Paul Temple
Created by Francis Durbridge (1912-1998)

One of the most popular private detectives of all time, once upon a time, PAUL TEMPLE was a popular British private detective who made his first appearance in a BBC radio serial in 1938 and went on to appear in novels, film, television and even a daily comic strip. And on the radio itself for a whopping thirty-year run, originally broadcast on the BBC Light Programme and around the world with the result that Paul Temple, even now, has fan fans all over the world.

Temple is a crime writer turned private eye, who is frenquently "sent for" by Scotland Yard to help out. Aiding him in his investigations are his faithful wife, Steve, and Sir Graham Forbes of Scotland Yard. The stories themselves are often quite suspenseful, and the radio serials were full of cliffhanger endings, but nobody's going to mistake Temple for a member of the hard-boiled school. They're invariably set in the genteel world of the upper classes, even if Temple himself is closer to say, Sherlock Homes as opposed to Miss Marple. According to 20th Century Crime and Mystery Writers, Francis Durbridge, Temple's creator, is "a master of the cliffhanger, albeit verbal rather than unpleasantly physical. Durbridge has kept tight control over his creation over the years, being involved in almost all subsequent projects. The books were merely quickie novelizations of the radio scripts at first, but as the character's popularity increased, wholly original adventures were soon being printed. A few of the books were even credited to "Paul Temple," actually a pseudonym of Durbridge and fellow writer Douglas Rutherford.

There were four films in the forties, and in the fifties, a daily comic strip ran in the U.K. And in the late sixties, a television show made it on to the air, in colour even (all the films had been in black and white). There were other changes as well -- for the first time, Francis Durbridge relinquished control and didn't write the stories. Also, instead of the much-loved serials of the radio show, the series featured standalone episodes for the most part. Even more disconcerting to older fans were that the series was set squarely in to the swinging 60s, often abroad, and many of the old characters, such as Sir Graham Forbes, were tossed, although new characters were added to the roster. Still, the show proved popular enough to run for four series.

Not a bad run at all, if you ask me. Even now, I get quite a bit of mail about this character, and it's not all from Brits of a certain age.

UNDER OATH

  • "In a burst of nostalgia I came across your page about Paul Temple. You expected the interest will be limited to "Brits of certain age". Well, I'm definitely of certain age, but I must tell you that the Paul Temple radio series was a big hit in Israel in the early sixties. Streets were empty on Monday 21:00 when it was broadcasted (in Hebrew, of course). I remember myself in my own Bat-Mitsva (my 12th birthday) sneaking out of the banquet hall with my transistor, not to miss the weekly program.
    (Blessing from Rachel, in Israel)
    .
  • "One thing that fascinated me as an 11-year-old in 1938,  prior to being evacuated out of London to where no radio was available , was the music. Both the intro and ending were awesome, hair-raising stuff... I never forgot it."
    (George Sautereau)

RADIO PLAYS

  • PAUL TEMPLE
    (1938-1968, BBC)
    28 shows, most 8-part serials (except where noted)
    Written by Francis Durbridge
    Producer: Martyn C. Webster
    Theme music: "Coronation Scot" composed by Vivian Ellis
    Starring Hugh Morton as PAUL TEMPLE
    (later replaced by Carl Bernard, Barry Morse, Howard Marion Crawford, Kim Peacock and Peter Cooke)
    Bernadette Hodgson as Steve Trent
    (later replaced by Marjorie Westbury, Thea Holme and Lucille Lisle)
    and Lester Mudditt (1938 - 1958) as Sir Graham Forbes
    (later replaced by Richard Williams and James Thomason)
  • SEND FOR PAUL TEMPLE
    (April 8, 1938)
    8-part serial
    Starring Hugh Morton as PAUL TEMPLE
    and Bernadette Hodgson as Steve
    .
  • PAUL TEMPLE AND THE FRONT PAGE MEN
    (November 2, 1938)
    8-part serial
    Starring Hugh Morton as PAUL TEMPLE
    and Bernadette Hodgson as Steve
    .
  • NEWS OF PAUL TEMPLE
    (November 13, 1939)
    6-parts serial
    Starring Hugh Morton as PAUL TEMPLE
    and Bernadette Hodgson as Steve
    .
  • SEND FOR PAUL TEMPLE
    (October 13, 1941)
    60 minute abridged story
    Starring Carl Bernard as PAUL TEMPLE
    and Thea Holme as Steve
    .
  • PAUL TEMPLE INTERVENES
    (October 30, 1942)
    8-part serial
    Starring Carl Bernard as PAUL TEMPLE
    and Bernadette Hodgson as Steve
    .
  • NEWS OF PAUL TEMPLE
    (July 5, 1944)
    60 minute episode
    Starring Richard Williams as PAUL TEMPLE
    and Lucille Lisle as Steve
    .
  • SEND FOR PAUL TEMPLE AGAIN
    (September 13, 1945)
    8-part serial
    Starring Barry Morse as PAUL TEMPLE
    .
  • A CASE FOR PAUL TEMPLE
    (February 7, 1946)
    8-part serial
    Starring Howard Marion Crawford as PAUL TEMPLE
    .
  • PAUL TEMPLE AND THE GREGORY AFFAIR
    (October 17, 1946)
    10-part serial
    Starring Kim Peacock as PAUL TEMPLE
    .
      
