Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Simon Lack Affair: The Saint: "The Organization Man"

Simon Lack as George Craddock is brought to a Safe House, where he is to be interrogated by a Civil Servant named Spode, played by Norman Bird.

Craddock has worked for the Chinese for ten years, directing their spies in England.

Craddock is contemptuous of Spode.

Spode orders Craddock taken to his office.

Craddock isn't worried.

Whodunit in the Paul Temple radio serials

This blog post will be updated on a regular basis as I list the characters of every Paul Temple serial - and their fate.

It's going to take a while, because although I tried to record every episode, more often than not I failed in that goal, for a variety of reasons. So I only have between 4 and 5 episodes of each serial, and for most of those I don't have the final ep!

So below are spoilers!
Paul Temple and the Van Dyke Affair
The murderer in the Van Dyke Affair is Roger Shelley (Richard Hurndall)
Throughout the episodes Shelley is presented as an effeminate young man who runs a Mother's Help. In Episode 8, Terry Palmer turns out to be Van Dyke's right hand man (who jumps out the window and dies) and Temple talks to Roger Shelley on the train. He says he knows who Shelley is, and Shelley pulls a knife. But before he can kill Paul Temple, Philip Droste and McCall arrive to save the day. Temple leaves the compartment, and Droste and McCall throw Shelley off the train.

Paul Temple and the Alex Affair
The murderer in the Alex Affair is Carl Lathom (Simon Lack)
The girl in brown - who really was following him - was an FBI agent, working with Wilfred Davis, the Welsh traveller who was also an FBI agent (the actor did a good Welsh accent but his American accent sucked).
Dr. Kohima apparently always knew that Carl Latom was Alex, but cooperated with him because he was in love with Mrs. Trevelyan.
Mrs. Trevelyan did Alex' bidding because he was blackmailing her.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Simon Lack Affair: The Secret Agent: "The Paper Chase"

Gordon attempts to talk to his girl friend, but...
an oily con man makes a pest of himself and makes off with Gordon's keys.

Simon Lack has a small role in the 22nd episode of the 3rd season of Secret Agent, starring Patrick McGoohan.

He plays Gordon Symonds, an English diplomat in Rome. He has takem some papers from the embassy that he wasn't supposed to, because he wanted to write his report on the papers over the weekend.

He stops on a street where his woman friend makes him come into the restaurant despite the fact that it's raining. He parks his car, goes into the restaurant, and a pickpocket steals his keys, and makes off with the briefcase from his car.

Gordon calls in his old friend, John Drake, to help.

Lack doesn't appear again until very nearly the end of the episode. Drake calls him and tells him his plan - he needs a lot of money and a go-cart (though we don't find this out until the end.)

And that's it!
Drake meets Gordon outside the restaurant

Gordon tells him his problem - he's only got 2 days to get the papers back.

Drake calls Gordon the next night, giving directions.

The Simon Lack Affair: Paul Temple

The serials starring Peter Coke as Temple, and Marjorie Westbury as his wife Steve (Steve being a nickname because as a journalist she'd used this name as her pseudonym.)

1. Paul Temple and the Gilbert Case (29th March to 17th May 1954). This story was remade in 1959 with Simon Lack in on one of the principle roles, but the version for sale on CD, and the one aired on BBC Radio 7, is this version! Doubtless because this was the first time Coke had essayed the role.

2. Paul Temple and the Madison Mystery Another remake of a previous serial starring Kim Peacock as Temple. (Aired in June and July of 1955). All tapes are apparently lost. Simon Lack played Chris Boyer.

3. Paul Temple and the Lawrence Affair. (11th April to 30th May 1956). Simon Lack is in this one, as Brian Dexter.

4. Paul Temple and the Spencer Affair. (13th November 1957 to 1st January 1958). Simon Lack plays Adrian Frost.

5. Paul Temple and the Van Dyke Affair. Remake of a previous serial, in which Peter Coke played one of the villains. (1st January to 19th February 1959). Simon Lack played Philip Droste.

6. Paul Temple and the Conrad Case. (2nd March to 20th April 1959). Simon Lack isn't in it. ; (

7. Paul Temple and the Gilbert Case. A remake of the 1954 serial. One we'll apparently never hear! (22nd November 1959 to December, 1959). Simon Lack played Lance Reynolds.

8. Paul Temple and the Margo Mystery. (1st January to 19th February 1961). Simon Lack plays Superintendent Rain (police officer).

9. Paul Temple and the Jonathan Mystery. A remake of a previous serial. (14th October to 2nd December 1963.) Simon Lack plays Reggie Macintosh - using his real, Scottish accent.

10. Paul Temple and the Geneva Mystery. (11th April to 16th May 1965) (Only 6 episodes.) Simon Lack plays Vince Langham.

11. Paul Temple and the Alex Affair. A remake of a previous serial. (26th February to 21st March 1968). Simon Lack plays Carl Lathom.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I Didn't Want Him To Be the Killer!

I've been listening to Paul Temple and the Alex Affair. Recorded in 1968, it is broadcast on an annual basis by BBC Radio 7 (soon to lose their identity as they become Radio 4 Extra instead - so stupid.)

For 11 of these serials, from 1954 to 1968, Peter Coke (pronounced Cook) starred as Paul Temple, Marjorie Westbury starred as his wife Steve, and an actor named Simon Lack starred as Character X. He was in all but one of these serials, I think, sometimes playing the villain, sometimes the red herring, and on one occasion a police superitendent.

In Paul Temple and the Alex Affair, I had hoped he was the red herring, because I really liked his character. He plays a man who has been having hallucinations (at least, he says he's been having hallucinations) and then is being blackmailed by Alex.

Throughout his appearance, which begain in the last few minutes of episode 1 til now, midway through episode 5, he's been a sympathetic character whose been very afraid, the fear radiating out of his voice in a masterful vocal performance.

I couldn't stand it, and searched the web trying to find out who Alex (the master criminal whose name has been left at the site of two murders) was. And according to Yahoo, it's him.

Damn I'm so pissed!

It's kind of funny...I really don't like these Paul Temple stories. They are each told in 8 episodes of 30 minutes each, and they are full of far-fetched plots, convoluted action, and people whose actions make no sense. By the eighth episode, a lot of people have died and anyone who hasn't died is a crook, involved in the crime in some way, and one of them - the "least likely suspect" is the master criminal...regardless of the fact that since they are the criminal, most of their actions for the previous seven episodes are rendered incomprehensible!

If they were books instead of radio serials I'd throw them against the wall each time they came to the end!

But I like Coke and Westbury and their rapport.

And I'm now a fan of Simon Lack - for all that he's been dead for 30 years - and will shortly be doing a website tribute to him.