Friday, 24 April 2015

24-30 April 1965

Hello, hello! It's good to be back (Oh.  Perhaps I could have phrased that better).  Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed yourselves during my absence - I've been taking some time to enjoy the sunshine and do some things away from my computer screen.  But frankly, I've had enough of 2015 now: the present's a nice place to visit but you wouldn't want to live there.  So back to 1965 it is.

Saturday 24 April

Tonight's Juke Box Jury line-up (Val Doonican, Judy Huxtable, Julie Rogers plus bloody Pete Murray again) is a bit dull, so we won't dwell on that.  Instead, let's clamber aboard that deceptively roomy old police box once more.  While I was away, the Doctor and his friends defeated the terrifying Animus on the planet Vortis, and then had an adventure in the Holy Land involving Richard the Lionheart (not the one from the Danzigers' TV series).

When we join them tonight they're still dressed in their medieval finery (Ian's open shirt is the result of various punishing ordeals rather than a fashion statement), but on their way to their next  adventure.  And goodness it's a strange one.

At the controls of the TARDIS, our heroes suddenly stop, entirely motionless...

After a look at the outside of the ship - a rocky landscape dotted with various ships - we return to find the crew coming returning to life.  But something puzzling's happened:

Ian: Doctor, we've got our clothes on!
The Doctor: Well I should hope so, dear boy.

What he means is that they're now wearing their "ordinary, everyday clothes", although Vicki clearly isn't, her usual vaguely futuristic tunic having been replaced by a party frock.  Unlike the others, the Doctor's not at all curious about what's just happened - he's just happy about the time saved in changing.  "It's just time and relativity, my dear boy," he says, which is a bit confusing as he's looking at Barbara at the time.

Vicki pops to the food machine for a refreshing drink, only to drop the glass - which shatters, then puts itself together and leaps back into her hand (the reverse-footage effect is obvious but still pretty effective).

The Doctor doesn't seem inclined to believe her story - besides, he's more interested in the gathering of spacecraft outside the ship - especially as they all come from different periods of history.  He deduces that they're in a space museum, and decides to pop out and have a look.

As soon as he's out of the door he spots another curious thing - the most advanced stage of soil erosion he's ever witnessed (I don't know why they didn't just make the whole story about that, really).

Ian notices something even more puzzling:

The gang head for a nearby structure, and just as they're pondering how to get inside, the vast doors open and a pair of burly men with silly hairdos exit.  The time travellers conceal themselves rather poorly, but even though Vicki sneezes loudly, the men don't seem to notice them at all - and what's more, the men and everything else around them are entirely silent (though viewers at home get to hear a selection of wonderfully eerie library music tracks).

The travellers dart through the open doors for a look at the museum.  Hartnell has a struggle with his lines that's even factored into the DVD subtitles this time.

"I always thought I'd find it some day," the Doctor muses of the museum.  Most of the exhibits are standard man-in-a-spacesuit stuff, but there's one our chums are particularly taken aback by.

Well, they're all taken aback except for Vicki, who knows about the Daleks (their invasion of Earth from earlier in the series took place 300 years before her time), but she seems never to have seen so much as a picture of one.  She thinks it looks friendly (actually she's probably just saying that to tease the others).  But there's little time to discuss this, as they all have to hide again, this time from a pair of formidably-eyebrowed youths dressed like puppeteers.  But though these two are clearly having an animated conversation, the travellers can't hear them at all.

Things get even stranger as Vicki naughtily goes to touch an exhibit, only to find her hand passes right through it.  It's the same for the travellers with everything else in the museum (but isn't Ian leaning against the plinth in the above picture? And how come they're able to walk on the floor?).  More youths pass, and fail to see the travellers even though they're looking right at them.

The Doctor finds another highly unexpected exhibit - the TARDIS.  He decides not to worry about how it got there or any of the mysteries he's encountered and just head off.  But that doesn't quite work out.

And there's an even more troubling exhibit directly opposite this one...