  • PAUL TEMPLE AND STEVE
    (March 30, 1947)
    8-part serial
    Starring Kim Peacock as PAUL TEMPLE
    .
       
  • MR. AND MRS. PAUL TEMPLE
    (November 23, 1947)
    45 minute episode
    Starring Kim Peacock as PAUL TEMPLE 
    .
  • PAUL TEMPLE AND THE SULLIVAN MYSTERY
    (December 1, 1947)
    8-part serial
    Starring Kim Peacock as PAUL TEMPLE 
    .
  • PAUL TEMPLE AND THE CURZON CASE
    (December 7, 1948)
    8-part serial
    Starring Kim Peacock as PAUL TEMPLE 
    .
  • PAUL TEMPLE AND THE MADISON MYSTERY
    (October 12, 1949)
    8-part serial
    Starring Kim Peacock as PAUL TEMPLE 
    .
  • PAUL TEMPLE AND THE VAN DYKE AFFAIR
    (October 31, 1950)
    8-part serial
    Starring Kim Peacock as PAUL TEMPLE 
    .
  • PAUL TEMPLE AND THE JONATHAN MYSTERY
    (May 10, 1951)
    8-part serial
    Starring Kim Peacock as PAUL TEMPLE 
    .
  • PAUL TEMPLE AND STEVE AGAIN
    (
    April 8, 1953)
    60 minute episode
    Starring Kim Peacock as PAUL TEMPLE 
    .
  • PAUL TEMPLE AND THE GILBERT CASE
    (March 29, 1954)
    8-part serial
    Starring Peter Cooke as PAUL TEMPLE 
    .
  • PAUL TEMPLE AND THE MADISON MYSTERY
    (June 20, 1955)
    8-part serial, remake of previous serial
    Starring Peter Cooke as PAUL TEMPLE 
    ..
  • PAUL TEMPLE AND THE LAWRENCE AFFAIR
    (April 11, 1956)
    8-part serial
    Starring Peter Cooke as PAUL TEMPLE 
    ..
  • PAUL TEMPLE AND THE SPENCER AFFAIR
    (November 13, 1957)
    8-part serial
    Starring Peter Cooke as PAUL TEMPLE 
    ..
  • PAUL TEMPLE AND THE VAN DYKE AFFAIR
    (January 1, 1959)
    8-part serial, remake of previous serial
    Starring Peter Cooke as PAUL TEMPLE 
    ..
  • PAUL TEMPLE AND THE CONRAD CASE
    (March 2, 1959)
    8-part serial
    Starring Peter Cooke as PAUL TEMPLE 
    ..
  • PAUL TEMPLE AND THE GILBERT CASE
    (November 22, 1959)
    8-part serial, remake of previous serial
    Starring Peter Cooke as PAUL TEMPLE
    ..
  • PAUL TEMPLE AND THE MARGO MYSTERY
    (January 1, 1961)
    8-part serial
    Starring Peter Cooke as PAUL TEMPLEe
    ..
  • PAUL TEMPLE AND THE JONATHAN MYSTERY
    (October 14, 1963)
    8-part serial, remake of previous serial
    Starring Peter Cooke as PAUL TEMPLE
    ..
  • PAUL TEMPLE AND THE GENEVA MYSTERY
    (April 11, 1965)
    6-part serial
    Starring Peter Cooke as PAUL TEMPLE
    ..
  • PAUL TEMPLE AND THE ALEX AFFAIR
    (February 26, 1968)
    8-part serial, remake of previous serial
    Starring Peter Cooke as PAUL TEMPLE.
  • THE NIGHT OF THE TWENTY SEVENTH
    (1949, BBC)
    Christmas special
    First broadcast: December 27, 1949 on the Light Programme
    Produced by Martyn C. Webster
    Written by Edward J. Mason
    Starring Kim Peacock as PAUL TEMPLE
    Marjorie Westbury as STEVE TEMPLE
    Robert Beatty as PHILIP ODELL
    Duncan Carse as DICK BARTON
    Brian Reece as PC 49
    Valentine Dyall as THE MAN IN BLACK
    Douglas Burbidge as DR. DALE
    and Ellis Powell as MRS. DALE
    A real super special, featuring most of the BBC's most popular detectives in one big show, first broadcast as a Christmas special in 1949.

