Post by maninasuitcase on Aug 18, 2018 16:54:41 GMT
Starring Anouska Hempel and Anton Rodgers this 6 episode series aired from 25th February until 1st April 1974.
Despite one of the episodes being set in Brighton this series was entirely studio bound with no location footage whatsoever. It was made on videotape which isn't unusual for the era. "Developed and Edited by" Roger (Public Eye) Marshall this is a very odd series indeed.
Anouska (born Anne Geissler in New Zealand in 1941) is a Derek Acorah/Mystic Meg character called Esther Jones who teams up with a Scotland Yard CID Inspector called David "Grad" Gradley (Anton Rodgers) after Esther's estranged husband is murdered in Episode 1. Esther reads the old astral charts and really knows "Grad's" Uranus from his Venus. In this bizarre almost Avengers type universe Inspector Gradley seems to go around solving crimes on his own. As Esther is partly physic and can tell often is someone is a bad un just by reading his or her horoscope the pair team up to solve kidnapping, murder, etc.
The pair seem to have a fairly close relationship although it is obviously not that close. Why a gorgeous bird like Anouska would ever fancy someone like Anton is beyond me. They almost kiss on one occasion but Grad makes a pathetic excuse and wimps out. Perhaps he was a confirmed bachelor?
Ms Hempel is very easy on the eye and does a good job in the lead role but is clearly playing second fiddle to Rodgers in the acting ability stakes here. Rodgers is his usual competent self in this light comedy thriller series. He knows this series is not to be taken seriously but gives his performance the light hearted touch required to keep the viewers watching.
Quite why Grad needs the lovely Anouska to help him solve the crime is beyond me. You can correctly guess the villain before the Thames TV logo at the beginning has disappeared. Not one of the six episodes contains a twist you didn't see coming a mile off.
To enjoy this you really have to see that this is pretty much played out in an alternate universe where realism is not really the order of the day.
I must say I enjoyed the series but it was badly let down by having zero location footage. It really did hamper the Brighton set episode where it was desperately needed instead of characters having to let us know what has taken place elsewhere. Most of the studio sets looked very cramped.
Despite being nigh on 12 when this series aired I have no recollection of it.
Half of the shows were written by Marshall and "forum favourite" Philip Broadley contributes one. The weakest episode, IMO, is Ep 2 which was a Marshall effort. Each of the 6 episodes concentrates on one sign of the zodiac. I presume a second series of 6 was thought about but quietly forgotten about due to poor viewing figures? It would have made sense to make 12 shows, one for each sign of the zodiac.
There is quite an array of guest stars: Peter (Ronnie Rycott) Childs, John Rhys-Davies, Michael Gambon, George Baker, Jenny Hanley, Norman Eshley, Charles Lloyd Pack, Peter Vaughan, Ian Ogilvy, Dinah Sheridan, Robert Powell, Peter Egan, Michele Dotrice and Peter Jones.