennifer Jayne). Denny is now ready to take over his father's safari business, though Barbara would rather have him closer to her.
For the experience, Denny joins John on the quest for the Man-Eater. He kisses Barbara goodbye, and she repeats her desire for him to stop hunting: "I don't want a hunter, I want a full time husband." She knows a farm where they could settle together. As he can't give up hunting, she returns his engagement ring.
That afternoon the expedition reaches the decimated village. It's been a nightmare ever since this man-eating lion has lead a pack which has been attacking villagers. "He's a big one," Hunter notes, after examining the paw marks.
Three of the lions are shot by nightfall: "a good day's work," says John. But Denny hasn't enjoyed the thrill of the kill.
There's more shooting next morning before the tracks of "the big boy" are spotted. Denny shoots, but only wounds the beast. It's up to him to finish it off. "You got 'im!"
Yet Denny admits to John he "was scared stiff." Advises Hunter by way of encouragement: "a careful hunter stays alive." However, Denny has now realised hunting is not for him, he's going to turn his hand to farming.
Safari over, Carol greets John Hunter with a kiss. Oh dear, Pete's still there, to interrupt! But they do see Denny and Barbara reunited. Perhaps the story could have been titled Girls of Two Hunters.
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Marked Man
Steve Porter (Jack Hedley) manages a game lodge in Northern Kenya.
The Royal Society for the Preservation of Wild Animal Life is sending three men to survey the wild life, John Hunter to lead the safari. But one of the three is being paid £5,000 to kill Porter. The members of the expedition are Dr Richardson, an anthropologist, Mr Smedley, a vet, and Dr Martin (Carl Jaffe).
At the ungodly hour of 5.30am, they set off, to an interesting lecture from Rhodes Reason, blaming farming, not hunting, for the diminishing number of wild animals.But his prophecy seems accurate enough, "white hunter hasn't much of a future in Africa."
Atimbu, the government game reserve, is reached. The group are welcomed by their host Steve Porter, and his new wife Helen (Kay Callard). But Steve receives a worrying note, "you've been on borrowed time."
Next day the group start work. We watch them tag a lion. That night, Steve shows John Hunter the threat. Steve knows who's behind this. Ten years ago, he had married the daughter of wealthy Clive Atherton. She had died six years ago, hounded, Steve believes, by her father who could never accept their marriage.
John Hunter questions the guests, and confiscates their guns. "I won't be treated as a criminal," protests Dr Martin. "He's hardly the killer type." But who is? That night, Sadi, a native, interrupting the potential killer, is shot himself. "It had to be Martin," decides Steve. But it's only a guess.
John dresses in Steve's clothing to draw the killer. Twice round the studios he darts, before a shadowy figure shoots. "Come out Porter, you can't run for ever."
But good old John Hunter catches the would-be assassin in the net lately used to trap the lion. "He'll be safe in that net until morning"

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35 "Voodoo Wedding"
John Hunter is taking his pal Bob (Robert Shaw) out on a stag night, even though his wedding to Sally (Gene Anderson) isn’t for two weeks. Her “rejected suitor” Fred (Edward Judd), is her oldest friend, but she has now found true love with dear Bob.
”There can be no wedding,” her servant tells her. He says she is married already. Actually, he has misinterpreted her childhood friendship with Fred, but the fact is “you make the witch doctor’s spirit angry.”
With Bob away in Los Angeles collecting an elephant, Sally has a nasty experience one night, as smoke pours into her bedroom. She collapses. Bob is rushed to her hospital bed. Apart from diagnosing “she’s pretty sick,” the baffled doctor can’t explain what’s wrong with her. But Hunter has “just an idea” it’s voodoo. Dr Waring however is quite unconvinced.
So John Hunter knows what to do. He orders a search be made for the servant, who has disappeared. He is eventually found and states Fred is himself a witch doctor! Why? “He wears beads.” Jealousy of Bob would seem to be a big part of it too. It’s enough to start Bob and Fred on a fight, which ends with a fatal stabbing. Accidental of course.
Bob returns to Sally’s beside. She’s now being fed intravenously. “Another authority” is brought in, to exorcise her, a genuine witch doctor who performs his chants despite opposition from Dr Waring. Soon the spell is broken.
”You’ll be all right.”
”Bob, what happened?”
”Nothing at all,” replies Bob.
”I can’t believe it,” gasps the doctor. Nuff said.

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38 " Deadfall"
Exceptionally unconvincing, a more appropriate title would have been Hysterics in the Studio Jungle.

At the airport, John Hunter greets old pal Harry Benson (Ronan O'Casey), who is hoping to buy a coffee plantation, Table Top Farm. The vendors are Westcott (Conrad Phillips) and his wife Louise (Patricia Dainton).
John takes Harry to the farm and they walk into something of a family crisis. Louise is on the verge of a breakdown for her brother had recently been killed by natives. She screams. A knife has just hit her arm, slightly wounding her. "That's the way they killed her brother- a poisoned dart." It sounds improbable to wise John Hunter, "they're a peaceful people," but these natives seem so restless Westcott is determined to leave the place. Fortunately Harry likes the farm "just fine," and is keen to purchase.
Another dart, another scream. This time John Hunter and Harry find a trail of blood in the garden that leads to a stream, but then winds back to the house. What is going on?
Conrad Phillips is seriously overacting now. Westcott now complains he is too scared to quit the house, so Hunter has to strike him and carry him on board his jeep. But that crashes, and the journey has to proceed on foot. Louise fortunately knows the way. But she leads them in a circle! Quietly and undramatically, John Hunter ask what on earth she is playing at.
More natives, more darts. But Hunter spots Louise consorting with the locals, and is knocked unconscious for his trouble. Westcott has completely disintegrated now, frenziedly crawling round the bushes trying to find his wife. She directs him.... into a quagmire. Slowly he sinks in, increasing his raving, if that were possible. She refuses to help him out, unless he admits it was he who had killed her brother.
John Hunter's epilogue relates how Westcott gets what he deserves. Oh yes, Harry did buy the farm
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O.S.S.(Office of Strategic Services)
starring Ron Randell as Frank Hawthorn, who described the stories thus: "a violent series. Those spy guys didn't play games. It was life or death for them every time."
A successful pilot was completed in January 1957, leading to the complete series being filmed later that year. It was about "the exploits of the Office of Strategic Services in Axis-dominated Europe." The stories were based on true incidents and all the characters, apart ironically from Randell's, were based on actual people. Picture- from #14
The producers were given as American 'Buckeye Corp' (LSQ Prods & Flamingo), and eventually OSS was distributed by ITC.

26 films were made. Here are my reviews of three I have seen recently:
13 "Operation Pigeonhole" - Frank has to learn sign language in order to infiltrate into Italy ahead of the Allied troops invasion at Anzio. In Rome he stays with Mario (Peter Illing) who promises to help him obtain details of German military movements. Police official Vittorio holds all the important documents, but how to break into his closely guarded building? The answer, says Frank, lies with a friend of his sign language teacher. With the aid of binoculars he lip reads the conversations at police hq and by substituting Allied carrier pigeons for the German ones, the secrets are flown to Allied command
14 "Operation Yo-Yo" - 1944, Hawthorn has to root out a traitor in the Third Army. Accompanied by Crawford, he is dropped by parachute into the heat of battle, but unfortunately on the wrong side. After a machine gun battle won single handedly by Frank, Crawford reveals why he didn't help, he's a new and very green chaplain. The pair reflect on the horrors of war, then fortuitiously find the traitor with a knife in his back. In a moving scene, the Nazis renew their offensive, before a religious reflection on Frank's tough job. The spy's German radio enables them to warn the enemy to flee, and so our heroes reach allied lines safely
23 "Operation Choppingblock" - A double agent brings a booby trap camera to the OSS in an attempt to lure agents to capture the cameras from the Stuttgart factory that makes them. But hip hip hooray, MI5 know it's a trap. However Frank goes on the dangerous mission anyway, accompanied by Foxy (Leslie Phillips no less): "Fraulein's takes cover!" warns Frank about him. Actually Foxy's not too overwhelmed about going himself: "I had a table for four booked ... just me and three girls!" He gives a look of bliss. So to Germany where they are captured, but luckily only by a fugitive from the Nazis (John Gabriel). He's "nutty as a fruitcake," decides Frank, but he proves rather useful when he blows up the approaching enemy soldiers. There's a rather tedious interlude before our heroes reach their goal, the factory, alias Elstree Studios! Fortunately the relevant script has "Actung, Explosiv" written on the door which saves a lot of searching. A truck, conveniently departing the site helps the getaway. A final flourish for Foxy as he orders three red roses for the three women whom, he hopes, are still waiting for him
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Sailor of Fortune (1956)
This British filmed series made at Nettlefold Studios/ New Elstree Studios starred Lorne Greene as Grant Mitchell, the skipper of the vessel Shipwreck, which plies the Mediterranean and Middle East ports. Her cargo is "anything that is profitable and not too illegal." The producer was Michael Sadlier. Main supporting cast, crew of the Shipwreck were Alphonso, an Italian inventor turned ship's engineer (Rupert Davies), and Sean, an Irish deckhand (Jack MacGowran).

The ITV archive holds all 26 stories.
I have on 16mm/35mm film:
1 Cargo of Dynamite (one of four pilots) - With Reginald Beckwith, Eric Pohlmann and Ferdy Mayne. TV Times synopsis: While Mitch is relaxing in a small Algerian port, he is asked by an old Italian to take a cargo to Rome. Now the 'Shipwreck' sometimes transports some strange things, so when there is some mystery about the nature of the cargo, Mitch goes up to the hills to examine it.
3 Tangier - A man runs off the Shipwreck and is later found dead. Grant is suspected of the murder, but finds a diary that exonerates him. The highlight of this story is the improbable sight of Michael Balfour in drag hiding from the police.
4 A Case for Murder - this was the last of the four pilot stories
15 Desert Tomb - a harbour master offers Mitch a seemingly honest cargo
18 Desert Bus - Mitch ferries a group from danger in Algeria including Manuel whose creditors are chasing him, and Yolanda (Anna Gerber) who is trying to kill herself on the quayside when Mitch rescues her. She is mysteriously kidnapped
20 The Diamond Chips -
for my review

Here is part of a contemporary review by Eric Johns of
#24 Castle for Sale - The story was "better suited to a boys' paper or children's hour. Lorne Greene starred... but the play was stolen by Raymond Huntley as the sinister owner of an Italian castle, which has been sold by the caretaker to an American sailor for $450." There is a young Contessa, played by Jeanette Hutchinson, who loots the castle and sells ill-gotten treasures to help the unfortunate inhabitants of the adjoining Mediterranean fishing village. "Gloomy dungeons, and a well with a body at the bottom of it help to colour the story to the right degree of luridness." "Vernon Sewell directed as convincingly as the melodramatic story permitted."

For fascinating episode details of this series, please go to the Classic TV archive
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The Diamond Chips
Beausoleil is a port somewhere on the Riviera. Mitch is here with his own system to win on the tables, sure he'll make a fortune. In his dashing white suit he enters the magic place, and sees a stranger named Johnny disconsolate, for he's just lost his fortune.
Johnny's girl friend Belinda begs Mitch help her cash some jewellery they had been given by her grandmother-in-law, Madame Mostovoy. He kindly takes it to bijoutier Pierre Duval who informs the police. In a panic, Mitch can only hold them off by pointing a gun at them. The Commissaire of Police informs Mitch why they are here, the necklace is stolen, property of Madame Mostovoy. Mitch beats a quick retreat.
Belinda gives him an explanation, and he hides her in his cabin on the Shipwreck, "we're in a bad spot." Then he spots the necklace is only paste anyway! Johnny hasn't been seen for a while, and Mitch wants an explanation from him. Of course, he must be back at the tables.
He finds the elderly Russian lady here (a fine cameo from Nora Swinburne), who realises Mitch has found her out. "We'd better not hang around here," she tells him, "they always keep an eye on casinos, they're full of crooks."
In her darkened room, a man is opening her safe- it's Johnny. Mitch catches him at it. He and his boss (Esmond Knight) are arrested by police and the truth about the necklace is revealed. Mitch has the pleasure of placing the real necklace around Belinda's neck

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THE ADVENTURES OF TUGBOAT ANNIE
Below are the titles of the 39 episodes of this series planned in Canada from 1954, but only finally filmed there in 1957. As it was mysteriously backed by A-R, I include details here, though the extent of A-R's involvement is unclear. But certainly A-R's drama director John Moxey travelled to Canada for about 6 months in 1957 to work on this series. His wife Gwen went with him.
In the title role was the exotically named Minerva Urecal with Walter Sande as Captain Bullwinkle, who enjoy a good rapport and really make the series. The titles of the stories were kindly taken from actual film prints by Ray Aguilar, and are listed alphabetically, with thanks to
Des Martin for the numbers of the US running order.
Made by TPA, the current trade distributor is given as ITC Entertainment Group. Why not ask 'em at their Head Office in Studio City, California? "Tugboat who...?!"

3 Annie's Chicken Farm
12 Annie and the Admiral
16 Annie finds a Baby Tug
13 Annie is a Lady
7 Annie meets a Texan
20 Annie plays Cupid
19 Annie the Smuggler
33 Annie's Big Deal
27 Annie's Inheritance
11 Annie's Retirement
35 Annie's Treasure Hunt
- Annie's Wedding
14 Ballot and Ballast
30 Bullwinkle's Folly
23 Butler did it
22 Chinese Formula
18 Cold Congo
9 Commodore Bullwinkle
25 Community Chest Drive
28 Dedicated Delinquent
21 Getting Annie's Pig
29 Golden Fleece
15 Happy Birthday
26 High Blonde Pressure
1 Home is the Sailor
34 Lord H Bullwinkle
- Matter of Principle
36 Medal for Annie
24 Operation Hot Cakes
8 Pizza Romance
5 Psychologist
2 Queen Annie
10 Racehorse
31 Reformation of Bullwinkle
17 Romance of Bullwinkle
37 Sixth Santa
32 Smokescreen
4 Sophisticated Annie
6 Stowaway
Note: Des Martins' site also lists 38 Pinto's Pancake Heaven
Review of the only story I have seen: 17 Romance of Bullwinkle - "Knock-kneed baboon" Bullwinkle rams Annie's boat, but, unusually, apologises. With a tie, a clean shirt, it must be love- Lydia (Charmion King) is "just the greatest." But Annie spots she's a phoney, she's a smuggler working in cahoots her real lover. So Annie decides to help Bullwinkle and "excavate him from trouble" by ramming his raft to save him from the cops ... and himself. But as they are rumbled, Annie and Bullwinkle face "a load of cement round their necks" before Annie's neat trick as she exploits their Achilles heel. The punchline is Annie's to the ex-lover: "Next time you start out with a flame, be sure you don't end up with a hot cargo!"
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The Adventures of the Seahawk (1958)
The star was John Howard, commander of a floating electronics lab, that sailed the Caribbean. Also starring was John Lee. One of the main directors was Pennington Richards who directed stories about his first love, sailing. The series was an independent production by Eugene Solow and Brewster Morgan and was only shown in Britain in a few ITV regions.
Thanks to
Classic TV archive's informative site for a lot of this information.
In view of the personnel involved I think that this is deemed to be a UK production, though filming was done at Film Studios, Bermuda.
26 stories were made and were still being advertised in the 1990's for tv syndication. Perhaps they still are?

Review of Fiery Opal
"The hottest show on the island" delays the sailing of the Seahawk, or more specifically it's the dance and singing act of Fiery Opal (Jeanne Bal) that distracts our captain. She asks Pliny Hawk to give her young son Jamie a lift to see his estranged dad. "She spells trouble," Pliny is warned, and so it proves as Pliny is left with "hot potato" Jamie, before Opal oddly snatches him back. They flee to San Leandro island, under quarantine from yellow fever. Pliny braves all in a chase across the interior, where he discovers mother and father bickering over the boy. Dad collapses with the fever, and maybe this brings about a happy ending- as if you really wanted to know
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Exclusive! Overseas Press Club
"I'm the President of the Overseas Press Club of America, and this building is our headquarters, the gathering place of the top foreign correspondents of our time, who cover every corner of the globe in their search to bring the truth to you. From their personal files, we tell the stories behind the headlines. What you are about to see really happened and the people portrayed really lived."

According to TV Times, the series of 13 did so well in USA that 26 further films were planned- what happened? The 13 films that were actually made, were first screened in Britain in from June to September 1957. Here are the titles, available on dvd-

1
The Man Who Changed Faces
2 The General's War with Scotland
3 The Monk of Chimay
4 Father Tiger
5 My Favourite Kidnapper
6 The Billion Franc Mystery
7 Santa in a Jeep
8 The Millionth Frenchman
9 The George Polk Story
10 The Littlest Sergeant
11 The Unknown Man
12 Tatiana
13 Two Against the Kremlin

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The Man Who Changed Faces

Bob Considine revisits a town by a Norwegian fjord, which had been terrorised by the evil Major Otto Hoffmann during ze war. His methods had been medieval. The underground had captured him.
Lars (Kieron Moore) happened to be be a close double of the major. To make the likeness passable, he has to undergo plastic surgery, to learn the inflections of Hoffmann's language, copy his handwriting, and of course his personal details.
Considine is here now to learn from the locals how Lars had got on. Inevitably there had been a few blips. At Cafe Svenson, he had to lay down ze law to the locals, "some of you vill vish you had never been born." The line is a bit over ze top. He has to arrest his ex girl friend Gerta (Martine Alexis) and Sven the cafe owner (Andre Morell), he's the only person who knows Lars identity. The arrest is so the Nazi plans can be passed to him. Lars, to keep up the pretence, has to show no mercy in return.
A scheme to kill the major is nearly successful. "Murderer," screams Gerta at the supposed enemy who has been caught again. He must get away, he tells Sven, and the pair hold an interesting frank to frank talk.
Released, the major could destroy a Nazi U boat. With Sven's connivance, Lars is allowed to knock Sven out. But his following action is at a high price

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The General's War With Scotland
The title must be put down to journalistic licence, and the theme is something of a variation on the Gladys Aylward story.
Journalist Maurice Dekobra relates the true story of missionary Miss MacPherson (Dorothy Alison) who works with Rev Ingram (John Laurie) and Fraser (Ewan Roberts) in the mission at Sangchow.
Evil Chinese warlord General Yin Chang (Eric Pohlman), "The Ruthless One" attacks the town and demands surrender, as well as money. The mayor, a cross between Alec Guiness and Kenneth Williams, acts as go-between, and surrenders. The town is looted and the riches of the mission attracts Chang's attention. But Miss MacPherson, who has already refused to leave, stands up to the bully, which throws him into a savage rage.
He summons "the foreign she devil" into his presence. We are not shown this interview, but it is effectively done, watching Ingram speculating on her fate. Amazingly she returns, "I'm all right." She fills in the gaps.
A second meeting we do see. Yin appears to have become quite an admirer, "her audacity interests me." But he is angry when she brings no money with her. "Are you married?" is his question.
Under her calming influence, he agrees not to destroy her mission, and again she departs unharmed. But to save face, Chang kidnaps ten mission children.
That hastens a third confrontation. Miss MacPherson does what a woman has to do, though she doesn't put it like that.
The tale moves on five years. Now governor of a model province, Yin Chang has discovered "brotherly love." Of course it's down to the influence of the missionary
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The Monk of Chimay

Frank Riley relates his search for Captain Rene Fonck, once an ace air fighter in WW1, who, holding a high rank in the air ministry in WW2 had disappeared in 1944.
In a village inn, Frank meets James Cross, a British pilot who had been shot down. He tells Riley how he had parachuted straight into a monastery and had been hidden by the monks when the Nazis searched for him. All the monks had been lined up and interrogated, the enemy failing to spot that the injured James had been disguised as a monk too.
To return him to allied lines, Brother Joachim bravely takes James by motorcycle back to his base. But the bike conks out and the pair shelter in an inn where Nazis are revelling. Brother Joachim is recognised and the two have to flee with help from the innkeeper who is killed. "Let us pray." They finally reach their destination.
Back to the present. Riley learns who Fonck is. He persuades him that his country needs him....

