Mr Rose Series 2 DVDs Featured

Monday, 28 January 2013 00:00
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Mr Rose - series 2 on DVD from NetworkJust the six episodes in this second run of episodes from 1968. Mr Rose continues to be plot and character driven in a mainly studio-bound setting. William Mervyn again plays Rose, now a published author with some margin of fame, uprooted from his country residence to a posh town flat, incongruous with his classic character. Donald Webster returns as manservant John Halifax - think Gambit in The New Avengers for his character’s place within the series. No return for Personal Assistant Drusilla, so much of the subplot of these episodes is the struggle to find her successor, needed to assist Rose in the continuation of his memoirs

Like the first season of 13 episodes, this second batch is again brought to us by Network. Rose was a character who had worked through the ranks to finish up with his own self-titled show. A former Scotland Yard Chief Inspector, Rose was first introduced in The Odd Man and then It’s Dark Outside (this one due imminently on DVD), a pair of cult crime series from the early 1960s. This self-named continuation sees the former detective foregoing a restless retirement to take on a further series of cases, in a personal capacity.

Guest stars to look out for this time around include John Challis, Barbara Shelley, James Bree, Tenniel Evans, Rudolph Walker, Richard Vanstone, Penny Spencer and Sheila Gish.

Mr Rose continues to leap on any distraction available to manoeuvre him away from work on his memoirs. His fascination for detective work, and desire to see the guilty banged to rights, over-rides any other considerations. Right-hand man Halifax is also keen to see justice be done, so without Drusilla around to direct the two of them, the writing chores are continually put on the back-burner.

The fun with the revision of the format comes from the succession of potential new Personal Assistants that Rose interviews. A biting social commentary for the time made play of the fact that these prospects lacked the focus of Drusilla, many seeing the employment as just a job rather than a career. The were also as likely to be as scheming as any man, too, which led to disappointment in Rose, and bemusement in Halifax. Rose could see through each potential applicant, with one or two exceptions, whereas Halifax considered every pretty one a potential date!

To recap, Granada Television was very keen on the Rose character. The first appearance was in later episodes of The Odd Man, the 1960-1963 series that featured stories based around the theatrical agent and sometimes detective Steve Gardiner (Edwin Richfield). Gardiner would have a succession of run-ins with the police, in the shape of Chief Inspector Gordon (Moultrie Kelsall) and his junior, Detective Sergeant MacBride (Alan Tilvern). The iconic Geoffrey Palmer appears as Constable Swift in the last three episodes of this first run, but then a DS Swift, played by Keith Barron, arrives in series two without further explanation.

It was the third series of The Odd Man which saw Charles Rose make his debut, stepping in when CI Gordon was axed.

The Odd Man had done some good business, but it was the character of Chief Inspector Rose which had really made the impact. From 1964 to 1966, a spin-off show emerged called It's Dark Outside. Keith Barron made the jump with Rose into the series, once again as DS Swift, but when it came to a second series Anthony Ainley stepped in to the supporting role as DS Hunter. What remains in the archive of this series will be with us soon on DVD.

With this release, you also get a stills gallery on the second DVD, including some colour snaps which really help to give a sense of how the show would have looked if it hadn’t been assigned to monochrome.

Although a shorter run of episodes, this season is probably even more enjoyable than the first series, and they turned the lack of Drusilla into a positive step for the show. There was no doubt that the two gentleman leads missed her, but they rolled their sleeves up to make the best they can of it, which gave their characters even more opportunity to expand and shine.

Mr Rose – The Complete Second Series is out now from Network DVD. This two disc set has a ‘12’ certificate, a running time of 300 minutes approx, and a RRP of £14.99, or get it for less at


Mr Rose – Series 2 Episode Guide

William Mervyn as Charles Rose

Donald Webster as John Halifax


Producer: Margaret Morris

Series Devised by: Philip Mackie

Theme: Roy Budd


2.01. “The Frozen Swede”

Mr Rose arrives at his new flat after his trip to America. But what has happened to the architect?

