1 9 6 7 – 1 9 7 1 (UK)
30 x 30 minute episodes
1 9 7 8 (UK)
6 x 30 minute episodes
Stories of gentleman detective Sexton Blake were first published in 1894 in a comic called The Halfpenny Marvel and featured in 1922 in Union Jack magazine. The stories transferred well to the small screen and retained the serialised comic feel and non-stop action.
Shakespearean actor Larry Payne starred as the titular detective, a cigar-smoking Sherlock Holmes-style sleuth with his own “Dr Watson” equivalent – Tinker (Roger Foss), an uncouth cockney lad given to wearing cloth caps.
The setting was the 1920s and Blake, like Holmes, lived in Baker Street.
With Tinker, and his bloodhound Pedro (“played” by a female Crufts winner called Sanguine Saintly), Blake tooled around London in a Rolls Royce nicknamed ‘the Grey Panther’. His contact at Scotland Yard was Inspector Coutts (Ernest Clarke).
Dorothea Phillips played the loquacious and excitable housekeeper, Mrs Bardell.
A further six-part story called Sexton Blake and The Demon God was made in 1978 with Jeremy Clyde in the title role and Philip Davis as Tinker.
Laurence Payne (1)
Jeremy Clyde (2)
Edward ‘Tinker’ Clark
Roger Foss (1)
Philip Davis (2)
Inspector Van Steen
Inspector ‘Taff’ Evans