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Father Tiger
Naples hides some of the worst slums in Europe where sad abandoned kids are a social menace. This is a true story though you cannot but feel the influence of those American Dead End Kids, and some of those scenes, such as them shivering in the cold, are unconvincing. The gang are led by the bullying Mario, surely in his twenties, and include Thomaso, played by Richard O'Sullivan complete with Italian accent and a grubby face.
Father Pietro Maggiore (Peter Arne) explains how he rescued "the little rascals" to reporter Frederic Sondern Jr. He'd infiltrated the gang and was nicknamed Tiger, as he fights so fiercely.
He persuades tiny Tony to help him in his staged racket. The young lad smashes a dress shop window (it belongs to the priest's uncle) and then Tiger is paid to repair the broken glass. A put up job, but it wins Tony's friendship.
Father Tiger finds the derelict church of Santa Maria for them to live in. His first inmate would have been Tony, but he had contracted pneumonia and dies. However the gang help him clean the place up, but only after they have nearly lynched him when they learn "I am a priest." Mario refuses, but the others follow Thomaso's example and make the building habitable.
No school will educate them. But a girl, Gina, whom Father Tiger had saved from Mario's clutches, turns out to be the daughter of a teacher. He cannot but help and Thomaso becomes the first pupil. Though he is teased at first, he paves the route for many to become "useful citizens."
Even Mario is assisting now, he's a priest! Highly improbable, only it's all true! "Children will always warm to open arms and open hearts," he remarks. "High pulpits are not the only ones. There is another pulpit, the sidewalk."
Note- At an advance showing of the film Father Mario Borelli himself was guest of honour
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My Favourite Kidnapper

In April 1945 American POW officer David Hamilton (Ron Randell) escapes and hides in a Munich house that is actually Eva Braun's. Journalist and soldier Pierre Huss (Bill Nagy) finds him sleeping in Hitler's bed! Hamilton explains how he got here.

It proves to be a peculiarly exciting story, yet somehow very dull, with limited action. Hamilton had been hiding in the cellar of Alex Richter (Robert Brown) and his sister Anna (Iris Russell), both anti-Hitler. Hamilton agrees to help try and end the war, at least in Bavaria. But it's at some cost, for Gestapo officers come to the house, and Anna is shot dead.
The German underground plan to seize control of the broadcasting station. Hamilton's job is to persuade the elderly German General von Epp, that resistance, as they say, is futile and that it is wisest to "stop unnecessary killing." Not easily convinced, the General does consent to make a statement on radio. "Turn the Nazis out," is to be the gist of his message.
However, the wily general uses his opportunity of denouncing any such idea of surrender, putting Hamilton in a very difficult position. "We almost had the old goat."
Hamilton only gets away safely thanks to the sacrifice of Alex

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Billion Franc Mystery
Morill 'Geoff' Cody is offered a scoop by the ex-secretary of European News Service, Nicole (Nicole Maurey). She says it'll make "headline news." It's Paris in 1938.
He catches up with her in Old Montmartre at the Cafe Florian. She introduces him to her fiance Louis (Anton Diffring), who tells Geoff about this plan by the French government to duplicate French banknotes. But Louis and Nicole spot someone and run off.
Next day, Nicole meets Geoff once more, and asks for a fee if she provides concrete evidence of this conspiracy. She needs the money to run away with Louis. An employer at the mint provides it. Geoff takes it straight to the top to seek confirmation. No comment.
Nicole starts having doubts. Is Louis using her? He is definitely using Geoff, for at their rendezvous by the Seine, he robs Geoff of the money. Louis is a "bungling fool" (now where has that line been used time and again before?). Nicole perceives he is a traitor and phones to warn Geoff. She saves his life, for the Nazi plotters have gassed Geoff in his room while he sleeps. Her phone call wakes him up.
In revenge Nicole shoots the man she thought loved him- Louis. Serve him right. This gang of Nazis had been out to undermine France by getting Geoff to print the banknote scoop. For the moment their evil plan has been stopped. However Geoff is not permitted to print anything of it

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Santa in a Jeep
With Harold Lehrman (Robert Arden).

United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration bring medicine and food to a Greek community torn apart by civil war. But there's an ungrateful response, "you can do nothing here," the mayor informs the UN rep Colonel Andy Morgan (Ralph Bellamy).
Why? "Babysitters" cannot be spared to ensure UN safety. So the mission contacts the priest who introduces them to Helena who runs a large farm that has been devastated by the war.
"We need your help," that's true, but the fly in the ointment is the family's eldest brother, warlord Dimitrios (Martin Benson).
"No charity," he puts it straight to Col Morgan. But the latter donates candles and a chalice to the church, then supplies to Helena's impoverished family. Others benefit, crops are sown, undermining the authority of the unpleasant Dimitrios, who launches a reign of terror. Farms are burnt, and Helena's other two brothers are taken prisoners. Morgan is seized as a hostage.
But the priest rallies the cowering locals who march, men women and children, to Dimitrios' hideout, where the revolutionaries live in comparative luxury. "The people knew what they wanted, and had come to get it."
Dimitrios has to back down, no more interference, he agrees, under some duress

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The Millionth Frenchman
Larry Blochman (Lionel Murton) devises a scheme to boost morale in the grim aftermath of the war, with two million Frenchmen having to be repatriated. He proposes a celebration for the millionth Frenchman, on behalf of all returning personnel, and the choice falls on Sgt Jean Renaud, a fish wholesaler, cited for good conduct.
It is "quite an honour," though Jean is not overwhelmed, partly as he is so modest, and partly because he's nothing to return home to. He doesn't really espouse a seven course dinner.
He agrees, if his friend Lefoyer, who saved his life, come with him. However he's a "jailbird," hardly right for the glittering parade planned for Jean. Lefoyer plans to come anyway and hides in the vehicle that is transport Jean to the ceremony in Paris. There's a delay as he is searched for. At last everything is ready and they fly to Bourget airport.
The pair are driven to the parade, but when the car gets there, the guests of honour are missing. They popped out at the market to look for a friend of Lefoyer's. MPs pick the pair up and better late than never the parade commences.
This story is played for half hearted laughs and never works at any level

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The George Polk Case

Journalist Helen M Zotos relates this story, "what a pity all reporters are not so attractive."
She tells us about 35 year old journalist Polk, who was trying to get an interview with the communist guerilla leader in Greece, whose headquarters are high on the mount of the gods, Olympus.
Polk disappears, and later his body is found floating in the harbour at Salonika. Major Macridis of the Greek police investigates. Suspicion falls on a Greek journalist named Bakolas (Peter Wyngarde), who was once a Commie, though he says he has renounced such beliefs now.
Bakolas attempts to implicate Helen in the killing. The General must decide which of the two is lying. Bakolas' mother substantiates her son's account, but her evidence crumbles when Bakolas is forced into a confession- he is a Commie, "I still obey orders"

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The Unknown Man
Wierzbianski (Kieron Moore), a naturalised Pole, crusades for a fellow Pole, whom two sailors claim is being held prisoner on board a Polish ship in the Port of London.
He contacts two interested MPs, but is met with typical political responses, "tricky legal question," many "political repercussions." But Wierzbianski sees it more an issue of humanity. He gains support from a lawyer friend with an obscure legal point from 1857, and obtains a landing order for the stowaway. However police guarding the ship do not recognise this order. So Wierzbianski goes to the top, sending a telegram to the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. But it is too late for the ship has departed.
"When legal advice fails, pray." Thus it is that the river police detain the Polish ship and it has to berth at Woolwich. However police still politely but firmly refuse entry on board the vessel. A writ is obtained from the deputy to the Lord Chief Justice, which Wierzbianski collects personally, however holiday traffic delays his return.
When he reaches Woolwich, the captain refuses to accept the writ. Police now force an entry and remove the man, Antony, away.
In court, he is granted asylum, but a war of words ensues between the two governments before the case is decided. Antony offers grateful thanks to Wierzbianski.
I like the use of narration in moderation, but I found it excessive in this story

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Tatiana
with Paul Carpenter as George Herald.

In Vienna, Herald is alerted to the fact that a Russian Romanoff princess (Phyllis Calvert) wishes, incognito, to tell her dramatic story. She was supposed to have been executed in 1918.
So Herald first has to check her bona fides, but her enemies get to her first and almost succeed in pushing her over high railings to her death. Shaken by the experience, she is put in hiding by her friend the baron, and decides against relating her story.
A determined Herald meets her contacts who are very unco-operative. But he finds her- in a Displaced Person's Camp, where she is working as a nurse.
In a flashback we see the final day of the Czar's family. Favourite daughter Tatiana is secretly taken away by a priest.
To the present. Anastasia claims to be another survivor, Tatiana is needed to confirm if she is who she says she is. Herald tries to persuade Tatiana to meet this claimant, but she won't renounce her valued work as a nurse and reveal her true identity. Herald agrees reluctantly to keep her secret, "this is the best story I never wrote."
Unfortunately in this version it is also a very muddled story that someone wrote

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Two Against the Kremlin

Eddy Gilmore, American press correspndent, married Tamara while he was in Moscow during the war. Now they have two lovely children and live happily in a Russian apartment.
However the KGB are suspicious of him, secretly wiring up his rooms and installing a new Red maid named Natasha. You can't blame them for their suspicions, for Eddy has unwisely formed his own jazz group with the tongue-in-cheek name of The Kremlin Krows. He's ordered to alter this "disrespectful" title.
But much worse, his daughter is being indoctrinated with anti-American and even anti-religious propaganda, and Eddy decides it is time to head West. But that's not so easy for bureaucrats hinder every effort, and now Tamara is ordered to divorce Eddy.
Stalin's death brings some optimism that the old order will change, but no. Eddy constructs a packing case in which Tamara and the children can be smuggled out of the country. However this proves unnecessary, since a via surprisingly materialises. They make for freedom.
At the border they encounter more frustrating red tape. But at last they are away and safe in New York. The drama is somehow dissipated at every turn in this story, which was a true story but somehow the grandeur of the title is lost in synthetic pro-American bias

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Rendezvous
To date, I have only these US-made episodes.
Unsold Pilot:
Fast Buck
9 The Funmaster
10 Alone (pictured)

Executive producer Edwin Knops, a veteran movie man, was in charge of his first tv series, made by the Rapallo Pictures company. The series was jointly financed and distributed by CBS in America and A-R in Britain.
The host of the series, Charles Drake, also made the commercials for the American sponsor Rheingold- these were made at MGM Studios, the set consisting of a study, leading out on to a sunny patio.
In a report published on the first day of 1959, it was stated that 12 of the series had already been completed in USA, and it does appear that 13 were eventually made in America. The remaining 27, the report states, were to be filmed at Elstree, though it was claimed a few had been made in Germany.
Altogether, it appears 41 stories were made, this possibly includes two pilots to explain why the usual total of 39 was exceeded, though possibly a few of the American made stories were not made originally for this series. Rendezvous sadly remains today an extraodinarily elusive series, at least for the present.

4 British stories had already been completed by the end of 1958. In production at this period was Markheim, a reporter noting the shooting of an elaborate Mardi Gras scene.
Stray Cat starring Gladys Cooper was one story shot in January 1959, she shared top billing with a leopard! This was hired from the Farrar Zoo in Southport. At the start of February that year, the shooting of Two Per Cent Inspiration was completed, this starred Ian Bannen. Then followed Next Time We'll See Venice.
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Fast Buck
Script: Jack Finny.

It seems the price of houses was an issue even back then in the 1950s, for Sam (Cliff Robertson) and his wife Nelly have been unable to find a house for the money they have saved, $2,500.
After an exhausting but fruitless day's quest for a house in their price bracket, Sam suggests they leave their young son Billy with her mother and take a trip to the mountains. "How's that sound?" A little fun for a change. However it's clear that Sam has his eyes set on Reno, and overlooking beautiful mountain scenery, he urges her to try their luck gambling at craps to win enough to purchase their home. "One throw."
Beguiled by the bright lights, they enter the Riverside Casino, "we could lose." But they agree to risk their $2,500, "it's so easy to lose... easy to win too."
Firstly, Sam places a mere $1 bet, a win spurs him to try again. He plays a hunch, and loses. His turn to shoot, she however loses her nerve and grabs back some of the dollars placed before he throws. They win, so could have won more.
They have a thousand winnings, "one more win and the house is ours." But he loses, and the winnings have taken themselves wings and gone. "Let's quit now," urges Nell. At least their savings are intact.
But the fever has gripped him, though he looks very calm. "If we win this time...." The evils of betting are well conveyed. "Nothing else to do," as another £500 dollar bill is frittered away. They are spent. All except his last five dollars. He backs eleven, and he's on a streak.
Sorry, this story is actually a lesson on the wonders of winning. They have won their stake back. See you again, the cashier says. But the couple have learned their lesson
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Alone
(US made. Script: Loring Mandell. Director: Robert Stevens)

A curious opening, a man emerges from his car to romantic sounding music and holds up a garage, shoots the owner and drives off.
Scene 2 is equally odd, Jack and his flighty wife Cynthia (Laraine Day) are drinking heavily in a bar, it's not immediately apparent of the relationship between this and the foregoing. She makes for their country home on "the island," news of the ex-con killing two cops not on her radar. But the plot is now clear, even though she thinks, "no criminal's going to waste his time bothering me."
Police warn her to lock herself in her home. It's a familiar storyline, the vulnerable female in an isolated villa, yet the tension is well built up. The old door handle turns, panic sets in, phone someone, oh no, the line's dead!
She pretends she is not alone by talking to imaginary family members. She talks to herself too, imagining all sorts of fearsome things. Then the phone rings, it's Jack. She sighs with relief.
Then after the reprieve, she realises that the killer is in her house. But it's not what you might expect. He merely wants coffee, and his wound dressed, "I'm no butcher," he tells her as she quivers in fear.
She panics, runs away, he chases, crashing through a glass door. When Jack shows up, she is actually helping him, though it's too late to do anything

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The Funmaster
(US made)
Now the fairground is silent, closed for the season, only Bob and Jenny on this snowy day chasing each other, perhaps for a kiss or two. into the Funhouse they run, The Tilted Room, all free fun, but then a trapdoor falls open and into a basement they topple, there to be greeted by Charlie The Funmaster (Keenan Wynn).
He's a bitter old man, because he's been sacked after getting injured.A clown for the past eighteen years, now out of work, "let us out of here mister." Bob and Jenny back away but where to? They are his prisoners, wrapped up in his self despair, "you're not getting out." He lunges his fireworks at them and they attempt escape via a magic tunnel, futile, for in the props room they are cornered, locked in.
While Charlie relives his past glories full of applause, they scream to be let out. Hope gone, they settle down in the cold to discuss things like what life is all about. All rather sombre, reflecting the pair's different views of the old man, and all on the slightly wooden acting level.
"You can go now," the clown bursts in. Why is hardly apparent. But as the two gratefully quit the park, the owner catches them trespassing, and they warn him about the mad clown inside. The clown is chased round the park, use being made of the props to create potentially frightening moments. But the motivation for all this energy on the part of the owner isn't really clear, while Charlie goes beserk, Bob and Jenny trying to calm him. Bob's honesty wins the clown round as the old chap accepts the post of nightwatchman here. "Everything's all right," except for the script, and some of the acting, in this very artificial story that isn't quite pathetic nor quite frightening

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One Step Beyond
Introduced by John Newland. The independent American producing group also included Collier Young (producer), Larry Marcus (executive writer), and Merwin Gerard (creator).

The British made stories were filmed at Elstree commencing July 1960:

