This was one of those unusual sequels: better than the original. It was the 2nd attempt at putting the adventures of PC 49 onto the screen, transferred from BBC radio, the 1st being filmed 2 years before in 1949. In those 2 years Hammer had come on by leaps and bounds with higher production values, better actors and acting and most of all better scripts. This still means that it creaks and abounds with those moments that contemporary serious people love to deride, so apart from it appealing to wide-eyes like me it can also draw cynical wasters too.
Meanwhile the plot is cohesive and absorbing: jewel heist complements and is a screen for an elaborate murder-of-a-millionaire plan, the hifalutin murderers themselves get targeted by their lower class drones who concoct their own elaborately vicious plan in revenge. Into this morass of immorality comes hook-nosed Brian Reece playing lanky PC 49 and Joy Shelton playing his astute fiancée Joan, who are playing their own hunches despite being continually handicapped by the staid unimagination of the Met police hierarchy. They needed an Inspector with the brains of Claude Teal, stolid Gordon McLeod had to suffice instead Michael Ripper was here again this time as a reforming ex-con, but didn't he do life at Hammer? Favourite bits: the glamorous scenes in sexy Della's swanky penthouse apartment - how tastes have changed; The baddie contemplating the necessity of polishing off Joan but not enjoying one bit socking her on the jaw. The popular radio series ran for 112 episodes from 1947 to 1953, the BBC destroyed all but 2 editions and of course makes sure that no one will ever hear them.
To the believer, seventy-five minutes that can be well spent over and over again in the non-taxing company of some old friends, if you hated it kiss those seventy-five minutes goodbye forever!
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