What is going on? Well, Vicki thinks she might have an answer: "Time, like space, although a dimension in itself, also has dimensions of it's own."  That doesn't quite seem to clear it up, so the Doctor ventures his opinion that the TARDIS "jumped a time track," so the travellers got to the museum before they'd actually arrived (I wonder if Max Bygraves' catchphrase "I've arrived, and to prove it I'm here" was an influence on writer Glyn Jones?).  All they need to do is wait around for the TARDIS to arrive properly and they'll become fully corporeal once more and be able to stop the chain of events that led to them becoming museum pieces.

Well I'm glad you do, dear.  Nonetheless, the Doctor seems to be right.  A few seconds after he's delivered his assessment of the situation, the TARDIS does indeed land, the events of the episode are repeated in a series of jump cuts, the burly men find footprints outside the TARDIS, and the Doctor announces "We've arrived"...

Well, that made no sense whatsoever, but in the most wonderful way.  Back in time now, and back to more conventional narrative.

Tonight's Sherlock Holmes begins with a truly astonishing sight - Tony Steedman with hair! I barely recognised him.

He's Lord Farningham, who's had some worrying dealings with the Prime Minister.  His wife (Stephanie Bidmead) lurks outside his office in a cloak, before rushing off for an appointment with the episode's title character.

Mr Milverton (Barry Jones) seems quite charming and cuddly at first, but soon reveals himself as a wicked blackmailer  with some seriously compromising goods on Lady Farningham: she wrote about a trade agreement between Britain and Arabia to a young man she was having a dalliance with, and the information's now reached the Sultan of Turkey, causing a major international incident.  Milverton wants 7000 guineas ("Less vulgar than pounds, don't you think?") to stop him informing Farningham it was his wife's fault.  The man's childish glee in tormenting his victim is a horrible thing to behold.

Once a sobbing Lady Farningham's departed to try and raise the money, Milverton gets another visitor, a blackguard named Captain Fitzallen (Derek Smee), who was entrusted with some rather delicate letters by a comrade, but has decided that instead of delivering them to the young lady who wrote them he'd enlist Milverton's services in extorting money from her.

The author of the letters was Lady Eva Brackwell (Penelope Horner), whose engagement to Lord Dovercourt their appearance would place in jeopardy.  But Lady Eva proves to have rather more spunk than most of Milverton's victims, and goes to see Sherlock Holmes about his threats.  It turns out that Milverton's well known to the detective as the "king of blackmailers", the most feared man in London.

Nonetheless, Holmes decides to take him on.  He tries to negotiate with Milverton over the price, but the toadlike blackmailer won't budge: he particularly wants to make an example of Lady Eva in the hope it will make some of his more recalcitrant victims more co-operative.  So Holmes decides to resort to other methods.

It's too late for Lady Eva's case to have any effect on Lady Farningham, however: her failure to pay up in time has prompted Milverton to send the compromising letter to her husband: as a result, he shoots himself.

Reading of the suicide, Holmes immediately links it to Milverton, who he admits repulses him more than any murderer.  Holmes has invited Milverton round to collect Lady Eva's payment (Holmes has stated that Milverton is "As cunning as the Evil One", and the glint in his spectacles from the studio lights gives him an appropriately demonic appearance).

Watson locks the door, and he and Holmes threaten Milverton with violence if he doesn't surrender the letters.  The blackmailer complies, and Holmes burns them, only to be told that they were just scrap paper - Milverton still has the real ones, and this latest debacle hasn't made him any more inclined to surrender them without payment.

Holmes' next effort is to adopt the alias of plumber Sidney Escott and set about romancing Milverton's maid Agatha (Ann Penfold), while pumping her for information about Milverton and his household.  It seems a bit callous really, as she clearly likes him a great deal, though he insists to Watson that he's got a love rival who snap Agatha up as soon as Sidney mysteriously vanishes.

The information he's got from Agatha enables Holmes to plan a burglary of Milverton's house (Watson puppyishly insists on tagging along, proudly making silk masks for the expedition).

