Saturday, 3 January 2015

2-8 January 1965

Hello, and  Happy New Year to you. I hope you had a lovely festive season.  Regular readers may have noticed that I've had a few weeks off, and sadly that means there are quite a few wonderful things I didn't get to cover.  But there's an exciting new year of TV ahead of us, so let's crack on with it.

Saturday 2 January 

Viewers of BBC 1 this evening could witness a dazzling panel consisting of Val Doonican, Charlie Drake, Fenella Fielding and Twinkle passing judgement on this week's pop releases in Juke Box Jury.  And if they stayed with the channel afterwards they could enjoy the start of a brand new adventure for

It'll come as no surprise that the Doctor and his chums put an end to the Daleks' domination of Earth, but one of the most significant TV moments I missed during my impromptu break was the departure of Susan from the TARDIS crew.  In a questionable display of grandparenting, the Doctor actually locked the teenager out of the ship to force her into the arms of her recently acquired love interest David Campbell (he's promised to come back one day, but given the unreliability of the TARDIS that may have been a wee bit rash).  It seems the original plan was for the gloriously unsympathetic Jenny to come aboard in her place, but sadly that never happened, so the tantalising prospect of her being rude to all manner of aliens and historical figures must remain in our imaginations.  Instead, the Doctor, Ian and Barbara arrive on an alien world with nobody to twist their ankle and whinge.

But straight away we're introduced to a likely new candidate for the role, perky young Vicki (Maureen O'Brien), one of the surviving occupants of a crashed British spaceship.  The only other is grumpy, bedbound Bennett (Ray Barrett, who does the voices of Commander Shore and Titan in Stingray), who rapidly pours scorn on her claims that the rescue ship they're expecting's arrived ahead of schedule, and reminds her to beware of someone called Koquillion, who'll kill them if he learns they're to be rescued.

Of course, the craft that her instruments have detected is  the TARDIS.  The Powerful Enemy's credited writer is David Whitaker, who had ended his stint as Doctor Who's story editor the previous week, but the distinct air of sitcom about the episode's TARDIS scene seems like the work of his more comedy-oriented successor, Dennis Spooner.  The ship lands while the Doctor's having a nap.  This is not what you want to hear someone say when you wake them up.

There's a laugh-out-loud moment as Barbara informs the Doctor that "the trembling's stopped": "Oh, my dear! I'm so glad you're feeling better." "No, not me, the ship!" Just as we notice that the Doctor seems to be a much more cheerful character without his bothersome granddaughter around, the old man gets all choked up as he finds himself automatically calling for her to open the doors.  Barbara gently suggests he tell her how to do it (it's number four switch, trivia fans).

The TARDIS has landed in a cave where there's a curious smell the Doctor finds familiar.  For once, though, he doesn't seem bothered about finding out what's causing it, instead leaving the others to explore while he has another nap.  "Maybe we're seeing a new side to the Doctor," muses Barbara, echoing this viewer's thoughts.  Ian rather insensitively suggests the old man's getting decrepit.

As they go for a look round, we're treated to a fantastic reveal of the episode's title character, Koquillion in a crash zoom out from actor Sydney Wilson's  fascinating Ray Cusick-designed mask to reveal that he's loitering next to the ship.

Ian and Barbara spot the crashed ship, and are just discussing whether to tell the Doctor about it (you know what it's like when he gets involved) when they're confronted by the fearsome figure of Koquillion.  Ian lets slip that they have a companion, and Koquillion, brandishing a curious spanner-like object, insists he go and get him.  As he heads off, Koquillion proceeds to push Barbara off the ledge they're standing on to the ground below, then uses his curious gun to trigger a rockfall sealing Ian and the Doctor within the cave.

Meanwhile, the Doctor's realised they're on the planet Dido, which he's visited before. He's perplexed by Ian's description of Koquillion as he knows the planet's inhabitants as peaceful people.

