Public Eye Season 6 DVD set

Friday, 14 March 2008 01:00


Alfred Burke stars as down-at-heel Inquiry Agent Frank Marker in this critically acclaimed, long-running drama series. Always working the lower end of the spectrum - divorces, missing persons, bankruptcies - the public found a great affinity with Marker and the series was a huge success over its ten-year life span. This set contains all 13 episodes from the 1972/3 series - complete and uncut.


Public Eye 1972-73 DVD SetStarring Alfred Burke as Frank Marker and Ray Smith as Percy Firbank, the series deliberately has its focus on Marker's microcosm cases. There weren't big car chases, bad villains or huge conspiracies to smash - this was a jobbing private detective whose goal in life was to make ends meet. He took cases mainly out of necessity, but also had a moral compass which meant he always did the right thing, even if that did not lead to much of a financial reward.

And the viewing audience loved him for it. Alfred Burke's performance is the glue that holds the entire series together. He is likeable, and you get drawn into his world, which is entirely believable and consistent. It's a downbeat series, admittedly, but once you get used to the pace, the show is rich in character and formative incidents that establish the tapestry of its universe.

A rare treat, and one well worth tracking down on Network DVD's website. Meanwhile, here's a quick run-down of this particular season to encourage your purchase.



01. The Bankrupt
Frank is told by Multiple Finance that his services are no longer required - a person he recommended for credit went bankrupt. However, he soon discovers he is not the only one to have lost out. He bumps into garage owner Tom Lewis (Gareth Thomas - Blake himself from Blake's 7) who tells him he has lost £1,500 through a loan to Meville Hayden-Peters - a debt that could ruin him. He also believes that Hayden-Peters is up to a con - despite bankruptcy, he still drives around in a Rolls Royce and lives a life of luxury luxury. Can Marker help Lewis get his money back?
Writer: James Doran
Director: James Gatward
Original ITV Transmission: 8 November 1972
Guest stars: Gareth Thomas (Tom Lewis); Ray Barrett (Melville Hayden-Peters); Susan Macready (Sandra Hayden-Peters); Leon Eagles (George Smith); John Gill (Adams); Hugh Sullivan (Francis); Jeffrey Segal (Registrar); Lindsay Campbell (Restaurant Manager); Cleo Sylvestre (Traffic Warden).

02. Girl in Blue
A group of businessmen enjoy “The Parson Knows”, a porn movie. The screening has been organised by Hailey, a salesman who is courting potential customers. One of them suddenly leaves the room. What has Brian Summers just seen that isn’t to his liking? Could it really have something to do with his estranged daughter?
Writer: Roger Marshall
Director: Dennis Vance
Original ITV Transmission: 15 November 1972
Guest stars: George Waring (Phil Craig); Richard Leech (Summers); Mona Bruce (Mrs Summers); Michael Lees (Hailey); John Lyons (Lucas); Colin McCormack (Shop Manager); Rosalyn Elvin (Janice); Michael Beint (Martin); Charles Hodgson (Wright).

03. Many A Slip
Frank is asked to investigate the credit worthiness of Felicity Pembroke by a credit agency. She is the wife of an ambitious young local doctor, and wants to buy a freezer out of her housekeeping. It would be her husband's debt if she defaulted, but why should such a loan leave Marker cold?
Writer: John Kershaw
Director: David Wickes
Original ITV Transmission: 29 November 1972
Guest stars: Michael Culver (Dr Pembroke); Elisabeth Sladen (Betty); Ann Curthoys (Felicity); Esmond Knight (Dr Stowe); Beryl Cooke (Receptionist); Trevor Adams (Farmer); Ronald Govey (Investigator).

04. Mrs Podmore’s Cat
Diana Podmore is a wealthy widow, and has a reputation as a ‘maneater’, particularly of young men. She comes to Marker with a proposition, but it is not of a romantic kind. She asks him to look after Berlington Bertie, her cat, while she is away at a health farm. It's an unusual assignment that Frank finds amazed, but happy to accept so that he can pay the phone bill, as he’s been cut off. He will be paid £50 for one week's ‘work’, half upfront, and have the run of the house. Bertie has every luxury, like his mistress, even to the extent of using a litter tray in the bathroom. But a face from Mrs Podmore’s past complicates matters for both Frank and one of her toy boys.

