The Man in Room 17

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The Man In Room 17/
The Fellows (Late of Room 17)
Created by Robin Chapman
Starring Richard Vernon
Michael Aldridge
Denholm Elliot
Country of origin United Kingdom
Production
Running time 50 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel Granada TV
Original run 11 June 1965 – 11 August 1967

The Man in Room 17 is a British television series which ran for two seasons in the mid-1960s, produced by the Northern ITV franchise, Granada Television. Key to the series' success was the involvement of writer/producer Robin Chapman.

The show was set in Room 17 of the Department of Social Research, where former wartime agent-turned-criminologist Edwin Oldenshaw (Richard Vernon) solved difficult police cases through theory and discussions with his assistants (originally Ian Dimmock (Michael Aldridge), later succeeded by Imlac Defraits (Denholm Elliot), owing to Aldridge becoming ill). (Why do Dimmock and Defraits have the same initials? Oldenshaw was sometimes identified as Edwin G. Oldenshaw. In the last episode, Oldenshaw and Defraits are in a park, feeding waterfowl, and the camera zooms in on their briefcases with their initials: E.G.O. and I.D.)

The novelty of the series was that Oldenshaw and his colleagues never needed to leave their office in order to resolve cases, preferring to spend their time playing the board game of Go. They simply provided their prognosis and left the police to do the cleaning up. Different directors were often appointed to film the Room 17 and outside-world scenes independently, to maintain a sense of distance between the two worlds.

The rarefied nature of Oldenshaw's work was amplified in 1967 when he returned, re-united with Dimmock, in a new series, The Fellows (Late of Room 17). This series saw the pair relocated to All Saints College, Cambridge University, where they were appointed to the Peel Research Fellowship. Their research was (as it is stated in the series) "to investigate the general proposition that, in a period of rapid social change, the nature of crime (and therefore criminals) would change." Their research lead them into encounters (though never physical) with gangland boss Alec Spindoe (Ray McAnally), who eventually ended up behind bars thanks (unknown to Spindoe) to psychological pressure from Oldenshaw. The Spindoe character was to return in his own series, Spindoe in 1968, which charted his attempts to regain his criminal empire after release from prison.

An episode of The Man in Room 17 - the series 2 opener 'How to Rob Bank - And Get Away with it' was released on DVD in 2007 as a bonus feature for the complete series box set of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased). The episode featured a guest role for R&H(D) star Mike Pratt. A solitary episode of The Fellows was released on DVD in 2007 as part of a set from Network DVD dedicated to the work of Robin Chapman and featuring Spindoe and his later gangster series Big Breadwinner Hog.

The First Series of The Man in Room 17 was released on DVD in the United Kingdom on 17 June 2013. The Second Series is due to be released on 3 March 2014. The Fellows (late of Room 17) was released on 1 July 2013

The Man in Room 17 - recurring cast[edit]

The Man in Room 17 - Episodes[edit]

Series 1

  • 11 Jun 65 — Tell the Truth
  • 18 Jun 65 — Hello, Lazarus
  • 25 Jun 65 — The Years Of Glory
  • 2 Jul 65 — Confidential Report
  • 9 Jul 65 — The Millions Of Mazafariyah
  • 16 Jul 65 — The Seat Of Power
  • 23 Jul 65 — Safe Conduct
  • 30 Jul 65 — A Minor Operation
  • 6 Aug 65 — Find The Lady
  • 13 Aug 65 — The Bequest
  • 20 Aug 65 — Up Against A Brick Wall
  • 27 Aug 65 — Out For A Duck
  • 3 Sep 65 — Black Anniversary

Series 2

  • 8 Apr 66 — How to Rob a Bank - and Get Away with It
  • 15 Apr 66 — Vendetta
  • 22 Apr 66 — The Black Witch
  • 29 Apr 66 — First Steal Six Eggs
  • 6 May 66 — The Catacombs
  • 13 May 66 — Where There's Will
  • 20 May 66 — The Fissile Missile Makers
  • 27 May 66 — The Goddess Of Love
  • 3 Jun 66 — Under Influence
  • 10 Jun 66 — Lady Luck's No Gentleman
  • 17 Jun 66 — The Standard
  • 24 Jun 66 — Saints Are Safer Dead
  • 1 Jul 66 — Never Fall Down

The Fellows (Late of Room 17) - recurring cast[edit]

The Fellows (Late of Room 17) - Episodes[edit]

  • 15 May 67 — Episode 1
  • 22 May 67 — Episode 2
  • 30 May 67 — Episode 3
  • 5 Jun 67 — Episode 4
  • 12 Jun 67 — Episode 5
  • 19 Jun 67 — Episode 6
  • 26 Jun 67 — Episode 7
  • 7 Jul 67 — Episode 8
  • 14 Jul 67 — Episode 9
  • 21 Jul 67 — Episode 10
  • 28 Jul 67 — Episode 11
  • 4 Aug 67 — Episode 12
  • 11 Aug 67 — Episode 13

External links[edit]