My reviews of the UK stories:
83 The Stranger
84 Justice
85 The Face
86 The Room Upstairs
87 Signal Received
88 The Confession
89 The Avengers
90 The Prisoner
92 The Sorceror
93 The Villa
95 The Tiger
96 Nightmare
97 Eye Witness
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These below in this series, all hosted by John Newland, were American made-
1- "The Bride Possessed"- Newlyweds Matt and Sally are on honeymoon when at Eagle Point she suddenly takes off, apparently taken over by Karen, who had committed suicide at the spot. She however claims she has been murdered and when the murder weapon turns up where she says it is, it's time to call the police and a confession of murder. Sally returns to normal and there'll be a happy honeymoon after all
2 "Night of April 14th" - The Titanic story, starring Patrick MacNee as Eric engaged to Grace, who has an "old fashioned" nightmare, feeling she is drowning. Others share her premonition, and we know they are right, though we can't be sure of Grace and Eric's fate as we watch the Titanic crash into that iceberg. John Newland ends by showing us an 1898 novel called Futility that uncannily foreshadowed the event
3 "Emergency Only" - At Jim and Betty's cocktail party, Ellen predicts that Arthur Douglas will travel on train compartment B102 with a woman who has a knife.... Though Arthur is sceptical, despite his best efforts, maybe because of them, he finds himself on that train, in that compartment, with that woman. In fear he pulls the emergency communication cord. "If you hadn't pulled that cord..." It is revealed how that vision amazingly actually saved lives
4 "The Dark Room" - Rita rents a French house and for her assignment photogrpahs a typical Frenchman in this home. But where is he? This very slight story reveals his image is somehow not captured on her pictures, "it can't be." For that man had killed his wife years before in that very house
5 "Twelve Hours to Live" - After a row, Will storms out of the house and crashes his car, to be trapped underneath it in a bog. His wife Carol is telepathic and knows "he's had an accident." But the police ain't convinced, until she guides a cop to the spot on Route 55
6 "Epilogue"- "That cannot be," but yet it is! Carl, an alcoholic, returns cured to his family as in Days of Wine. His wife really can't take it, as in Days of Wine and Roses. But when their son Stevie gets trapped in an old mine with her, her voice seems to call him there to rescue Stevie. Not obviously Any Step Beyond
7 "The Dream" - 1940, "bottom of the barrel" Home Guard men keep watch with lots of 'bloomins' and 'ruddys' as this is the American conception of British speech. Old Herbert (Reginald Owen) is awoken from a dream to stop of boat load of 5 Germans and their officer. The dream was about a bomb landing on his house, and Ethel his wife. Back home later, he finds his bombed out home, no sign of Ethel, but she had been warned by Herbert in a dream and escaped death
8 "Premonition" - In 1901 eleven year old Lisa imagines a chandelier will crash down on her. This reluctant ballerina is scared of the object ever after. In 1911 her father gets Ed (Percy Helton) to check it's really safe. "It would take an earthquake to move it." Though her vision is still "so vivid" her fiance George persuades her to bravely dance under the beastly thing... and all is well! On to 1947, Lisa is celebrating with her granddaughter also named Lisa...
9 "The Dead Part of The House" - With her father Paul, Anne comes to stay with her Aunt Minna, after her mother is killed in a car crash. Anne can't understand her dad: "sometimes I wish daddy and I could get divorced." In the nursery Anne hears the voices of her three dolls Jennifer, Rose and Mary, but also three girls who used to live in the mansion and who died there after a gas leak
10 "The Vision" - In 1915, four French soldiers are accused of cowardice after running away from a dazzling light. Their lawyer learns Germans had seen the same sight
11 "The Devil's Laughter" - Convicted murderer John (Alfred Ryder) is being hanged, but the rope snaps. "It's never happened before." When a second attempt fails, John believes himself invincible, The Man Who Could Not be Hanged. He has a vision that he will meet his "remarkable" death by a lion
12 "The Return of Mitchell Campion" - Intriguing account of Mitchell Campion on his first visit to a Mediterranean island. However locals recognise him claiming he has been there before. It's nonsense, he is sure, until he encounters someone he vaguely recalls, Francesca. But he couldn't have been there before, his passport would have indicated that much. Besides, he was lying in an American hospital after a car crash. Yet, here's a photo of him on his previous trip. There's "no logical answer," except maybe that Mitchell had been officially dead for four minutes
13 "The Navigator" - "Everybody knows about the captain, he's old." Never quite The Caine Mutiny, it's a mystery who changed the ship's course? The irascible captain, at loggerheads with company investigator Blake, roots out a mysterious stowaway who leads the ship thru Titanic-like icy studio waters to castaways
14 "The Secret" - Not Who is Sylvia?- but Where is Sylvia? On her birthday, Sylvia uses her ouija board to contact Jeremy, and she senses his presence even though noone else can see him. He becomes so real to her that her husband is sure she's ill. But she blames him for "stopping her living." Mad, she is taken away by a doctor, but is the doctor really Jeremy? And where is Sylvia now? Vanished from the earth, claims John Newland
15 "The Aerialist" - Trapeze act The Flying Patruzzios' death defying act ends in disaster for Papa Gino, paralysed, "better if he'd died, he's like a mummy or something." Did Mario (Michael Connors) drop him because they'd argued? We see Mario crack up, all quite understandable, until he revisits the scene of the accident, jumps off the trapeze, but an invisible hand saves him
16 "The Burning Girl" - "A fire doesn't start from nothing" though in 1921 Alice, with the reputation of a firebrand is attacked and dragged to a lonely barn, only escaping when the place catches fire. A dark sense of evil is well portrayed in her relationship with Aunt Mildred, who demands she be put away. In front of her shrink, her fear seems to bring on a spontaneous combustion, "it just started by itself." John Newland adds a coda, that Alice's strange power disappeared after she got happily married
17 The Haunted U Boat -In Spring 1945 U boat 147 carries a special passenger (Werner Klemperer), "the last hope of the German Reich." But this weird knocking noise unnerves him and he crumbles like the fictitious Queeg in the Caine Mutiny, "will zis pounding never ce-eease? However when he's knocked out, that pounding stops also. After the war, in the scrapped U boat, John Newland supplies a clear explanation
18 "Image of Death" - A rich marquis (Max Adrian) marries Charlotte, four month's after his first wife Janette's mysterious death. What is that stain on the wall where her picture used to hang? An evil conscience troubles the marquis, so Charlotte makes him a nightcap, as he'd once made for Janette, make it quick, he pleads with her. A surprise finish
19 "The Captain's Guest" - For rent: "unfriendly" New England house, "this is what we've been dreaming about," Andy tells his wife Ellen. "I wouldn't fool with it," advises the agent, "don't go to house, not a happy place," advises a local. But they do move in, and Andy starts to take on the character of the previous occupant, a sea captain who'd lost one leg, until fire ravages the mansion destroying the captain's body, or is it Andy's? "Not entirely satisfactory," admits John Newland at the end, and for once I agreed
20 "The Echo"- Did Paul (Ross Martin) murder his wife Julie? A jury acquits him, maybe thanks to his clever lawyer Perry- sorry- Dan. But Paul thinks he sees a gunman shooting him, then this man follows him. He is Julie's brother, "you're here to kill me." In his fear, Paul admits he did kill Julie then shoots her brother. Guilty conscience of course
21 "Front Runner"- Jockey Ronnie Watson, in intensive care, relates how he had nobbled his friend and rival jockey Sam Berry who had bet a fortune on winning his last race. Then Ronnie has his final race, and Sam, aged over sixty, is in the race too and causes Ronnie to swerve and miss his final moment of triumph. But cine film shows that Sam was never in that race
22 "The Riddle"- it's a good title, what IS this about? On an Indian train, an American tourist is annoyed by an old man staring at him. When the old man alights, the American has to chase after him, and collapses. Recovered, he is obsessed with a woman's bust with a slashed face. He gets shot. There's a long explanation which, I admit, lost me, something to do with identical death and birthdays
23 "Delusion" - Harold (Norman Lloyd) has a very rare blood group, but refuses to donate his blood to save a dying girl. "What kind of crumb are you?" He explains that on several occasions when he has donated blood, he has affected the recipients' lives. But finally he is persuaded to help 19 year old Martha (Suzanne Pleshette), who does recover. But then Harold has this premonition she will die a violent death. He saves her from being gassed, but then a handsome young man rescues her from more danger, and Harold's over protecive influence on her life can lead to only one thing, violent death
24 "Ordeal on Locust Street" - Jason is afflicted with a rare ailment of unknown origin. In desperation Margaret his mother turns to Dr Edward Brown, who first helps Jason's sister Anna (Suzanne Lloyd) who has been jilted by Danny after he has met the unseen Jason. After several month's treating Jason, Dr Brown's method is proved a success. The first use of hypnosis
25 "Brainwave" - In 1944 Commander Bill Fielding is injured on his ship, only man who can operate is a busted drunken rating, Harris, who has to remove the shrapnel from Fielding's neck. Harris has to follow detailed radio instructions from the doctor on another ship, Your Life in Their Hands, but when radio contact is lost, is the commander's life also lost?
26 "Doomsday" - In a medieval Seville castle, Jamie is bewitched by a maid and wastes away when his father forbids the liaison, When she is condemned to be burned as a witch, she curses them and each succeeding generation. The modern day earl lies a-dying, so his 28 year old son Will waits for his end within the hour. What could have been dramatic is only frustrating, for you can see the ending coming, just like Will can, only different. However apparently the castle can now be a grand tourist attraction!
27 "Night of The Kill" - Seven year old Davy has been missing in the woods for three days before he's found by his weary parents. But just who is the "giant" friend who had looked after him? It seems to be some sort of creature, "tall as a tree. It's got to be killed." Setting fire to the brushwood should flush it out, though once done, no charred remains are discovered. A truly tall story literally, "we fear what we do not understand," John Newland rounds it off
28 "The Inheritance" - A self centred contessa mysteriously dies when she puts on her valuable diamond necklace. Is it punishment for her treatment of her maid Grace, or her taunting of her lover Michael Barry? The maid inherits everything, and then rather rashly makes up to Michael, but donning the valuable necklace dies the same death. Michael grabs the jewelry to give to a grateful young Nina, "never saw anything so beautiful," or so awful as it chokes her too
29 "The Open Window" - In the Greenwich Village apartment of March, there's a good view of the room opposite, here March overhears a woman on the phone on the verge of a breakdown. He watches as she switches on the gas to kill herself. He dashes to her room, but no sign of her at all. Back in his own apartment a shocked March sees her again! "It couldn't have been a dream twice." A third time, but this time someone else also sees the woman, and she is really there committing suicide, "how did he know?"
30 "Message from Clara" - An English teacher is given a brooch by a grateful adult pupil. Does this cause her to start writing gibberish on the blackboard? Yet it is comprehensible to this foreign student, it's the writing of his wife who died five years back. Later she writes another message, which is translated, "watch out or he'll kill you, just like he did me." There follows an impressive way out scene as he attempts murder. JN tells us this is psychic writing
31 "Forked Lighning" - Alex is in a trance, positive he will die today. The other side of the city, Ellen has a strong premonition of her husband George's death at his bank. Add a crippled child and here's a recipe for sentiment, as Alex tries to buy a last minute life insurance to provide for his daughter. Not possible, so he resorts to bank robbery, and chooses the very bank where George works, it's destiny
32 "The Reunion" - It's 1939. Germans are informed why Hitler has to invade Poland. Five youngsters promise to meet again in a month as soon as the fighting is over. Peter however is jealous of his rival Hans' attention to Helge and stabs him just as his glider is to take off. So how can he still fly so "beautifully"? But his plane disappears. After ze war, Helge insists on going to the reunion, Peter doubtfully joins her. They see a glider in the sky. It descends, in the cockpit a skeleton. "But how?" JN inquires
33 "Dead Ringer" - What's the connection between lady firebug Emily and her twin sister Esther's unaccountable fevers at the time of the arson attacks? JN explains it is Bilocation, "Emily is evil," Esther explains to her husband Bill, since she's started another conflagration at St Anne's School. Esther wills her sister to come to her, with tragic consequences
34 "The Stone Cutter" - Simon Lockhart died Sept 7 1957, this is carved on his headstone, but that's today's date, and he's not dead- yet! Peter Menzies, the "old crank" who cut the stone, insists "you can't stop death with a phone call," and his grim action offers the chance of reconciliation twixt father and his selfish son Stanley. It's gripping, inexorable fate, "how can we stop it?"
35 "Father Image" - Daniel Gardner (Jack Lord) inherits a boarded up old burlesque house from his estranged father, a successful businessman. Outside here, Dan is knocked down by a lorry, but then finds variety is alive and well. He meets dancer Valerie as it seems he is reliving his dad's life. She had been blackmailing him with inevitable results. Later Dan can tell the cops where her body is hidden. JN tells us it's "genetic memory"
36 "Make Me Not A Witch" - A fascinating miracle concerning fourteen year old Emmy who seems able to read her ma's mind, "I'm not making it up." Might Emmy be superstitiously branded as a witch? She tells her secret to a priest who bravely enlists her aid when old fisherman Juan lies paral;ysed, the secret of the whereabouts of two children lost at sea hid in his mind. Simply and well told, with striking camerawork, Emmy attempts to read Juan's mind. But there's one snag, he is thinking in Spanish! "Gracias a Dios"
37 "The Hand" - Lady Macbeth's disease strikes when hot jazz pianist Tommy (Robert Loggia) is jilted . "Dead without" Alma, he stabs her, but then washing his hands, they'll never be clean. A doc tells him "there's nothing wrong with your hand," though Tommy knows there sure is, everything he touches has blood on. So he comes to court, where he just can't place that hand on the Bible...
38 "The Justice Tree"- An escaped condemned prisoner is given refuge in a lonely house. But young Joey is perceptive enough to dislike this man. Very oddly, a dead oak tree where Joey has a tree house, starts sprouting leaves, and with the crook's evil past esposed, this tree becomes an executioner
39 "Earthquake"- The story of Gerald Perkins, lift boy in a San Francisco hotel. The year is 1906, and he foresees the disaster at 5.13, but who will believe him? The story's too slow and indeed predictable
40 "The Forest of the Night"- "A magic game of some sort," Chinese, fascinates Ted, sending him into a trance, making him believe he is a leopard in the jungle. His companions are baffled by his change of behaviour, is it "second childhood?" When he disappears, reports come in of a leopard on the prowl. John Newland reveals that a leopard was later found shot, though Ted is never seen again. "I will undergo change," he quotes, but surely this is One Step Too Far....
41 "Call from Tomorrow" - A promising beginning never quite comes to fruition. Actress Elena Stacey is coming home, "just as though nothing had ever happened." Something did, but what? That's what intrigues us. Some "tragedy," and finally we learn it's the death of her daughter, run over by a truck. "I- I thought I heard a cry," as she imagines her child's choice. As she attempts her stage comeback, that voice saves her life
42 "Who Are You?" - For three weeks Helen has been "more dead than alive," after her twelve year old daughter Alice had drowned. Ten miles away twelve year old Laurie is dying of scarlet fever, but suddenly miraculously recovers, or does she? Now she no longer recognises her mother or father. Instead she runs away to her real daddy, though he's really Alice's dad. "I don't understand," Laurie-Alice cries in a story a soap opera writer couldn't dream up. But she cheers Helen up who then finds she is expecting. That takes Laurie out of her new identity and returns her to her own family. "Purposeful possession," John Newland informs us. Intriguing also
43 "The Day The World Wept" - Abraham Lincoln (Barry Attwater) dreams of his death and his wife Mary has forebodings too. Newland shows us others who had premonitions, an old newspaper editor, a soldier who hears weeping, and church bells ringing even before the assassination
44 "The Lovers" - A "nice story" (says Newland) of a retired Viennese postman who falls for a young maid. But whenever they try to kiss a poltergeist seems to interrupt them
45 "Vanishing Point" - "Where are you?" After another argument a wife disappears "into thin air" inside their Connecticut home. Suspected of Ruth's murder, the husband sees a vision of Agatha trapped in their home a century earlier. She also was never seen again. "The screwiest alibi I ever heard!" admits Lt Barnes. When the husband also disappears Newland asks us "how can that be?"
46 "The Mask" - How come a wounded American flyer in WW2 can suddenly write and speak ancient Egyptian? And how come, after his bandages are removed, does he look like a different man? Out of his African hospital bed he leads an archaeologist to the tomb of an Egyptian prince. Or is it his own tomb?
47 "The Haunting" - In the Alps, Colin (Ronald Howard) fails to help his best man Peter Duncan who has broken his leg in a skiing accident. He leaves him to die in the cold, believing Peter was too "devoted" to Nancy, his bride-to-be. Now it's just before Colin's marriage. Are his old withdrawal symptoms which started when he crashed his Spitfire returning? No, but things start freezing, the wedding bouquet, even the bridesmaid at the wedding. A rather thin storyline, with Peter's poltergeist coming literally between bride and groom. "There will be no honeymoon," announces Newland blandly
48 "The Explorer" - Three men stranded in the Sahara. After ten days, exhausted, a fourth man joins them, Eric, who leads them to an old fort, then a well- but it's dried up. They struggle on like in any good movie. Eric collapses first. As this is OSB, it turns out he was an invalid who never left his US bed
49 "The Clown" - echoes of silent movies and goodness knows what else. A husband punishes his immature young wife (Yvette Mimieux) by cutting off a lock of her hair. Pippo, a mute clown, comforts her but that only makes her enraged husband stab her to death. The murderer is then haunted by the clown and drowns. When Pippo is arrested he is soaking wet, but how come? He'd been inside his caravan pathetically cradling the dead girl. Well, JN did promise us this would be "bizarre"
50 "I Saw You Tomorrow" - Good characterisation in this "accident of time," as house guest Donald witnesses Claire's murder at the hand of her husband Carter Seymour. But he's never met either of them until he's shortly afterwards introduced to the very much alive Claire and her boorish husband
51 "Encounter" - Pilot Bob Rand photos something "like a big cigar" before he crashes his plane. A famous possible UFO sighting, but this story gets sidetracked into the search for the missing plane and even Rand's love life, before he is found a thousand miles away. Yet his plane could never have travelled that far. The UFO theme is explored though the eyes of a sceptic, and I must say neither did I find the evidence offered here convincing
52 "The Peter Hurkos Story" (part 1) - It's Amsterdam in 1944. Nazis pursue a young man who falls 50 feet, but somehow survives. As he recovers, he warns his doctor he is going to be killed, "it just came to me." Soon he's a success on stage as a mind reader. though he worries his powers might fail any moment. The Man with the Radar Eyes uncomfortably exposes a wartime traitor
53 "The Peter Hurkos Story" (part 2) - The Dutchman is "a psychic marvel," submitting to scientific tests to prove his esp powers. Then he agrees to solve a murder case. A sick man has strangled a woman, Peter incredibly able to point the police to Vogel, "is he crazy?" Newland chats to the real Hurkos to conclude this programme
54 "Delia" - Newland informs us this is an "unforgettable" story of instant romance between er ... and ... er
55 "The Visitor" - In driving snow Harry (Warren Beatty) crashes his car. He had just had another row with his wife Ellen (Joan Fontaine). A stranger enters her home, he looks so like her husband, to all intents he is Harry, same life history, their still born baby etc. "Delusion" or not, asks JN, "an accident in time?"
56 "Gypsy" - Four prisoners make the simplest of jailbreaks you're ever likely to see. But one, Gypsy has been shot in the back, and one of his mates hides with him. This brings on morbid philosophy more than psychic, except it seems Gypsy had never made it over the wall, shot dead, "that's quite a story"- it certainly isn't
57 "Contact" - Bill (Ron Randell) is given an old watch for his birthday by his loving wife Mary. But does it make him hear voices, "somebody else thinking inside your head"? A man called Walter is planning to kill a person named Beth by pushing her downstairs. A patient search locates the prevous owner of the watch, too late. There's a fine ending to this story, that seems too good to be true. It was psychometry, JN tells us
58 "The Lonely Room" - Therese I adore you, that's what Henri ought to tell this pretty girl, yet he's shy and gauche, lonely too, so what does he do when he sees someone else date her, especially when that someone looks just like him? He's "a special matchmaker," Newland informs us
59 "House of the Dead" - Lt Harry Frasier, allegedly English but sounding as American as they come, has fallen for a native Hong Kong girl (Laya Raki), but after proposing to her, she disappears. A desperate Harry consults a blind man who tells him to search in the House of the Dead, not a bad guess for there he finds her. Not necessarily much in the way of Steps Beyond, but it's a pleasant romantic tale
60 "Goodbye, Grandpa" - Grandpa adds his homespun philosophy to his two grandchildren, wholly annoying. Departure of said old timer with a stroke, but he never said farewell as he'd promised, but then he does, driving his old train, "they won't believe." No. Very unconvincing, very stagey, very dull.
61 "The Storm" - A brand new painting titled La Tornata is by Pedro, but he died three years back. His old friend Adele and her husband question the painter's aged mother who clearly is hiding something. Juanito, a little child shall lead them to the truth, "a miracle"
62 "Tidalwave" - So many dead in the Chilean earthquakes of 1960. Volcanoes and tidal waves follow. Over in Honolulu evacuation warnings can't be heard by dead retired Commander Powers, and wheelchair bound Margaret North can't get anyone to come and rescue her. Hopelessly lost, Powers asks his way at her house, "come on, let's get out of here." A miracle, the real Mrs North tells John Newland, for two lives were saved
63 "Anniversary of a Murder" - Businessman Gerald Simms has a guilty conscience, not just because he's cheating on his wife. "I can't see," cries his dictaphone at him. A year previously, on a stormy night, he had been driving his car carelessly alongside his lover Fran, when he had knocked a cyclist down. They had concocted alibis and nothing had happened until this anniversary. Simms replaces the dictaphone record, but the new one produces the same playback, "it's all black. I want to go home," the very words of the dying cyclist. Fran hears it too, and is scared. She goes to the police, but Simms has now crashed his car at the very scene of the accident. "Conscience is a potent enemy," John Newland concludes grimly
64 "The Death Waltz" - Lt Eustace Fairchild is in love with "a vain cruel girl," Lillie (Elizabeth Montgomery). This is like David and Bathsheba of old, for she gets her dad to send Eustace on a dangerous mission. He dies. Then she hears his voice, perhaps she is Bewitched? At a dance on March 30th 1869 in New Nexico, several witnesses see her dancing with Eustace before she dramatically collapses and dies
65 "The Return" - A patrol of six advance under incessant gunfire in Korea in 1951. One is stranded, blinded, but how is he able to crawl a mile to rejoin his mates? Their voices guide him, even though they are far too far away to be heard normally
66 "If You See Sally" - All very straightforward to start. Sally Ellis is blamed by her father for the death of her twelve year old brother Paul and in sorrow leaves home. Her mother arranges a reconciliation but on the way home Sally is killed in a road accident. But seven years on, salesman Ray sees her badly injured by the side of the road, but her parents later reveal to him she was dead, but every year returns to the place and is seen by a passing motorist like him. Such an annual occurence authenticates itself, making this one of the most convincing One Step Beyond
67 "Moment of Hate"- Depressing story of a woman who is depressed because she wished her hated business rival dead, and it was so. Hypnotism reveals a childhood trauma in an even more depressing ending
68 "To Know the End" - In wartorn France Emily sees a wounded man (Alex Davion) whose dying words are "Emily, I love you." But the war hasn't started as yet, when she next meets Harry, as though for the first time. As romance blossoms she warns him, "it doesn't turn out all right," for she knows the date and the place he is to die. To prevent the tragedy, she tries crashing their car, but Fate cannot be foiled, and the only question is, how could she know about it all beforehand? John Newland ponders the answer
69 "The Trap" - Florence and Dom are happily married in Chicago, but as he awakes he screams out Edna, whoever she is. He becomes claustrophobic, dehydrated but medically "completely well." But surely "flipping his lid." The last rites are pronounced in this fascinating story, which is amazingly connected with the fact that Dom had, unknowns, a twin brother named Fred, and away in Nevada he is trapped in a mineshaft
70 "The Voice" - In 1902, locals burn down a New England barn, because of the demon there, Roger, a raccoon who speaks seven languages. Echoes of the Salem witch trials, "it's utterly impossible." Says Newland, "the most incredible case of possession"
71 "The Promise" - Karl (William Shatner) is a German POW who agrees to try and defuse a Nazi bomb in war torn Coventry, "if I didn't have to, I wouldn't." Hereby he saves Lois from death and later marries her. After the war ends he continues defusing old bombs, and this pans out into the usual bomb drama, but quite poetic, religious even
72 "Tonight at 12.17" - a pregnant woman believes a plane will crash into her home
73 "Where Are They?" - Two unexplained mysteries. First, in 1922 in Chico, Sacramento Valley, it rains rocks every day, "they are falling from an empty sky!" No attempt at explanation rather spoils it for me. Then in 1917 Charles Elton had demonstrated that old chesnut, a miracle pill that turns water into petrol. However he vanishes without trace
74 "The Legacy of Love"- A woman takes the wrong train and finds herself stranded at Seaside. She keeps on staring at this married man, Norman, she knows him, he her, though they've never met. Ingrid Bergman might have made this a memorable role, as it is Norma Crane makes do. Is this a romance? "This is something else," Norman explains to his naturally sceptical wife, for he is also John, in the eyes of the girl's mother. Deja vu or something is the only explanation. Asks John Newland, "is there a deeper memory in every cell?"
75 "Rendezvous"- Kate keeps receiving proposals, but she can't accept her husband Jim has been "presumed dead" by the navy. Upset, she inadvisedly wanders a park at night where a man scares her, though he's warned off by another man who it transpires must be Jim. The prowler kills another woman and the facts come out about this strange happening
76 "The Executioner" - In the Civil War, Jess is taken prisoner by a Union general, who frames him as a spy. After the usual platitudes, "this is war, people get killed," orders are orders and Jess must be shot. But at his execution Tom, Jess' faithful dead dog, appears to him and gets his revenge. "Loyalty can sometimes be a lot stronger than death"
77 "The Last Round" - Yank Dawson (Charles Bronson) is haunted by an ex-boxer, the Ghost of East End Arena, Paddy. Sanderson, manager of his next opponent, admits to trickery, but then during the actual fight Yank really sees the apparition. Legend has it that all who see it will die. It's September 17th 1944, night of another air raid...
78 "Dead Man's Tale" - Jan and Phil book into a hotel, broke, end of the line, "we'll make out." Maybe a book left behind in their room will help, The Gold Miners' Handbook. That night, Phil writes a "fascinating" tale of prospector Larry Barton who falls out with his brother Robert over a gold strike. But how on earth does Phil know that what he was writing was actually true? He traces the feuding brothers and finds it is so
79 "The Sacred Mushroom" - Unusual, a documentary about an expedition JN joins to a remote Mexican village in search of a mushroom with alleged esp properties. Then an expert administers the drug to JN to test it scientifically, "despite three years on our show, I have very little esp." That's what JN says before taking the drug, what about after?
80 "The Gift" - Set in England but spot two left hand drive American cars, and the accents are true Hollywood British. Gypsy "Ma" tells rich Maud's fortune, but recoils when she has a vision of her son Mario bending over the girl's corpse. "Do you think that's funny?" Maud laughs about it, but not for long after Ma's interference, struggling against fate, causes the storm that ends in death. Newland claimed production of the series moved to England because here was a rich vein of stories, but maybe the defects of this episode convinced him it was a wise choice.
81 "Persons Unknown" - John Newland is in Mexico City to talk to a doctor who back in 1920 had been on the run and had hidden one night in a convent. A policeman who came to arrest him was overcome by some supernatural force. The doctor was charged with murder but was acquitted. Newland wants to know more of this death "by someone or something not seen by the eye"
82 "Night of Decision" - "When will spring ever come?" a crisis in the American War of Independence, General Washington's dispirited troops are short of provisions in the freezing cold, morale is at zero. When an allegedly dead Red Indian renews "the stubbornness to continue against the most impossible obstacles," he furnishes Washington (Robert Douglas) with a vision of a "nation victorious," and also in the future, "a major force for good." But has this prediction come true?
91 "Blood Flower" - Pacifist Professor Gavin Carroll (Larry Gates) is lecturing on political science in a South American dictatorship, when he falls under the spell of a "psychic parasite" transmitted by a plant growing on the university campus. It turns him into dead revolutionary Luis Arturo Fuentes, a man determined to kill the evil Presidente. The prof completes the task before being shot himself. "I don't understand," are his dying words, and John Newland attempts to help him out
94 "Midnight" - Aspiring writer Ralph Terrence encounters a "very beautiful" lady in the London night fog, and falls in love. She meets him every subsequent night at midnight, and persuades him to make money to buy her new dresses. However his conscience revolts at killing and to prevent her seeing him yet again, he prevents Big Ben from ever striking another midnight. A familiar enough theme, but well done, ending as you would expect, except that this is only his novel. No JN to explain this one
Next Step Beyond
Now looking more intellectual in his glasses, an older John Newland returned in 1978 for this colour series, mostly reworkings of earlier stories. 25 stories were made and as quickly forgotten.
The Return of Cary Dewitt (A reworking of One Step Beyond #12 The Return of Mitchell Campion) - Cary dies on the operating table, but then revives to "a living death." But miraculously recovered, he is drawn to Tahiti, never been there before, though several people recognise him. Police fingerprints prove he was there, at the very time he was in the operating theater! His girl friend Tiare is dying of a broken heart too. It's teleportation, according to JN. Only average acting spoils the story though the photography is impressive
The Love Connection (A reworking of #42 Who are You?)- Harriet sits in a dazed state on the verge of death after the drowning of her own daughter Karen in the family swimming pool. Jill is a young gymnast and Olympic hopeful who collapses possibly a blood clot on her brain. So how can she possibly turn for a while into Karen? This becomes too over the top in angst, but "there is no end" to love of course. John Newland explains this "case of reincarnation... a psychic form of such extraordinary power"
Dream of Disaster (Reworking of 72 Tonight at 12.17) - At exactly half past one in the afternoon, pregnant Helen keeps dreaming a plane will crash into her home. "You don't believe it's possible to see into the future?" Now she sees it's a Cessner 1720, then the actual number 2670. Her husband Harry works in Air Traffic Control, and when he sees this plane really is in trouble, pilot heart attack, Harry dashes to save his dear wife. This is tense stuff, though there's an unusually stodgy epilogue from JN
To Fight a Ghost (A reworking of #75 Rendezvous)- Cathy is rather stupidly walking in the park after dark. An ex-student of hers, a dropout, confronts her, taunts her, attacks her. But Cathy's missing husband, presumed dead, defends her, the attacker later identifies him, but if he were dead, how come?
Sin of Omission (A reworking of #86 The Room Upstairs)- In her new home, Diane can hear a child crying, "it hurts mummy." She even sees the girl, but there's a history of insanity in her family, she's childless, can anything else go wrong? Things improve when her husband Larry (Mark Goddard) meets the child's parents, who tell Larry and Diane about their daughter Judy who had an incurable disease. Much more overdramatic than the earlier version
Cry Baby - Sue is alone in an isolated house as husband Larry is in rehab. He hears a baby crying while back home his wife is being pursued by a weirdo. Surrounded by unpleasant rats and snakes she wanders injured, and the baby's crying guides Larry to her rescue. It's all OTT, but, "you're not going to believe this," it's her unborn child that does the crying
Out of Body - DJ Randall Priest is charged with murdering Susan Lambert. His friend claims at his trial that she had told Priest she could not go ahead and marry him. Convicted and awaiting sentence in San Quentin, Priest apparently haunts David and his wife. The ending is excessively dire, unintentionally hilarious it's so bad
Possessed - Workaholic Paul and his wife Caroline are trying to patch up their marriage on vacation. Suddenly she starts speaking in Spanish and, though she can't drive, drives off in their auto. When the police catch up with her she doesn't recognise Paul saying her name is Maria. This woman had recently been murdered, her husband is awaiting trial for her killing. "It's incredible" but she eludes the cops, finds her husband's cell then proves he did not kill her at all, she shows where she had slipped and fallen to her death. How could Caroline know any of that?
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83 The Stranger
An earthquake reduces a city to "a graveyard without limit." A city of 50,000 one minute - the next "wallop!" In the rubble, twelve days on, two workmen (Peter Dyneley, Graham Stark) break into an underground vault where they find a man and three children barely alive. Against the odds, they had always believed they were going to be rescued. For an American (Bill Nagy), now dead, had promised them that rescue would come. This dead man cannot be moved, but one workman takes his fingerprints to help identify him later.
The prints belong to Jerome S Cole, a man who had been sentenced to be executed for murder twenty years previously.
The warden at his prison (Patrick McAlliney) relates how Cole had several times successfully appealed for a reprieve, one time agreeing to donate his body to the less fortunate. One potential beneficiary, Emily a 17 year old blind girl, had written to Cole, via her mother, thanking him for his generosity, for, until Cole's reprieve, she had been due to receive his cornea. The letter tears at Cole's elastic conscience for his offer had only been a publicity stunt to save his life, not an act of philanthropy. This letter bugs him so much he even asks the warden if he can give his eye to Emily anyway.
Then we learn that this was not the first time Cole had appeared "as a stranger" to aid those in peril. But how could it be he? For in January 1938, in attempting to break prison, he had fallen from a height and been electrocuted. "Explain it?" concludes Newland, "we couldn't possibly even try.

