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Mind of Mr JG Reeder DVD

Wednesday, 22 July 2009 20:31

This is a classic Thames Television drama series, based on the short stories by Edgar Wallace, and features one of the unlikeliest fictional sleuths - Mr JG Reeder. He’s a mild-mannered, bespectacled civil servant at the Department of Public Prosecutions. However, Mr Reeder (Hugh Burden) has an unusual ‘gift’ – he can think in exactly the way a criminal does.

Situated in 1920s London, his talent for cracking even the most impenetrable of crimes is known throughout the underworld, and much valued by his department head, Sir Jason Toovey. Bank heists, jewel thefts and murder are among the many and varied cases that are passed on to Mr Reeder to solve in his own singular way...

Mind of Mr JG Reeder DVD

The Mind of Mr JG Reeder has just been released for the first time in any format by Network DVD, and this complete set brings together both series, originally screened between 1969 and 1971.  However, this is a series that has suffered in the archives – just two episodes remain in colour.  Indeed, all bar two of the second series of episodes were victims of the 1971 colour strike, which saw many a series prepared for colour production, but only getting filmed in ‘glorious monochrome’.

That said, from the moment the opening credits begin, you know this is not your usual 1920s detective series.  The music - "Banjo Boy" from the legendary Chappell Music Library – sets the quirky tone of the series.  Studio videotaped in the main, with some location filming here and there, the two colour episodes on this set have you wishing there were more that survived in this form.  However, given how some arms of the collective television archive have been decimated, the fact that all of the episodes exist in some form or another is a blessing.

Much like the theatrical roots that such studio-based drama as this owed its pedigree to, it is the characterisations that keep the interest in the action, and how Reeder will weave his spell and solve the mysteries on offer.  As you will see from the episode guide, there are plenty of familiar faces to look out for as guest stars – Tony Anholt, Windsor Davies, Colin Baker, and even Michael Bates in a prototype performance for his role as Rangi Ram in It Ain’t Half Hot, Mum.  This series is definitely one for star spotters.

The Mind of Mr JG Reeder is a Web exclusive only available from – you won’t find it anywhere else, either on the High Street or on the net.  The four disc set has a running time of 800mins approx, a “12” certificate, and is priced at £39.99


Episode Guide


Cast List

Hugh Burden as Mr JG Reeder

Willoughby Goddard as Sir Jason Toovey

Mona Bruce as Mrs Houchin

Virginia Stride (1.02, 1.03, 1.04, 1.08), Gillian Lewis (2.01, 2.04, 2.05, 2.06, 2.07, 2.08) as Margaret Belman

Alison McMurdo as Miss Pangbourne (1.02, 1.03)


Created by: Edgar Wallace   

Produced by: Kim Mills (1969), Robert Love (1971)  

Executive Producer: Lloyd Shirley   

Story Editor: Monica Menell (Series 1), Maggie Allen (Series 2)

Designers – Tony Borer (1.01), Terry Gough (1.02), Eddie Wolfram (1.03), Mike Hall (1.04, 2.01, 2.06), David Marshall (1.05), Eddie Wolfram (1.06), Jim Nicolson (1.07), Sylva Nadolny (1.08), Peter Le Page (2.02), Bernard Spencer (2.03), Neville Green (2.04), Stan Woodward (2.05, 2.07), Roger Burridge (2.08)


Series One


1 01  The Treasure Hunt (B&W) 

Able to see the evil in everything, and also to foretell future events, the mild-mannered Mr J G Reeder sets a trap to capture a murderer.

Guest stars: Mark Dignam (Sir James Tithermite), Alethea Charlton (Margaret), John Bennett (Lew), Michael Balfour (Albert), Victor Woolf (Harry), Reg Pritchard (Stan), David Steuart (Mr Justice Markham), Althea Parker (Lady Tithermite), Celestine Randall (Miss Watfield), Neil Wilson (Sgt Alford), Leslie Southwick (PC Birkett), John Crocker (Postman), Robin Wentworth (Chief Constable), Julian D’Albie (Butler)

Adapted by: Donald Churchill 

Director: Kim Mills

Original ITV Transmission: 23 April 1969


1.02    The Stealer of Marble (B&W)

Mr Reeder is called in to investigate the disappearance of the Managing Director of Telfers Trust – his name is Billingham and he has made off with £150,000.  What is to come is a complex world revolving around murder and distortion.