Vicki finds Barbara, only slightly hurt after her fall, and hides her in the spaceship prior to a visit from Koquillion, who tells her that, unlike her and Bennett, he wasn't able to save them from his bloodthirsty people..

When Koquillion pops in to see Bennett, Vicki uncovers Barbara and tells her what became of the rest of the ship's crew, including her father: they were all invited to a reception by the natives (she was ill and couldn't go), where they were massacred.  Bennett, the sole survivor, managed to crawl back to the ship, and they've been at the tender mercies of Koquillion (the only native of Dido Vicki's seen) ever since.  Vicki informs Barbara that her friends are now dead (well, misery loves company and all that).  Once Koquillion departs Barbara gets to meet Bennett, who's far from pleased to see her.

Happily the Doctor and Ian aren't dead, of course, but are trying to make their way out of the cave to rescue Barbara.  To do so, they have to negotiate a narrow walkway over a pit containing a growling fearsome-looking beast.

There are ornate handholds in the wall, but one of them turns out to trigger a booby-trap: Ian will have to risk being impaled or take his chances in the pit below...

Next tonight it's the last in the present series of The Arthur Haynes Show, though the version present on the show's DVD release looks to be a compilation rather than the full show broadcast this evening: it begins with a sketch hinging on Christmas being round the corner, which would be a bit odd for a show screened at the beginning of January.  It involves tramps Arthur and Dermot attempting to sell Nicholas Parsons their snow clearing services (despite the unseasonable warmth). The sketch's best joke has Arthur paint a cross on Parsons' front door to indicate he doesn't want snow cleared, then try to sell him paint removal services.  By the way, another version of the Post Early for Christmas poster seen in the sketch can be seen in its full-colour glory along with other mid-century classics in this recent Guardian feature.  

We stay with the tramps for the second sketch, which sees them running a bank and transport service for their fellow tramps (Arthur harbours dreams of becoming the new Charles Forte).

Music comes from the ever-cheerful Joe Brown, performing "Waiting for the Robert E Lee," one of the most inescapable tunes of early 60s light entertainment.

The final sketch of the series is another variation on the theme of Haynes, Kelly and wives Patricia Hayes and Rita Webb making a spectacle of themselves in posh surroundings: here, a swanky works do to which shop stewards Haynes and Kelly have been invited in the expectation they wouldn't come.  They do turn up, of course, though they're a bit late as Rita had trouble getting her stays on.  Uptight manager Parsons is predictably embarrassed by their uncouth ways.  There are gales of audience laughter as Haynes asks Parsons' wife "Have you got a pin? Only my mate's dickie keeps popping out," and the grim farrago concludes with him training a fire extinguisher on a blazing Christmas pudding, and then, for no especially good reason, on Ms Webb.

That lot'll all be back later in the year.  Next this evening, an episode of Redcap that'll be especially enjoyable for anyone who enjoys seeing people point at maps.

Near a British army base in Germany, a local man is hit by a car, and left to die at the roadside.  The only witness, the man's son, says that there were British soldiers in the car.  John Mann's called in to investigate, renewing his acquaintance with the jovial Captain Ritchie (Ewen Solon).  The CO, Major Silk (Gary Watson) is significantly less jovial, while Inspector Bowrich of the local police (John Abineri) is downright hostile.

The car belonged to a local businessman who spent the evening with a "well-known lady".  Mann suspects Bowrich may be trying to pin the killing on the British army in the hope of getting shot of them.  But the troops, particularly brash Private Dobing (Michael Standing) and edgy Corporal Loveridge (Michael Blackham) clearly know something about the incident.  David Battley, who was rehearsing for the disastrous original tour of Joe Orton's Loot when the episode was broadcast, plays the gangling Corporal Meadows.  Battley and Blackham had both appeared in Redcap before, as different soldiers - the impression gained is that British army troops are more or less interchangeable.  Oh, and note the shadow of a retreating microphone in the top right corner of the below shot.