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84 Justice

One of the most intriguing of this series.
English law is, John Newland tells us, "the essence of all that is solid and substantial and practical." It may have been true in those days.

His story starts in a Welsh coal mining village on a sabbath morn. Libanus Chapel is full, echoing to the sound of Bread of Heaven- what else?- sung of course in Welsh. The preacher's theme is judgement, hellfire and damnation-kind, and as he drones on, the chimes of noon ring out. At least one member of the congregation, Wyndham Roberts (Meredith Edwards) dozes off.
Yet a mile and a half away in a derelict warehouse, he's showing a policeman PC Josh Jones (Clifford Evans) the body of Rosie. "I killed her," the reason blackmail, he'd been having an affair with her. Before Jones can take him in custody, he's vanished.
But Jones sees him emerging from the service, and promptly takes the bewildered Roberts down to the police station. "I was in chapel all the time," Roberts protests. His alibi is confirmed by the congregation that he was in the chapel for the whole meeting. The minister adds that he noticed Roberts even fell asleep during his sermon.
Jones is suspended from duty, and his wife (Barbara Mullen) tries to comfort him, for he is full of self pity. But one thing he won't be shaken from, is his account of the events of that Sunday. But he has to concede that Roberts cannot have left that chapel. Gossip, rather encouraged by Mrs Roberts, hints that Jones might have thrown suspicion on Roberts to deflect it from himself.
Certainly no other suspects to Rosie's murder suggest themselves to the police. Stubbornly Jones states to his superior officer, "I am saying what I heard and saw is the truth." It seems to be an impasse. Officially, Jones has suffered an "unfortunate hallucination."
But there is a development to the case. Roberts announces himself at the police station and leads Jones and his colleagues to the warehouse. Some digging uncovers the murder weapon. Now Roberts is under real suspicion, but he disappears at once.
Police are banging on his door. He's asleep, says Mrs Roberts. He has not been out of the house all day. But, she continues, he had been having "a most frightful dream," then he fell into a deep sleep, "as though a weight had been lifted from his very soul."
John Newland ponders on the role of conscience and suggests this is a case of teleportation (as also in #12). He adds the result of Roberts' trial and concludes with the solemn words of the preacher. Indeed to goodness yes

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The Face
The story starts in Liverpool in 1873, when a little boy has a nightmare. While his mother is full of compassion, Isaiah his father wants to make a Man of the lad. Maybe it's such harsh treatment that leads to what follows.
The dream recurs to this child, Stephen, as he works in his father's shop. He's not his father's favourite, that honour goes to his elder brother Mark.
Now Stephen (Sean Kelly) has reached 20 years of age, and he's a kind of Victorian Angry Young Man, one who knows his fate is writ in the stars, he is positive he is going to be killed one day by the face in his recurring nightmare, with a knife. Mark, by contrast, is running his father's shop and is to marry a girl Stephen had been attracted to himself (Paula Byrne).
Stephen is obsessed with this Face. He persuades a tattoo artist to draw its likeness to Stephen's description, "the mouth cruel...." The finished portrait Stephen takes to the police, but they have bad news, no such person is in their files. "On your way, lad." That leaves Stephen to scour Liverpool for himself. In one rough pub, a gang mock and deface his picture, and down and out, he is press ganged on a ship bound for Montevideo.
On board he comes face to face with that Face, it's that of the captain (Roger Delgado). "Why do you want to kill me?" he blurts out to the bemused captain.
Stephen has no choice, he decides he must kill the captain first. However he blunders just a bit, he kills the wrong man. He is adjudged guilty of murder and sentenced to death. "It wasn't a bit like my dream," he writes, in his dying letter to Mark. But it is going to be, for there's the knife, it is being used to cut the rope from which his body hangs
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86 The Room Upstairs
Will (David Knight) returns to his lovely Georgian house to find a strange man with his new wife Esther (Lois Maxwell).
"I'm a doctor!" is his explanation and apparently it's true. For she is ranting, terrified his first baby will turn out to be insane. Yet the screaming child she can hear and see is real enough. It's in the sewing room upstairs: "don't scream," she cries as the voice is driving her mad.
"Mama help," the voice continues to cry out, but Will's only comfort is to tell Esther, "it's all nonsense," for he hears nothing.
Again the voice calls, "do something please mama." Now Esther sees this girl as well as hears her wailing. Will sees nothing and can only attempt to calm her.
In the light of day, things look better, at least for the moment. "I can't bear this," as the voice sounds again, this time Esther sees a husband and wife arguing. "Who are they?" asks Will, for even he can see them. He believes now.
They question the agent from whom they are renting the property. He can't shed any light, yet the names of the owners are soon discovered, the Morrisons.
"How did you know about Judy?" they ask. The Morrisons are in the house again, this time in the flesh. Again the voice cries out. "It was her voice." Mrs Morrison (Jane Hylton) can explain it all. She recounts the sad story of their daughter who was wasting away. In modern parlance, this was a kind of assisted suicide.
So the Morrisons are put on trial. John Newland sums up their "crime of omission," and more improbably speculates how Esther and Will could have seen and heard the dead girl

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87 Signal Received

During the war, three soldiers on shore leave from HMS Hood each experience something "utterly beyond the normal."
Or rather two seem to. Johnny Watson (Mark Eden) is going to get married soon to Sheila. But he hears on the radio news the startling story that his ship has been sunk, fifteen hundred men drowned. "That's impossible," cries Sheila when John tells her. They puzzle over the news story, and to allay John's worries, they consult her uncle who happens to work at the BBC. He does check the recording tape ready by Jeremy Smith of the news bulletin Johnny had listened to. He plays it back to them, but there's no mention of HMS Hood. "It was there," is all Johnny can insist.
George (Terry Palmer) has returned to his family, and his anxious mother. His father is busy on night duty. She warns her son not to go to Scapa Flow, she's dreamt of some danger. She dreams she has received a telegram, "your son missing, believed killed. May 24th." George attempts to comfort her.
The third sailor, Robin, is more carefree. He is enjoying a reading of the cards with his friends. Those cards seem to predict a very easy war for him, so that makes everyone happy.
A newspaper on the train back to the ship is seen by Johnny. Headlines read HMS Hood Sunk. When they meet up at the station, he shows it to George, but the headlines now say nothing of the kind!
"Something's going to happen," to his sure knowledge, but when Robin is warned, he's convinced he'll be OK, after that reading of the cards.
But the three sailors do try a fortune teller. Yes, Robin is predicted a life of happiness. Then George reluctantly shows his hand, but before his fortune can be told, the boys have to dash to catch their train.
Robin is suddenly posted to Portsmouth, so only the two of them, with heavy hearts, make for Scapa Flow.
There is a sense of inevitability, as John Newland relates the sinking of their ship in the Denmark Strait on May 24th. Only three survivors. He introduces another who kind of survived, played by actor Robin Hughes, a signalman, "the lucky young man who was ordered away from death"

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88 The Confession
Those penetrating eyes and husky voice of Donald Pleasence, acting as only he knows how, start off this story, as an even more way out than usual DP at Hyde Park Speaker's Corner confesses to murder.
In the crowd is no less than our host John Newland himself. A bystander (Robert Raglan) tells Newland that this pathetic figure was once a great legal mind. "He just went to pieces overnight."
In a flashback, we meet barrister Harvey Lawrence, "a rising star" in the legal world, who obtained the conviction of Frank Malone who had murdered his wife, despite her body never having been discovered. On Harvey's brilliant closing speech, Malone had been convicted.
But Harvey knew that a woman claiming to be his wife Sarah (Adrienne Corri) had announced herself in his office before this sensational speech. Her story is that she had disappeared to teach her husband a good lesson. So Harvey had to face a dilemma, should he sacrifice his speech? "If you want to save him, you'll have to testify," he tells Sarah. But that she will not do, so he convinces himself she is a fraud. Even though the woman shows him a sample of her handwriting, which looks very similar to Sarah's. What's more, she says, she knows his pet name for her, it's Ginger.
Harvey's glittering career culminates in his appointment as a judge. He's to be sworn in today, but on this of all days he is painfully reminded of Sarah Malone's appearance to him, and doubts start to haunt him. He mulls over the old case, beside the Thames, the Tower of London in the moody background. Her handwriting seems to follow him round. He recalls that brilliant closing speech in a fine scene as he paces the empty courtroom, "justice must never be thwarted by mere legal cleverness." He attempts to introduce that handwriting evidence into the nightmare trial, but all his ranting cannot alter Frank Malone's fate and we see Harvey keep on repeating those final fateful words, altered to fit his own case, "may the Lord have mercy on my soul." Yes, Pleasence does his usual fine study of a descent into degeneration.
John Newland enters this courtroom, to reflect on this strange story. Evidence of Sarah's handwriting that haunted Harvey seems well documented. As a final coup, Newland quotes from a 1924 newspaper report on Malone's hanging. His final words had been "Goodbye Ginger"

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89 The Avengers
The date is 1943. In a French chateau, once the glory of the French aristocracy, a German general (Andre Morell) is to throw a party in the manner of the last Marquis just prior to the French Revolution. This general the first inhabitant of the place since that date, for it's reputed to be haunted.
The general has orders to send 50 workers to a factory in Silesia, and his idea is to ply his guests with drink at his party, and while they are under the influence, transport them away.
All is ready for the big night. The general and his floosie (Lisa Gastoni) dress in the style of the old aristos.
But like the guests in the parable, the invited fail to appear. Only the local priest. Despite his floosie's protests, the general makes the priest sit down to the feast. She is haunted by the voice of Fleur, the marquis' young daughter. Assuming someone is playing "games" with them the General flies into a rage, and promises that he will shoot the priest if any more "miracles" take place.
A window is smashed. Marianne, to protect the priest, takes the blames for it herself. The general shoots her in cold blood.
The mob masses outside the chateau, echoing the alarming events of the Revolution when the marquis was trampled to death, in protest at his tyranny. And in similar fashion, the general is attacked. He shoots and shoots, but none of the mob are killed, for they are invisible.
It is officially a heart attack. But John Newland adds in his understated way, "every bone in his body was broken."

