Colonel March of Scotland Yard: Season 1, Episode 18

Error at Daybreak (17 Jul. 1956)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 14 users  
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A shady businessman collapses on an oceanside jetty, the apparent victim of a heart attack, but a vacationing March discovers blood and a needle near the body.



(original story) (as Carter Dickson) ,
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Episode complete credited cast:
Ewan Roberts ...
Dr. Robert Hastings
Patricia Marmont ...
Marion Williams
Lloyd Lamble ...
Norman Kane
Richard O'Sullivan ...


Norman Kane, a shady businessman accused of swindling investors, collapses on a seaside jetty just prior to taking a swim in the cold ocean. Although his attending physician pronounces him dead of an apparent heart attack, a vacationing Colonel March discovers a sharpened needle near the body and connects it to an air rifle which Kane's secretary was using on the beach. Unfortunately by the time the police arrives, the body has disappeared, apparently taken out to sea by the advancing tide. Written by (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama




Release Date:

17 July 1956 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Dr. Robert Hastings: I've underestimated you.
Col. Perceval March: Everybody does... once.
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User Reviews

Karloff is delightful as Colonel March
28 June 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As a long time fan of John Dickson Carr, I was pleased to come across this episode on Matinée Classics. Although I've seen many of them, I'm not a fan of Boris Karloff's horror movies but based on interviews with him and what I have read about him it seems as though he was quite a kind and cultured man. While vacationing on the shore, Colonel March is approached by a young boy who asks him to investigate the loss of his small rubber ball. Soon on the pier they witness a man clutching his chest and falling into the sea. March who heads Scotland Yard's Department of Queer Complaints finds certain evidence suggesting that the man's death may not have been from natural causes. The solution to this mystery was pretty interesting but what I really liked about this episode was the interaction between Colonel March and the boy. March was such the wise grandfather figure in these scenes. I liked Karloff better as the wise grandfather than as Fu Manchu. There is another episode of this available on Internet Archive and other than that, this series appears to be unavailable – which is a shame as Karloff is so likable in this series.

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