I watched the first episode of this new series on the showery afternoon
of Tuesday, April 13, 1965. I was nine years old and it was the
penultimate afternoon of what had been a long and hard Easter term at
school. As your previous reviewer has noted, 'Orlando' was a spin-off
from the adult peak-viewing series 'Crane' (set in Morocco) which had
concluded after two years the previous January. Now here was Crane's
sidekick returned to the UK and taking over a boatyard on the Devon
coast. In the first scene, Orlando was unpacking belongings and these
included a framed photograph of 'pretty girl' Halima who had been a
waitress at Crane's café in Morocco. Orlando also mentioned Crane and
their sometime adversary, police chief Mahmoud. A varied and
interesting cast of characters developed in the first series of this
spin-off. There was Orlando's apprentice Long John Turner, pretty
middle-class blonde Triss Fenton (both aged about seventeen), local
policeman Sergeant Prothero and his teenage son Prod, retired sea
captain Dan Cassidy and West Indian café proprietor Nelson. Again, as
your previous reviewer states, Orlando spent more time having
adventures on land and sea (aided and abetted by the above cast of
characters) than he did boat building! I watched the first series of
thirteen episodes quite avidly but was disappointed when the series
returned around the same time the following year. Without, as far as I
can remember, any warning at the end of the first series, Orlando's
business had collapsed (the above characters were neither seen nor, I
believe, even mentioned, again) and the central character was now in
London's docklands searching for an old army colleague whom Orlando
hoped would be able to help him into employment. He didn't find his old
friend but shortly fell in with a brother-and-sister detective agency.
I rapidly lost interest in the new setting and characters and rarely
watched the series again but I still remember that first block of
thirteen episodes with affection.
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