Callan (1967–1972)
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The Worst Soldier I Ever Saw 

Callan secures work with his former commanding officer in order to investigate his involvement with a rich but politically unstable region of the Middle East.

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Derek Bond ...
Anthony Valentine ...
Russell Hunter ...
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Brigadier Pringle
Ronald Radd ...
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Sarah Pringle
Julia McCarthy ...
Mrs. Carr
Larry Cross ...
General Joe Klinger
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Dr. Megali
John Wentworth ...
Sir John Harvey
Lisa Langdon ...
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Storyline

Callan secures work with his former commanding officer in order to investigate his involvement with a rich but politically unstable region of the Middle East.

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Release Date:

2 April 1969 (UK)  »

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Trivia

There is currently no known as-broadcast copy of this edition in existence, although a recording lasting around an hour and ten minutes survives of all the unedited studio footage from July 2nd 1968. Network edited this material into episodic length for their 2010 DVD release. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Allan Cuthbertson favors Edward Woodward with a servant's job
24 October 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Callan" is a great series, start to finish, and "The Worst Soldier I Ever Saw" is representative of its high quality. This episode benefits from the presence of the great supporting actor, Allan Cuthbertson, who has a substantial role. Cuthbertson played many military roles, and here he is an ex-brigadier general who is being recruited by a Middle Eastern oil state to head its military and to spy on British-American plans. Edward Woodward as Callan infiltrates Cuthbertson's household through his daughter by becoming a servant. Callan's superior, Derek Bond as Hunter, has placed Cuthbertson in a red file, which means that Callan has the go-ahead to kill him, if need be. Callan is conflicted when he finds that Cuthbertson's decent daughter loves her dad, despite their frictions. Callan's associate Meres (Anthony Valentine) pops in and out, adding his usual spark. Russell Hunter as the always-worried and jumpy Lonely blows a safe for Callan.

Woodward is simply outstanding in this as he always is. When he explodes in anger, it's incredibly vitriolic from the depths of his heart. When he's grim, you feel it. He's determined, sarcastic, bitter and sardonic by turns.

The series benefits from emphasizing the human and logistical side of spying, as opposed to devices, gimmicks, sex and violence. They appear but only in modest or peripheral amounts. A telephone bug is as high-tech as this one gets. Callan actually listens in at a door in this episode. Instead, what matters are the moving around of the tiny group of players that Hunter controls. Tracking, understanding and anticipating the movements of one's opponents matters. At times, it's quick and decisive action that matters.

Cuthbertson appeared in some great movies with other great actors. He's in "Tunes of Glory" with Alec Guinness and "Room at the Top" with Laurence Harvey. There are many, many more. He's one of those actors whose appearance in a movie is a signal that the movie itself is a good one.


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