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90 The Prisoner
1945 Warsaw, a city in ruins. The remains of a palace is being used to house refugees. One is 19 year old Ruth (Catherine Feller), a survivor of the concentration camps, and she will hate for ever. She's not made that welcome by Daniel, a partisan who is proud to have killed 14 Nazis. More sympathetic is the reception nurse, "you break my heart."
In the darkest days of interment, Ruth had only kept herself going with dreams of winning the lottery. She promised herself that she would use the cash to have all those that stood by watching her suffering, shot dead. "You can't hate for ever," the nurse tells her.
So her encounter with a wounded German Wilhelm Essler (the archetypal Anton Diffring) is bound to end in her shooting him. He begs her to send a message to his wife Frieda. "I want to kill him," Ruth tells Daniel, as she steals his gun. She toys with Essler, and then agrees to write the letter to Frieda. The note he dictates reads simply, "I am hidden under the ruins in the Radinsky Palace."
Surprisingly, she does post the letter, But then she returns and produces her gun. He doesn't seem to be aware of it, as he talks on about his family, about his role in the war. Then she fires, but all she shoots is his reflection in a mirror.
A doctor arranges for her to be sent to a hospital, for noone believes she ever saw this Nazi. That is, until Frau Essler turns up, in response to the letter. According to her, her husband had been reported missing at the start of the war.
Was he a figment of her tortured mind? There's no corpse in evidence, but how come he dictated a letter to her? The contents of this letter leads to the discovery by Daniel of the body, which had died six years previously. John Newland concludes by giving the credentials to these events
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92 The Sorceror

On February 3rd 1915 officer Wilhelm Reitlinger of the 23rd Signals Unit (Christopher Lee) demands Farmer Klaus (Martin Benson) give permission for telegraph poles to be erected across his land. The farmer says he wants to consult his animals before agreeing!
Reitlinger becomes fascinated by the pacifist Klaus and his alleged ability to see the future. "Have nothing to do with that man, he is dangerous," warns the landlord of the local pub.
But Reitlinger wants to ask Klaus more about Klaus' supernatural powers. What Reitlinger wants most of all, is to know his girlfriend really cares for him.
Go to her address, advises Klaus, but how can he go to Berlin 800km away when he is an officer on duty? "You can go," insists Klaus as he seems to push the sceptic through a wall.
In his "dream" Reitlinger sees his girl (Gabrielle Licudi) kissing young soldier Johann. Reitlinger stares at her in silence. It seems she had written to him, giving him the push anyway. She now sees him as comical. His only answer is to shoot her.
Then "like a dream" he finds himself back at the farm. Replies Klaus, "I only helped you."
When in the cold light of day he learns she has indeed been shot, and he then discovers a bullet missing from his gun, he confesses to the crime. But how could he be guilty, as he was 800km from the scene of the crime? A trial finds him not guilty, even though he says he is the killer.
Reitlinger resolves to prove he is not insane. He returns to the farmhouse and shoots Klaus, "this they will believe."
John Newland sums it up, as best he possibly can

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93 The Villa
Their marriage on the rocks, Jim Lowe (Ronald Lewis) and his wife Mary (Elizabeth Sellars) attend the cocktail party of industrialist Richard Hudson (David Horne). His son student doctor Tony (Michael Crawford) has developed a strobe light that affects the brain so you "go off into another world." Says his brother Lionel (Kenneth Cope), "it's unbelievable - it's not like seeing things at all!" Mary Lowe has a go on it to get some "peace of mind."
But what she sees is a terrifying vision of a house with a man trapped in a lift, "knowing they were going to die." Her husband tries to convince her not to believe it. "It was real, it was happening," she insists.
Jim takes her on a buying trip to Milan, but while there, carries on his affair with Stella, a fashion buyer at his work. "We ought to start thinking about a divorce." Mary is aware of the affair.
The remembrance of that prisoner beating on the lift door haunts her, "it's you that's caught in that lift," Jim warns her. He advises she consult a doctor.
Instead, when she spots an advert for the Villa Orlando on the Via Garibaldi for sale, she takes a taxi to that villa. 'Tis just like her nightmare. She has, of course, to enter the empty place, and of course enter the impressive giant lift. Up and up she travels. But nothing untoward happens and she departs.
Her husband follows on, and upstairs he goes.... by the stairs. Then down he comes, using that lift. And you've guessed it, the lift gets stuck. No-one to hear his cries for help.
Mary is still haunted by those cries as John Newland adds his epilogue. She has a breakdown. Jim disappears
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The Tiger
Little Pamela Weldon (Pauline Challenor) has just been to the circus with kind old Miss Murphy the housekeeper (Elspeth March). It had been an exciting visit, with a fierce tiger specially memorable. But now she's back home, a solicitor is introducing Pamela to her new governess, Miss Cartwright (Pamela Brown), who is strict and forbidding. "We don't want to disappoint your father," she warns sternly. He's an important person and not home very often, his wife had died four years ago.
"She's got very scary eyes," Pamela confides to Miss Murphy of Miss Cartwright. And she is definitely very controlling, dismissing Miss Murphy despite protests from Pamela.The punishment room will cure Pamela of such insubordination, "I've dealt with nasty girls before," she says firmly but quietly.
What are those scratch marks on the door, asks Ethel (Patsy Smart) the cleaner next day. No explanation, though Pamela warns Miss Cartwright to stop being so mean.
Next morning the police have to be called in. The house is in a mess, and the cause? Pamela claims she had heard the growl of a tiger. Then Ethel finds a chair that has had the stuffing ripped out of it. It's a monster, she declares, and resigns her job.
Pamela tells Miss Cartwright that this tiger will only stop, if she starts being kind. Apparently she had wished the animal here. Miss Cartwright's response is to lock Pamela in the punishment room again, a dark cellar. But while she is locked in, Miss Cartwright's wardrobe and her room are ransacked, so in a fury the governess attacks the child, who is defended by her tiger.
John Newland announces that the governess' autopsy gave a verdict of heart failure. Pamela's story was not believed, no surprise in that, but Newland cites some other examples of Wish Fulfilment. However this story is very hard to swallow, at least in the way it's presented, though the cast give it their best and almost make it a kind of bargain basement Hammer
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95 'Nightmare'

Temperamental artist Paul Stapleton (Peter Wyngarde) has painted many famous people, but now he keeps painting a girl he's never met. He is supposed to be doing a portrait of his fiancee Jill Barrington (Mary Peach), before their wedding next week. Though she is sitting patiently as his model, he never looks at her, never utters a word as she talks on and on. When she does stop, all he can utter is the single name "Claire." "Who is she?" she asks him at last. But he doesn't know himself who she is. Nor is Paul any more forthcoming with his patron (Ferdy Mayne).
Jill is naturally rather suspicious and calls in Horace, a shrink, to help this tortured soul. But all Paul does is slash his portrait. "He's disturbed," is the very obvious diagnosis. That gargoyle in the background seems a definite sign of evil.
Paul needs a holiday! He drives down to Cornwall with Jill and stops at a picturesque cove in the village of Cadgwith. He knocks on a cottage door, an old lady (Jean Cadell) greets him with "John."
The local doctor (Patrick Holt) explains that this lady is a recluse, having lived alone for 40 years ever since her fiance had died in the first war. She hugs him farewell, then Paul returns to Jill, a changed man. The spell is lifted, and they can happily get married.
"Hard to explain," John Newland concludes. This was a journey for Paul into a life he'd lived before, a case of Reincarnation. Newland cites the famous example of Gabriel Rosetti

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97 Eye Witness
The last story in the series is about Henry Soames (John Meillon) night editor of the Boston Star, who reports on the 1883 Krakatoa eruption, but how did he get this scoop?
In his office, alone, he's felled to the ground by a series of explosions. In a dazed state he writes down a story, and then wires his report to the main editor.
An amazed colleague, Mark (Anton Rodgers) congratulates him, "nobody else got the story... every newspaper in the country'll be carrying it."
"I wrote it?" queries Soames, but his boss (John Phillips) is too busy praising him. But praise soon turns to condemnation as no other paper does carry the story, and questions are asked about Soames' source. Doubters force the story to be killed.
Soames is sacked. Back at his digs, he tells young Danny that he must have made the whole tale up.
Then news comes of the explosions on the other side of the world. Soames is vindicated, for "from a scientific point of view, your report seems absolutely accurate." Now Soames is a hero, "the miracle man of journalism." People start requesting his predictions for the future, but all Soames can see clearly is the parlous state of humanity and its greed and its fear of the future. "The carnival freak" quits his reinstated job. In a bar he receives a more practical demand for his gift, for young Danny has gone missing. Where has he gone? "I don't know," is all the honest Soames can reply, but then Danny returns home anyway.
Many years later, Soames does go back to his old job. "Welcome back," Mark greets him. President McKinley has been assassinated in Buffalo. For a second time, it seems Soames has foreseen the event. To conclude, John Newland asks was he a prophet, freak or ordinary man?
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Errol Flynn Theatre
3
The Fortunes of War
5 Strange Auction
7 The Girl in the Blue Jeans
10 The 1,000 Night of Don Juan
14
The Duel
15 The Sealed Room
19 Rescued
20 Take the High Road
21 Out of the Blue
22 A Wife for the Czar
23 The Kinsman (aka Royal Flush)
24 Declassee
26 films were made in 1956 at Bray Studios. According to a 1956 report, Flynn and his partners invested $1,200,000 in this project. "We aim to make a film in six days," he told reporters. "Sometimes I've taken a little longer, but this is the first series and we're getting better as we go along."
Errol Flynn himself stars in some of the stories (eg Strange Auction, Fortunes of War, The Duel etc) and his wife also stars in several tales (eg Strange Auction, The Model, The Ordeals of Carol Kennedy).
Other minor Hollywood stars also have starring roles, eg June Havoc, Phyllis Kirk, though the behind-the-scenes personnel on the series were British. Some British stars also appear, Christopher Lee notably, but others in more than one story include Peter Reynolds, Glynis Johns and Philip Friend.

Anthology Menu
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The Fortunes of War

Toying with a guillotine, Errol Flynn introduces a story about the Royalists v Republicans struggle in France. He plays Count Henri Dairval, a carefree soldier battling the odds. He is holed out in a farmhouse which is under siege by Republican soldiers. But innumerable guns are firing from inside the farmhouse, thanks to his ingenuity, and it takes an age for the attackers to storm his makeshift citadel. They find him slouched inside the house, eating and drinking nonchalantly, much as you'd expect of Errol Flynn himself. It is hard for the soldiers to grasp that it has been but one man against their might.
He is taken prisoner and kept locked in a small but comfortable room in the chateau of Citizen Hamelin (Christopher Lee). "The inevitable," his execution, is fixed for 8am the next day, but not tonight for Hamelin is getting married.
The Count has friends inside the castle, and Marie the maid (June Rodney) gets the servant Albert to bring clothing so that Henri can join the wedding ball that Hamelin is holding. In gatecrashes Dairval, to Hamelin's consternation, announcing himself. Hamelin's future bride is an old friend of The Count, Helene (Lisa Daniely) and she looks less than enamoured about this arranged marriage, arranged so that her aristocratic parents can avoid the guillotine.
Hamelin is angry that Dairval has turned up at all, and more so because he's wearing Hamelin's clothes. Even more angry does Hamelin become when the Count dances with her, "I never thought I should see you again," she sighs as she kisses him. Yes, they were in love.
Only one thing to do, with Hamelin's deepest ire aroused, a duel. The room is cleared of guests, except Helene, and choose your sword. "You dog, I'm going to kill you." You know who wins, yet Hamelin is "the finest swordsman in France, " and it's only after a desperate fight of 90 seconds, as two giants Errol Flynn and Chris Lee lock swords.

Errol concludes, "they lived happily ever after," even though he adds his note of cynical doubt

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Strange Auction
Lazing happily outside the studios, Errol introduces this piece of Irish blarney. He seems in very jovial mood. It's very much a family affair for co-starring with Errol is his wife Patrice Wymore, and his son Sean also figures prominently, though he's not too convincing an actor.
Sean is a restless orphan whose mother Laura Bateman one day attends a strange auction. It's "the bargain of the day," announces a hobo, who is auctioning "meself." She "buys this scarecrow and is willing to turn him into a man" by his working for three months on her farm.
Sean does not welcome him at first, but hobo 'Trace' soon teaches him lessons in manners. Together they also chop logs, mend fences and repair the van. "It's nice to have a man about the home," sings Bridget the maid.
"He's done wonders for her too-" Laura that is, and at the end of the contract she asks him to stay on. But the wanderer needs be on his way, but Laura, disappointed as she is, is even more upset when she finds out Sean wants to "hit the road" with Trace. The problem is the script and acting are not convincing enough to reflect the sadness of the situation.
Laura waits and waits, hoping Sean wlll come home. Trace doesn't force the lad to return, though maybe he knows that sleeping under the stars will soon pall for the lad. But Trace does come to realise that Sean has a responsibility for his lonely mother, and at last the pair come back. Sean is reunited with his mother. Trace kisses her too in a happy ending.

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The Girl in the Blue Jeans
Errol, grinning, tells us that love is a disease- "I'd never have guessed!"
This trite story begins with a girl breaking in to an old house. Upstairs the master stirs. Hearing a suspicious noise, he dons his dressing gown to go downstairs. There he prevents the intruder from escaping with one hefty swipe. "You hit me!"
Realising it's a girl, he fetches something for her bruise. She's called Doris (Glynis Johns), and she's running away from home. She bursts into tears. She recognises him as Steve Ferrier (Herbert Lom), a cinema star and writer.
He forces her to admit that she came to steal the manuscript of his latest play. Now she confesses that she did it for fun, and that her real name is Janet.
"Forgive me, I'm just a little slow," admits Steve, and he's not the only one. Her lies are a trifle overwhelming.
She claims she's one of Steve's fans, and had had a bet with her friend that she could find out the plot of his latest play. He kindly enlightens her- it's about a girl who falls in love with a film star. But Steve has yet to cast the female lead, auditions are being held tomorrow.
His Academy Award, his "most prized possession," is admired before they retire for the night.
Next morning she's gone, and so has his Oscar. Steve gets a call from the police saying the girl has been picked up trying to sell it. She has been handing out another pack of lies, now admitting she is really an actress, Susan Tracey, and all this has been a trick to get the part in Steve's play. "You win," he concedes, "I've found the girl we want"
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10 The 1000th Night of Don Juan

Frou Frou is what Errol is reading as the camera lights on him. Hastily discarding it, he discusses the various notions of who the real Don Juan was. In this story, he's at a seventeenth century inn on the Venice to Padua road.
The landlord (Alexander Gauge) welcomes the ageing Don Juan to his inn, with his manservant Leporello (Reginald Beckwith). They're looking for his latest conquest, which will be his thousandth.
Here's one lady he has never yet conquered Countess Henrietta (Jean Kent), but she is more concerned at just having been overthrown by Marquesi Luigi in favour of the younger Maddelena. This couple are both enjoying themseves at this inn also.
Don Juan toys with the Contessa, and she with him. She challenges him "to send on their way" both Luigi and the "stupid" young Maddelena. "I want to punish him," she tells Don Juan, and there's a reward for him if he succeeds.
So having tricked Luigi off the scene, Don Juan tries his usual charms on the girl, "a lover should be devoted, selfless," he tells her, "your lips your eyes... " and so on. But she only laughs, for she thinks him too old. Rather a facer for the ageing Romeo! But the old roue persists, yet she resists.
"I'm not defeated yet, "Don Juan claims to Henrietta, while Maddelena gazes lovingly into the eyes of Luigi. In marches a highwayman to rob the guests. However Luigi is no fop and snatches the villain's gun, and the whole devious plot is exposed, the robber is Leporello, resulting in Luigi challenging Don Juan to a duel.
This however never takes place, for as they gather at the crack of dawn, news comes that Maddelena has run off with another. Thus Don Juan is ready now to claim Henrietta's reward. Come to my balcony at midnight, she whispers. He smiles.
At the appointed hour, he climbs the ivy to her balcony. The door won't open. She pushes it open for him, but it opens outwards and he tumbles over the edge.
His "humiliating" bruises are attended to by Leporello. Surely now he'll admit he's "too old to be Don Juan."

A role up Errol Flynn's street, but he looks tired and lacklustre, rather, indeed, like the character he is portraying, so let's credit him with some perceptive acting

Errol Flynn Theatre Menu

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The Duel
"He's dead!" Thus ends a duel. "Of course, my dear fellow," yawns Lord Brandt (Errol Flynn), "return matches are such a bore!" And off he gallops to the Star and Garter. Yes, you could say Flynn was playing a role he knew well.
19 year old Ann (Ann Stephens) and Lt John Wynham (Tim Turner) are in love, but can they wait to marry until she is of age? Her irascible guardian, Lord Brandt, comes up with a counter proposal- "why, I've always wanted to marry you." As he sips over a morning drink, and comes over a little faint, he explains that if he marries her, his financial worries will be over. For he's been gambling heavily- "frittered away my fortune." There's a veiled threat too- "unless you agree to marry me, I may be compelled to remove Master Wynham." How? A duel, for Brandt is a master swordsman.
Ann learns from a servant that Brandt had killed her father is such a duel. That does it!
"You murderer!" she screams at her guardian. "I'm leaving."
"All I want is your money," he tells her. To which she can only observe
"I didn't know there was such evil in the world." To which he only laughs.
One stormy night, another wild gambling party, John Wynham is watching and accuses Brandt of cheating. "Why, you insolent....!" Wynham is given choice of weapons and wisely selects pistols. It's a showdown in the very room Ann's father died! "This is madness!" The room is cleared, as the men face each other, thunder rolling and lightning flashing.
Brandt is ready to use his hidden pistol, but the cheat is overcome by another of his dizzy spells.
Dr Charles Darnley pronounces his verdict: Apoplexy. "Thank God you're safe," cries Ann

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The Sealed Room
In a smart suit, Errol introduces a true story of deju vu.