Guest starring: Barbara Shelley (Letitia Joy), Jennifer Clulow (Jessica Dalton), Arthur Pentelow (Inspector Waverley), Michael Lees (Ronald Harding), Lindsay Campbell (Mr Woolyard), John Challis (Det Con Jackson), Arthur Webb (Arthur Webb).

Writer: Robert Holmes

Director: Ian Fordyce

Original ITV Transmission: 30 May 1968


2.02. “The Fifth Estate”

What is the ‘Fifth Estate’? And who is trying to destroy it?

Guest starring: John Bailey (Lord Deerson), James Bree (Gerald Moresby), Anne de Vigier (Annis Hurley), Robert Urquart (Hesaltine), Michael Hawkins (Peter Richmond), Henry McCarthy (Carslake), Paul Hellyer (Scott), Victor Tandy (Hastings), Michael Hall; (Sir Donald Bartlett), Judith Barker (Millicent), Vint Graves (Judson)

Writer: David Whitaker

Director: Barry Davis

Original ITV Transmission: 7 June 1968


2.03. “The Golden Frame”

Is it surprising that more than one person should try to frame Mr Rose?

Guest starring: Pamela Ann Davy (Janet Hedley), Tenniel Evans (Det Ins Davidson), Margery Withers (Mrs Hedley), Jenny White (Moira Longden), Liz Ashley (Mrs Regan), Geoffrey Matthews (Robert Hedley), Reg Lye (Caretaker), Brian Jackson (David Ford), William Corderoy (Det Sgt Rogers), Charmian May (Nemone Regan), Brian Gromoff (Ambrose Cleese)

Writer: William Emms

Director: Ian Fordyce

Original ITV Transmission: 14 June 1968


2.04. “The Unlucky Dip”

A pickpocket chooses Mr Rose as his victim. Is there a method in his madness?

Guest starring: John Welsh (Vincent Pelling), John Barcroft (David Unwin), Carole Mowlam (Barbara Scott-Russell), Kevin Lindsay (Harry Croaker), Peter Thomas (Al Starkey), Julian Fox (Interviewer), Anthony Mayne (Percival Vance), Dean Hilton (Leonard Cook), Alex Munro (Photographer), Jane Lowe (1st Woman), Jean Rimmer (2nd Woman), John Scott (City Man), Rudolph Walker (Workman), Jenny Jason (Girl Student), Richard Vanstone (Boy Student)

Writer: Michael J Bird

Director: Barry Davis

Original ITV Transmission: 21 June 1968


2.05. “The Dead Commercial”

Mr Rose would be delighted to take part in a ‘commercial’, but what exactly do they want him to do? Drop dead, perhaps?

Guest starring: Lisa Daniely (Mrs Johnson), Frances Bennett (Miss Douglas), Elaine Taylor (Yvonne Frazer), Paul Williamson (George Johnson), Madeleine Mills (Celia Watson), Peter Mayock (Chris Shannon), Arthur Griffiths (Bert Wheeler), Penny Spencer (Secretary), Vivienne Davies (Lesley Hardcastle).

Writer: Peter Wildeblood

Director: Ian Fordyce

Original ITV Transmission: 28 June 1968


2.06. “The Heralds of Death”

Does the death on one, herald the death of others?

Guest starring: Graham Armitage (Nigel Chinnery), Eric Woofe (Robert Trent), Frederick Bartman (Ron Field), Patrick Holt (Mark Tabler), Hilary Hardiman (Pat Dean), Daphne Heard (Mrs Simmons), Sandra Bryant (Georgina Rae), Sheila Gish (Diane Trent), Patrick Godfrey (Tom Loman), Robert Cartland (Inspector Crawley), Christopher Coll (Ted Denver), Sandra Duncan (Anna Lamb), Paula Tilbrook (Bar Maid)

Writer: William Emms

Director: Barry David

Original ITV Transmission: 5 July 1968

Last modified on Wednesday, 06 February 2013 15:35

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