1 9 6 4 – 1 9 6 9 (UK)
45 x 50 minute episodes
This long-running BBC anthology series featured adaptations of detective stories, the majority of which had never previously appeared on British television.
The first series included introductions by Rupert Davies in his guise as the famous French detective he had portrayed in the ever-popular Maigret.
Featured detectives included the academic Professor Gervase Fen (Richard Wordsworth); the plodding Detective Sergeant Cluff (Leslie Sands) who would subsequently enjoy his own series; Philip Trent (Michael Gwynn); Nigel Strangeways (Glyn Houston and, later, Bernard Horsfall); Sir Henry Merrivale (David Horne); Martin Cotterell (Alan Dobie); the unconventional Detective Inspector Rason (Michael Hordern and then John Welsh); tough West Coast attorney Bob Race (Frank Lieberman); Detective Constable Bradfield (Mark Eden); Ngaio Marsh’s Chief Inspector Alleyn (Geoffrey Keen and then Michael Allinson); Sir John Appleby (Dennis Price); Bow Street Runner Jasper Shrig (Patrick Troughton and also Colin Blakely); Eve Gill (Jane Merrow and, later, Penelope Horner); Doctor Thorndyke (Peter Copley); Nicky Mahoun (Frederick Jaeger); G K Chesterton’s Father Brown (Mervyn Johns); Detective Chief Inspector Dover (Paul Dawkins); Robert Carmichael (Dudley Sutton); Reggie Fortune (Denholm Elliot); Roger Sheringham (John Carson); Police Chief Fellows (Lee Montague); Charles Russell (Roland Culver); Mr Montague Cork (Colin Douglas); Albert Campion (Brian Smith); Detective Chief Inspector Dew (Glynn Edwards); Commissaire Bignon (Derek Godfrey) and Edgar Allan Poe’s Auguste Dupin (Edward Woodward).
Sherlock Holmes (Douglas Wilmer) swept onto the scene in ‘The Speckled Band’ with Nigel Stock in support as Doctor Watson.
Notable guest stars in the series included Geoffrey Palmer, Judi Dench, Bernard Hepton, Warren Mitchell, Gordon Jackson, Hannah Gordon, Colin Jeavons, Sheila Hancock, Philip Madoc, Glyn Owen, Annette Andre, Sally Geeson, Jean Marsh, Michael Hordern, Ian Ogilvy, Bernard Horsfall, George Sewell, Brigit Forsyth, Sam Kydd, Georgina Hale, Joss Ackland, Angela Douglas, Windsor Davies, Petra Markham, Angela Baddeley, James Beck, George Layton, Keith Barron, Kevork Malikyan, Erik Chitty, Charles Tingwell and Nick Tate.