Guest stars: Elizabeth Begley (Mrs Welford), David Gooderson (Sidney Telfer), Dallas Cavell (DS Perryman), Alan Lawrance (Billingham).

Dramatised by: Vincent Tilsley

Director: Kim Mills

Original ITV Transmission: 30 April 1969 


1.03  The Green Mamba  (B&W)

The emeralds of Suleiman The Magnificent have been stolen, and during the heist the sentry guarding them was killed by a deadly snake bite.  Mr Reeder relies upon a woman’s intuition to help solve the mystery.

Guest stars: Joe Melia (Mo Liski), Pauline Delany (Madame Lemaire), Hildegard Neil (Marylou Plessy), Richard Butler (Chief Inspector Pyne), Godfrey James (Teddy Alfield), Dermot Tuohy (Harry Merton), Harold Kasket (El Rahbut), Harry Towb (Sullivan), David Steuart (Judge), George Belbin (Magistrate), Charles Hill (Footman), Richard McNeff (Detective)

Dramatised by: Vincent Tilsley 

Director: Kim Mills

Original ITV Transmission: 7 May 1969 


1.04          Sheer Melodrama (B&W)

Mr Reeder is in London, but is drawn to an attempted robbery in India and the mysterious case of a man sentenced to half a year in jail for attempting to steal the jewels of an Indian policeman’s wife – a man intent on revenge.

Guest stars: Michael Bates (Ras Lal Punjabi), Leslie Lawton (Ram Bannerjee), Ken Campbell (Tommy Fenalow), Dennis Goacher (Inspector Greyash), Lloyd Lamble (Police Commissioner), John Kidd (Theatre Manager), Pearl Catlin (Hetty Hanson), Simon Gough (DC Foden), John Boxer (judge), Frederick Danner (Podger), Rowena Ingram (Miss Bentworth), Jenny Oulton (Box Office Girl), Adam Verney (Sam), Reg Peters (Prison Warder), John Berrymann (Theatre Goer), Elizabeth McKewen (Nellie), John Newman (Ted), Malcolm Kaye (Jim)

Dramatised by: Vincent Tilsley 

Director: Guy Verney

Original ITV Transmission: 14 May 1969 


1.05          The Strange Case  (B&W)

Lassard has accused the disowned son of Lord Sellington of stealing £5,000 from a charity. Mr Reeder begins a duel of wits with Lassard, and the attempted reconciliation between father and son looks destined for disaster.

Guest stars:  John Robinson (Lord Sellington), Edward Fox (Lord Harry Carlin), Jennifer Wilson (Mary Carlin), John Malcolm (Arthur Lassard), Denis Shaw (Wu Tong), Robert Mill (Rathbone), Michael Beint (Inspector Salter), Mollie Maureen (Charwoman), Anthony Kemp (Edward Carlin), Dominic Allan (Policeman)

Dramatised by: Vincent Tilsley 

Director: Dennis Vance

Original ITV Transmission: 21 May 1969 


1.06          The Poetical Policeman (B&W)

Constable Burnett interrupts a bank robbery in progress, and arrests the bank manager, Gren. Despite the weight of evidence, Mr Reeder believes the man innocent, and sets out to prove it.

Guest stars: Jill Cary (Magda Grayne), Paul Shelley (Constable Burnett), John Barrard (Lambton Gren), Susan Tebbs (Fiona Wentworth Brown), Windsor Davies (Police Sergeant), Hazel Bainbridge (Woman at Police Station), Gillian Royale (Waitress), Josephine Gillick (Amanda), Willy Bowman (Malling), Steve Kirby (Milkman)

Dramatised by: Hugh Burden 

Director: Mike Vardy

Original ITV Transmission: 28 May 1969 


1.07          The Troupe  (B&W)

Art Lomer is an international confidence trickster.  He arrives in the UK with a new target in mind – loaded businessman Staffen.  Mr Reeder, however, has another fate in mind for Lomer.

