Paul Temple (TV series)

Paul Temple
Genre Crime drama
Created by Francis Durbridge (novels)
Starring Francis Matthews
Ros Drinkwater
George Sewell
No. of episodes 52 episodes
Producer(s) Derrick Sherwin
Peter Bryant
Alan Bromly (Season 1 only)
Running time 50 minutes
Original network BBC1
Original release 23 November 1969 – 1 September 1971

Paul Temple is a British-German television series which originally aired on BBC1 between 1969 and 1971.[1] 52 episodes were made over 4 seasons, with each episode having a running time of around 50 minutes.


Paul Temple features Francis Matthews (1927-2014) as Paul Temple, the fictional detective created by Francis Durbridge, who solves crimes with the assistance of his wife Steve (Ros Drinkwater). Season 1 of the Paul Temple television series was produced solely by the BBC, with all 13 episodes set in Great Britain. The very first episode was transmitted in November 1969, becoming one of the first shows to be broadcast in colour on BBC1.

Starting with Season 2, Paul Temple became a co-production by the BBC and Taurus films of Munich, West Germany, and was shown internationally, with many of the episodes using overseas locations in West Germany, France, Malta and elsewhere. During the production of the Second Season, the producer Peter Bryant successfully persuaded Derrick Sherwin to join him on Paul Temple, from the BBC's Doctor Who television series at short notice. Both Sherwin and Bryant had previously worked on Doctor Who together. There was some disagreement between the BBC and Taurus over the casting of Steve Temple (who had been played in the radio series of Paul Temple from 1945-68 by Marjorie Westbury): the BBC wished to drop Ros Drinkwater from the role, but Taurus favoured her retention.

According to Francis Matthews, both Paul and Steve Temple became fashion icons of sorts, creating a style that was to be imitated in ITV's The Persuaders!,[2] while, in America, Ros Drinkwater's role was reportedly emulated by Susan Saint James in McMillan & Wife and Stefanie Powers in Hart to Hart.[3] According to Matthews, Drinkwater chose her own "very expensive" designer clothes for the part.[4]

The series was intended to go on for 5 years, but despite its popularity, especially in West Germany, the BBC withdrew prematurely after 2 years. Huw Wheldon, the BBC's managing director for television, later explained to Matthews that it was really "Lew Grade territory" and cited the BBC's preference for such historical dramas as The Six Wives of Henry VIII and Elizabeth R.[5] The series was allowed to peter out, the final episodes at least of the last Season all based in Great Britain.


The BBC never repeated Paul Temple. The series suffered badly in the BBC's archive purging of the 1970s. Of the 52 episodes of Paul Temple that were made, only 16 remain in the BBC TV archives today. 11 of the surviving 16 episodes are available in colour, and these were re-run on UK Gold in its formative years in the 1990s. The other 5 episodes survive only as black and white telerecordings. The purge on ''Paul Temple'' was such that, of the first two seasons, only one episode exists ("Games People Play", 19 April 1970). That episode was made completely on film and therefore was archived in the BBC's Film Library. The remaining 25 episodes were wiped off their original videotape holdings by the BBC's Engineering Department so the tapes (expensive at the time) could be re-used. No telerecordings are known to exist (other than the last five episodes of season 4).

The visuals of some of the 36 missing episodes survive in the ZDF TV archives in Germany. These are believed to emanate from seasons 2 to 4 which were BBC-ZDF co-produced, however they only have dubbed German soundtracks. Any BBC tape copies with their original English soundtracks intact are believed to be long-gone from the ZDF archive.

In 2016, a German DVD release of the fourth and final season, with German dubbing, presented the final five episodes in color with an English soundtrack. While not every episode on the release contains the original English language soundtracks, one, "A Family Affair," does. This episode is not held by the BBC and was not included on the Acorn DVD releases, as noted below.[6] "A Family Affair" does not appear to have been returned to the BBC archive at this time.

DVD Releases

In July 2009, Acorn Media released the 11 existing colour episodes on DVD. These were cleared at the BBFC on 17 March 2009.[7] In April 2012, Acorn Media released a DVD of the final 5 episodes ever broadcast, which are only available in black and white. In August 2013, Acorn Media released all 16 existing episodes (11 in colour, 5 in black and white) on DVD, in a release named Paul Temple: The Complete Collection.

In May 2016, the series appeared in German speaking countries, released by German DVD company Fernsehjuwelen (English translation: TV Jewels). The DVD releases were from series 2 onwards in three different boxsets, the third of which to be released later. Episodes previously described as missing appeared for the first time on DVD, albeit with synchronised German audio only.

