Paul Temple

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Paul Temple
First appearance Send for Paul Temple (1938)
Created by Francis Durbridge
Portrayed by Carl Bernard
Hugh Morton
Barry Morse
Howard Marion Crawford
Kim Peacock
Peter Coke
Crawford Logan
Anthony Hulme
John Bentley
Francis Matthews
Information
Gender Male
Occupation Author, detective
Spouse(s) Steve Trent
Nationality British

Paul Temple is a fictional character created by British writer Francis Durbridge (1912–1998) for the BBC radio serial Send for Paul Temple in 1938. Temple is an amateur private detective and author of crime fiction. Together with his journalist wife (Louise Temple, née Harvey, affectionately known as "Steve" after her pen name "Steve Trent"), he solves "whodunnit" crimes with subtle, humorous dialogue and rare "action". Always the gentleman, his use of the phrase "by Timothy" was the nearest he ever got to swearing. Since 1938, the Temples have featured in over 30 BBC radio dramas, 12 serials for German radio, a BBC television series, four British feature films and several novels. In the Netherlands several of the radio plays were recorded with Dutch actors and with the main character's name translated to 'Paul Vlaanderen '. In addition, a Paul Temple comic strip featured in the London Evening News from the mid-1950s to the early 1960s.

British Paul Temple radio serials[edit]

Paul Temple was "born" as a radio detective. In Britain, several Paul Temple radio series were broadcast from the 1930s to the 1960s. While several actors and actresses portrayed the Temples over the years, including the Send for Paul Temple Again series which starred Barry Morse and aired in 1945, probably the best known portrayal of the couple was by Peter Coke and Marjorie Westbury. The introductory and closing music for the majority of the long-running BBC radio series was Coronation Scot (a musical depiction of a train journey) composed by Vivian Ellis; the earliest serials, those aired prior to December 1947, used an excerpt from Scheherazade by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Most of the surviving serials starring Coke and Westbury have been repeated since 2003 by digital radio station BBC Radio 7 (now called BBC Radio 4 Extra). In 2006 the station tracked down the then 93-year-old Coke for a half-hour interview programme, Peter Coke and the Paul Temple Affair.

In August 2006 BBC Radio 4 broadcast a new 8-part production recreating one of the lost early radio serials, Paul Temple and the Sullivan Mystery, which had aired in 1947; Crawford Logan starred as Paul Temple with Gerda Stevenson as Steve (in place of the original leads, Kim Peacock and Marjorie Westbury) in a mono production employing vintage microphones and sound effects. A new production of The Madison Mystery followed between May and July 2008, and a remake of the 1947 serial Paul Temple and Steve aired in June and July 2010. A remake of A Case for Paul Temple began transmission on 24 August 2011, and was released on CD in October 2011. In early 2013, the BBC re recorded Paul Temple and the Gregory Affair, broadcast later in the year and released on CD September 2013.

Paul Temple's catchphrase "by Timothy" originated with the character of Miss Amelia Victoria Parchment, an elderly spinster, as she spoke the final words in the book; Send for Paul Temple.

Detection style[edit]

Paul Temple wasn't a detective in any recognised sense. Deduction didn't take place. Events simply occurred, people were met and spoken to, and murder attempts were survived. Then, in the final episode, Temple would arrange a drinks party, or similar, at which the villain would be revealed. Finally, Paul, Steve and Sir Graham Forbes would hold a post mortem, which would usually leave listeners no wiser as to why certain events in the serial had taken place, which of them had been red herrings and which had been unclarified clues.