Writer: Philip Broadley
Director: Bill Bain

Original ITV Transmission: 6 December 1972
Guest stars: Jean Kent (Mrs Podmore); Cheryl Hall (Beryl); Brenda Cavendish (Nell Holdsworth); Dudley Foster (Major Thursby-Byers); Tommy Boyle (Ronnie Stevens); Magda Miller (Maggie); Jeremy Higgins (Alfonso).

05. The Man Who Said Sorry
Maker is working late in the office, when a middle-aged man knocks on the door and insists on seeing him. The man, who says his name is Barratt, seems very hesitant. The man explains that he suspects his wife of an affair, and asks Frank to watch her. Eventually the man angrily confesses that he has been lying, and says that his real name is Raymond Clemens. He has very particular reasons for seeing Frank.
Writer: Richard Harris
Director: Jonathan Alwyn
Original ITV Transmission: 13 December 1972
Guest star: Paul Rogers (Clemens).

06. Horse and Carriage
It’s the season of good will, but Marker is commissioned by Harry Longstaff to track his wife Lil, whom he suspects of having another affair. Harry is permanently suspicious of Lil, and has engaged Frank seven times, with nothing untoward ever being discovered. Frank reluctantly takes the job, watching the family home for any suspicious behaviour while Harry is away. Frank is curious to know where Harry will be, but gets no answer.
Writer: Richard Harris
Director: Bill Bain
Original ITV Transmission: 23 December 1972
Guest stars: Michael Bates (George); Tony Melody (Harry); Pat Heywood (Lil); Anne Carroll (Joy); Penny Spencer (Pauline); John Normington (Mr Sugden); John Flint (Hotel Clerk); Tony Selby (Constable).

07. A Family Affair
John Knight goes to see Mr Brown, a solicitor. In a very roundabout way he says that he and his brother Henry are unhappy about their late father's will. They are annoyed that there has been a large bequest to his housekeeper, Harriet Thorne. They think she is undeserving, little more than a servant, and suggest she may have taken advantage of their father. The solicitor hires Marker to inquire into the housekeeper's circumstances, to see if their complaints are valid.
Writer: John Kershaw
Director: Douglas Camfield
Original ITV Transmission: 3 January 1973
Guest stars: Jenny Lee-Wright (Mrs Sullivan); Norman Henry (Norman Knight); Ralph Michael (Henry Knight); Mr Brown (Bernard Holley); Nancy Jackson (Angela Knight); Bay White (Mary Knight); Peggy Ann Wood (Harriet Thorne); Shirley Cooklin (Mrs. Grey); Carolyn Moody (Sally).

08. The Golden Boy
Reggie Aston, an elderly former public schoolmaster, calls into Marker’s office asking him to trace Vyvyan Reveldale, a former student. Vyvyan went to Oxford but then left without warning, and disappeared. Aston explains his relationship with Vyvyan, stressing there was nothing untoward, but mentions matters are complicated by the hostility of Vyvyan's father towards him.
Writer: Philip Broadley
Director: Douglas Camfield
Original ITV Transmission: 10 January 1973
Guest stars: Richard Hurndall (Sir John); Alan Webb (Aston); David Gwillim (Vyvyan Reveldale); Barbara Markham (Lady Reveldale); Martin Howells (James Milner); Philip Ray (Clifton); Carole Nimmons (Millie Chandler); Linda Liles (Carol); John F Landry (Keeling); Alan Tucker (Bamford).

09. The Windsor Royal
Rose-grower Clem Lawrence has been developing a new species - the Windsor Royal. He is alarmed when a whole bush of the new flower goes missing. He suspects it has been stolen on the orders of his former business partner Ron Hayward. Marker is asked to pursue the matter and quickly needs to become a "rosarian". Perhaps the clandestine romance between Clem's daughter, Pam, and Ron's son, Gordon, will help in finding answers.
Writer: Philip Broadley
Director: Douglas Camfield
Original ITV Transmission: 17 January 1973
Guest stars: Raymond Francis (Clem Lawrence); Stephanie Bidmead (Penny Lawrence); Nina Thomas (Pam Lawrence); Brian Stirner (Gordon Hayward); David Garfield (Tom Coburn); Julian Somers (Thornton); Ivan Beavis (Ron Hayward); Patsy Smart (Waitress); Guy Standeven (Blandford); Jean Channon (Celia Blandford).

