Public Eye - Frank Marker Investigates

Tense times in Nobody Kills Santa Claus, the first surviving episode

The first series was the longest - fifteen instalments. Unfortunately only two episodes survive - Nobody Kills Santa Claus and The Morning Wasn't So Hot. Transmission details are for ABC and broadcast times are 9.10 to 10.05 pm unless otherwise stated. Further details for other channels can be found down the page.

Some short synopses of the "lost" episodes are provided to give a small flavour of the stories, along with cast details. These are based on the intriguing ABC promotional material which can be found with fuller details on the Series 4 DVD. The episodes are presented in a rather different order in the material to that of the broadcasts or the production order*. Fuller story details of all the lost episodes can be found in Andrew Pixley's excellent book.

1. All For a Couple Of Ponies (23.1.65)

The aggressive Detective Inspector Leith does not like private detectives. When a camera is stolen he sees a golden opportunity to turn the heat up on Frank who must clear his name and find the real culprit.

Writer: Roger Marshall  Director: Kim Mills

Cast: Edward Evans (Sgt.Jarrott); Stanley Walsh (Constable Clayton); Christopher Coll (Constable Smith); Bernard Goldman (Acland); Pauline Munro (Valerie Stone); Jack Smethurst (Joey Stone); Alfred Burke (Marker); Richard Owens (Det. Constable Roberts); John Collin (Det. Sgt. Leith); Ernest Clark (Det. Inspector Grant); Griffith Davies (Dick Stone); Artro Morris (Williams); Richard Klee (Toddy); Julian Strange (Sgt. Barnes).

2. Nobody Kills Santa Claus (30.1.65)

3. They Go Off In the End - Like Fruit (6.2.65) 
Judy Manning is living off her rich boyfriend Alec Maxwell. However she is over-reaching herself and falls behind on payments on her car. The finance company asks Frank to trace her but debtors are not always what they seem.
Writer: Martin Worth  Director: Robert Tronson
Cast: Aviva Marks (Sally); William Wilde (Alan); Allan McClelland (Throstle); Alfred Burke (Marker); Garfield Morgan (Brown); Hazel Bainbridge (Mrs. Carter); Leo Kayne (Rob); Philip Latham (Alec Maxwell); Sheila Keith (Susan Manning); Clifford Parrish (Jackson); Rosemary Leach (Judy Manning); Jane Eccles (Miss Bryant); Henry McGee (Phil Madley); Gillian French (Model); Patrick Durkin (Thug). 

4. Dig You Later (13.2.65)

Inspector Barry employs Frank to search for his missing daughter Anne whom he fears has become  involved with a drug gang. He is anxious to keep matters quiet so as not to harm his promotion prospects.

Cast: Glynn Edwards (Inspector Barry); Louida Vaughan (Sergeant Lander); Alan Browning (Paul Brooks); Julia Foster (Anne Barry); David Andrews ('Jay' Walker); Betty Baskcomb (Gwen Barry); Jacqueline Clarke (Sue Holmes); Patricia Denys (Jane Tindall); Errol John (Ludo); John Crocker (Adams); Ray Browne (Noble).

5. I Went To Borrow a Pencil And Look What I Found (20.2.65)

Colin Reynolds asks Frank to see if his young wife Sheila is having an affair. His boss, Raymond Franks, has been spending a lot of time away from work but there may be other men to watch as well.

Writer: Terence Frisby  Director: Jonathan Alwyn

Cast: Geraldine Newman (Miss Paine); Peter Sallis (Colin Reynolds); John Barcroft (Victor); Gerald Harper (Raymond Franks); Nyree Dawn Porter (Sheila Reynolds); Alfred Burke (Marker); Valerie Bell (Barmaid); Dudley Foster (Mr. Paggot); Annette Kerr (Mrs. Paggot).

6. But the Joneses Never Get Letters (27.2.65)

Marion Hordern has married a Jamaican solicitor, Paul Obukwe. Soon after her parents start to receive anonymous letters accusing him of abusing her. Frank is asked to trace the letter-writer without the matter coming to public notice.

Writer: William Emms  Director: Laurence Bourne

Cast: John Humphry (Embers); Magda Miller (Sue); Kate Lansbury (Kate); Judy Parfitt (Marion Hordern); Clifton Jones (Paul Obukwe); Charles Hyatt (Father Obukwe); Leoni Forbes (Amanda); Dan Jackson (Luke Obukwe); Derek Francis (Mr. Hordern); Joan Heath (Mrs. Hordern); Alfred Burke (Marker); Louis Mahoney (Charles); Nina Baden-Semper (Pearl).