Just married are Americans Walter and Lou (Patrick Allen and Glynis Johns). They're enjoying their honeymoon on a Rhine cruise when Lou gets this "strange feeling, as though something cold touched me." She says she knows the whole landscape, even though she's never been to Europe before, never seen pictures of the Rhine before. "Round the next bend, there are two churches." She's right.
"This isn't funny." She becomes hysterical until an expert in hypertension, who happens to be on board, Professor Harman (Herbert Lom) calms her. "There's no need to be afraid," it's rather a gift, he reassures her.
At a hotel a doctor prescribes complete rest. However Harman says inactivity will be bad for her, so she embarks on a short walk, which takes her, like a magnet, to a castle. "Nobody lives there now," except the caretaker Johann. "It has a bad name," as the old owners had a bad reputation. "I wouldn't be up there after dark."
Johann reluctantly gives the trio a tour. The "gnadige Frau" demands to be shown the Knight's Hall. "She's changed so completely," observes her husband. 'Tis like a bad dream.
In this hall the late Count had accused his wife of heresy and adultery and she was to be hanged as a witch. Now Lou demands to go into a sealed room. Even Johann has never been in there, as the key to the heavy door is lost. Lou knows it's in the recesses of a cupboard, and the door is opened. Skeletons are in here, she tells them.
But there is only one. The count's wife had escaped via a window.
Next day, on the steamer, Lou is "completely normal again." Walter wants to know "what's all this got to do with you, darling?" Prof Harman provides some kind of explanation before Errol winds it up with a line from Hamlet. If he had but known it, this could have made the pilot for One Step Beyond

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19 - Rescued
A young lad refuses to be brownbeaten by Lord Tremaine (Hugh Moxey) into revealing the hiding place of his father, Lord Alton. Tremaine is one of Cromwell's men tracking down a fleeing King Charles, and Alton knows his whereabouts. The boy is silent, but still the hiding place is discovered behind a panel in Alton's castle. But Alton's leg has been amputated, and he cannot be taken to Cromwell until his health improves. So ironically Cromwell's soldiers have to nurse him in his bedroom. Twenty local women are seized as hostages, to discourage any attempt at rescue.
At the local inn there's thus a sombre atmosphere to greet Major Hugh Morton (Errol Flynn). As a Royalist, he offers help. He dons the armour of one of Cromwell's Roundheads to take some broth to Alton's house. By a secret passage he gains access to the bedroom, where Alton is laid on a stretcher and carried secretly away, Morton being heavily wrapped in bandages to take the sick man's place.
Next day the women hostages are released as the patient is taken by Tremaine on his journey to Lord Cromwell. However the soldiers taking him have been replaced with Cavaliers!
Cromwell (Cameron Hall) is at first pleased, for he will persuade Alton to reveal where the King is in hiding. But when the prisoner's face is revealed, it is one of Tremaine's own soldiers!
Major Hugh gives a toast: "Gentlemen- the King!"

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A Wife for the Csar
"A Venus, born of the sea, light as foam, for ever changing, mortal yet eternal... a woman can turn a man into a poet," as a jovial Errol Flynn pronounces in his introduction.
Beauty is the theme of this tale set in 1670 Moscow, "the capital of Russia," Errol informs us, in case we didn't know!
Alexis has now been on the throne for 25 years, enjoying a carefree life pursuing young beauties. His mother warns him to be careful. "Who's talking about marriage?" replies Alexis, though his mother knows it is high time for him to settle down. Tradition has it he must choose from a selection of eligible females chosen by the boyars.
"They say the czar is looking for a wife!" the gossip flies around the country, with families with unmarried daughters preparing them to parade before the czar.
Whilst Alexis is out one day, orphan Natalie (Patrice Wymore) and her "nightingale" voice attracts Alexis, but she is wilful, not knowing who Alexis is. He wants to marry her like a commoner, but her guardian (Francis de Wolff) insists on a proper state wedding, knowing it will bring himself much power in the land.
Yet Natalie, though attracted to Alexis, refuses anything arranged by her guardian. He however promises Alexis he will bring Natalie to the Parade, so Alexis can officially choose her. Headstrong Natalie however refuses to parade "like a head of cattle." "I won't marry the czar," she cries," still not realising who he is.
"From all over the empire, pretty and plain girls" are introduced to the czar.
The czar listens to flattery, all the while awaiting Natalie. But she will not attend. So it's he who goes to her: "you fool," is his greeting. She faints and he picks her in his arms and carries her to his palace.
"They lived happily ever after," concludes Errol, adding that their son became the famous Peter the Great.
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The Kinsman
In a smart suit, Errol explains the theory that Love is a Disease. "How about that?" is his comment, "I'd never have guessed!"
Uncle Marcel (Roland Culver) is short of money, but as he's the only living relative of young Francois (Peter Reynolds) maybe the reports that Francois is going mad will be to uncle's advantage. The rich nephew has fallen in love with a young lady, but he cannot bring himself to ask her father's permission as he's so shy. At last he plucks up the courage and requests the caretaker for permission to marry Claire. Responds the father: his daughter is already married.
Next Francois asks his uncle for his consent to marry Claire- but Marcel isn't even married. Clearly Francois is becoming deranged.
He's dragged to the doctor: "it's all a terrible mistake!" Francois wonders if it's "a deep plot" on Marcel's behalf to take control of his money. This doctor (Peter Illing) is a leading expert on Monomania, a partial insanity, domination by a single passion. By a clever ruse Francois persuades this physician that it's his uncle who's the patient. He's got monomania, explains the nephew, he's poor and nurses a resentment against his rich nephew. The doctor laps up Francois' explanation, despite Marcel's protests: "people might take me for the crazy one!"
"We will look after you," coos the doctor. "Don't excite yourself."
Then Marcel plays his trump card, and gets Francois to seek the doctor's agreement to his marriage to Claire. But by a stroke of fortune, the doctor is agreeable, as he is the one who is Claire's father. The happy couple kiss as poor Marcel is carted away
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24 Declassee

At the start, Errol is sighing for the good old Edwardian days of optimism. A rigid code of honour, he tells us smilingly, and "those who broke it were cast into the outer darkness." Perhaps he would know.

Hugh (Philip Friend) is a prominent MP who's "going to be Prime Minister one of these days." But for the moment, he's more concerned about "notorious American widower" Marian, as he proposes to her, in the best manner, on one knee.
The "very enchanting" Marian (Phyllis Kirk) has however secrets to hide. And old admirer Stewart Rawlings (Ivan Craig) knows them! He is one guest at the party where Hugh is to announce their engagement, and Marian is "not very happy" to see Stewart. He will tell about her ex-husband's bankruptcy and her resultant conviction for fraud, even though he happens to know she was innocent. Stewart will tell, unless she agrees to marry him.
So when Hugh prepares to make the big announcement, she faints. Privately she explains her dilemma to her fiance, adding that it's all off. "In the eyes of all your friends, you would become.... declasse."
However Hugh rallies, declaring their love is more than his career, and together they resolve to have it out with Stewart. She meets the blackmailer privately. He confesses that it was he who ruined her first husband. In return she says she is going to sign away her own fortune to Hugh, so she can marry Stewart: "we can be poor together." Of course, this is not what the villain wants and he agrees to be paid off, in return for signing a confession that he has blackmailed them. That will be sufficient to stop him from ever bothering them again.
Thus it's a very unsatisfactory conclusion, blackmail rewarded, but at least Hugh and Marian are so happy now they can announce their engagement

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Back to Zero (1951)
This story was screened in USA in the series Fireside Theater.
The star was Bernard Miles.
Director: John Haggarty.
Producers: Anthony Bartley and Herman J Blaser. Executive: Adrian Brunel.
In Film Review for 1953/4 there is a reference to Herman Blaser who "with Brunel and Bartley, is making a series of Jungle films in their well-known series The
White Hunter." But this has no relation to that later series.
A one set filmed playlet, very wooden, uninspiring, that never grips at all. Only of interest for its star.

Goldie, very unattractive, is somehow still attractive to Chas Bergman aka The Boss (Bernard Miles). Perhaps this is partly because she's the only white woman in this God forsaken spot in the middle of the African jungle, though really it's only the middle of the very tiny studio. Goldie is on the run, having killed a sailor, albeit accidentally, years back. He had married her to protect her. Both are stuck in this dump. Chas is addicted to the bottle, and also now has half an eye on the beautiful native girl Manuela.
The Boss trades in ivory, latest consignment now due, but following screams, it seems one of the native bearers must have fallen into the swamp. Bergman makes no effort to come to the rescue. But Goldie shows some humanity, and gets Manuela to get the locals to help the distressed man in the swamp.
Covered in mud, he staggers into The Boss' hut. "You're a white man," somehow that's evident underneath all the grime.
He is an American named Johnny who is grateful to Bergman for saving him- not that he had. Goldie pretties herself up to meet him, Johnny needs a wash and brush up also.
He says he is a policeman, come to bring Goldie in. Surprisingly The Boss pleads for her not to be taken away. But she wants to go, lured by the idea he is taking her away for himself. But when Johnny finds out it wasn't The Boss who had caused him to be rescued from the swamp, but this was down to Goldie, he has pity on "that poor kid," and leaves without her.
That doesn't suit Goldie, she runs after him. Straight into the swamp.
So The Boss is left alone. He is not very happy. But he's not alone, for Manuela has set up home in the house and she is very happy indeed
To Anthology Menu

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The Man Who Walks By Night
The 1949 pilot film below, directed by Eric Fawcett, was the first ever filmed British television drama. Introduced by 'Mr BBC' himself, Roy Plomley, complete with large hat, darkly shading his face. Shooting began at Marylebone Studios on July 11th that year.
James Carter was executive producer for the series.

The Man Who Kept a Dinner Date with Death
(one screening was on the BBC on Thursday Sept 28th 1950 at 3.30pm)
Rich Baron Lakenoff (Sir Campbell Cotts) "enjoys the thrill of being hated" so much that he's invited his worst enemies to dinner. Bill Rian (Robert Ayres) has been hired for the baron's protection, "I think you're nuts," Bill tells him.
But he's a good bodyguard: "I trust nobody." Even butler Smith (Fletcher Lightfoot) and Janet the maid (Alicia Marlowe) come under Bill's scrutiny.
The invitees are 1 Frieda, the baron's ex-wife (Patricia Jessel), now wanting to remarry: "you never loved me."
2 James Harding (Denis Cowles) the baron's old business partner, just out of prison- "I came here for my money." Bill finds a gun in his coat pocket.
3 Dr Cameron (James Cairncross) a young scientist, whose father committed suicide, because of the baron.
As they sip cocktails the baron deliberately shows off his diamond necklace worth nearly £100,000. Looking straight at Frieda he exclaims "I'd like to put it round your little throat."
As she hands the baron his drink, Bill interrupts- that smells suspicious!
Dinner is served, after which we learn why Cameron is so bitter, for the baron is alleged to have stolen his father's research and sold it to the Nazis.
But the baron, he doesn't care. Now rather the worse for drink, he nearly trips down the lift shaft. "You've all played your cards," he shrieks. Unsuccessfully, he's positive, for all the guests depart. "None of them tried to kill you," observes Bill blandly. But the baron has started gasping. Slowly he utters his death speech.
"There ain't no such thing as the perfect crime," Bill tells the audience. This nearly was, but as Bill explains all, we learn the accomplice Janet the maid has given the killer away to the police

A series of 26 films were planned in this series by Vizio Films. Scripts were drawn up and American support agreed, but according to Roy Plomley, "the FCC 'freeze' on the opening of new TV stations in the United States caused our project to be abandoned."
However these further films were definitely made:
Scotland Yard Reporter, directed by Malcolm Baker-Smith, and produced by Edgar Blatt.
Box for One, directed by Eric Fawcett. Two separate contemporary Radio Times list Richard Attenborough as the star, one screening was on June 11th 1954 at 9pm. However though I believe it was originally planned to be in this series, it is listed as 'A Hyde Park Film Production.'
Footnote: The effective opening sequence with Plomley was reused in the US series Into the Night.
To menu for
other pilot programmes . . . . . . . Anthology Menu

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Tales from Dickens
2
The Runaways*
3 A Christmas Carol
4 Christmas at Dingley Dell*
5 Bardell Versus Pickwick*
8 David and His Mother
10 David and Mr Micawber
11 David and Dora
15 Miss Havisham*

* film print

Picture- from #2

A series from Towers of London (Coronet Films), with extracts from some of Dickens' famous stories.
39 half hour films were originally planned, although this was eventually reduced to only 15.
St John Roberts wrote in August 1959, "I should think poor Dickens must have turned in his grave. There was no atmosphere and the narrative voice of Frederic March did a great deal to damage it. Little Martin Stephens could have been an excellent David if directed differently. Robert Morley was certainly no Mr Micawber though he came very near to be Mr Robert Morley. In fact this was the case with much of the cast with the exception of Alan Wheatley and Patricia Jessel as Mr and Mrs Murdstone."

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2 The Runaways
At the Holly Tree Inn it's Christmas Eve, though there's never any more evidence of this in the story. The Rochester coach draws up, and various passengers descend to stop the night here. They include The Admiral (Campbell Cotts) and a Thin Lady (Totti Truman Taylor).
Then there are two young children, unaccompanied, Harry (Martin Stephens) and Flora (Caroline Sheldon). The receptionist Mrs Piff (Athene Seyler) never bats an eyelid as she books them in to Room 7. "His Lordship" is "en route," but where to he cannot divulge.
Sausages and a pot of jam, that's what young Harry orders for tea. The general servant Boots (Bobby Howes) does venture to inquire what is Lordship is "hup to," but is gently rebuffed. With Mrs Piff, he speculates what the youngsters are doing here. Then Boots places the order for tea below stairs and scoffs his muffin, to questioning from Lettie the maid. She has her eyes on Boots, even though he knows he is not the marrying kind, "single I mean to remain."
Over their meal, Harry takes the kindly Boots into his confidence. When's the next coach for Gretna Green? "Our parents don't approve." Yes, they are eloping, Harry admits. "It's like a fairy story," smiles Lettie who is a-listening at the keyhole.
Regretfully Mrs Piff and Boots agree they must tell the authorities, though Lettie, who knows all about love, opposes the idea.
Next morning the pair are given right royal treatment, decorations brighten up their room and a slap up meal is provided. Harry proposes a toast to kind Mrs Piff and she in turn raises a glass to Mr and Mrs Harry Walmers. Lettie is volunteered to accompany the couple to Gretna to act as a witness, and that touches even the hardened Boots. He has "a victim" in mind too.
But joy is not to be unconfined for Harry's guardian announces himself at the inn. With Flora hiding under the table, Harry faces the stern man, who has come to take them home.
Mrs Piff is so upset that she treats the other guests most badly. Finally she decides to confront the angry guardian. "That boy's an angel," she tells him. "You'll never find another like him," she adds to Flora, in tears.
Yet the two children must depart with their softened guardian, and at least Boots has now learned that there is a good side to love and is resolved to marry his Lettie.
This is a touching story, beautifully made by Athene Seyler's charm and Bobby Howes' gruff but kind Boots, and the story ends with Fredric March thanking them and young Martin Stephens for their "wonderful characterisations"

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3 A Christmas Carol
Simple sets and some simple yet pleasing trick effects, with only Frederic March's narration intrusive.
Dickens' "most famous story," March informs us, about the "squeezing grasping Scrooge."
In the title role, Basil Rathbone's understated Scrooge is neither cowering nor evil, but at least neither does he look anything like Basil Rathbone. Grudgingly he gives Bob Crachitt (Toke Townley) the day off for Christmas. That eve, as he mutters Humbug perhaps just once too often, Jacob Marley's ghost warns him of his fate, though Scrooge ne'er looks surprised, perhaps like us he knew the lines too well.
The first spirit bears the miser away to his birthplace, an unusually well done scene through swirling mist through childhood to manhood, "you are not what you were." After more wooden narrative from March, the jovial second spirit (instantly recognisable Alexander Gauge) announces himself. He shows Scrooge Bob's happy home with its Christmas festivity and Tiny Tim, "God bless us everyone." Nephew Fred's house is jolly also, as the background organ music gets a little louder. "Mark what you have seen," the rotund spirit cries as the mist swirls.
The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come reveals the sadness at Bob's house, as Scrooge stifles a tear on seeing Tiny Tim's coffin, then more mist, and Scrooge eavesdrops his own funeral. He is shown his own gravestone, but these are things "that may be," for he resolves to reform.
The morning indeed sees a new Scrooge, renewed in hope as the organ swells its happy strain. No, he's not missed Christmas Day, and the following day back at work he even jokes with the baffled Bob
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Christmas at Dingley Dell

starring James Donald and Jack Watling

My review to follow
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5 Bardell Versus Pickwick
The star was Donald Wolfit.

Mrs Bardell takes poor Mr Pickwick's proposal to get a manservant as a proposal of marriage. After an unseemly kerfuffle, her solicitors institute a breach of promise case for £1500. "You are swindlers," the frustrated Pickwick shouts at them.
Subpoenas have been issued to all Pickwick's friends, says Sam Weller (Harry Fowler), "I feel it's a wery high compliment." Pickwick is to be represented by a "top of the tree" lawyer who leads the "court by the nose." In view of what the defendant actually gets, presumably this is Dickens' view of the incompetent legal profession.
The case opens with histrionics from Mrs Bardell, carefully staged. Sgt Buzzfuzz (Donald Wolfit) is Counsel for the Prosecution, and very over the top he is too. Impassioned and melodramatic, he describes how Pickwick obtained lodgings at Mrs Bardell's. Reading innocent notes from Pickwick to her, he puts the grossest interpretation on them, "systematic villainy," he labels it. Every word is twisted with a guilty meaning, such as "don't trouble yourself about the warming pan." Wolfit is too over the top, though his facial expressions come over well on tv. If the judge is seen to doze off, so do we all.
Poor Winkle (Richard Briers) is putty in Buzzfuzz's hands. But Sam raises a few laughs in court in standing up for his master. His "impenetrable stupidity" may yet turn the case.
After the judge's "masterly summing up," the jury's verdict. However Pickwick refuses to pay any damages. He even prefers jail.

Note: Though a film of this title was made for the 1955 Lilli Palmer Theatre series, this is a new version
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8 David and His Mother (1959)

David's first memory is of his mother Clara happily dancing in the parlour. Edward Murdstone (Alan Wheatley) provides a less joyful memory, "you and I must be the best friends in the world," he darkly says to young David.
"The very handsome man" clearly has intentions towards Clara, not all romantic. David tells his mother that Murdstone described her as "a pretty little widow."
After a fortnight with Peggoty in Yarmouth, David returns home to find the old order changeth. "I don't want to see him," David cries vainly. His new father is the archetypal Victorian parent. The stern husband also is he. Jane, his sister (Patricia Jessel), is introduced to the household, "generally speaking, I don't like boys." With Murdstone's approval Jane becomes mistress despite one feeble protest from the weak Clara, David watches the scene impassively, as his mother is put down.
Home tuition, but David doesn't know his lesson 100%. Stockholm is the capital of.... The cane is readied in case of wrong answer. "I am not quite well," faints Clara. The cane doesn't descend immediately however for David resists by biting his stepfather. But there can only be one winner, as we watch Clara listen to David's screams. Then it is bread and water for five days, a tearful farewell to mother and a boarding school in London.
Salem House is no advanced seat of learning. With the evident approval of Mr Creakle (Peter Bull) and his tutor (Anton Rogers) a placard is hung on the poor lad, Take Care Of Him He Bites. It is evident Dickens was no lover of scholastic establishments.
On his birthday, David is told by Mrs Creakle, the crushing news that his mother has died. David goes home and apologises to his stepfather. Received in cold tones. Only the face of Peggoty is comforting. She tells David the sad story of his mother's final days. It is not terribly well done.
At the funeral, the bereft David recalls his pretty young mother, "in her death she winged her way back to her calm untroubled youth"

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10 David and Mr Micawber

Frederick March reveals to us that the character of Mr Micawber was based on Dickens' own father.