The thieves are startled to find Milverton up and about and receiving a mysterious, veiled visitor.  Supposedly a client with compromising information to sell, this in fact turns out to be the vengeful Lady Farningham, who shoots the blackmailer dead.

The concealed Holmes and Watson overcome their astonishment at this scene, raid Milverton's safe, burn the contents and abscond, Watson nearly being caught by the pursuing under-gardener.

A short while after they return, Inspector Lestrade (Peter Madden) pays a call, hoping to enlist Holmes' aid in solving Milverton's murder.  Holmes respectfully declines, though he and Lestrade have a good chuckle about the escaping suspect's apparent resemblance to Dr Watson...

Back to the present now, but over to the other side, for tonight's forage in

There are some corking Human Jungle episodes that I've missed  while on hiatus: patients included Margaret Lockwood as an actress terrified of ageing (whose age, ironically, was given as 10 years younger than Lockwood's own), Flora Robson as a headmistress with paedophile urges (which she came to accept were nothing to worry about) and Alan Dobie as an interior designer unable to choose between business-minded Barbara Shelley and dog-obsessed weirdo Rita Tushingham.  Sadly, tonight's is a bit disappointing in comparison - however, this series continues its run of first rate guest stars with an appearance from the great Roger Livesey.

We begin with a wordless pre-episode title sequence of a a group of beautiful young people enjoying themselves in the water.  We mainly focus on a glamorous (uncredited) blonde woman, whose behaviour seems a bit erratic.  Taking the wheel of a speedboat, she nearly drives it straight into her swimming friends a couple of times, before finally crashing it...

The relevance of this scene is mysterious at first: rather than following it up directly, we're whisked to Dr Roger Corder's office, where his lawyer friend Jack Lamont (Donald Pickering) introduces him to his client Grace Charlton (The Plane Makers' Ann Firbank), who wants Corder's help in proving that her father was of unsound mind when he made his will (under which she didn't inherit anything).  It seems an impossible task: Grace's father, Sir William Bridley, died in 1958, while the will was made back in 1944.  That was the year that Grace married against her father's wishes - but she thinks that the scale of his opposition to the marriage was such that he must have been out of his mind at the time.  The will states that when the legatees - Grace's mother, aunt, brother and sister - each die, their share of the money must go to charity to ensure Grace gets nothing (it turns out it was Grace's sister Victoria we saw meet her doom at the start of the episode; her brother, meanwhile, was severely brain damaged during the war).

Moved by Grace's sob story about her money worries due to her farmer husband being incapacitated by an accident, he decides to investigate, though he doesn't have much hope of success.  He pays a visit to Grace's mother, Lady Bridley (Nora Nicholson), who seems evasive about her relationships with her husband and daughter.  Her domineering sister-in-law and carer Agnes (Sonia Dresdel) is more forthright about her dislike of her niece and veneration of her late brother.

Corder's next visit is to the family's former doctor (an uncharacteristically affable Allan Cuthbertson) - who, Corder is surprised to learn, was also Victoria Bridley's first husband.  He ventures the medical opinion that she was "off her rocker", hence the fatal crash, and thinks Grace has a persecution complex.

We flash back 20 years to the young Dr Fisher being asked by Sir William (Livesey) to sign a statement confirming he was of sound mind when he cut Grace out of his will.  Does this wrap the matter up, or was Fisher simply trying to get in with the old man as he had his sights on his daughter?

Along with a weekly big name guest star, another (and considerably less welcome) addition to the second series of The Human Jungle has been a series of comedy subplots involving Corder's daughter Jennifer.  This week's sees her (accompanied by excruciating "funny" music) spot a dog in a pet shop window and impulsively buy it, causing all manner of hilarity (ahem) around her father's Harley Street flat.

Back at the main plot, Corder pays a visit to a former colleague of Sir William's played by the currently ubiquitous John Wentworth.  He sings the dead man's praises as a pioneer of employee rights - and he shares everyone else's dislike of Grace, who he thinks has an unreasonable grudge against the whole world.