Ritchie takes Mann out to a local nightspot where Lotte Leibrun (Patricia Denys), the lady the dead man visited, hangs out.  She doesn't prove very helpful.

It emerges that Major Silk is especially sensitive about any incidents involving his men as he's courting Christine Pelling (Jennifer Wood), the daughter of a local bigwig (Guy Deghy) who's a bit anxious about being seen to fraternise with the British.

Mann realises the key to the whole business is the ridiculously difficult initiative test Silk set the troops on the day of the man's death (this is where all the maps and pointing comes in).  Dobing and Loveridge ended up showing their initiative by nicking a car to drive back to camp, and unfortunately ended up running the poor German over.

The two men are arrested, but Mann confronts Silk about setting his men such a difficult task, and the episode ends with a chastened Major agreeing to support the young soldiers through their trial.  That's about it, really.  If there are any other nuances to this episode I've missed due to the state of torpor induced by all that stuff about maps, please write in and let me know.

Over on BBC 2 this evening, the Cinema 625 series of films from around the world stops off at Czechoslovakia for Jiri Weiss's Romeo, Juliet and Darkness (1960), about a young man who hides a Jewish girl in his attic during World War Two.  It ends as well as you'd expect.  Still, along the way they do manage to have some fun with a guinea pig in a book.

Sunday 3 January

Tonight's Stingray begins by relating the tale of how Commander Sam Shore lost the use of his legs.  It came about when a pair of chaps in marvellous polo necks (one of whom appears to have a cigar stuck to his lower lip) picked up a mysterious sounding underwater...

Shore, dressed in the hoody that appears to have been the WASP uniform at the time, went out in a sub to investigate the mystery craft.  The unknown sub blew up a drilling station and downed Shore's ship, leaving the bloodied Commander on the verge of death.

Back in the present day (whenever that is), Commander Shore's having recurring nightmares about the incident.  The best thing about this is that we get a peep into the bedrooms of both Shore and Troy Tempest, who Atlanta insists on calling to his aid (what exact expertise Troy has in preventing nightmares is unclear).

Shore recounts the next stage of what happened: as he drifted, maimed, he was suddenly rescued by a mysterious, white-haired figure who radiated calm and benevolence (and appears to have an albino bat clinging to his chin).  Shore christened this mysterious figure "the Ghost of the Sea".

A new mining project is about to go ahead - will the strange submarine turn up again on its mission of sabotage? Well, yes, of course it will, otherwise this would be a very uneventful episode.  Shore joins the Stingray crew as they head out after it.  They corner the mystery craft and Troy and Marina swim out to confront its occupant (Shore warns them to watch out for "giant crawling clams")- but when they board the ship, the bird has flown (or swum, rather), and the ship's controls are poised to explode.

Troy and Marina escape just in time, and, returning to Stingray, they spy the pilot of the craft - caught in a clam! And Shore recognises him as the Ghost of the Sea! Troy swims out to rescue him, and he quickly absconds, but returns in another ship to signal, in "international code" (how does he know this, exactly?) that he will cease his campaign of sabotage and wishes to make contact with the Terrainians.  And that's the end of a curiously slight adventure.

Rather weightier stories can be found in the film adaptations of great literary works also broadcast today.  ITV offers Merle Oberon and Laurence Olivier in William Wyler's 1939 adaptation of Wuthering Heights...

 ...while later in the evening, BBC 1 screens Elliott Nugent's 1949 version of The Great Gatsby, starring Alan Ladd.  Here's Shelley Winters about to be hit by a car...

... and here's the decidedly unconvincing effect when she is.

Monday 4 January

Viewers of BBC 2 this evening could enjoy a "candid portrait" of Jane Fonda, while ITV's Blood and Thunder series of plays offers a production of Rowley and Middleton's The Changeling with a cast including Derek Godfrey, Kika Markham, Nerys Hughes, Esmond Knight and Patrick Troughton.

