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
Anthony Hulme
John Bentley
Francis Matthews
Crawford Logan
Information
Gender Male
Occupation Author, detective
Spouse(s) Louise ("Steve") Temple
Nationality English

Paul Temple is a fictional character, created by English writer Francis Durbridge (1912–1998). Temple is a professional author of crime fiction and an amateur private detective. Together with his journalist wife Louise, affectionately known as Steve after her pen name "Steve Trent", he solves whodunnit crimes through subtle, humorously articulated deduction. Always the gentleman, the strongest oath he ever utters is "by Timothy".

Created for the BBC radio serial Send for Paul Temple in 1938, the Temples have featured in over 30 BBC radio dramas, 12 serials for German radio, four British feature films, a BBC television series, and several novels. A Paul Temple comic strip ran in the London Evening News from the mid-1950s to the early 1960s.[1]

Overview[edit]

Paul Temple was a professional novelist. While he possessed no formal training as a detective, his background in constructing crime plots for his novels enabled him to apply deductive reasoning to solve cases whose solution had eluded Scotland Yard.

Over the course of each case, Temple eschewed formal interviews or other police techniques, in favour of casual conversations with suspects and witnesses. Yet even this informal style of investigation invariably precipitated attempts by the suspects to hamper him, through traps, ambushes, even assassination attempts. Surviving these, Temple would arrange a cocktail party or similar social event at which he unmasked the perpetrator.

At the end of each tale, Paul, Steve and Sir Graham Forbes held a post mortem. Here, Paul explained why certain events in the serial took place, which of these had been red herrings, and which had been genuine clues. Some elements of the plot had already been explained during the serial, while others were occasionally never fully explained, due to limitations of time.

Works[edit]

Original radio serials[edit]

The Paul Temple characters and formula were developed in a succession of BBC radio serials broadcast between 1938 and 1968, with several voice actors portraying the Temples. The longest running team, and the most popular with audiences, was Peter Coke (pronounced Cooke) and Marjory Westbury, who starred together in every serial made between 1954 and 1968 — and Marjory Westbury also co-starred as Steve Temple in every serial aired between 1945 and 1954.[2]

The introductory and closing music for the majority of the long-running BBC radio series was Coronation Scot, composed by Vivian Ellis, although the earliest serials (those aired prior to December 1947) used an excerpt from Scheherazade by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.[3]

The very earliest serials aired only on regional services of the BBC, in the Midlands. As the serials gained in popularity, they were aired nationally instead on the Home Service. But in 1945 they found a permanent home on the newly founded BBC Light Programme, where they remained (apart from occasional repeats on Home Service) until the final serial in 1968. Repeats of selected serials continued to be heard on Radio 4 (the new name for the Home Service) during the 1980s and as late as 1992 (when The Spencer Affair was repeated to celebrate Francis Durbridge's 80th birthday).[4]

Many of the early serials, in which the eponymous hero was played by a wide variety of different actors, have not survived the passage of time (although some still exist). However, almost all of those starring Peter Coke still exist; and these have been periodically repeated, from 2003 onwards, 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.

Because no recordings survive for many of the early serials, in 2006 BBC Radio 4 began recreating them, in as authentic a manner as possible: as mono productions, employing vintage microphones and sound effects, and using the original scripts. In all cases Crawford Logan starred as Paul Temple with Gerda Stevenson as Steve, in place of the original leads. The first of these broadcasts, in August 2006, was a new 8-part production of Paul Temple and the Sullivan Mystery, originally aired in 1947. A new production of The Madison Mystery, from 1949, aired between May and July 2008, followed by the 1947 serial Paul Temple and Steve in June and July 2010. A Case for Paul Temple, from 1946, was transmitted in August and September 2011. The final such production to date was Paul Temple and the Gregory Affair, aired in 2013 (the longest of all the serials, running to ten episodes). Many of these new productions featured Welsh character actor Gareth Thomas as the head of Scotland Yard. Each of the new recordings was also released on CD.[5]

Paul Temple's catchphrase, "by Timothy", first occurred in episode two of the first ever serial, Send for Paul Temple. As spoken by Kim Peacock in the 1940s serials, it made Temple sound like Wilfrid Hyde-White (it was a phrase Hyde-White frequently used, particularly in the BBC radio series The Men from the Ministry). Interviewed in 2006, Peter Coke said he hated the phrase, because even in the 1950s he thought it sounded old-fashioned.

In 1998, on the death of author Francis Durbridge, the BBC made a radio documentary about Paul Temple written by noted authority Professor Jeffrey Richards, entitled Send For Paul Temple (aired on 20 May 1998), which included extracts from surviving recordings held in the BBC sound archives going right back to the first ever serial in 1938.[6][7]