Main cast

Season 1

# Episode Writer Director Original airdate
1 Who Dies Next Peter Miller Douglas Camfield 23 November 1969
This is a missing episode. Paul and Steve arrive home to find they have been burgled. Curiously, nothing of value seems to have been taken, but books have been removed from the bookshelves as if someone had been searching through them. Searching for what?
2 Message from A Dead Man John Roddick Paul Ciappessoni 30 November 1969
This is a missing episode. Spending a weekend at Random Cottage, Paul and Steve are visited by a young American, who tells them he has heard a murder being arranged on the telephone. When Paul starts checking he finds that everything the American told him was untrue.Then a man is found dead.
3 There Must Be A Mr X David Ellis Eric Hills 7 December 1969
This is a missing episode. After an evening at a gambling club, Paul takes a hostess, Sandra, back to her flat. When Paul arrives home in the early hours of the morning he tells Steve he has been talking over old times with a friend. What is Paul up to?
4 Missing Penny Cyril Abraham Tina Wakerell 14 December 1969
This is a missing episode. Paul is told a strange story about a girl missing from a village not far from Random Cottage. He learns that she didn't drive a car and she didn't take the only bus to the nearest station. In fact, nobody saw her leave at all...
5 The Man Who Wasn't Really There John Tully Douglas Camfield 21 December 1969
This is a missing episode. A man known to Paul and Steve is reported killed in an air crash in Rome. But Steve is positive that the man called at the Temples' home shortly after the time given for the crash.
6 Which One of Us Is Me? David Chantler Paul Ciappessoni 28 December 1969
This is a missing episode. Paul is asked for help by a man called Howard Hawthorn. Apparently someone is intent on destroying Howard; his character, his marriage, his sanity. Paul asks who this someone is. Howard replies, 'Howard Hawthorn.'
7 Inside Information David Ellis Tina Wakerell 4 January 1970
This is a missing episode. A private enquiry agent calls to see Steve, who tells him she wants him to watch Paul. When the agent asks why, Steve says she suspects Paul of being unfaithful, and requires evidence for a divorce.
8 The Masked Lady John Tully Rex Tucker 11 January 1970
This is a missing episode. A film is being made in an ancestral home about the legend of the strange disappearance of the Masked Lady. A young girl playing the part also disappears.
9 Swan Song For Colonel Harp David Chantler Tina Wakerell 18 January 1970
This is a missing episode. Colonel Harp is one of the regulars at the Falcon. One day a stranger comes to see him. Eric observes that the Colonel seems frightened. Shortly, it is announced that the Colonel is selling his house and moving to a cottage in the country. The stranger asks Eric to take a trunk down to the cottage. The Colonel is not present. The stranger says the trunk contains books...
10 Mr Wallace Predicts John Tully Eric Hills 25 January 1970
This is a missing episode. Paul and Steve find themselves involved with Mr Wallace, a researcher into extra-sensory perception. But Mr Wallace has another talent that interests Paul: he can predict accidents. Unfortunately, the victims never seem to get his warnings in time.
11 Letters From Robert John Tully Prudence Fitzgerald 1 February 1970
This is a missing episode. Miss Rose Martin was once in love with a man called Robert Stanlake, who disappeared mysteriously 20 years ago. She starts getting letters, from someone who seems to know all about her, signed as Robert Stanlake.
12 The Man From the Sea Cyril Abrahams Philip Dudley 8 February 1970
This is a missing episode. Kate is taking a holiday at the seaside. Walking along the beach, she discovers a body washed up by the tide. A lighthouse keeper tells her he has sent for the police. But later Kate discovers the police have no knowledge of the body.
13 The Victim David Whitaker Douglas Camfield 15 February 1970
This is a missing episode. Peter Tremayne, a rich industrialist, is being persecuted by someone. He thinks his persecutor is an old enemy, but Paul has other ideas.

