A woman is found murdered in a house along the coast from Brighton. Local detectives Fellows and Wilks lead an investigation methodically following up leads and clues mostly in Brighton and... See full summary »
British scientist Peter Brady, while working on an invisibility formula, suffers a tragic accident which turns himself invisible. Unfortunately, there is no antidote, so, while working on a... See full summary »
Richard Diamond is a suave private eye who, at first, walks the mean streets of New York, then later packs up and moves to Los Angeles, where he tools around in a convertible with a car ... See full summary »
At the Earndale by-election natural history expert and TV personality Bob Wilcot for the Conservatives finds himself up against Billingsgate girl Stella Stoker for the socialists. Amateur ... See full summary »
In a Prague shop, an assistant has been carrying on an affair with the dishonest, married manager. An emotionally repressed auditor with domestic problems of his own uncovers serious stock ... See full summary »
When Interpol's Inspector Paul Duval is on the case, international criminals are on the run. Tracking his targets from searing sand dunes near the equator to icy peaks at the ends of the ... See full summary »
Terry Collins mugs an old man, who subsequently dies. Joe Lucas finds out about it and blackmails him, threatening to turn him in to the police if he doesn't give him money. Terry then ... See full summary »
John Dickson Carr was a mystery author who specialised in locked-room whodunnits and other 'impossible' crimes: murder mysteries that seemed to defy possibility. Under the pen-name Carter Dickson, he published a series of tales called 'The Department of Queer Complaints', in which a master criminologist is called upon to solve 'X-Files'-type murders.
'Colonel March of Scotland Yard' was a syndicated series, starring Boris Karloff in episodes based on Dickson Carr's 'Queer Complaints' stories. The production budget for this series was laughably low; walls and furniture are clearly flimsy sets, and the actors are obviously taking care not to break anything. When a door opens, the doorframe wobbles. Karloff's splendid professionalism and innate dignity do much to offset this problem.
As the tweedy Colonel March, Karloff wore a patch over his left eye, although the scripts never explained how March lost this eye. I found it plausible that Scotland Yard in the 1950s might retain a one-eyed detective. On the other hand, watching Peter Falk in episodes of 'Columbo' in the 1970s, I find a similar circumstance very implausible. Falk is a brilliant actor, but he clearly has a prosthetic eye ... and I can't believe that the Los Angeles police force in the 1970s would retain a one-eyed detective. In 'Colonel March', the eyepatch obscuring Karloff's vision causes him just occasionally to bump into one of the wobbly sets.
It's no surprise that each episode of 'Colonel March' ends with Karloff tidily solving the mystery. Unfortunately, in some cases the explanation verged on the supernatural. This violates the spirit of the 'impossible' crime, in which the solution (however implausible) must still remain within the laws of scientific possibility.
Karloff was ably abetted by Ewan Roberts, and by veteran character actor Richard Wattis ... who wore hornrimmed glasses here, and gave a performance less effeminate than usual for him. For all its many flaws and its very dated appearance, 'Colonel March' remains enjoyable for mystery fans in general and fans of Boris Karloff in particular.
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