Another flashback shows us Sir William sounding off about his reasons for opposing Grace's marriage - her fiancé was a conscientious objector, which he considered an insult to casualties of war like his son.

Corder talks to Grace, who claims the reason nobody likes her is because her father's unreasonable behaviour provoked her into insolence and bad manners whenever he was around.  We now flash back from her perspective to Sir William's violent reaction when he learned she was pregnant by a conchie.

For backup of her view of her father's mental state, Grace suggests Stephens (Russell Waters), an old family servant who saw Sir William at his worst.  Jimmy Davis is sent along to see him, and hears the story of how he was fired by a wrathful Sir William for supposedly stealing a pair of cufflinks.  He backs up Grace's story that Sir William was an entirely irrational tyrant - but then, he's clearly got an axe to grind.

Finally, Corder returns to the home of Lady Bridley, in the hope of getting her alone.  Sensing this, she fakes illness, and Agnes is expelled while Corder treats her (the supposedly frail old lady enjoys a smoke and a glass of whisky when left alone).  She reveals that on the day of Grace's wedding, Sir William had been seized by a sudden, unfounded conviction that Grace wasn't really pregnant but had lied to gain his consent to the marriage.  It was while in the grip of this that he changed his will.  She agrees he was of unsound mind to ensure that Grace is taken care of, but admits that she doesn't really like her daughter or want anything to do with her - certainly not enough to jeopardise the easy life she enjoys with Agnes running around looking after her.

As skeletons in the cupboard go, the revelations in this episode are a bit of an anti-climax compared to some of the show's previous stories (I'm especially thinking of paedo Flora Robson).  Tyrannical parents were clearly something of a preoccupation for writer Bill McIlwraith, whose most famous work, the play The Anniversary, was filmed in 1968 by this episode's director, Roy Ward Baker, with Bette Davis as one of cinema's most vivid castrating mothers.

Sunday 25 April

What does Sunday mean...?

Yes, Stingray, which happily is as potty as ever (sadly, the show's most head-spinning episode to date - featuring the Steve Zodiac puppet from Fireball XL5 as an actor playing Troy Tempest in a movie based on the exploits of Stingray, happened while I was away).

This week's baddies have funny fins on on their faces and a secret base under the sea, from which their craft emerges with the explicit intention of being seen and fired at by a WASP sub.

It turns out their ship is made from a new metal which they've now been able to prove is entirely indestructible.  Unlike what the ill-fated WASP sub's made of.

The dastardly pair are now ready to embark on their new project: "The complete and utter destruction of Marineville".

Troy and Phones are disturbed at breakfast by the news that the mysterious sub is attacking.  Atlanta was in the Marineville supermarket when she got the call.

Action stations are manned, and the craft's missiles are repelled, though the ship itself escapes without a scratch.

To decide how to combat the menace of the indestructible sub, a meeting is called, and it's clearly a stressful one as everyone's given a cigar (except Marina).

It's decided that WASP needs to enlist the aid of top scientist Professor Burgoyne, who's "known to be a bit eccentric" (he's the nut of the title, you see).  Troy's sent to pick him up.

Burgoyne proves to be a standard anti-social eccentric type, whose monotonous cadences aren't a million miles away from David Graham's Dalek voice (but without the ring modulator).  He and Commander Shore immediately get off on the wrong foot.

We're treated now to a spectacularly pointless scene aboard the enemy ship, with the senior baddy (we can tell he's in charge because he's got a beard), who seems to be called Groupon, informing his subordinate that he's going on a break: "If you have any problems, call me."

On that bombshell, we pop back to Marineville, where Professor Burgoyne has set up shop in a remote abandoned building and is working to discover a new metal powerful enough to destroy the enemy's new metal.

He manages to blow up his base, but survives the blast with the new metal ready to go.

Here's Troy Tempest looking quite extraordinarily rugged and ready to kick some aquatic posterior.

