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Quick Before They Catch Us

1 9 6 6 (UK)
20 x episodes

A gang of three teenagers stumbled improbably into way-out mysteries in the swinging London of 1966 in these mod mystery stories for older kids from the BBC – a sort of Enid Blyton brought bang up to date.

Each of the trio had a special skill that would help them crack the various cases. The youngest of the three, the elfin Kate (Pamela Franklin), was working in Mr Lane’s (Colin Douglas) cafe while she waited to go to art school. Her wages were obviously spent on the latest fashions from the King’s Road judging by her wardrobe of Lennon caps and PVC dresses.

Kate’s drawing talents came in handy if an identikit picture was required and her photographic memory often came into play.

Johnny (Teddy Green) worked part-time at a garage and was a technology student, which allowed him to whip up electronic gizmos at the drop of a hat from a box of assorted wires and plugs and transistors – from walkie-talkies to surveillance equipment.

Bookish Mark (David Griffin) was the son of a well-known fashionable photographer and was following in his father’s footsteps. The cautious bespectacled nerd of the three, he was the brains of the outfit.

There were no smugglers’ caves for these three investigators though, as they patrolled the mean streets of Carnaby and bedsit land. The accent, as the title suggests, was on pace, and the gang enjoyed a series of five adventures, each in a snappy four-weekly-part format.

Their first case – ‘Power of Three’ – saw Kate threatened with eviction from her attic-room digs by a crooked estate agent moving tenants out as part of a seedy scam.

The second case, ‘Mark of Distinction’ had them on the trail of stolen stamps.

‘Season of the Skylark’ moved the trio out of London for a few weeks to enjoy a holiday at the seaside (which could only mean Brighton for these coffee bar types).

Story four, ‘The Tungsten Ring’, had Mark attacked when he accidentally photographed the theft of a new gadget down by the docks.

The final adventure – ‘The Weasel Goes Pop’ – had the group becoming a pop trio for the opening of a new nightclub and stumbling across an art fraud in the process. This never happened to the Famous Five!

An outrageously fashionable piece of fluff – only Adam Adamant and The Avengers could have been more 1966 – it was possibly the only children’s series to have a theme song performed by a Brian Epstein-managed group (Paddy, Klaus & Gibson).

The series aired in the Dixon of Dock Green slot at 6:40 pm on Saturday evenings.

Johnny Martin
Teddy Green
Kate
Pamela Franklin
Mark Dennison
David Griffin
Landlady
Maggie Flint
Don
Colin Bell
Quinn
Edward Brayshaw
Waller
Frank Gatliff
Andrew Lane
Colin Douglas

Episodes

Power of Three: Part 1 | Power of Three: Part 2 | Power of Three: Part 3 | Power of Three: Part 4 | Mark of Distinction: Part 1 | Mark of Distinction: Part 2 | Mark of Distinction: Part 3 | Mark of Distinction: Part 4 | Season of the Skylark: Part 1 | Season of the Skylark: Part 2 | Season of the Skylark: Part 3 | Season of the Skylark: Part 4 | The Tungsten Ring: Part 1 | The Tungsten Ring: Part 2 | The Tungsten Ring: Part 3 | The Tungsten Ring: Part 4 | The Weasel Goes Pop: Part 1 | The Weasel Goes Pop: Part 2 |  The Weasel Goes Pop: Part 3 | The Weasel Goes Pop: Part 4