Tuesday 5 January 

Tonight's Danger Man features the wonderful Graham Crowden as Commander Braithwaite, director of a nuclear research facility in the Western Highlands of Scotland, who's discovered that a top secret file is missing from his briefcase.

In London, John Drake's interest is piqued, as the fingerprints on the case are those of a man named Jock Lawson, who was sought by the police 20 years before for passing information to a foreign power.  But Lawson died before the police could get him...

Drake comes to the base in the guise of an auditor named Preston, and puts up the backs of most of the employees.  Braithwaite, the only person who knows Drake's real identity, refuses to believe that any of the "first rate chaps" under him could be up to no good.  As a frustrated Drake scathingly puts it: "Any man with an eight handicap or under couldn't possibly be a Communist agent."

The Commander and his wife (Barbara Lott) accommodate Drake, and at their home he meets Sheila Sutherland (Francesca Annis), come to stay the night as weather won't permit her return to the isle of Herta, where she lives.

Deciding Herta might be worth investigating, Drake accompanies Sheila back to the island the next morning.  Fisherman Donald McKinnon (Brian Phelan) grudgingly agrees to ask his parents to put Drake up for the night.  Duncan Lamont plays the gregarious Mr McKinnon and Julie Wallace his wife, who might almost have been the model for Father Ted's Mrs Doyle.

Drake's suspicions have been aroused by the sight of a Russian fishing boat tied up at the harbour, and its crew roaming the town.  He follows them to the local tavern, whose keeper is played by veteran actor Finlay Currie, still hale and hearty at 86.  The Plane Makers' Duncan McIntyre plays the shifty Mr Mackay, who seems well in with the Russians.

Drake manages to buy a bottle of vodka from the Russians, and discovers that this, too, has Jock Lawson's fingerprints on it.

Paying a visit to the abbey where Sheila (who's developed a crush on him) lives, Drake meets her father, pompous novelist Magnus Sutherland (an extremely camp performance from Nigel Green), who is open about his hostility to the nuclear plant.

Later that evening, Drake spots Sheila signalling from the abbey with a light, and follows her to find that the recipient of the signal was Donald, who she's carrying on with without her father's knowledge.

Later on, he spots Mackay behaving suspiciously around the abbey, and, upon investigation, gets involved in a fight with the man's burly helpmate.

Returning to the McKinnon cottage, Drake discovers that his cameras and fingerprinting equipment have all been destroyed.

Suspecting Donald, Drake catches him as he's rowing out to sea, making a daring leap into his boat.  Drake taunts Donald by exaggerating Sheila's interest in him, and the subsequent punch-up sees both of them pitched overboard.  Donald grabs on to a rope attached to the boat, leaving Drake stranded.  He's eventually rescued by the passing Russians.

Mr McKinnon talks to Drake to apologise for his son's actions, and in the process reveals that he is in fact the supposedly dead Jock Lawson.  As Drake prepares to take him to the mainland the other islanders (convinced he's a meddling customs man investigating their duty free booze racket), led by Sutherland turn out in an attempt to stop him.  They don't succeed.

McKinnon/Lawson is utterly bewildered by his arrest, and Commander Braithwaite's also bemused that Drake's fingered this chap he knows well from the island.  Suddenly, there's a terrible discovery: McKinnon's fingerprints were on the briefcase as he helped Braithwaite with his things last time he visited the island.  And the missing file has been in Braithwaite's desk all along.  The episode's title is McKinnon's weary response to Drake's embarrassed apology.  McKinnon prepares to return to the island, but it's no good: the police still want him for his offence 20 years before.  The Commander's affable incompetence has destroyed his life.

There's lighter fare over on BBC 1, with the return of Richard Waring's popular young marrieds sitcom.

We're into the show's third series now: I wasn't able to feature the second at TV Minus 50 as the BBC have lost it (along with the two further series following this one).  There have been a few changes since we last saw Kate and George Starling: they've moved to a new flat, and Kate is now heavily pregnant.  And what's more, the show's title's lost its definite article.