Serial title Starring Original broadcast dates [1] Episodes Archive status [1]
Send for Paul Temple Hugh Morton as Paul Temple and Bernadette Hodgson as Steve Trent (AKA Louise Harvey) 8 April—27 May 1938 (BBC Midland region only) 8 x 25 minutes 1-5 & 7-8 lost, 6 exists
Paul Temple and the Front Page Men Hugh Morton as Paul Temple and Bernadette Hodgson as Steve 1 November—21 December 1938 (BBC Midland region only) 8 x 25 minutes 1-7 lost, 8 exists
News of Paul Temple Hugh Morton as Paul Temple and Bernadette Hodgson as Steve 13 November—18 December 1939 6 x 25 minutes All lost
Send for Paul Temple (abridged remake) Carl Bernard as Paul Temple and Thea Holme as Steve 13 October 1941 1 x 60 minutes Lost
Paul Temple Intervenes Carl Bernard as Paul Temple and Bernadette Hodgson as Steve 30 October—18 December 1942 8 x 20 minutes Exists in full
News of Paul Temple (abridged remake) Richard Williams as Paul Temple and Lucille Lisle as Steve 5 July 1944 1 x 60 minutes Lost
Send for Paul Temple Again Barry Morse as Paul Temple and Marjorie Westbury as Steve 13 September—1 November 1945 8 x 30 minutes All lost
A Case for Paul Temple Howard Marion Crawford as Paul Temple and Marjorie Westbury as Steve 7 February—28 March 1946 8 x 30 minutes All lost
Paul Temple and the Gregory Affair Kim Peacock as Paul Temple and Marjorie Westbury as Steve 17 October—19 December 1946 10 x 30 minutes All lost
Paul Temple and Steve Kim Peacock as Paul Temple and Marjorie Westbury as Steve 30 March—18 May 1947 8 x 30 Minutes All lost
Mr. & Mrs. Paul Temple (abridged remake of Paul Temple and Steve) Kim Peacock as Paul Temple and Marjorie Westbury as Steve 23 November 1947 1 x 45 minutes Lost
Paul Temple and the Sullivan Mystery Kim Peacock as Paul Temple and Marjorie Westbury as Steve 1 December 1947—19 January 1948 8 x 30 minutes All lost [2]
Paul Temple and the Curzon Case Kim Peacock as Paul Temple and Marjorie Westbury as Steve 7 December 1948—25 January 1949 8 x 30 minutes All lost
Paul Temple and the Madison Mystery Kim Peacock as Paul Temple and Marjorie Westbury as Steve 12 October—30 November 1949 8 x 30 minutes All lost
Paul Temple and the Vandyke Affair Kim Peacock as Paul Temple and Marjorie Westbury as Steve 30 October—18 December 1950 8 x 30 minutes Exists in full (Not retained by BBC, but archived at the British Library)
Paul Temple and the Jonathan Mystery Kim Peacock as Paul Temple and Marjorie Westbury as Steve 10 May—28 June 1951 8 x 30 minutes All lost
Paul Temple and Steve Again Kim Peacock as Paul Temple and Marjorie Westbury as Steve 8 April 1953 1 x 60 minutes Lost
Paul Temple and the Gilbert Case Peter Coke as Paul Temple and Marjorie Westbury as Steve 29 March—17 May 1954 8 x 30 minutes Exists in full (this is the version available on CD/cassette from the BBC Radio Collection)
Paul Temple and the Madison Mystery (remake) Peter Coke as Paul Temple and Marjorie Westbury as Steve 20 June—8 August 1955 8 x 30 Minutes All lost
Paul Temple and the Lawrence Affair Peter Coke as Paul Temple and Marjorie Westbury as Steve 11 April—30 May 1956 8 x 30 minutes Exists in full
Paul Temple and the Spencer Affair Peter Coke as Paul Temple and Marjorie Westbury as Steve 13 November 1957—1 January 1958 8 x 30 minutes Exists in full
Paul Temple and the Vandyke Affair (remake) Peter Coke as Paul Temple and Marjorie Westbury as Steve 1 January—19 February 1959 8 x 30 minutes Exists in full
Paul Temple and the Conrad Case Peter Coke as Paul Temple and Marjorie Westbury as Steve 2 March—20 April 1959 8 x 30 minutes Exists in full
Paul Temple and the Gilbert Case (remake) Peter Coke as Paul Temple and Marjorie Westbury as Steve 22 November 1959—10 January 1960 8 x 30 minutes Exists in full
Paul Temple and the Margo Mystery Peter Coke as Paul Temple and Marjorie Westbury as Steve 1 January—19 February 1961 8 x 30 minutes Exists in full
Paul Temple and the Jonathan Mystery (remake) Peter Coke as Paul Temple and Marjorie Westbury as Steve 14 October—2 December 1963 8 x 30 minutes Exists in full
Paul Temple and the Geneva Mystery Peter Coke as Paul Temple and Marjorie Westbury as Steve 11 April—16 May 1965 6 x 30 minutes Exists in full
Paul Temple and the Alex Affair (remake of Send for Paul Temple Again, with name of villain changed from "Rex" to "Alex") Peter Coke as Paul Temple and Marjorie Westbury as Steve 26 February—21 March 1968 8 x 30 minutes Exists in full
Paul Temple and the Sullivan Mystery (remake) Crawford Logan as Paul Temple and Gerda Stevenson as Steve 7 August—2 October 2006 8 x 30 minutes Exists in full
Paul Temple and the Madison Mystery (remake) Crawford Logan as Paul Temple and Gerda Stevenson as Steve 16 May—4 July 2008 8 x 30 minutes Exists in full
Paul Temple and Steve (remake) Crawford Logan as Paul Temple and Gerda Stevenson as Steve 11 June—30 July 2010 8 x 30 minutes Exists in full
A Case for Paul Temple (remake) Crawford Logan as Paul Temple and Gerda Stevenson as Steve 24 August—12 October 2011 8 x 30 minutes Exists in full
Paul Temple and the Gregory Affair (remake) Crawford Logan as Paul Temple and Gerda Stevenson as Steve 3 July— 11 September 2013 10 x 30 minutes Exists in full