Season 2

# Episode Writer Director Original airdate
14 Right Villain Derrick Sherwin Ken Hannam 5 April 1970
This is a missing episode. Paul is literally 'taken for a ride' when he contemplates buying a new car. Sammy Carson, ex-villain and part-owner of the garage involved, offers Paul the car in exchange for his help - which he badly needs!
15 Kill Or Cure Bill Strutton Christopher Barry 12 April 1970
This is a missing episode. Steve's friend Ilse Goetz visits London with her uncle, a pharmaceutical manufacturer. After contacting the Temple's, she disappears - and when Paul investigates, her uncle warns him not to get involved...
16 Games People Play John Gould Philip Dudley 19 April 1970
This episode exists in colour. While in Malta, Paul and Steve are drawn into the 'sweet life' of a group for whom luxury has become a necessity - a life that soon lures the innocent beyond boredom into danger.
17 The Artnappers Bill Strutton Ken Hannam 26 April 1970
This is a missing episode. Gallery raids and art thefts are becoming increasingly commonplace - often the only losers appear to be the insurance companies. Paul finds that even they can limit their liability to pay by investing in crime...
18 The Black Room Moris Farhi Christopher Barry 3 May 1970
This is a missing episode. How deeply within ourselves can we bury the effects of violence? Paul discovers methods by which unscrupulous men use a victim's past to force their way into a frightening future.
19 Antique Death: Part 1 Michael Chapman John Matthews 10 May 1970
This is a missing episode. Paul is amused when he discovers that the copy of an Etruscan Apollo which he has bought causes a ripple of alarm in museum circles as the original is reputed to be unique and no other copy is known to exist. But when the figurine disappears, the chase leads Paul to Amsterdam and into the dangers that lie beyond the respectable front of dealing in `genuine' art-fakes.
20 Antique Death: Part 2 Michael Chapman John Matthews 17 May 1970
This is a missing episode. Paul moves from Amsterdam to Bruges in his search for the Arezzo Apollo figurine which has been stolen from him. The death of Genevieve Duclos leads him closer to those responsible and deeper into the dangerous world of organised international crime.
21 Double Vision Jeremy Burnham Ken Hannam 24 May 1970
This is a missing episode. Paul, on a visit to Edinburgh to attend a Crime Writer's Conference, is asked by a beautiful young German girl to read her first novel. A charming girl - an innocent request - but the book seems to be in great demand...
22 Steal A Little Happiness Bill Strutton Philip Dudley 28 June 1970
This is a missing episode. Paul and Steve pick up a hitchhiking street urchin called Gina outside Milan and soon discover the pressures poverty brings to bear on the young. In an attempt to help the girl Paul uncovers a relationship between Gina and Ettore, a helpless old man, that is based on need rather than on cupidity.
23 The Suitcase John Tully John Matthews 5 July 1970
This is a missing episode. Secret Service plot or the bitter end to a tangled domestic quarrel? This is the fascinating question facing Paul Temple when a suitcase explodes in a Surrey country house.
24 Murder In Munich: Part 1 David Roberts Michael Ferguson 12 July 1970
This is a missing episode. Temple, on a visit to Munich, is horrified to find that he's been mistaken for an assassin. Worse still, he's expected to proceed with, and complete, the killer's Assignment.
25 Murder In Munich: Part 2 David Roberts Michael Ferguson 19 July 1970
This is a missing episode. Temple, cleverly framed for murder on a visit to Munich, has a life and death race against time to prove his innocence.
26 Re-Take Paul Erickson Douglas Camfield 26 July 1970
This is a missing episode. What is the-connection between a series of crimes in Rome seven years ago and the disappearance of a child in London now?

Season 3

# Episode Writer Director Original airdate
27 House Of the Dead David Roberts George Spenton-Foster 10 January 1971
This is a missing episode. Paul Temple receives a strange invitation to an abandoned house to investigate a five-year-old murder.
28 Sea Burial David Roberts Ronald Wilson 17 January 1971
This is a missing episode. On a visit to Sweden, Paul Temple receives a mysterious summons that pitchforks him on to the trail of an ingenious and unusual crime.
29 Night Train Michael J. Bird Douglas Camfield 24 January 1971
This is a missing episode. Coincidence, perhaps? Or does the appearance of Freddie Price as a sleeping car attendant on the Temples' train have a more sinister significance?
30 Corrida Lindsay Galloway Ken Hannam 7 February 1971
This episode exists in colour. Bulls and Christian Martyrs. That's the toll throughout the centuries at the ancient arena in Arles. Is the bullring about to be used for another sport - like the killing of escaped criminals?
31 Death For Drivers' Reasons John Lucarotti Ken Hannam 14 February 1971
This is a missing episode. A quiet stretch of coastline holds all sorts of menacing surprises for Paul and Steve's yachting weekend.
32 A Greek Tragedy Lindsay Galloway George Spenton-Foster 21 February 1971
This is a missing episode. Tragedy? Or a menacing conspiracy of silence? What exactly is going on in the small mountainside village in Greece? And what is the tie-up with those grim events as far back as the winter of 1944?
33 The Specialists Michael Winder Eric Price 28 February 1971
This episode exists in colour. Strange people - Specialists. Bodyguard one day - the next Assassin. Very efficient and reliable to the man who pays him - first.
34 Has Anybody Here Seen Kelly? Dennis Spooner Eric Price 7 March 1971
This episode exists in colour. Very efficient these Intelligence Agents. Almost clever enough to conceal the truth from the Temples as they make a surprise visit on an old friend in a small Riviera fishing port.
35 Requiem For A Don Jeremy Burnham Christopher Barry 14 March 1971
This is a missing episode. Suicide? Or murder? Temple's investigation into the death of an old friend causes a lot of long faces in a famous Midlands University town.
36 Motel David Simon Simon Langton 21 March 1971
This episode exists in colour. Why should a lonely Scottish motel be the gathering point for a gang of criminals?
37 Cue Murder! David Simon George Spenton-Foster 28 March 1971
This episode exists in colour. Tension and drama build up to a breathless climax as Paul reveals a murderer before a television audience.
38 Death Of Fasching Wolf Rilla Viktor Ritelis 4 April 1971
This episode exists in colour. Paul takes a strange partner at a Fasching Ball in Munich - and thereafter has to watch his step.
39 Catch Your Death Patrick Alexander Frank Cox 11 April 1971
This episode exists in colour. Paul and Sammy between them track down a dangerous thief - and nearly catch a nasty cold!