The professor's missiles prove a roaring success.  The villains survive the attack, however, and are given a proper bollocking by Commander Shore.  They're going to be locked up for a bit then sent back to their people with a dire warning never to mess with WASP again.  Mess with us surface dwellers at your peril.

Next tonight, one of our occasional Sunday night visits to Tannochbrae, the sleepy little Scottish village that experiences a quite remarkable number of medical emergencies.

Here's something rather strange.  Does anybody know what, exactly, the below means?

Anyway, Merger's script begins with a daring escape from an army hospital - all the more daring as the escapee, Corporal Ian Grant (David McKail), only has one fully working leg.  The other was due to be amputated by army surgeon Colonel North (Moray Watson).  Grant's father Hamish (Callum Mill) is waiting for him, and takes him back to his home in Tannochbrae.

Meanwhile, at Arden House, Dr Cameron's confined to bed.  He thinks he's the latest victim of the measles outbreak plaguing Tannochbrae, but Dr Finlay and Janet think it's just a cold.

North mounts an expedition to find Grant, whose leg has to come off within 48 hours to stop the sarcoma infecting it from fatally spreading.

It turns out that Hamish Grant is a former soldier who also had his leg amputated.  He's been bitter about it ending his career ever since - understandably so, as we later discover all he had was a bit of frostbite.  He now has a deep distrust of army doctors, and calls Finlay in to look at Ian instead, claiming that he hasn't yet seen a doctor.  His diagnosis is entirely different from North's: he thinks it's just an abscess in Ian's leg, and that there'll be no need for amputation at all.

Neighbour Dr Snoddie (Eric Woodburn) visits Arden House to remonstrate with Finlay over his lax attitude to the measles outbreak.  On learning that Cameron supposedly has the disease he beats a hasty retreat.

Colonel North's men, led by Sergeant Ross (Roy Godfrey) arrive in Tannochbrae in search of the missing patient.  When they reach Hamish's greengrocer's shop, he denies all knowledge of his son's whereabouts.

Specialist Sir William Duffy (John Harvey) is called in to have a look at Ian's leg, and agrees with Finlay's diagnosis.  Meanwhile, Colonel North is equally certain of the danger to Ian's life if he isn't found and delimbed.

Snoddie answers a call from North about Grant's disappearance, and informs Finlay of the truth about Ian's presence in Tannochbrae.  A young Brigit Forsyth appears as the hospital receptionist.

Finlay angrily confronts Hamish about his deception: he's been forced into an ethically difficult situation by taking on another doctor's patient.

North arrives in Tannochbrae, insistent that the leg has to come off immediately.  Finlay and Duffy are astonished, but North's certainty leads Duffy to question his own diagnosis.

The only way to confirm who's right is to do an exploratory operation and see if any pus comes out of the leg.  If so, it's just an abscess and the leg can be saved.  Happily, the pus flows freely (there's a sentence you don't get to write every day).

Dr Cameron's still clinging on to the belief that he's got measles, proudly exposing his chest to reveal the rash that's now come up.  Dr Finlay breaks it to him gently that it's just prickly heat.

Monday 26 April

Today's a little bit special, as for the first time ever we visit a certain little motel on the outskirts of Birmingham.  ATV had been running Crossroads (created by Peter Ling and Hazel Adair, who had previously inflicted Compact on BBC viewers) since November 1964, but tonight's is the earliest episode to have survived into 2015.  It's quite a sad and lonely thing, as there aren't any more existing episodes after this until November 1966: we're left with mere fragments of storylines and characters, never to see them resolved.  Of the people we see here only indomitable motel proprietress Meg Richardson (Noele Gordon) and her future husband Hugh Mortimer (John Bentley) survived into the show's well-remembered 70s heyday - for several of the others this is all we'll ever see of them.

