Home Television Drama Intruder, The

Intruder, The

1 9 7 2 (UK)
8 x 25 minute episodes

Sixteen-year-old Arnold Haithwaite (James Bate) is a sand pilot guiding parties of tourists over the sands at the Cumberland village of Skirlston (filming took place around Ravenglass in Cumbria) when the Admiral is not feeling up to it.

But Arnold’s quiet life is shattered when a stranger called Sonny (Milton Johns) turns up claiming to be the real Arnold Haithwaite.


Sonny arrives in Skirlston with the intention of converting it into a holiday resort. Although both his plan and his appearance (he wears a beret, an eye-patch and an old belted raincoat that looks as if he sleeps in it) seem ridiculous, the stranger is ruthlessly enthusiastic.

Life at Cottontree House changes dramatically for the young lad and his father when the stranger worms his way into their lives.

No one seems to have any sympathy for Arnold’s predicament, except newcomers Peter (Simon Fisher-Turner) and Jane (Sheila Ruskin) Ellison, and even they are not sure he is not simply imagining the whole thing.

Things come to a head when Arnold finds himself fighting the sea itself in the midst of a raging storm, with the stranger at his heels and Jane trapped by the rising tide in the ruins of an old church.

Arnold Haithwaite
James Bate
Jane Ellison
Sheila Ruskin
Milton Johns
Miss Hendry
Catherine Lacey
Lynne Perrie
Miss Binns
Jean Alexander
Norma Benson
Maggie Don
Peter Ellison
Simon Fisher-Turner
Ernest Haithwaite
Jack Woolgar