Season 4

# Episode Writer Director Original airdate
40 Paper Chase Jeremy Burnham George Spenton-Foster 9 June 1971
This is a missing episode. A glimpse under the covers for Paul of secret political warfare in London.
41 Death Sentence David Ellis Douglas Camfield 16 June 1971
This is a missing episode. Susan Grant hasn't an enemy in the world - so why do they want to kill her?
42 Ricochet Marc Brandel Darrol Blake 23 June 1971
This episode exists in colour. Paul, on a visit to St Moritz with Steve to meet his accountant, soon finds he has other problems on his mind than facts and figures.
43 With Friends Like You, Who Needs Enemies? Victor Canning Michael Ferguson 30 June 1971
This episode exists in colour. Sammy Carson is accused of murder, with surprising results.
44 Party Piece Lindsay Galloway Ken Hannam 7 July 1971
This is a missing episode. Sammy meets up with a jazz pianist friend, and involves Paul in a crime of considerable ingenuity.
45 The Quick and the Dead Derry Quinn George Spenton-Foster 14 July 1971
This episode exists in colour. The old priests have been dead for centuries, and they can't harm anybody.
46 The Man Who Forged Real Money John Lucarotti Ken Hannam 21 July 1971
This is a missing episode. An African Embassy in London makes good cover, for a clever international conspiracy.
47 A Family Affair Wolf Rilla David Maloney 28 July 1971
This episode is missing from the BBC archive and English-language DVD releases, but has been released in Germany with an optional English dialogue track. Paul takes a sea trip to Hamburg - and a nose-dive into a ruthless story of family treachery.
48 The Guilty Must Die John Tully Douglas Camfield 4 August 1971
This episode only exists in black and white. Paul goes away to the country for a few days leaving Steve to witness a murder.
49 Game, Set and Match Jeremy Burnham Darrol Blake 11 August 1971
This episode only exists in black and white. When Andy King, a veteran professional tennis player from Australia, arrives in Britain for another tournament, trouble isn't far behind.
50 Long Ride to Red Gap John Wiles George Spenton-Foster 18 August 1971
This episode only exists in black and white. Sammy, on a car journey near Godalming, claims to have been ambushed and attacked by a band of Red Indians. And he's not joking!
51 Winner Take All Donald James Christopher Barry 25 August 1971
This episode only exists in black and white. Against a horseracing background Paul finds himself involved in a takeover bid between two sides in a large criminal organisation.
52 Critics, Yes! But This Is Ridiculous! Eddie Boyd Michael Ferguson 1 September 1971
This episode only exists in black and white. A midnight intruder into a small Scottish library rips apart several of Paul's novels. Is he settling an old score? Or do his actions have a much more menacing reason?



  2. Francis Matthews recalling conversation with Roger Moore, The Paul Temple Collection (Acorn Media DVD, 2009)
  3. Matthews, interview for The Paul Temple Collection (Acorn Media DVD, 2009)
  4. Interview for The Paul Temple Collection (Acorn Media DVD, 2009)
  5. Francis Matthews, interview for The Paul Temple Collection (Acorn Media DVD, 2009), referring to a chance encounter with Wheldon while he was dining with comedian Eric Morecambe; Daily Telegraph, obituary of Francis Matthews, 15 June 2014
  7. BBFC Clearance with Episode Titles
  8. "An Introduction to the BBC's Paul Temple Television Series". Archived from the original on 21 October 2009. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
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