10. It’s A Woman’s Privilege
Marker receives a surprise visit from Helen Mortimer, his former landlady from his days in Brighton. Her visit isn't entirely social. She is worried about her son, who has recently taken a job as a company secretary for a photocopier firm. He and his wife have just bought a very expensive house in Datchet, which she feels they couldn't possibly afford. She is suspicious about his employer, Everard, and asks Frank to check-up. He does so free of charge, posing as a potential salesman. He uncovers a very complicated financial web.
Writer: Michael Chapman
Director: Jim Goddard
Original ITV Transmission: 24 January 1973
Guest stars: Pauline Delany (Mrs Mortimer); Brian Deacon (Nick Mortimer); Jon Laurimore (Everard); Richard Thorp (Mr. Graham); Marianne Stone (Agnes); Ann Penfold (Sheila Mortimer); Bill Dean (Mr Steadman).

11. Home and Away
Clients normally meet Frank at his office, but Madge Reading surprisingly asks him to meet her at home. She appears to be a pleasant woman but is clearly nervous. She believes her husband, an avid football fan, is having an affair. When Frank asks for detail, he uncovers very little evidence to provoke her suspicion. Frank puts his reservations to her, but she still asks him to investigate.
Writer: Brian Finch
Director: Robert Knights
Original ITV Transmission: 31 January 1973
Guest stars: Barbara Young (Madge Reading); Bryan Pringle (Don Reading); Ann Kennedy (Phyllis Bentham); Barbara Keogh (Gladys Mottram); Mike Grady (Freddie); Margaret Heald (Vera).

12. Egg and Cress Sandwiches
Church warden Major-General Felcourt goes to see Percy Firbank, alarmed by ‘poison pen’ letters he has received about his vicar, who is accused of sexual impropriety. The warden wants to find the culprit. Percy tells him that a police investigation could "stir up a lot of mud" and suggests a more discreet approach - an enquiry agent.
Writer: Michael Chapman
Director: Graham Evans
Original ITV Transmission: 7 February 1973
Guest stars: Brian Blessed (Rev William Pratt); Robert Flemyng (Major-General Felcourt); Lynn Farleigh (Valerie Pratt); John Welsh (Cobden Felcourt); Pamela Vezey (Shirley Haines); Charles Rea (Harry Haines); Harriet Craig (Alice).

13. The Trouble with Jenny
One night, a young woman watches a young mother playing with her baby. Meanwhile Marker checks into a small hotel after he overslept on a train and misses his stop. The young woman turns up at the hotel, where she is staying that night. Early the next morning the landlady frantically calls Marker after failing to gain entry to the young woman's room. She can smell gas so Frank kicks down the door to find the young woman, after an apparent suicide attempt. What’s the real story behind this near-tragedy?
Writer: Roger Marshall
Director: David Wickes
Original ITV Transmission: 14 February 1973
Guest stars: Donald Houston (Arthur Wellard); Petra Markham (Jenny Wellard); Marjie Lawrence (Mr Barnes); Vivien Heilbron (Patricia Russell); Donald Burton (Det-Sgt Colin); Doreen Mantle (Miss Barnwell); Richard Simpson (Harris).

With a running time of 650 mins approx, this four disc set has a "15" Certificate and a price of £29.99 - PLEASE NOTE: The series is available ONLY from the Network website. Check it out at

Thanks to Cult TV and Network DVD, you had the opportunity to put one of two copies available to win on to your mantelpiece, in a prize competition. All you have to do was tell us the answer to the following question: Which Blake's 7 actor guest starred in the first episode of this season of episodes?. The answer was GARETH THOMAS, and the winners were Tim Smith of Bishopstoke, and Tracey Berry of Runcorn.  We had over 250 entries to this competition, so thanks to you all for your interest!  Watch out for further competitions at

Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37

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