Guest stars: Patrick Bedford (Art Lomer), Peter Cellier (Bertie Claude Staffen), Keith James (Sparrow), Geoffrey Lumsden (Mr Soames), William Moore (Becket), Phoebe Shaw (Miss Pantile), Michael Hall (Slicky), Sean Murphy (Tommy), Judi Bloom (Pauline), Mark Edwards (Ray), Robin John (Al), Christine Pryor (Aggie), Clyde Pollitt (Immigration Officer), Katie Fitzroy (American Passenger), John Smason (Book Salesman), Leslie Weeks (Hotel Porter), Martin Aubrey (Bank Clerk)

Dramatised by: Malcolm Proctor 

Director: Robert Tronson

Original ITV Transmission: 4 June 1969 


1.08          The Investors  (B&W)

Twelve people have disappeared from London in the last 12 months.  They all have their own private incomes, so Mr Reeder steps in to investigate. Can he stop there being a 13th victim while also solving the mystery?

Guest stars: John Le Mesurier (Joseph Bracher), David Garth (Ernest Bracher), Harold Goodwin (Wilson), Sheila Whittingham (Miss Marting), Ian Gardiner (Hunt), Julia McCarthy (Miss Withers), John Owens (Undertaker), Pamela Coveney (Operator), Michael Rose (Attorney General)

Dramatised by: Gerald Kelsey 

Director: Kim Mills

Original ITV Transmission: 11 June 1969 


Series Two


2.01          The Duke (B&W)

The Duke is a Chicago gangster who has come across to England to claim an inheritance of a country estate.  Mr Reeder is called in when an attempt is made on The Duke’s life.  Who is behind the attempts, and what is their motive?

Guest stars: Ray McAnally (‘Duke’ Dorsey), Toby Robins (Sadie), John Ringham (Bentwood), Anthony Woodruff (Major Blundell), Bruno Barnabe (Moscrop), Alan Foss (Landlord), John Comer (Bigelow), Hayne Ryan (Harry Prentice), James McManus (Louie)

Written by: Bill Craig

Director: Mike Vardy

Original ITV Transmission: 19 April 1971 


2.02  Man with a Strange Tattoo   (Colour)

A robbery attempt goes badly wrong when Lady Rothbard accidentally shoots and kills an intruder.  Mr Reeder investigates, but an examination of the body suggests that someone is not telling the truth.

Guest stars: Jane Baxter (Lady Rothbard), Geoffrey Lumsden (Lord Rothbard), Billy Russell (Yeoman), Leslie Dwyer (Parsons), Daphne Goddard (Miss Desmond), Annie Leake (Miss McCoustra), John Rapley (Sims), John Swindells (PC Tate), Gabrielle Wheeler (Emily), Jaron Yaltan (Gumparsad), Mohan Singh (1st Priest), Dino Shafeek (2nd Priest)

Written by: Gerald Kelsey 

Director: Peter Duguid

Original ITV Transmission: 26 April 1971 


2.03          The Shadow Man (B&W) 

Mr Reeder is called in to investigate when a bank manager draws out a huge cash sum from his own branch, converts it into foreign currency, and then vanishes without trace.  Was his motivation as simple as it looks?

Guest stars: John Stratton (Redsack), Jonathan Elson (Max), Ingrid Hafner (Lena), Marilyn Taylerson (Jean Reigate), Ronald McGill (Mr Squires), Michael Nightingale (Mr Lamb), Lee Fox (Mr Peers), Eric Longworth (Mr Clackett), Colin Baker (Reigate), Chrys Salt (Miss Clipwing), Michael Collins (Hallaty), Frederick Schrecker (Jones)

Dramatised by: Trevor Preston 

Director: Mike Vardy

Original ITV Transmission: 3 May 1971 


2.04  Death of an Angel (B&W)

Clara White, a silent movie star, has been murdered.  The authorities think they have the man responsible, but Sir James is not convinced, and so mobilises Mr Reeder to investigate. Interrogating the defendant in his cell, Reeder reckons Sir James may have a point.