NOVELS

  • Send for Paul Temple (1938, novelization)
  • Paul Temple and the Front Page Men (1939, novelization, co-written with Charles Hatton)
  • News of Paul Temple (1940)
  • Paul Temple Intervenes (1944)
  • Send for Paul Temple Again! (1948)
  • The Tyler Mystery (1957; by Paul Temple)
  • East of Algiers (1959; by Paul Temple)
  • Paul Temple and the Harkdale Robbery (1970)
  • Paul Temple and the Kelby Affair (1970)
  • The Geneva Mystery (1971)
  • The Curzon Case (1972)
  • Paul Temple and the Margo Mystery (1986)
  • Paul Temple and the Madison Case (1988)
  • Paul Temple and the Conrad Case (1989)

SHORT STORIES

  • "Light-Fingers" (1950, The Daily Mail Annual for Boys and Girls;1993, The Armchair Detective)
    Adapted from special Christmas broadcast. "The story is actually a bit of a brainteaser, as children's stories tended to be in those far-off days, and challenges readers to work out how Paul solved the case and check their answers with the solution provided by Durbridge at the end of the book." (Adam Jezard)

FILMS

  • SEND FOR PAUL TEMPLE
    (1946, Butchers Film Service, U.K.)
    Black and white
    83 minutes
    Screenplay by Francis Durbridge and John Argyle
    Directed by John Argyle
    Produced by
    John Argyle
    Starring Anthony Hulme as PAUL TEMPLE
    and Joy Shelton as Steve
    Also starring
    Tamara Desni, Jack Raine, Beatrice Varley, Hylton Allen, Maire O'Neill, Philip Ray, Olive Sloane

  • CALLING PAUL TEMPLE
    (1948)
    Black and white
    92 minutes
    Screenplay by Francis Durbridge, A.R. Rawlinson, Kathleen Butler
    Directed by Maclean Rogers
    Produced by Ernest G. Roy
    Starring John Bentley as PAUL TEMPLE
    and Dinah Sheridan as Steve
    Also starring
    Margaretta Scott, Abraham Sofaer, Celia Lipton, Jack Raine, Alan Wheatley, Hugh Pryse , Wally Patch

  • PAUL TEMPLE'S TRIUMPH
    (1950, Butchers/Nettlefold Films)
    Black and white
    80 minutes
    Screenplay by A.R. Rawlinson
    Directed by Maclean Rogers
    Produced by Ernest G. Roy
    Starring John Bentley as PAUL TEMPLE
    and Dinah Sheridan as Steve
    Also starring
    Barbara Couper, Hugh Dempster, Dino Galvani, Andrew Leigh, Jack Livesey, Jenny Mathot, Ivan Samson .... Major Murray, Bruce Seton, Beatrice Varley
    .
  • PAUL TEMPLE RETURNS
    (1952, Nettlefold)
    Black and white
    71 minutes
    Screenplay by Francis Durbridge
    Directed by Maclean Rogers
    Produced by Ernest G. Roy
    Starring John Bentley as PAUL TEMPLE
    and Patricia Dainton as Steve
    Also starring
    Peter Gawthorne, Valentine Dyall, Ronald Leigh-Hunt, Ben Williams, Christopher Lee, Grey Blake, Arthur Hill, Robert Urquhart, Dan Jackson

COMIC STRIP

  • PAUL TEMPLE
    (November 19, 1951-May 1, 1971)
    Daily
    Artists: Alfred Sindall, Bill Bailey, John McNamara

TELEVISION

  • PAUL TEMPLE
    (1968-69, BBC)
    12 episodes
    Written by Francis Durbridge
    Starring John Bentley as PAUL TEMPLE
    and Dinah Sheridan as STEVE
    Either these guys were getting a little long in the tooth, or this was a repackaging of some old films.