The episode begins by reprising the arrival at the motel of Doreen Carroll (Jacqueline Noon, whose stilted performance is everything you want out of Crossroads), estranged wife of motel employee Philip (Malcolm Young), to the shock of Philip's current love interest, receptionist Christine Fuller (Alex Marshall).

The reason for the estrangement is that Doreen's been in prison for some unspecified crime (which seems to be connected with Philip having done time in a military prison after a court-martial).  He admits to her that he's planning on a divorce, and she furtively asks him for some money.

Christine, it seems, is more than a little jealous (the plot developments may make little sense out of context but at least we've got the glorious original Crossroads decor to focus on).

Next we find ourselves in the home of the Jarvis family, owners of the local newsagent's.  Dick Jarvis (Brian Kent), husband of Meg's sister Kitty, is being praised for his achievements in amateur dramatics by neighbour Ruth Bailey (Pamela Greenall).  Young Brian Jarvis (David Fennell) is being very sullen.

In the Crossroads kitchen, Spanish chef Carlos Rafael (Anthony Morton) greets cheery cleaning lady Mrs Blundell (Peggy Aitchison).  There's a classic Crossroads moment as a boom shadow moves out of shot at the left of the screen at the exact same moment Aitchison fluffs her lines.  Carlos is in his motorbike gear ready for a trip to Malvern to see his wife Josefina, who works in a girls' school there.

Christine confronts Philip (who seems to be taking clothing inspiration from Ian Chesterton) about Doreen.  He insists it's all over between them, and offers to take Christine and her young son Mark on a day trip to Malvern - which is clearly quite the place to be.

Carlos and Josefina (Jill Betts) are certainly enjoying themselves there, romping about on film.  Unfortunately, Carlos's bike breaks down, so they head back to Josefina's school.

Back at Crossroads, Brian pops in to romance secretary Janice Gifford (Caroline Lister).  He's not happy about Ruth getting her feet under the table with his father.

Meanwhile, Meg and Hugh are enjoying a drink together (she entertains him with a broad Brummie accent which is supposedly an impression of Mrs Blundell - although from what we've seen of Mrs Blundell she sounds nothing like it).  Hugh tries to educate Meg in "the secrets of top management" - essentially, delegating all her duties to underlings.  Hugh reveals that he plans to buy a large house for sale nearby, with the eventual aim of living there with Meg.

At the school, Carlos and Josefina are being very animated and Latin as they try and decide what to do next.  Josefina pops off to get changed and Carlos darts into an office to avoid some approaching schoolgirls.  It's occupied by Miss Henderson (Meriel Hobson), who mistakes him for a man come to fix her electric fire.

She pops out for a bit, returning to the shocking sight of one of her employees apparently being ravished by an electrician...

This being Crossroads, we get a brief "sting" shot post-credits.  It's exciting stuff.

So that's it for Crossroads now until next year, unless a new cache of episodes are found and swiftly made available.

Tuesday 27 April

New sitcom The Bed-Sit Girl, from The Rag Trade writers Ronalds Wolfe and Chesney and star Sheila Hancock, continues on BBC 1, with Dilys Laye, Ronnie Stevens, Derrick Sherwin and George A Cooper also appearing.  On the same channel later on in the evening, viewers could enjoy the latest instalment of the documentary series Einstein, with Robert Rietty (who, back in 2015, died last week) providing the great man's voice.  For viewers who find that a bit too highbrow, BBC 2's The Vintage Years of Hollywood offers Preston Sturges' sublime 1942 screwball comedy The Palm Beach Story.

Wednesday 28 April

BBC 2's sitcom The Airbase, starring two of British TV's most prolific Rent-a-Yanks, Alan Gifford and David Healy, comes to an end this evening.  Over on BBC 1, tonight's Wednesday Play is Jean Benedetti's The Good Shoemaker and the Poor Fish Peddler, starring John Barrie.  This is followed by Viewpoint on the work of Dorothy L Sayers.