7. A Harsh World For Zealots (6.3.65)

Bookshop owner Gregory Chambers wants to know the reasons for the sudden departure of his assistant Arthur Gates. Chambers is further alarmed when a book bought by Gates from the shop proves to be unexpectedly valuable.

Writer: Martin Cahill  Director: Laurence Bourne 

Cast: Peter Butterworth (Arthur Gates); Diane Clare (Julie); Alfred Burke (Marker); Willoughby Goddard (Chambers); Maurie Taylor (Roberts); Meier Tzelniker (Len); Bill Treacher (Porter); Peter Bowles (Freddie); William Moore (Auctioneer); John Rapley (Customer); Edna Morris (Landlady); Brian Tyler (Barman); Gretchen Franklin (Iris); Charles Lamb (John).

8. 'And a Very Fine Fiddle Has He' (13.3.65)

Robert Spanier hopes to become an MP. He is sorting out his divorce but his sponsor Mrs. Sutton-Piper assures him of support provided he avoids further problems. Then he receives a blackmail letter alleging perjury...

Writer: Robert Holmes  Director: Laurence Bourne

Cast: Madge Ryan (Mrs. Sutton-Piper); Martin Friend (Dennis Whiting); Hilary Tindall (Carol Hyatt); John Carson (Robert Spanier); David Nettheim (Teddy Booram); Edward Rees (Noel); Ray Marioni (Wine waiter); Alfred Burke (Marker); Geoffrey Palmer (Donald Halston); Pauline Barker (Hilda); Maggie McGrath (Jenny Lloyd); Walter Henry (Thug); Vivienne Martin (Eileen Osborne); Patricia Haines (Judith Spanier); Henry McGee (Hubert); Eileen Murphy (Connie Maguire); Frank Mills (G.P.O. clerk).

9. My Life, That's a Marriage (20.3.65)

Alice Benjamin asks Frank to trace her husband George who mysteriously disappeared three months ago. His departure seems odd given her description of a happy marriage. And why has she waited so long before seeking help?

Cast: Pauline Delany (Janet Benjamin); Anthony Dawes (Young man); Ida Goldapple (Ruth); Arthur White (Collector); Avis Bunnage (Alice Benjamin); Ronald Bridges (Driver); Alfred Burke (Marker); Michael Robbins (Basher); Harry Ross (Alfred Benjamin); Stewart Guidotti (Reg); Henry Soskin (Morris); Fred McNaughton (Warder).

10. You Think It'll Be Marvellous - But It's Always a Rabbit (27.3.65)

Footballer Jimmy Sale is injured by a hit-and-run driver and resorts to Frank after becoming dissatisfied with the police investigation. It is not just the driver who hopes to avoid the truth being uncovered.

Cast: Maurice Good (Jimmy Sale); Elizabeth Morgan (Mrs. Roffey); Dilys Laye (Sue Jefferson); Gary Watson (Det. Sgt. Wimpole); Michael Wynne (Colin Jefferson); Robert Raglan (Det. Insp. Tarrant); Malcolm Tierney (Police Constable); Helen Cotterill (Deidre); Gigi Gatti (Trudie); Harold Goldblatt (Jacob Rodziewicz); David Battley (Charlie Andrews).

11. Protection Is a Man's Best Friend (3.4.65 , 10.10-11.05 pm)

Bookmaker Fred Heuston is being threatened by a protection racket led by Pete Shoemaker. His anxious wife recruits Frank to help but he is dealing with very ruthless people.

Cast: Alfred Burke (Marker); Derren Nesbitt (Kiley); Brian Rawlinson (Patsy); Jack Rodney (Nipper King); Griffith Jones (Pete Shoemaker); Ria Mills (Betty Shoemaker); Morris Perry (Willy Gans); Margaret Whiting (Nancy Heuston); Reginald Marsh (Fred Heuston); Toni Palmer (Lola).

12. The Morning Wasn't So Hot (10.4.65)

13. You Should Hear Me Eat Soup (17.4.65)

A dowager is alarmed by what she sees as an unsuitable relationship between Lord Timothy and the more humble Sonia. She prefers him to marry Penelope and sees Frank as the man to get things back on course.

Writer: Terence Frisby  Director: Patrick Dromgoole

Cast: Ray Brooks (Tony Naylor); Steven Scott (Beast); Les White (Beauty); Neil Wilson (Butler); Lally Bowers (Countess of Llandwyr and Gwylwraith); Graham Crowden (Lord Timothy Trepolwyn); Barbara Leigh-Hunt (Hon. Penelope Hunter-Bruton); Jennie Linden (Sonia); David Lander (Happy Holliday).

