|Index||2 reviews in total|
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.
From what I can remember the character Orlando played by Sam Kydd was a bit of a scoundrel made good, after all this was a kids TV program. The main feature that I can remember was that Orlando has an amphibious car, probably one of the first in the UK. This car was featured in a few of the episodes. The episodes tended to feature children in the action and Orlando resided in a Boat Yard in the UK where he didn't seem to do very much apart from get into scrapes. I understand the character of Orlando was featured in an earlier TV program (Crain). All in all a delightful TV program which filled the boredom between the end of school and tea time..
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