Thursday 29 April

ITC's rather bland Gideon's Way's been chugging along for a couple of months now - the whole time I've been off, in fact.  Being an ITC show, none of the episodes are directly connected with each other in terms of plot development, so there's no story so far to report.  It's just a series of cases for doughty Commander George Gideon of the Yard (played by doughty John Gregson).

Tonight's begins with an old lady being run over.  With her dying breath, she tells a pair of puzzled ambulance men that she nursed the wife of a man named John Borgman, and that he poisoned her.

The news reaches Gideon, who sends his right-hand man David Keen (Alexander Davion) to interview the doctor who attended the dying Mrs Borgman (an uncredited Ian Fleming).  He insists there was nothing fishy about the woman's death.

Borgman (Walter Brown) is a high-flying businessman.  Our first sight of him is as he fires Ben Samuels (Meredith Edwards), an employee of many years' standing who's been found to have stolen company funds.  Borgman's secretary Clare Selby (Erica Rogers) reported Samuels, and takes a malicious delight in his dismissal.

Borgman's second wife is played by Vanda Godsell so, as you can imagine, things are pretty fraught at home.  She's convinced he's having an affair with Clare.

And she's not wrong.  After their latest row he heads straight for Clare's flat.  Gideon spots him going in as he drives past on the way to the pictures with wife Kate (Daphne Anderson) and son Malcolm.  Young Malcolm's played by Giles Watling, son of Plane Makers star Jack and brother of actresses Dilys and Deborah.  Fast-forward to 2015 and he's a Conservative councillor in Frinton who unsuccessfully stood for Parliament in the 2014 Clacton by-election after incumbent Tory MP Douglas Carswell defected to UKIP.

Anyway, back to 1965: poor Ben Samuels stole the money to help his sick wife (Patsy Smart), and finds himself unable to break it to her that he's been fired.  While Clare and Borgman smooch elsewhere, he gives her a bowl of poisoned French onion soup (they had it on their honeymoon, though presumably without the poison), then shoots himself.

David Keen, meanwhile, has learned that while his wife was dying, Borgman was carrying on with the more attractive of her two nurses, who disappeared to Australia shortly afterwards.  Norman Bird and Glyn Houston play Superintendent Lee and Sergeant Carmichael, who are put on Borgman's trail, using Samuels' fraud as an excuse to get a good look round the office.  Gideon orders the first Mrs Borgman to be exhumed - it turns out she had enough morphine in her "to kill an elephant".

Lee and Carmichael find a secret drawer in Borgman's desk.  Its contents don't look good for Borgman...

A further fly alights on Borgman's ointment in the form of Jane Kennett (Delphi Lawrence), the former nurse to his wife, now back from Australia and after money for her continued silence.  Unable to get hold of him, she targets Mrs Borgman instead, and is grudgingly paid off.

Borgman's lawyer Cuthbertson (John Gabriel) insists that the warring Clare and Mrs Borgman pretend to be friends for the benefit of Borgman's defence.  They agree to put their animosity on hold, though it clearly sticks in both craws.

It looks like the case against Borgman may be well and truly demolished by crack defence barrister Sir Percy Richmond (Raymond Huntley).  It doesn't help that Fred Lee's past skirmishes with Richmond have left him absolutely terrified of the QC.  Richmond's killer piece of evidence is that the desk in which the morphine was found previously belonged to a peer who was found after death to have been a long-term morphine addict.  It looks like Borgman's going to get off - until a suddenly confident Lee reveals that the kind of bottle the morphine was in wasn't manufactured until long after the junkie peer had died. Hooray for justice!

Friday 30 April

Early evening Reg Varney sitcom The Valiant Varneys is in the midst of its second series on BBC 1.  Viewers who stick with the channel have Sykes and a Protest and a filmed stage production of Ronald Millar and Ron Grainer's musical Robert and Elizabeth (ie Browning and Barrett) with Martin Landau, John Clements, Keith Michell and Sarah Badel to look forward to.

And to play us out...

It's the Beatles, at the top of the hit parade again with their latest, "Ticket to Ride".  That's all for now, see you next week.