14. You Have To Draw the Line Somewhere (24.4.65)

Jean Lawford, against her solicitor's advice, engages Frank to investigate if her husband Harry is having an affair. He uncovers a complex and perplexing situation that will have dramatic consequences.

Writer: Martin Worth  Director: Toby Robertson

Cast: Sylvia Coleridge (Master of Foxhounds); Peter Jeffrey (Harry Lawford); James Cairncross (John Fordyce); Zena Walker (Jean Lawford); Lillias Walker (Sonia Fordyce); Bernard Kelly (Lift man); Jane Carlyle (Deirdre).

15. Have It On the House (1.5.65)

Mrs. Warboys asks Frank to track down a man calling himself a Major who she says swindled her. He finds she is not the only woman in a similar predicament but the others seem oddly reluctant to complain.

Writer: Roger Marshall   Director: Guy Verney

Cast: Barry Letts (Major Dorning); Mona Bruce (Mrs. Warboys); Marion Mathie (Mrs. Eve Fisher); Richard Curnock (Landlord); Lynne Ashcroft (Judy Denham); Sally Bazely (Mrs. Ames); Shelagh Fraser (Mrs. Willis); Jack Niles (Waiter); Jane Barrett (Susan Pretlove); Haydn Jones (Ross); Howard Charlton (Barman).

Production order

According to the VTR numbers in the Kaleidscope Guide the production order was as follows:

1. All For a Couple Of Ponies 2. Nobody Kills Santa Claus 3. You Think It'll Be Marvellous - But It's Always a Rabbit 4. I Went To Borrow a Pencil And Look What I Found 5. Dig You Later 6. They Go Off In the End - Like Fruit 7. But the Joneses Never Get Letters 8. My Life - That's a Marriage 9. A Harsh World For Zealots 10. You Should Hear Me Eat Soup 11. 'And a Very Fine Fiddle Has He' 12. You Have To Draw the Line Somewhere 13. Protection Is a Man's Best Friend 14. The Morning Wasn't So Hot 15. Have It On the House

* The order indicated by the ABC promotion material provides another variation and may have been a preferred transmission order or perhaps the order of the scripts. It is as follows:

All For a Couple Of Ponies; You Should Hear Me Eat Soup; You Have To Draw the Line Somewhere; Have It On the House; Nobody Kills Santa Claus; But the Joneses Never Get Letters; I Went To Borrow a Pencil And Look What I Found; Dig You Later; They Go Off In the End - Like Fruit; My Life - That's a Marriage; The Morning Wasn't So Hot; A Harsh World For Zealots; Protection Is a Man's Best Friend; 'And a Very Fine Fiddle Has He'; You Think It'll Be Marvellous - But It's Always a Rabbit. 

Additional broadcast details

Public Eye was not given a network broadcast across all ITV channels which had the freedom to show it at different times or not to take it at all. Therefore broadcast details can become very complicated, as indeed they are for most ITV programmes of that era. The following are details for various channels other than ABC. Exact episodes aired are known only in a handful of cases.

Associated Television: 10.4.65; 17.4.65; 24.4.65; 1.5.65 ("Have It On the House"); 8.5.65; 15.5.65; 22.5.65; 29.5.65; 5.6.65; 12.6.65 ("My Life - That's a Marriage"); 19.6.65; 26.6.65 ("A Harsh World For Zealots"; 3.7.65; 10.7.65; 17.7.65.

Border: same dates as Associated Television

Grampian: 17.4.65; Tues 6.7.65; 13.7.65; 20.7.65; 27.7.65; 24.8.65; 7.9.65; 14.9.65; 21.9.65

Scottish Television: Sun 29.8.65; 5.9.65

Southern: as per ABC.

Tyne Tees: Sat 3.7.65; 10.7.65; 17.7.65; 24.7.65; 31.7.65; 7.8.65; 14.8.65; 21.8.65; 28.8.65; 4.9.65; 11.9.65; 18.9.65; 25.9.65.

Ulster: as per ABC.

TWW: Sat 24.7.65; 31.7.65; 7.8.65; 14.8.65; 21.8.65; 28.8.65; 4.9.65; 11.9.65; 18.9.65; 25.9.65; Tues 28.9.65 (10.40-11.35pm); 5.10.65 (10.37-11.35pm); 12.10.65; 2.11.65.

Westward and Channel: same dates as Associated Television; "'And a Very Fine Fiddle Has He'" billed for 3.7.65.