Sent to London, David Copperfield is employed at six shillings a week in a filthy warehouse. At the end of the long day, 8pm, he is collected by kindly Mr Micawber (Robert Morley) who takes him home and introduces the young lad to his wife and family. His wife (Irene Handl) explains her husband has had to take a lodger as he is in "difficulties." "Temporary," adds Micawber, admitting that he is expecting something soon to turn up.
David's own room is comfortable enough, but in his heart he is at "the rock bottom of despair." However Micawber's persistent creditors are some kind of distraction. Copperfield volunteers to inform them Micawber is not available. They depart, to the head of the house's grateful thanks.
Thus David becomes like one of the family. The impending crisis is always just about averted as David helps by selling the family treasures at the bookshop, or pawning them. But finally "the blow has fallen... in short I am about to be arrested."
Only temporary he assures his distraught wife, for he is hourly expecting. His children remain silent, but to Copperfield he imparts his renowned advice about annual income £20, annual expenditure etc.
In Fleet Prison he gives more thoughts on avoiding debt, as David visits him each night after work, but with Mrs Micawber joining her husband inside, David has to be posted into new digs, a small garret.
Insolvent debtor Micawber is finally released, and heads to Plymouth for work. An hysterical wife (overacting Irene Handl) assures him she will never desert him. So the family depart leaving David alone once more. More of the famous advice to Copperfield afore Micawber departs. "I'll remember all you've told me, Mr Micawber"

To Tales of Dickens

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11 David and Dora

Now a lawyer, David Copperfield is invited by Mr Spendlow his boss to his home in Norwood. There David is introduced to his boss' charming daughter Dora, though less enticing is the reacquaintance with Dora's companion Miss Murdstone, "I have met Mr Copperfield before." That lady's unfavourable impression is not improved by David's honest appraisal of her and Mr Murdstone's treatment of David and his mother.
But in the rose garden, romance blossoms with a rather stilted dialogue, "I should treasure it always." But the shadow of Miss Murdstone is always in the way.
On Dora's birthday, a carefree David "canters down to Norwood" dressed to the nines. He gives Dora a bouquet, "their beauty is quite outshone by yours Miss Spendlow." But the sunny picnic is crowded with other admirers. A tiff, but Dora's best friend, Julia Mills, proves to be just that when she brings them together again. At Julia's home, David is able to declare his love, "I love you to distraction," to the barking of Dora's dog Jip.
The remainder of this story contracts too much of Dickens' original, rendering the story rather inexplicable. Financial difficulties face David's aunt. "You're ruined David." He explains to his beloved but she is not the stuff to face such difficulties. "A crust well earned," he tells her, "is sweeter than a feast inherited." But she wants no talk of crusts, but though Julia's kindly advice soothes everything, Miss Murdstone puts her spoke in by telling Spendlow of the affair. David stands up to him, but is forbidden to ever see Dora again. But his boss' sudden death changes everything. "After a decent lapse of time," David requests Dora's guardian aunts for permission to see Dora. But Dora's fortune is an insurmountable obstacle, it cannot be, driving David "into the depth of despair."
Yet it transpires Spendlow had his own financial problems so Dora is not so rich after all and "so Dora and I were married," in this version rather suddenly in fact

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15 Miss Havisham
Quite a nice little film! In the title role was Florence Elridge. As she was Frederic March's wife, you can imagine how she landed this plum role! She plays the part with a dark evil, rather nearly in the manner of a silent film.

"Pip, get yer 'at," Pip's sister takes him to old Miss Havisham's crumbling mansion. The lad is introduced to the lady's cobwebby room and in an American voice, she bids Pip (John Skinner) draw near and orders him to play with young Estella (the photogenic Jill Haworth). Pip looks puzzled. "Come boy, "goads the well groomed young girl, a contrast to the rough hewn boy, "what coarse hands he has." They play cards as Miss Havisham asks him what he thinks of Estella. "She's very pretty," he says diplomatically.
Pip confides in the daughter of the local schoolmaster, Biddie (Fiona Duncan), and she advises the shy lad.
On Pip's second visit, two old ladies, Carmella and Sarah, are there also. Pip is shown Miss Havisham's wedding cake, untouched, covered in cobwebs. Even though today's her birthday, the talk is all about her death.
Young Herbert Pocket, another relation of Miss Havisham's, has a friendly scrap with Pip, Estella watching on. "You may kiss me if you like, "she teases the victor. From that moment Pip is under her spell, as Miss Havisham has planned. Yet he cannot fathom her. "Break hearts," the old lady screams savagely at Estella. "She's beautiful Pip," she goads the boy, "love her," she screeches, as Pip stares, barely comprehending.
Miss Havisham interviews Joe Gargery (Michael Aldridge) - a deal for 25 guineas, and Pip is now bound to Gargery. "Gargery is your master," Biddie reflects to the tearful Pip, who's not allowed to visit Miss Havisham's house again, though he does just once more. "She's gone abroad," the old lady tells him of the fair Estella. "You've lost her. She's turned into a fine lady." Not a rough boy at a forge. She's lost to you, Pip."
Fred March adds a footnote that years later they do meet again and she breaks his heart as the old lady had intended. March also promises another instalment, though this never came about in this series.
Also in the cast: Joan Hickson ever enjoyable as Mrs Gargery.

Tales of Dickens
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Strange Experiences (1955)

7 Mrs Gilson's Murderer, 8 Fortune-Teller, 11 Grandpa's Portrait, 17 Kleptomaniac (pictured), 19 Old Silas, The Clocks

Mysterious tales introduced by Peter Williams, and produced by Derick Williams, that were screened on ATV London from the very first week it was broadcasting. ATV Midlands repeated the series in 1962 at 8.55pm to fill in a five minute slot before the nine o'clock news. ATV London were also still repeating them on Sunday afternoons in the 1960's.
In all, 28 films were made. They were dramatised film reconstructions lasting only three and a half minutes each. Nevertheless they contain some fascinating material, a gallant attempt to create the shortest of short stories.

List of known films with dates of first screening on ATV London:
1 The Pickpocket (first shown Sat Sept 24th 1955, 7.10pm)
2 Identical Twins (Oct 1st 1955)
3 Portrait of Paula (Oct 8th 1955) with Theodor Bikel and Josephine Griffin
4 The Hold-Up Man (Oct 15th 1955) Peter Williams has a conversation with a masked marauder pointing a gun at him
5 The Sleepwalker (Oct 22nd 1955)
6 Hallowe'en (Oct 29th 1955) with Elspeth Gray
7 Mrs Gilson's Murderer (Nov 5th 1955) with Arthur Howard
8 Fortune-Teller (Nov 12th 1955) with Patrick Barr, Irene Handl
9 Sleeping Girl (Nov 19th 1955)
10 Queer Customer (Nov 26th 1955) with Anna Turner, John Wood and Hugh Latimer
11 Grandpa's Portrait (Dec 3rd 1955)
16 The Trial (Sun Jan 8th 1956, 7.40pm)
17 Kleptomaniac (Jan 15th 1956)
19 Old Silas (Jan 29th 1956) - "can a dead man's curse hold true? Will he return at the appointed hour to avenge his killing?"
20 The Well (Feb 5th 1956) with Louise Hampton and Richard Turner. A labourer, blinded by an actress' stage jewellery, plans to steal it
22 The Laughing Clown (Feb 19th 1956)
29 Matter of Luck (Apr 8th 1956)
Safe and Sound
The Ventriloquist with Kenneth Hyde
The Comet with Jack Lambert
Dunkirk with David Oxley, Sally Newland
The Inveterate Gambler with Michael Shepley and Peter Sallis. The curious story of a burglar and a gamble
The Idol with Cyril Smith
The Knife Thrower
The Clocks with Michael Balfour
(If you can add any more details, or any other titles, please email me)
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Kleptomaniac

Peter Williams: "Is it possible to cure a kleptomaniac?" His story shows the answer is yes.

He cites the case of "charming, wealthy" Pauline, "she had everything." Despite this, she can't resist shoplifting.
But her parents discover her guilty secret. Shock Treatment of the Human Mind by an eminent psychiatrist fails to cure her. What does work, is a practical shock.
On her holidays in Brighton, she gets in her worst ever scrape. In her hotel, the compulsion comes over her again, when she sees another guest's case that is standing in the foyer. Quietly, she takes it away to her room and opens it. Inside...... human remains!
"An effective cure," concludes the wise Peter Williams

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The Sea Captain's Portrait

Just before the last war, Peter Williams informs us, he inherited a portrait of his grandfather, a patriotic sea captain of a clipper that used to race from Australia to Britain. Hung in his sitting room in his London apartment in 1940, it survived the Blitz, making him realise "there must be something special about my picture."
Despite a direct buzz bomb hit on his flat in 1944, Granpa somehow survived in one piece.
Thus it became a mascot, accompanying Peter everywhere, even on board ship to New York. Yet on the return journey, the ship The United States on her maiden voyage won the coveted Blue Riband, and Granpa's portrait was found smashed, falling off the ship's wall.
"Did my grandfather, that staunch old British seaman find the loss of the Blue Riband too much to take?"

to Strange Experiences

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Mrs Gilson's Murderer

A rich widow has been murdered in her bed, and Mary Gray her nurse has disappeared. She seeks refuge in the home of Dr George Laking (Arthur Howard), who is forced at gunpoint to help her. She's no beauty for she had been disfigured by smallpox (though we never see her like this), and she forces him, as a leading plastic surgeon, to remodel her face.
"Do you think it's a matter of minutes?" asks the doctor. But though it takes three weeks, the task is completed, "I'm beautiful!"
Now she must kill him, but he has had this cunning plan- he has made Mary the splitting image of one Daisy Vernon, "wanted for murder too, three children." Knowing his fate, the doctor has taken this fatal injection. She has nothing left but to shoot herself.
However, the doctor has only feigned his own death. A neat little vignette

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The Fortune Teller

A senior Scotland Yard Officer (Patrick Barr) tells Peter Williams about Hazel Marriott (Pamela Alan), "an attractive woman" who had a weakness for fortune tellers.
After she 'lost' her husband in an accident, she consulted Madame Zaza (Irene Handl) about whether her new boyfriend is a suitable match. But Zaza doesn't answer this query, she looks into her crystal ball and sees a workbench in a garage. It's where her husband had worked. Then in the crystal ball a car is seen, its brakes have failed, it crashes into the garage, the husband is killed. "It wasn't an accident Mrs Marriott," declares Madame Zaza.
Hazel admits she was the driver who knocked her husband down deliberately. The Yard are waiting in the wings and hear this confession

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Old Silas
John Sullivan invited Peter Williams to his country home to tell him about a man he had killed a year ago. It wasn't deliberate, but this man Silas was "terrifyingly evil," a poacher and a thief who had broken into this house.
"I meant to shoot low," John explains, "but I got him in the back."
Before his death, Silas had put a curse on his killer, promising vengeance in exactly one year.
Now John has his gun at his side, "I'm taking no chances," he breathes, as footsteps approach the door. A knocking. It is only a policeman, but somehow the petrified John has gone up in a puff of smoke

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The Clocks

A nice little vignette.

Andrew Johnson, clockmaker and jeweller, runs a shop in Westminster.
He tells Peter Williams about the night one petty jewel thief (Michael Balfour) got locked in his shop. The poor man found himself trapped by the shop's security measures, "every exit barred."
Despite his trying to crack the locks, he fails. But the ticking of the innumerable clocks has a deteriorating effect on him, and by 9pm he is going mad.
Yes, he can stop many of them, but some just refuse to obey him, "let me out!" he cries, sinking into his deepest nightmare.
Improbable, but effective, it's Death by Ticking

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The Veil (1958)
Boris Karloff introduced the stories, in his usual dry deadpan style.
Nine were filmed at Hal Roach Studios in Hollywood, however one was made at the AB Studios Elstree England. This was:
10 Jack the Ripper - Clairvoyant Walter (Niall MacGuinnis) has a vision of a murder. In Bucks Row he 'sees' a woman killed. His wife Judith (Dorothy Alison) dismisses it as a nightmare, and the police dismiss him as another crank. But as he walks down the street in broad daylight he 'sees' another woman murdered: "he cut an ear off." And there is blood on Walter's hand. This time, a convinced Judith accompanies her husband to the police station. But on the way there he senses the killer is "here on the bus." A man alights, they follow. But the trail fades, so they continue on to Scotland Yard. Inspector McWilliams (Clifford Evans) arrests Walter on suspicion of being Jack the Ripper. But Walter's innocence is established after the killing that Walter had foreseen. "I can find Jack the Ripper," announces the clairvoyant, so that night Walter guides the inspector to "where the Ripper lives." A doctor in Harley Street. There they learn the doctor's wife Myra (Nora Swinburne) had suspected the truth and that the doctor has been certified, beyond the reach of the law. "I wonder what made him do those things." A neat if unspectactular possible solution to the Ripper murders
Here are reviews of the American-made stories:
1 Vision of Crime - An early TV appearance for Robert Hardy as George Bosworth, who sees, from on board ship, in a vision, his brother's murder 150 miles away. But the illustrious cast which also includes Boris Karloff as a useless sergeant and Patrick MacNee as his assistant, can't do anything about the wooden dialogue, which contains an American producer's usual misconception about Cockney speech. The bumbling policemen arrest Albert (Terence de Marney) on the testimony of Mrs Clink (Betty Fairfax), but what George doesn't know, is that his fiancee Julie (Jennifer Raine) is the guilty party. Note- despite most of the cast being British, this was filmed in USA!
2 Girl on the Road - Tod Andrews plays a man who dates a girl he meets on the roadside, only she died 3 years ago. Explain that one Boris!
3 Food on the Table - irritating story about a sea captain (Karloff) who poisons his wife, but she comes back to haunt him.
4 The Doctors - A little girl lies dying, but the local doctor (BK) is out, so his son, recently qualified as a medic, attends. But the parents stubbornly insist the old doctor treats their child, who is dying of diptheria. Finally the old man arrives, but later claims he never did.
5 The Crystal Ball - Marie is marrying rich publisher Charles, leaving a crystal ball to her ex-lover Edmund. Uncle Andre (Boris) advises Edmund not to cling to his old affair, but in his crystal the young man sees visions of his old flame, with a new lover, Philippe. Edmund shows Charles what he has seen, but to the latter the ball is blank
6 Genesis- Too late Jamie has come home to visit his dying father. He's a kind of prodigal son for he went away ten years back leaving his mother and brother Johnny to run their farm. Result: "Pa dies, you get nothing." Yet both parties claim to have wills - "which is the legal one?" Johnny's lawyer (BK) disputes Jamie's claim but in a vision Johnny sees his pa who advises him to look in Genesis 27. An effective story of brotherly hate
7 Destination Nightmare - Pete the Pilot crashes his plane after having a vision of the face of Wally, his father's co-pilot in the war, and who had jumped from their B17 to his death, when his parachute failed to open. On a second flight, Wally orders Pete to bale out. He obeys, landing near a wrecked plane. His father tells him the truth about Wally's death
9 The Return of Madam Vernoy - Perhaps the most supernatural and most fascinating of this series- Rama cannot marry Santha as she was married in a previous existence. She has a son too, who is living: "he could be older than you are," complains the baffled Rama. But it is revealed to her where her husband Armand still lives with their son Krishna, "is it all "a silly schoolboy joke?" Her explanation is "I have been reborn," and she perceives the reason, so she can help pay for her son's education in America, as she shows Armand where to find jewels long since thought lost
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Wire Service (made between 1955 and 1957)
Stories of three international reporters for the Trans Globe Wire Service. They never meet, there were thirteen episodes each starring Dane Clark, George Brent, and Mercedes McCambridge. Perhaps this was one of the first tv drama series to include a lone female star. Her stories vary from the good to the dreadful. I like Dane Clark's stories the best.
Two of the 39 stories were made in Britain:
18
Atom at Spithead (DC)
30 The Death Merchant (DC)

. . . . . US-made stories:
3 Hideout (MM)
4 The Johnny Rath Story (DC)
5 The Night of August Seventh (GB)
7 The Tower (DC)
11 The Deep End (GB)
13 Chicago Exclusive (GB)
16 Flowers for the General (GB)
17 The Comeback (MM)
19 El Hombre (GB)
21 Dateline Las Vegas (DC)
23 No Peace in Lo Dao (MM)
24 A Matter of Conscience (DC)
25 Misfire (GB)
29 Run, Sheep, Run (MM)
31 Violence Preferred (GB)
32 The Last Laugh (MM)
34 Four Minutes to Shot (GB)
35
The Washington Story (MM)
37 The Nameless (GB)
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3 Hideout

Reporter Miss Katherine Wells is flying to Denver from California Airport. There are shots and a chase. Jim, champion jockey, has been murdered.
Also caught up in the drama is Ed, who has been bidding a sad final goodbye to Val, having decided to go back to his wife Phyllis, "that's serious Ed." After they have parted, he sees the killer running away from the crime.
Katherine senses that though the jockey had clearly been bribed to throw a race and then changed his mind and won it, the best story is with Ed. She searches for him. he's gone to ground, scared, but she doesn't know that the killer is following her as Ed has suddenly become real elusive! That night, in her empty office, she waits to hear from Ed, her newspaper had contained her appeal for Ed to phone her. The killer announces himself with waiters bringing a meal. He wants to wine and dine her. She, unsuspecting, accepts.
From outside the office, Ed makes that call. He can see Miss Wells from his call box, then he sees her companion. "That's him, standing behind you!"
There's too much talking before we reach the man's gotta do stage, as Ed confronts the killer.

My award for maybe the worst line ever: "In a town like this, it's like looking for a flea on an elephant"

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4 The Johnny Rath Story
Dan Miller gets a hunch and flies to Salt Lake City to solve the case of Johnny, a missing boy. His mum Elaine is fearful of police involvement, "we can't, you know that." For her past is catching up with her, for it was her own father who had been convicted of murder twelve years back. That's the story Dan senses.
But it's no kidnap at all! Gene is one of Johnny's less salubrious friends, and Dan questions him what they did after school. "A lady" gave them a ride in her car, "she was a nice lady." Near the freight yard she had dropped the pair, and after running round and under trucks ("dangerous isn't it?") they had hopped on a loco, and had a fantasy playing with the controls. Then they clamber in and out of trucks, but Johnny is locked inside one. A refrigerated wagon.
Off chugs the train, regrettably Gene is too thick to tell anyone. "Why didn't you call someone?" rightly screams Elaine later.
But Dan can be more patient and takes Gene to the freight yard and spots the exact place they were playing when he finds some of Johnny's books conveniently left behind. At the rail office they work out Johnny must be locked in a freezing van, "he's only got a few hours to live."
Unfortunately the trucks have been shunted off on various trains to different locations, "we've got a lot of trains to check."
Dan wires the dramatic story, "an afternoon of play has turned into an evening of horror."
But the tension is not sustained as each train is searched. Dan takes a helicopter and swoops down over a train, "stop the train!" "Go away," shouts the driver. Some fancy work by the pilot forces the loco to grind to a stop. The helicopter was parked on the track.
Truck 41387 is opened. Dan leaps in to rescue the lad, carrying him out in his arms. No medics, Dan simply cuddles him to warm him up. "Thank God."
Dan dictates his story, one of "strong heroes and no villains." But it could have been tighter scripted
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The Tower

The Silk Stocking Marauder Stikes Again! Dan Miller is on the story, a student named Rod Usher is sure he knows the identity of the psychopath, "he's a friend of yours." Name of Carl. Any time now he might go a step further and kill.
Police surround Crandall College campus. Gunshots. The Masked Marauder eludes them, attacking a church organist, before kidnapping a priest and hiding in the church tower.
Of course, Dan is an expert on the criminal mind, though he's not wise enough to guess that Rod is the nutter, it was too obvious to me from the start.
Carl has a secret way down from the tower, and reappears as Rod to persuade the police how to organise the siege. "There's a tiger loose up there, he's got to be killed," Rod insists. At his prompting, a marksman is positioned on a rooftop to kill the loony and save the priest. But of course, the Marauder anticipates every police move.
At last Dan clicks. Rod shows him the secret way in and out. They ascend the tower.
Although this is gripping, it's too predictable, Dan saves the priest. "Forgive me father," begs Carl-Rod, though I had expected him to then topple from the tower, but no such gory horror

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The Deep End

Local football star Riverdale student Johnny is killed. It seems he fell out of the press box. "Mr Wonderful," they called him.
However it's been a mistake. He is not the dead man. That is Steve a petty crook who had not made the grade. But why has an anonymous donor left $1,000 for his funeral?
Dean Evans soon learns this is the latest of several 'accidents' at Riverdale High School. "There are some things a girl likes to forget," according to a local reporter and Evans admirer, but four fatalities seem a mite too coincidental. "Doesn't it seem unusual?"
Could there be any reason for these deaths? "Does a tiger needs a motive?" Evans watches and tails Johnny, who drives a car that looks like a prototype for The Munsters, but the wily lad turns the tables and tails Evans luring him to the fatal football ground, "a sheep led to the slaughter."
It's strangely compelling, if implausible, all about what we'd call kicks. But at least it's all explained.

