Paul Temple (TV series)

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Paul Temple
Genre Crime drama
Created by Francis Durbridge (novels)
Starring Francis Matthews
Ros Drinkwater
June Ellis
No. of episodes 52 episodes
Producer(s) Derrick Sherwin
Running time 50 minutes
Original channel BBC
Original run 1969 – 1971

Paul Temple is a British-German television series which originally aired on the BBC between 1969 and 1971.[1] It features Francis Matthews (1927-2014) as Paul Temple, the fictional detective created by Francis Durbridge, who solves crimes with the assistance of his wife Steve (Ros Drinkwater). It aired in 52 episodes each with a running time of around fifty minutes. Producer Derrick Sherwin was reassigned on short notice from the BBC's Doctor Who television series.

This was a co-production by the BBC and Taurus films of Munich, West Germany, and was shown internationally. According to star Matthews, both Paul and Steve Temple became fashion icons of sorts, creating a style that was to be imitated in ITV's The Persuaders!,[2] while, in America, Ros Drinkwater's role was reportedly emulated by Susan Saint James in McMillan & Wife and Stefanie Powers in Hart to Hart.[3] According to Matthews, Drinkwater chose her own "very expensive" designer clothes for the part.[4]

Paul Temple used overseas locations in France, Malta, Germany and elsewhere. The series was intended to last for five years, but despite its popularity especially in Germany, the BBC withdrew prematurely. Huw Wheldon, the BBC's managing director for television, later explained to Matthews that it was really "Lew Grade territory" and cited the BBC's preference for such historical dramas as The Six Wives of Henry VIII and Elizabeth R.[5] There was some disagreement between the BBC and Taurus over the casting of Steve Temple (who had been played in the radio series of Paul Temple from 1945-68 by Marjorie Westbury): the BBC wished to drop Drinkwater, but Taurus favoured her retention.

The BBC has never repeated Paul Temple, but 11 surviving colour episodes were issued on a DVD by Acorn Media in 2009 and some were shown on the satellite channel UK Gold, in which the BBC had a stake, in the 1990s.

Main cast[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Francis Matthews recalling conversation with Roger Moore, The Paul Temple Collection (Acorn Media DVD, 2009)
  3. ^ Matthews, interview for The Paul Temple Collection (Acorn Media DVD, 2009)
  4. ^ Interview for The Paul Temple Collection (Acorn Media DVD, 2009)
  5. ^ Francis Matthews, interview for The Paul Temple Collection (Acorn Media DVD, 2009), referring to a chance encounter with Wheldon while he was dining with comedian Eric Morecambe; Daily Telegraph, obituary of Francis Matthews, 15 June 2014

External links[edit]