The Starlings are struggling to come to terms with their approaching parenthood: George in particular isn't happy with the way their lives have already changed: it's impossible to move in their poky flat without tripping over baby paraphernalia of some kind.  Kate's understandably upset by his insistence on referring to the baby as "a ruddy cuckoo".  He's also not greatly sensitive about the changes to Kate's body: "It seems ages since I was able to put my arms right round you."

This evening they're supposed to be visiting their friends Ronnie and Midge, whose lives have supposedly been completely unchanged by having a baby, to find out how it's done.  But Kate's forgotten and is expecting a visit from Sarah and Henry Hamilton (Sonia Graham and Patrick O'Connell), friends of friends with a pram to spare.  When they turn up they prove to be jumper and duffle-coat clad lefty types who want a tenner for the pram and try to offload all sorts of other old junk on the bewildered Starlings. 

"The baby's got more seats than the Liberal Party!" sighs an exasperated George, looking around at what they've acquired and kicking the pram, injuring his foot in the process.

The Starlings eventually make it out to see Ronnie and Midge (Moray Watson and Elvi Hale), who are very smug about how easy they've found parenting.  It turns out the pair rarely actually see their child, instead relying on a baby monitor (a very hi-tech gadget in 1965) to let them know how it's doing.  It provides them with hours of entertainment.

Ronnie and Midge's other new obsession is astrology: they've got hold of an Old Moore's Almanack and have Ronnie Jr's entire life mapped out according to his star sign.  They've also discovered that they're perfectly astrologically compatible, which it turns out Kate and George aren't - much to their distress.

In the aftermath of this discovery, the Starlings overdo their affection to one another.  Then George has a wardrobe fall on him.  Then he falls into a cot.  And discovers Kate's cut up his pyjamas to make rags to clean up after the baby with.  It seems he really is doomed.

Happily, the episode concludes with a phone call from George's mother (Diana King), in the course of which she reveals that she and his father's signs don't match either, and they've done all right.  Phew.

Back over on ITV, it's the penultimate ever episode of

John Wilder's away again this week (last week's episode, which saw he and Laura Challis stranded together in Brussels, was really rather good), which means of course that all the other characters spend most of the episode talking about him.  Dominating proceedings this week is Peter Jeffrey as James Cameron-Grant.  He's decided to leave politics for the business world, and has his eye on the job of Managing Director at Ryan Airframes.  The rivalry between Wilder and David Corbett is now entering its endgame, and Grant wants to be sure to support the man most likely to give him the job.  So he spends the episode sounding various people out about Wilder, including his therapist Dr Renkle (David Langton), Henry Forbes and Don Henderson.  The surprising amount of things he finds in Wilder's favour is the "Hoopla of Haloes" of the title.

Meanwhile, Corbett's resorted to sifting through Wilder's expense claims in search of wrongdoing.  In the process he learns that Wilder's secretly been wooing prospective American buyers over the potential for the new VTOL jet's pressure innovations to be used in civilian planes.  Corbett decides to get one over on Wilder by giving the Americans a demonstration, but when Forbes doesn't turn up for the test, Grant persuades a reluctant Corbett to give it a go instead.  Afterward, Grant tries it himself, but manages to sneak out Corbett's results rather than his own.  They reveal Corbett's very ill, but Grant won't hand over the information unless Corbett agrees to give him what he wants...

Gosh, it's all so cut-throat, isn't it? Next week, the final battle between Wilder and Corbett.

Were I a real 1965 TV viewer rather than a pretend one, I would  have eschewed The Plane Makers in favour of tonight's offering in BBC 2's Vintage Years of Hollywood series.  It's Rouben Mamoulian's  musical comedy Love Me Tonight (1932), which, you probably won't be interested to know, is one of my very favourite films.

Wednesday 6 January

One of the most significant things I missed while TV Minus 50 was off air was the start of a new BBC 2 sitcom by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, which is now in its fourth week.