Guest stars: Michael Gwynn (Rev Oswald Lewis), Amanda Barrie (Ethel Gibson), James Grout (Sam Cobb), Victor Maddern (Shiner Bright), Peter Williams (Dudley Vernon), Joan MacArthur (Mrs Hicks), Carol Macready (Miss Hilliard), John Keland (Charlie Mace), Sid Boatman (Pianist), Allan Warren (Clapper Boy)

Written by: Gerald Kelsey

Director: Peter Duguid

Original ITV Transmission: 10 May 1971 


2.05   The Willing Victim  (B&W)

A bomb arrives in Mr Reeder’s office, a car almost runs him down, and his head is almost knocked clean off by a chunk of falling masonry from above while walking home.  Not one to be easily intimidated, Reeder is determined to find out the motivation for the attacks.

Guest stars: George A Cooper (Inspector Todd), Harry Towb (Lew Kassio), Jo Rowbottom (Norma), Carmel McSharry (Rita Corner), George Tovey (Sam Corner), Geoffrey Hughes (Danny), Madeline Smith (Miss Clutterbuck), Frederick Beauman (Cabby), Gordon Russell (Newsboy), Winifred Davey (Pianist), Margo McGibbon (Violinist)

Written by: Gerald Kelsey

Director: Jonathan Alwyn

Original ITV Transmission: 17 May 1971 


2.06   The Fatal Engagement  (B&W)

Music hall star Hetty Malone has been murdered, leaving several Peers of the Realm as prime suspects.  Sir Jason asks Mr Reeder to attempt to prove all the men innocent of any involvement with the popular star.

Guest stars: Mark Dignam (Lord Nettleford), Windsor Davies (Chief Inspector Pyne), Robert East (Stan Pringle), Adrienne Frank (Phyllis Armitage), Petronella Barker (Miss Trottington-Fox), David Lander (Ronnie Pallodio), Leon Collins (Mulligan), Jan Conrad (Korsakov), Norman Claridge (Sir Christopher), Roger Rowland (Detective Sergeant), Ellis Dale (Butler)

Written by Louis Marks

Director: Mike Vardy

Original ITV Transmission: 24 May 1971 


2.07   Find the Lady (Colour)

A young debutante is whisked away as her arrival is about to be announced at ‘The Palace’. Mr Reeder is assigned this as his latest case, and is disturbed to find that there may well be a connection to a white slave trade.

Guest stars: David Collings (The Hon Clive Fitzcormorant), John Barron (Earl of Colebrooke), Tony Anholt (Count Orlando Vigaretti), Windsor Davies (Chief Inspector Pyne), Michael Meacham (Chinese Magician), Bridget Armstrong (Miss Letchworth), John Harvey (Court Chamberlain), Susan Maudslay (Lady Helen), Francis Wallis (Sir Oliver Teezley), John Saunders (Master of Foxhounds), Alison Hughes (Lady Cynthia), Yvonne Paul (Housemaid), Marie Yang (Chinese Crone)

Written by: Emanuel Litvinoff 

Director: Reginald Collin

Original ITV Transmission: 31 May 1971 


2.08 The Treasure House (B&W) 

Mr Reeder is determined to find out what is behind the attempts to kill a reformed safe cracker. His discoveries lead him to suspect that a villain’s word is not his bond, and may not always be trusted.

Guest stars: Richard Vernon (Major Olbude), Milton Johns (Lidgett), Lawrence Douglas (Larry O’Ryan), Sally Goldie (Pamela Lane Leonard), Margery Withers (Olga Rigger), Windsor Davies (Chief Inspector Pyne), Damaris Hayman (Miss Gelding), Kenneth Gilbert (Dr Ferguson), John Quarmby (Buckingham)

Dramatised by Emanuel Litvinoff

Director: Voytek

Original ITV Transmission: 7 June 1971 



Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37