  • PAUL TEMPLE
    (1969-71, BBC1)
    A BBC Television Production
    52 60-minute episodes, colour
    Writers: Victor Canning, Peter Miller, John Roddick, David Ellis, John Tully, Bill Strutton, Derrick Sherwin, John Tully, David Roberts, Michael Chapman, Patrick Alexander, Eddie Boyd
    Directors: Douglas Camfield, Cyril Abrahams, Paul Ciappessoni, Eric Hills, David Chantler Ken Hannam, Christopher Barry, Michael Ferguson, John Matthews, Frank Cox, George Spenton-Foster, Michael Ferguson
    Producers: Alan Bromley, Peter Bryant, Derrick Sherwin, Tina Wakerell, Douglas Camfield, Paul Ciappessoni, Rex Tucker
    Starring Francis Matthews as PAUL TEMPLE
    and Ros Drinkwater as Steve
    Guest appearances:
    Kathleen Byron
  • 1st series
  • "Who Dies Next" (November 23, 1969)
  • "Message from A Dead Man" (November 30, 1969)
  • "There Must Be A Mr X" (December 7, 1969)
  • "Missing Penny" (December 14, 1969)
  • "The Man Who Wasn't Really There" (December 21, 1969)
  • "Which One of Us Is Me?" (December 28, 1969)
  • "Inside Information" (January 4, 1970)
  • "The Masked Lady" (January 11, 1970)
  • "Swan Song For Colonel Harp" (January 18, 1970)
  • "Mr. Wallace Predicts" (January 25, 1970)
  • "Letters From Robert" (February 1, 1970)
  • "The Man From the Sea" (February 8, 1970)
  • "The Victim" (February 15,1970)
    .
  • 2nd series
  • "Right Villain" (April 5, 1970)
  • "Kill Or Cure" (April 12, 1970)
  • "Games People Play" (April 19, 1970)
  • "The Artnappers" (April 26, 1970)
  • "The Black Room" (May 3, 1970)
  • "Antique Death, Part One" (May 10, 1970)
  • "Antique Death, Part Two" (May 17, 1970)
  • "Double Vision" (May 24, 1970)
  • "Steal A Little Happiness" (June 28, 1970)
  • "The Suitcase" (July 5, 1970)
  • "Murder In Munich, Part One" (July 12, 1970)
  • "Murder In Munich, Part Two" (July 19, 1970)
  • "Re-Take" (July 26, 1970)
    .
  • 3rd series
  • "House Of the Dead  (January 10, 1971)
  • "Sea Burial" (January 17 , 1971)
  • "Night Train" (January 24 , 1971)
  • "Corrida" (February 7 , 1971)
  • "Death For Drivers' Reasons" (February 14 , 1971)
  • "A Greek Tragedy" (February 21 , 1971)
  • "The Specialists" (February 28 , 1971)
  • "Has Anybody Seen Kelly?" (March 7 , 1971)
  • "Requiem For A Don" (March 14 , 1971)
  • "Motel " (March 21 , 1971)
  • "Cue Murder!" (March 28 , 1971)
  • "Death Of Fasching" (April 4 , 1971)
  • "Catch Your Death" (April 11, 1971)
    .
  • 4th series
  • "Paper Chase" (June 9, 1971)
  • "Death Sentence" (June 16, 1971)
  • "Ricochet" (June 23, 1971)
  • "With Friends Like You, Who Needs Enemies?" (June 30, 1971)
  • "Party Piece" (July 7, 1971)
  • "The Quick and the Dead" (July 14, 1971)
  • "The Man Who Forged Real Money" (July 21, 1971)
  • "A Family Affair" (July 28, 1971)
  • "The Guilty Must Die" (August 4, 1971)
  • "Game, Set and Match" (August 11, 1971)
  • "Long Ride to Red Gap" (August 18, 1971)
  • "Winner Takes All" (August 25, 1971)
  • "Critics, Yes! But This Is Ridiculous!" (September 1, 1971)

RELATED LINKS

  • The Paul Temple File
    Steve Daly's amazing site on BBC Dicks includes this masterful entry on Paul and Steve.

Pictured are Dinah Sheridan as Steve Temple and John Bentley as Paul Temple in Calling Paul Temple (1948).

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. A thousand thanks to Adam Jezard, John Herrington and Ian Lyman or helping to plug the holes.


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