The series charts the life and loves of Terry Collier (James Bolam) and Bob Ferris (Rodney Bewes), a pair of youngsters who live somewhere up north and work together as electricians in a factory.  Or at least they did work together: this week's episode sees Bob, always the harder working and more conscientious of the two, seconded to an office job.  Terry's aged colleague Cloughie (former Sensorite Bartlett Mullins) issues a dire warning that now Bob's mixing with the elite he'll leave Terry behind.

Scoffing at this, Terry goes to meet Bob as he leaves the office.  Well, actually he's gone to watch the secretaries leaving the office - meeting Bob is just an added bonus.  The even more lecherous Blakey (Richard Moore) doesn't even have that excuse.

When Bob appears it's with two very attractive young women: his boss's secretary Judith (Anneke Wills), who he's hesitantly trying to romance, and her friend Sally Anne from Personnel (Didi Sullivan), who takes an instant shine to Terry.

This meeting's broken up, however, by flashy sales rep Bill Nesbit (Michael Sheard, only 26 at the time, remarkably enough), who's also got his eye on Judith.  The lads decide to go for a drink...

...and both feel much the worse for it the following day.  The coffee machine in Bob's office is clearly considered very posh, though predictably enough it doesn't work properly, and he has to go into a meeting with his irate boss Mr Holgate (Eric Dodson) with a cup of oxtail soup rather than the jolt of caffeine he was hoping for.

At lunchtime, Bob once again tries his arm with Judith, and once again Nesbit intrudes.  He tries to discourage Bob from attending the big works social the following evening - most of the girls already have dates, "And those who don't range from nil to desperandum."

That evening Bob tries to knuckle down to the coursework necessary for him staying in the office, but Terry turns up to try and lure him out for "a swift half", which inevitably means a night of drunken debauchery.

The night of the social dawns, and Bob takes Terry along as his date.  They dive in to talk to Judith and Sally Anne while their dates are dancing.  Terry takes the mickey out of Nesbit as he sleazes over the girls.  "You may look like a stuffed penguin," he tells a disapproving Bob, "But you don't need to act like one."

"You mustn't be jealous," Terry tells Nesbit as he takes Sally Anne off for a dance, "You can have a dance with me later on."

But Nesbit informs Holgate that Terry's a factory worker, and as such banned from taking part in the dance.  Bob sticks up for his friend against the stupid rule, and decides he's had enough of these stuck-up clerical types, and wants to go back to the factory: "You can keep your dance.  And your drawing board.  And you can stick 'em up your -"

But the evening's not been a total loss: as the boys prepare to leave they're stopped by Judith and Sally Anne, who want to come with them to the Black Horse.  They're up for a bit of slumming, and who are Bob and Terry to refuse?

Thursday 7 January 

Tonight's episode of The Saint has Roger Moore in the director's chair, and he clearly has a high old time bringing to life an action-packed script.  Supposedly based on a Leslie Charteris story, its tale of various people in search of a huge sum of money has the fingerprints of writer Terry Nation all over it.

The setting for Simon Templar's adventure this week is London, where he only narrowly avoids being hit by a car.  A crook of his acquaintance named Ardossi (John Bennett) appears and warns him that the car's driver, a recently released convict named Farnberg, is out to kill him.

Simon calls a number given to him by Ardossi, and gets through to a man named Frist (Michael Peake), who's looking to hire someone to kill the Saint.  Stowing himself in a packing crate, Simon has himself delivered to the factory that Frist operates out of.

Look at those marvellous vintage health and safety posters.

Simon confronts Frist, but Farnberg (Robert Hutton) is lurking in the shadows of his office ready to pounce on Simon.  And what's more, Ardossi swiftly arrives to join the fight against the Saint too (the car wasn't supposed to kill Simon, it was simply so Farnberg and Ardossi could lure him somewhere where they could dispatch him more discreetly - as he might perhaps have guessed from Frist  telling an unknown caller both that he was planning to have someone killed, and where to meet him).