Paul Temple on film[edit]

Between 1946 and 1952 Paul Temple appeared in four feature films distributed by Butcher's Film Service (a film distributor based in the North of England, which also distributed films in the Old Mother Riley series of Northern comedies).

German Paul Temple radio serials[edit]

In Germany, 12 Paul Temple novels were adapted as radio serials between 1949 and 1967, each episode (in common with the BBC serials) ending with a cliffhanger. They were listened to by such huge numbers of people that they earned the sobriquet Straßenfeger ("street sweepers"), because they left the streets practically deserted whenever an episode was broadcast. They were performed by actors of national renown, including Luxembourg-born René Deltgen (who played the title role in 11 of the 12 series), Gustav Knuth, and Paul Klinger amongst others. Almost all the German radio serials have since been released on CD as audiobooks. Two short-lived comic series by the Aachener Bildschriftenverlag and the Luna-Kriminalromane are rare collector's items.

British television series[edit]

Durbridge licensed the character to the BBC, which from 1969 made 64 one hour television episodes, in colour, starring Francis Matthews as Paul Temple, co-starring Ros Drinkwater as his wife Steve, with George Sewell. 52 of the episodes of the Paul Temple television series were co-produced with West German television station ZDF, making it the very first international co-production of the TV era, thereby making it practicable to film location scenes for the series in West Germany.

The co-produced episodes were dubbed into German, using German voice artists, for broadcasting in West Germany. Many of these dubbed episodes survive in the ZDF archives, in colour, but without any English language soundtracks. Only 11 colour episodes with English soundtracks were retained by the BBC.

The theme tune of the television series was written by Australian composer Ron Grainer.

Novels[edit]

Many of the British Paul Temple radio serials were novelized by Francis Durbridge between 1938 and 1989. Some of the novels in which the character appears were written in collaboration with John Thewes, Douglas Rutherford or Charles Hatten – and those with Rutherford were even published under the pen-name "Paul Temple", thus making the fictional writer a "real" one.

  • Paul Temple and the Front Page Men (1939), Anthony Head (2009)*
  • News of Paul Temple (1940), Anthony Head (2008)*
  • Send for Paul Temple Again! (1948)
  • The Tyler Mystery (1957), Anthony Head (2006)*
  • East of Algiers (1959), Anthony Head (2009)* - based on the Sullivan Mystery but with locations and character names altered
  • Paul Temple and the Harkdale Robbery (1970), Anthony Head (2007)*
  • Paul Temple and the Kelby Affair (1970), Anthony Head (2007)*
  • The Geneva Mystery (1971), Toby Stephens (2011)*
  • The Curzon Case (1972), Anthony Head (2006)*
  • Paul Temple and the Margo Mystery (1986), Toby Stephens (2011)*
  • Paul Temple and the Madison Case (1988)
  • Paul Temple and the Conrad Case (1989)

(*) Indicates also released as an audiobook on CD, read by Anthony Head or Toby Stephens

Commercial releases[edit]

All the complete surviving Paul Temple UK radio serials (with the exception of the 1959 remake of Paul Temple and the Gilbert Case) have been released on CD by the BBC Radio Collection.

The 11 surviving colour episodes of the BBC-TV version of "Paul Temple" featuring Francis Matthews and Ros Drinkwater were released on DVD on 6 July 2009 by Acorn Media UK. A further 5 Black and White episodes were released in April 2012. Many unreleased colour episodes still exist in the archives of ZDF, the series' German co-producer, with soundtrack in German.

In 2010 Renown Pictures Ltd, new owners of The Butchers Library, released on DVD the feature films Send For Paul Temple, Paul Temple Returns (a.k.a. 'Bombay Waterfront') and Calling Paul Temple.[3]

In 2011 a box set of all four Paul Temple movies was released in November. The film "Paul Temples Triumph" was released singly to Renown Club members only in March 2012.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Paul Temple: The Radio Shows, The Original Old Time Radio WWW Pages
  2. ^ The rumour that recordings of this serial have been found is entirely false. It arose when an American collector heard a recording of the BBC's 2006 re-make of this lost serial.
  3. ^ Renown Pictures Limited

External links[edit]