Cribb (1980–1981)
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Invitation to a Dynamite Party 

Fenians intent on the independence of Ireland from Britain are perpetrating a number of bomb attacks around London, including at Scotland Yard. Cribb is sent on a course in the art of ... See full summary »



(novel), (adaptation)


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Episode cast overview:
Alan Dobie ...
David Waller ...
William Simons ...
James Taylor ...
Col. Martin
Antony Scott ...
Jeananne Crowley ...
Rossanna McGee
Tony Scannell ...
Derry Power ...
Colin Bean ...
Police Constable
Eileen Fletcher ...
Ian Keith ...
Tommy Brierley ...


Fenians intent on the independence of Ireland from Britain are perpetrating a number of bomb attacks around London, including at Scotland Yard. Cribb is sent on a course in the art of bomb-making and poses as an Irishman sympathetic to the Irish Republican Brotherhood in order to get to the heart of the society. However certain members of the brotherhood get hold of him to join them on a submarine where they want him to blow up a brand new British battle-ship to prove his allegiance to the cause. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Crime | Drama | Mystery



Release Date:

10 May 1981 (UK)  »

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Based on Holland's "Fenian Ram"
29 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This entry in the series of Sergeant Cribb stories into television episodes is based on the novel of the same name. Set in 1885, it deals with two incidents that were interconnected, and centered on Irish independence.

During the 1860s, James Stephen founded the Irish Brotherhood, better known today as "the Fenians". They attempted, in the late 1860s, to revolt or cause trouble in the empire, in a series of confrontations with the British Government that really did not accomplish much more than needless bloodshed. Stephen organized Irishmen in the United States (who had fought in the American Civil War on both sides) to attempt to invade and conquer Canada (they were defeated). Assassinations (both successful and unsuccessful) occurred in Canada and Australia in April 1868. Many Irish revolutionaries were arrested, and two were set free from a Prison Van in Manchester in 1867, and a police constable was killed. Three men were hanged for this, and became known (in Ireland) as "the Manchester Martyrs". An escape of another Irish leader from Clerkenwell Prison in London led to a bomb explosion that killed almost 20 people. An alleged perpetrator was hanged as a result.

For awhile the revolutionary activities was discouraged, but in 1882 they were renewed with a vengeance when the Phoenix Park Assassinations of the new British Secretary to Ireland (Lord Frederick Cavendish) and his assistant Thomas Burke occurred. The impetus for violent counter-action was from Irish - Americans who wanted to free their country by any means available. The Irish - Americans had the funding to do this. They started a dynamite campaign in London, blowing up various sites (including a fatal attempt on London Bridge which ended with these man blowing themselves up).

In this show, Cribb pretends to be Irish to find out what is the secret of the group of revolutionaries. He finds out that they have plans to sink England's newest battleship with a primitive but working submarine.

The story was pretty good, and it had one supporting performer who subsequently became better known to New York audiences than Alan Dobie who played Cribb. I refer to Charles Keating, who had a long a successful career in soap operas (and also has appeared on the Broadway stage). Here Keating is one of the leading dynamiters in the group.

The story about the creation of a submarine boat to sink the British battleship is based on a true story. When the dynamite campaign began in London, the Irish-Americans heard of the theories and experiments of Mr. John P. Holland. The future inventor of the modern submarine was approached to build a working submarine to "sink the British Navy". Holland did work on a project financed by the Irish-American Fenians called "the Fenian Ram", but it was never completed. Quarrels between the careful Holland and the impatient Fenians prevented the completion of the project (resulting in the further watertight security of the British navy up to World War I). But the project gave Holland confidence to keep working on his idea, until he sold his first submarine to the United States Navy in 1900.

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