Simon manages to get away from his assailants, and as they pursue him he's picked up by a passing car driven by an old acquaintance, Major John Dunstan of US Air Force Security (crooner Dick Haymes).

Later that evening, Simon receives a visit from a police officer (Nicholas Courtney), who informs him that Frist has been found dead.  Farnberg's the obvious suspect, but Simon doesn't think it fits.

It turns out that eight years ago Farnberg was stationed at a US Air Force base in England when he and several comrades were imprisoned for an armoured car robbery.  Simon thinks that now he's out he's after the loot, and knows the Saint is the only man who can stop him.  Simon's intrigued by the presence in Frist's office of the complete works of crime novelist Eileen Wiltham, and also by Farnberg's mention of a woman named Ballinger.  Working out that the woman in question is the wife of another US airman, Simon has a root round her house, and finds that she also has a full set of Eileen Wiltham's novels.  As well she might: when she returns to find Simon in her house, Eileen Ballinger (Elizabeth Weaver) reveals that she is Eileen Wiltham.

Simon intrigues Eileen enough to make her agree to dinner at his flat, where he suggests that her husband was involved in the robbery, and may have hidden the cash.  Eileen informs him that her husband died in a plane crash two days after the robbery.

Farnberg's clearly got the same idea as Simon: Eileen no sooner gets home than he ties her up and demands to know where the money is.

Simon comes to her rescue: it's rather wonderful how the first thing he thinks to do to ease her nerves is give her a stiff drink and a fag.

The next day, Simon and Eileen pay a visit to Chuck Powers (Richard Easton), the co-pilot in Mr Ballinger's crashed plane, who now resides in a care home, scarred both physically and mentally (the physical scars look more like the result of pressing his face against a wire fence).  He doesn't prove much use.

The doctor who pulled Ballinger from the wreckage, played by Douglas Muir, formerly Steed's boss in The Avengers, can only offer the curious detail that the airman rambled on about someone called Richard Reason before expiring.

Dunstan reveals there was no Richard Reason stationed at the airbase, and Eileen realises that her husband was actually saying "Riches and Treason", the name of a novel she was working on at the time, and never managed to finish: as it featured an armoured car robbery it seems odd that she hadn't thought of it in connection with the crime before.  Could the manuscript hold a clue? Farnberg and Ardossi think so, and they kidnap Eileen (Farnberg gets aware with her, but Dunstan shoots Ardossi dead, much to Simon's distaste).

The ensuing chase ends with Farnberg getting his foot caught in a railway track, and meeting a grisly end as a result.

The manuscript leads Simon and Eileen to realise that Ballinger used the money to buy diamonds, and that these have been hidden all along in Eileen's fish tank, where they couldn't be seen in the water (I'm sure you're supposed to empty these things out more than once every eight years).  Upon this discovery we learn (not at all unexpectedly) that Dunstan is after the diamonds himself (he's the one who killed Frist, as most viewers would surely have instantly realised).

Simon swiftly overpowers him, and turns both him and the diamonds (reluctantly in their case) over to Inspector Teal, who's conveniently turned up that very moment.

Friday 8 January

Among tonight's programmes, BBC 1 offers Frankie Howerd in another unlikely situation by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, while viewers of BBC 2 could enjoy Between the Lines, a programme of Scottish songs introduced by Fulton Mackay and featuring a young Tom Conti among its participants.

You can read the Radio Times listings for this week's BBC programmes here, and the full London edition of this week's TV Times here.

Outside the box
  • The New Year's honours list sees Stanley Matthews become the football world's first knight
  • Monday: T S Eliot dies aged 76
  • Thursday: Ronnie and Reggie Kray are arrested on suspicion of running a protection racket
And to play us out...

It's the Beatles with "I Feel Fine", which was the Christmas number 1 and is still clinging to the top spot.


  1. a) The Ghost of the Sea has a definite aspect of Dear Dear Johnnie about him.

    b) Michael Sheard was how old? He looked 46 at 26.

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