Note: small role for Ed Byrnes as Bob the garage hand

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The Comeback

In Ashton, reporter Paul Goff is very keen to promote a boxing match for his 19 year old brother Howie, for he believes "he can go all the way" to the top. He will be a champ one day.
He fixes a match with Willy Beck, now 35 and over the top, who was once a local lad too. He's been out of boxing, "all washed up, a has been," but he needs the cash to pay his back taxes.
The great Fred Post is Willy's manager, and the pushy Paul wants him to manage his brother too.
Paul has also asked a favor from reporter Katie Wells. But when she starts writing her article on Howie, she soon finds a better story in Willy's comeback. "I'm no expert," she admits, and she asks some awkward, indeed embarrassing questions. But she becomes certain of one thing, that Paul has "overmatched" Howie. Now her article changes to focus on the ambitious Paul.
When he reads her advance copy, it's "pretty rough" on him. The "ruthless" elder brother is not amused. He bares all, and reveals why he's so desirous of pushing his brother. Their unhappy past is uncovered. Katie's lecture to him is more the stuff of fiction.
As you'd anticipate, the fight is the climax of the tale. There is one badly hurt loser. "We'll have to take him to hospital"

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El Hombre
This story was filmed entirely in Mexico, so it has authenticity, but the storyline didn't grab me.

A dictator from a fictional state is in Mexico to watch his protege a bullfighter. He's very scared of being assassinated, so he has come incognito.
Dean Evans is tipped off, and flies down from LA to see the bullfighter, his old wartime buddy Pepe. He seems to have changed, under the influence of dancer Maria.
Long scenes of a bullfight. Pepe dedicates his first killing of a bull to Dean. Almost unnoticed, the dictator, sitting among the crowd is killed.
The killer is known to be Pepe, but he denies it. Dean believes him and is introduced by Pepe to his hero, the new leader of the country, El Hombre. But is he all he seems? "We're being used."
After dodging the bullets of civil unrest in the country, the American ambassador explains the so called politics of the fighting, and Dean wires his boring story. Pepe is forced to denounce El Hombre "and his butchers," and eventually has to kill the new boss. Apparently it's "the moment of truth"

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Dateline Las Vegas

Great Landslide on Route 101 announces a newspaper headline. But it's a phoney, designed to divert a car so that four thieves can rob it of its load of currency notes. This the gang intends to quickly spread all over Vegas.
Incensed by the use the thieves have made of the newspaper, Dan Miller flies to the city as the bills have started to surface there. He is approached by Eve (Carolyn Jones) who says she has been handed one of these bills. The fact is, she is one of the gang, out to keep tabs on Dan.
The couple "do the town," then kiss. Of course she is falling in love with him, naturally. But he is also smitten by her, the romance genuine enough on both sides, though for her it is always bitter sweet.
"Forget Dan Miller," her boss orders. But he is throttled by one of the other crooks who has been smitten by gambling fever, and they are captured by the cops. At last only the girl is left at large, and it gradually dawns on poor Dan who Eve must actually be. "Let me see her alone."
So to the fateful meeting, a little too cliched, "I'm no good for you." So to, "goodbye Dan, thanks for the dream," as she of her own accord, turns herself in. Actually it is rather well done

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No Peace in Lo Dao
Attempted assassination of a Prime Minister in SE Asia. Kate teams up with local photographer Mac to cover the execution of the failed plotters, whose rebel leader is The Young General. But one of them is unoffically released.
Kate interviews"the old fox," the PM that is, and brokers a meeting between him and "the Young Lion." Mediator: Professor Fortnam.
At the conference table a wide divergence of views, no agreement. They part. A bomb kills the prof, but was it intended for one of the key participants? Civil war seems inevitable.
Mac's photo of the explosion proves that one of those supposed to be executed is still alive. Deputy Leader Chang must be the one stirring up trouble.
The Young General believes he has captured the assassins. He believes they are in the pay of the PM. He gives the PM 24 hours to surrender, or else.
But "the whole thing is fishy." Somehow a second mediation is conjured up, in which Kate and Mac expose the villains, and thus there's a chance of peace. That is, if you are in the slighest bit interested

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A Matter of Conscience
Old Jack had taken Dan Miller under his wing in that reporter's early days. When Jack's shot dead, after exposing a gangster who had gone to the chair, Dan, who's due shortly in London, breaks the terrible news to Jack's wife Mel.
Dino Bertoni, a tailor, witnessed the shooting, but in court changes his story, confessing he cannot identify the accused, Duke Damson. Once Again The Underworld Enjoyed The Last Laugh, reports Dan.
Bertoni is branded a coward, though he claims he is now unsure it was Duke he had seen. The DA even blames Dan for the way he had reported the story.
Dino's own business flounders under the strain, but he has one surprising ally, the "lone voice" of Dan himself. "We can't go on like this," cries Dino.
It's all Duke's fault, he decides. He grabs his tailor's scissors in seek of retribution.
"You are a murderer," he shouts at Duke, though what Dino says makes it evident he really had not recognised Duke as the killer. It is Bertoni who is injured. He is rushed to hospital, a hero

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Misfire

George Brent is in his cowboy gear for a publicity stunt. Kimble local bad boy made good, Mark Thomas, is in town from his Hollywood career to star in the annual renactment of a famous bank hold up.
Karl is also in town to shoot him, "he had it comin." But somehow Karl shoots the wrong man, and is arrested claiming he had vowed to shoot the film star as he had been the cause of Karl's wife's death. The revelation threatens to blight Mark's future, even though his wife Julie stands by him. Dean Evans backs him too, certain he is a "patsy" for someone else.
The dead man was named Richomnd, and Dean interviews his widow. It's fairly certain that Richmond was Karl's intended target, as a line of Chicago mobsters is exposed. But Karl is only a paid killer, so Dean obtains a forged doctor's letter to get the man "who paid Karl."
Unfortunately "hot head" Mark is out for his own brand of justice on the boss Ed Percy (John Hoyt). After a gunfight it's all over

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Run Sheep Run

In the small town of Warbonnet, Jimmy Harris, injured falling down a well on his land, fortuitously stumbles on pitchblend.
Reporter Kate Wells reports in poetic terms on the "fever of new money," interviewing the naive Jimmy, warning him of the begging letters he will soon meet. With so many spongers she really needs to be his secretary, but he is mere putty in the hands of local fortune hunters like Ed Hogarth who sets up as a real estate agent, talking Jimmy into signing a document he doesn't even bother to read, a "Land Grab."
That sets all the locals against Jimmy, so the only solution he can offer is not to sell his land, then there'll be "no uranium, no plans." But "he'll sign anything," according to Jimmy's even dimmer uncle who signs papers declaring Jimmy insane.
Holed out in his shack, the sherrif is a-coming for Jimmy. Kate acts as a negotiator, and gets Jimmy to emerge, when a deputy sherrif shoots him, "you animal." Jimmy is still alive. Kate is threatened with acid in her face if she don't lay off.
In a burst of philosophy, she convinces Jimmy not to quit, "only God should play God." But despite all Mercedes' earnestness, this is mere twaddle.
It is she who confronts evil Ed, who does what a man's gotta do, polish her off, but fails, for his deputy spills the beans. Showdown. Arrest of villains. Final little lesson from Kate to Jimmy
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The Death Merchant
Script: Marc Brandel. There seems no obvious reason why this episode was made in Britain.
The successful Chancellor of a Western Republic, Paul Eliscu, hands over the reins of power to Joseph Tezlik (Anton Diffring). Dan Miller is sent there when rioting breaks out.
Tezlik's fiancee, Francesca (Sandra Dorne at her best) used to be engaged to a dubious war criminal Frederick Walter (Peter Illing) who has somehow eluded justice. Dan remembers his interview with him in 1948, in which he branded him The Merchant of Death.
"Power is a strong narcotic." Dan puzzles out whether the old chancellor might be behind the troubles, in league with Walter, for he and Francesca are staying with Paul and his daughter Nadia (Jane Griffiths). Tezlik is urged by Frederick to declare martial law, a situation that Frederick desires, his final step to gain control of the country himself.
However he too easily brushes aside Francesca, who, as a bad girl, loves him. Dan persuades her to tell Joseph the truth, that she does not really love him etc etc. Seeing Frederick has indeed rejected her, she decides, "I'll get back at him." That's her death warrant, "poor stupid Francesca."
Everyone in Paul's house is now held prisoner until Tezlik declares martial law. It's up to Dan to escape to warn Joseph. Nadia offers to guide his route. Dan is captured, and it's down to Nadia to reach Tezlik in time.
Will Tezlik believe her? When he learns Francesca is dead, he sees through Walter's evil scheme. Dan as his reward, is first with the story, "no censorship"
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Violence Preferred

Arsonist Carl Strawn is released on parole. Those on the jury who had convicted him had been threatened with his revenge.
Dean Evans had dug up Nelly, a key witness in the trial, so he's another facing the ex-prisoner's threats. But nothing fearing, Dean interviews Carl's mother and even talks to Carl who claims he was unfairly convicted of causing death by his arson, and his idle threats are in the past, he holds no grudge.
However Joe Andreas, foreman on the jury, is killed in a car smash, he'd been number 1 on Carl's hit list. Was it an accident?
No 2 is Frank Benton, who'd been one of those who had vainly demanded the death sentence for Carl. He wants Carl back behind bars and his inflammatory words whip up townsfolk into hysteria. Benton's house burns down. Carl disappears.
Dean and the late judge's wife however find Carl and say they believe someone is trying to frame him.
But the mob, against sherrif's orders, form a lynch party and burn down Carl's house. Mrs Strawn watches on in sorrow. Dean takes her to kindly Nelly, to spend the night there.
The truth emerges, Benton is trying to frame Carl since Benton's girl had been killed in the original fire. Mob violence creates ugly scenes in which Carl is nearly finished off. Of course, Dean saves the day, in a speech to locals from the housetops. He adds more poetic comments to end this nearly good tale
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The Last Laugh

Kate Wells is in her Lisbon hotel when a US diplomatic courier TX37 dramatically bursts in, begging her to deliver a mysterious package to Oran. But the date is April 1st, and it's all an April Fool by her fellow journalists.
Or is it? Kate plays along with the fun, and US agent Jerry (Robert Hutton) follows her on the luxury cruise ship SS Garibaldi to keep tabs on her. Ray and Luisa, smugglers, get to know of the joke and swap Kate's passage for some jewels but Jerry saves her by replacing the package in his turn.
Kate notices it's now ticking! As it must be part of the joke, "that's very very funny," she swaps it for some cheeses. Once in Tangiers, these are nicked by Luisa.
"I'm in terrible trouble," Kate admits, though she thinks she's not, believing it all to be a lot of fun, which it now isn't. Here's a plot that anticipates by about a decade that vogue for spy spoofs.
Discovering they've only smuggled a whiffy cheese, the crooks return to the cruise, not knowing Kate has disappeared with her package, hitching a ride on a fishing boat to Oran.
"Put up your hands," finally Ray and Luisa grab their jewels. Jerry is in the nick of time to save Kate's life from the boat which has now caught fire. The gang are rounded up.
"I made headlines in 27 languages!" Kate's new nickname is The Tangiers Mata Hari. Not your typical Wire Service tale

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Four Minutes to Shot

With his fellow journalists, Dean Evans finds himself in "the most boring place," waiting for an atom bomb test. They are stranded in the desert, and yet another postponement means time hangs heavily.
But here's a story! A heavily pregnant woman Consuelo totters in from the desert, looking for her husband Pancho, an illegal immigrant. He must be hiding in the restricted area, but as a search fails to find him, the next test is to proceed, next morning 5.10am.
At 2.30am Dean grabs the general's jeep for a last minute desperate search, he's sure Pancho is holed up and will be blown to bits. Using the taped voice of Consuelo, Pancho is persuaded to emerge to safety.
However there's a new crisis. Consuelo has been fully occupied giving birth, and badly needs a blood transfusion. She is, inevitably, a very rare blood group. Only the general in charge of the test can help! He just has time for that, as well as conduct the explosion. As for Dean he's too busy with his story of the happy threesome, "we missed the big story." Responds Dean, "I'm not so sure"

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The Washington Story

Operation Easter Rabbit, Kate Wells on board, is bound for Iceland, en route stopping at Torland to refuel. But the landing has to be aborted when shots are fired, and the pilot warned off. This international airport has been taken over!
Kate wires the scoop and follows it up by staying with US official John Weare, who is treading diplomatically with his British and French counterparts to resolve the delicate situation. Behind this is the danger that Torland might end up in Iron Curtain hands. Several mentions of the Suez crisis point out parallels with that event. This was of course, several years before the Cuba crisis.
An emergency conference reveals the Torland delegate Krylov (Werner Klemperer) has somehow obtained inside informartion on the American position. Thus the story turns into an investiagtion of this security leak. Tom Snowdon investigates, and remarkably the evidence points to Weare being the guilty party.
Kate talks it over with Eugenie, Weare's new young wife. She is Hungarian. She denies she is a spy, she loves her husband too much. A bookshop is at the centre of these cloak and dagger activities. Kate goes there with Weare and talks to an asistant there named Frank. As they leave Weare shoots Frank.
The American dilemma is, if Weare fails to continue at the Torland conference, the Western case will collapse.
But the real spy is finally exposed. He had hynotised Weare, who is entirely innocent. How come? That good old standby, the truth drug, proves it.
"Everything's going to be all right," spy plot foiled, Weare reinstated, three cheers

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The Nameless
Richard Fielding asks Dean Evans to help find his kidnapped boy. The child Davey had been illegally adopted, Evans' is keen to expose the black market baby racket and so agrees to help.
The boy's real father, Michael Pomeroy, had taken back his child. He's flown away with him and calls the lad Mike.
The Fieldings had bought Davey four years ago from a Mrs Williams, a very anonymous character. But Davey had come with an unusual toy bear they called Mr Brown, and he had been made in New Orleans, so that's where the search begins.
At the downtown shop where Mr Brown had been purchased, they are pointed in the direction of Miss McCarty, who when she is tracked down turns out to be Mrs Williams. Dean chats her up, posing as a father who has just lost his baby. All goes smoothly until she spots Mr Brown. An impatient Fielding takes the search into his own hands and he accosts the boss behind the racket. However it is Fielding who is arrested by police, and the gang use the moment to try and slip away.
The Mardi Gras parade slows everyone's progress, the crowd scenes are well done as the hunt closes on the waterfront, Davey disguised in a rabbit suit. "Come 'n' get me daddy," he cries as he espies his adopted father. But a reunion is only achieved thanks to Pomeroy's slightly inexpicable change of heart, though this inevitably heart rending story finishes with a note of realism, Davey's future will have to be settled in court

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Atom at Spithead
Script: Frederick Brady. Director: Lance Comfort. Made at New Elstree Studios.
Dan Miller: "Again I was on my way across the Atlantic."
His job is to cover a summit meeting. Staying at the Savoy Hotel, he meets Beth, the wife of old friend John Templar (Robert Beatty). She explains her husband is "on the carpet," very worried about security during a naval review of the fleet on June 15th at 3pm. Possibility of an atom bomb. "That's not possible," considers Dan, yet after a night of reflection writes a draft news story The Day Great Britain Died. It's "a tale of fantasy" but it has the top brass concerned enough to take Dan and John into their military confidence. Unofficially they are to investigate security.
They interview an agent from an Unnamed Country, we know which one. He says it is not in their country's interests to cause any nuclear disaster. Their representative ship at the review is searched and found to have no hostile weapons. A special radiation detector confirms this is so, the Unnamed Country's own detection apparatus of course detects the British detector.
All ships are checked, but one, the Balkan Mostar, arrives too late to be included. It's "from a friendly enough country," but it seems there are no crew on board! A boarding party confirms this, only two dead British bodies. There's a sealed area. Only 55 minutes to the review.
The ship must be towed out to sea, "first time I've ever told an admiral what to do," remarks John. It is a trifle exciting, but to quote Shakespeare, as Dan has done earlier, it's much ado about nothing. Dan dictates the story so far to New York. "Today World War Three was prevented."
Here's yet another Nuclear Disaster Averted tale, and not too gripping. "Take cover everyone." BOOM!
Everyone and everything is safe. No promised tidal wave. Dan's report concludes simply, "thank God"
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Adventures of a Jungle Boy
In 1957
Gross-Kasne filmed this series made on location in Kenya and produced by George Breakston. The theme was composed by Phil Green, and with scripts from the likes of Basil Dawson, this series deserves resurrecting! All 13 films are in existence today.
The young star was Michael Carr-Hartley, in stories of an orphan boy whose home is a treetop, his friends the wild animals. Each story centered on his friendship with the jungle animals. His main companion is the fully grown Cheetah, whilst other close friends are Simba, a lion cub, and Quaggo a young zebra. Other animals to feature are two friends, Jimmy, a black rhino and Lula Behiti an elephant. Korai and Mumpo are other elephants and Jezebel is a rock python. Ninga is a mother baboon, Nanny a milk goat, and Lanui an eland doe.
The cast was made up of locals and British actors who included
Ronald Adam, the only semi-regular in the series who played Doc Laurence.
Others in one-off appearances include some Gross-Kasne regulars:
Peter Dyneley in the first story, Meet Jungle Boy,
Conrad Phillips in Child By the River, and
Monica Stevenson in Young Love.
Leonard Sachs in The Burial Ground,
Patrick Holt in Missing Son, and Child By the River,
Patricia Plunkett in The Ways of a Witch Doctor and
Eric Pohlmann and Andrew Faulds in Kidnapped.

3 The Doctor Man (aka Missing Son) - Jungle Boy takes sick baby Babu to the Doctor Man, Dr Laurence, who diagnoses tick fever. The doc hears of Jungle Boy's orphaned life alone in the jungle. Ellen and Roy Morson are two naturalists whose son Michael had died soon after they came to Africa. They need a reliable guide and the doctor suggests Jungle Boy, Bwan. "I'll show you lots of flowers," he promises, and he's true to his word, so everyone is happy, that is until Ellen has a tantrum. She has never got over Michael's sad death, though she is cheered by the sight of Bwan's tree house and even contemplates adoption. But the sight of a jealous Cheetah protecting Bwan causes her to faint! The doc makes her better and more than that, with the "wonderful" news that she's expecting. And, the doc adds, adoption could never have been, since "I've more or less adopted Bwan myself."
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Anthony Newley and Adrienne Corri

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