1 9 8 6 – 1 9 8 9 (UK)
33 x 20 minute episodes
Colin Freshwater (Felipe Izquierdo, pictured below right) and Franny Barnes (Louise Mason) look after an old shop – which used to be a Citizens Advice Bureau and the shop window still bears the name, hence the series title – for Ma Mossop (Avril Angers) who suddenly disappears and they are told she is staying at the Military Hospital.
While Ma Mossop is gone, the children turn detective to unravel the mysteries of the shop – with the aid of Colin’s trusty dictaphone – before the other strange and shady visitors to the shop do.
What is everyone after in the shop? Is there any treasure in the Egyptian tomb? Will Colin and Franny find the answers before scheming Mr Hellman (Frank Gatliff), Smith, the ‘master of disguise’ (Graham Seed) or the enigmatic Egyptian, Anwar (Lyndham Gregory)?
Colin – aka secret agent C.A.B – leads the investigation into the mysteries with his reluctant sidekick Franny – aka Franny The Brill, Ace codebreaker.
Series two (‘The Wooden Kamel Mystery’) continued where the first series left off, with Ma Mossop now relocated to Eel Pie Island and her shop, now run by Hellman, moving across town where it operated as a travel agency called the Wooden Kamel Mysterious Travel Company. The plot delved deeper into the treasure left in the Egyptian tomb and the mysterious secret weapon from the second world war.
The third and final series (‘The Mystery Of The Queen’s Beast’) told a different story with two new children – Colin’s younger brother, Jace (Ben Felton) and Franny’s younger sister, Tracey (Tracey McDonald) – joining Colin on his quest into discovering more mysteries of the Wooden Kamel and Hellman’s involvement in the missing Queen’s Beast from Hampton Court.
The trio now received help from an enigmatic plumber by the name of Vine (Michael Bertenshaw) and must take on Eleanor Plantagenet (Judith Paris) who hoped to seize the throne of England through the power of the mythical Queen’s Beast.
C.A.B started life in 1986 as a Thames Television production for Children’s ITV.