A pretty barmaid receives an unusual Christmas gift, a music box from a thief dead for ten years.



(script), (based on "The Department of Queer Complaints" by) (as Carter Dickson)

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Episode cast overview:
Colonel March Of Scotland Yard
Inspector Ames
Tommy Duggan ...
John Gabriel ...


A pretty barmaid receives an unusual Christmas gift, a music box from a thief dead for ten years.

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Crime | Drama





Release Date:

14 August 1956 (UK)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Inspector Ames (Ewan Roberts) describes the late Johhny Blake as being 160 pounds in weight, as in the American system. The 1960's were before the current metric system came into being and weights would have been 'stones, pounds and ounces'. Ames, therefore, should have said 14 stone, 6 pounds. See more »

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User Reviews

One of the best episodes
25 April 2013 | by See all my reviews

John Blake, an international jewel thief who died in a plane crash, leaves in his will a mysterious package to a barmaid to be given to her ten years after his death. In his instructions to his attorney, Harwood, he asks that not only the barmaid, Rosie Holland (known as 'The Duchess')' be present but also Colonel March. Blake and March knew each other and Blake thus knew of March's fondness for puzzles. As a frequenter of the pub where she worked, Blake only casually knew the Duchess but left her a gift as a token of his appreciation for her kindness. The gift turns out to be a worthless music box that plays the tune 'The Twelve days of Christmas.' The attorney is attacked and just before dying tells March and Ames that the attacker was after the supposed contents of the box - but there was nothing in the box. The unraveling of the puzzle of the box was very interesting but the best part of the episode was the friendly bantering between Ames and March. At one point, Ames teases March to which March replies "There is a crushing retort to that rather unkind remark if I could just think of it." And there's a wonderful bit where Ames and March try to remember the days of the 'Twelve Days of Christmas.' It was a hoot and one of the few occasions where Ewan Roberts as Ames is more that a rather bland sidekick to March. Also adding great value to the episode was Sandra Dorne as the Duchess. She made the Duchess such a vivid character. Highly entertaining episode with an intriguing puzzle and welcome dose of humor.

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