Serial title As Paul Temple As Louise Temple Original broadcast dates [8][9] Episodes Archive status [9]
Send for Paul Temple Hugh Morton Bernadette Hodgson 8 April – 27 May 1938 (BBC Midland region only) 8 × 25 minutes 1–5 & 7–8 lost, 6 exists. A 1940 remake for Canadian radio exists in full, starring Bernard Braden.
Paul Temple and the Front Page Men Hugh Morton Bernadette Hodgson 1 November – 21 December 1938 (BBC Midland region only) 8 × 25 minutes 1–7 lost, 8 exists
News of Paul Temple Hugh Morton Bernadette Hodgson 13 November – 18 December 1939 6 × 25 minutes all lost
Send for Paul Temple (abridged remake) Carl Bernard Thea Holme 13 October 1941 1 × 60 minutes lost
Paul Temple Intervenes Carl Bernard Bernadette Hodgson 30 October – 18 December 1942 8 × 20 minutes exists in full
News of Paul Temple (abridged remake) Richard Williams Lucille Lisle 5 July 1944 1 × 60 minutes lost
Send for Paul Temple Again Barry Morse Marjorie Westbury 13 September – 1 November 1945 8 × 30 minutes all lost[10]
A Case for Paul Temple Howard Marion Crawford Marjorie Westbury 7 February – 28 March 1946 8 × 30 minutes all lost[11]
Paul Temple and the Gregory Affair Kim Peacock Marjorie Westbury 17 October – 19 December 1946 10 × 30 minutes all lost[12]
Paul Temple and Steve Kim Peacock Marjorie Westbury 30 March – 18 May 1947 8 × 30 Minutes all lost[13]
Mr & Mrs Paul Temple (abridged remake of Paul Temple and Steve) Kim Peacock Marjorie Westbury 23 November 1947 1 × 45 minutes lost
Paul Temple and the Sullivan Mystery Kim Peacock Marjorie Westbury 1 December 1947 – 19 January 1948 8 × 30 minutes all lost[14][15]
Paul Temple and the Curzon Case Kim Peacock Marjorie Westbury 7 December 1948 – 25 January 1949 8 × 30 minutes all lost
Paul Temple and the Madison Mystery Kim Peacock Marjorie Westbury 12 October – 30 November 1949 8 × 30 minutes all lost[16]
Paul Temple and the Vandyke Affair Kim Peacock Marjorie Westbury 30 October – 18 December 1950 8 × 30 minutes exists in full (archived at the British Library)[17][18]
Paul Temple and the Jonathan Mystery Kim Peacock Marjorie Westbury 10 May – 28 June 1951 8 × 30 minutes all lost[19]
Paul Temple and Steve Again Kim Peacock Marjorie Westbury 8 April 1953 1 × 60 minutes lost
Paul Temple and the Gilbert Case Peter Coke Marjorie Westbury 29 March – 17 May 1954 8 × 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 Marjorie Westbury 20 June – 8 August 1955 8 × 30 Minutes all lost[20]
Paul Temple and the Lawrence Affair Peter Coke Marjorie Westbury 11 April – 30 May 1956 8 × 30 minutes exists in full
Paul Temple and the Spencer Affair Peter Coke Marjorie Westbury 13 November 1957 – 1 January 1958 8 × 30 minutes exists in full
Paul Temple and the Vandyke Affair (remake) Peter Coke Marjorie Westbury 1 January – 19 February 1959 8 × 30 minutes exists in full
Paul Temple and the Conrad Case Peter Coke Marjorie Westbury 2 March – 20 April 1959 8 × 30 minutes exists in full
Paul Temple and the Gilbert Case (remake) Peter Coke Marjorie Westbury 22 November 1959 – 10 January 1960 8 × 30 minutes exists in full
Paul Temple and the Margo Mystery Peter Coke Marjorie Westbury 1 January – 19 February 1961 8 × 30 minutes exists in full
Paul Temple and the Jonathan Mystery (remake) Peter Coke Marjorie Westbury 14 October – 2 December 1963 8 × 30 minutes exists in full
Paul Temple and the Geneva Mystery Peter Coke Marjorie Westbury 11 April – 16 May 1965 6 × 30 minutes exists in full
Paul Temple and the Alex Affair [21] Peter Coke Marjorie Westbury 26 February – 21 March 1968 8 × 30 minutes exists in full
Paul Temple and the Sullivan Mystery (remake) Crawford Logan Gerda Stevenson 7 August – 2 October 2006 8 × 30 minutes exists in full
Paul Temple and the Madison Mystery (remake) Crawford Logan Gerda Stevenson 16 May – 4 July 2008 8 × 30 minutes exists in full
Paul Temple and Steve (remake) Crawford Logan Gerda Stevenson 11 June – 30 July 2010 8 × 30 minutes exists in full
A Case for Paul Temple (remake) Crawford Logan Gerda Stevenson 24 August – 12 October 2011 8 × 30 minutes exists in full
Paul Temple and the Gregory Affair (remake) Crawford Logan Gerda Stevenson 3 July – 11 September 2013 10 × 30 minutes exists in full

Film adaptations[edit]

Between 1946 and 1952 Paul Temple appeared in four feature films, each an abridged version of one of the early (hence, now lost) BBC radio serials. These films were distributed by Butcher's Film Service, a distributor based in the North of England (best known as a distributor of Northern comedies, including the fifteen Old Mother Riley films).

BBC television series[edit]

Francis Durbridge licensed the television rights in his characters to the BBC, who between 1969 and 1971 produced fifty two colour 50-minute episodes of a drama series entitled Paul Temple. It starred Francis Matthews as Paul Temple, and co-starred Ros Drinkwater as his wife Steve, with George Sewell as Sammy Carson. None of the television scripts were written by Durbridge.

The 52 episodes, made over 4 seasons, were co-produced with ZDF, a West German television station based in Munich, making it the very first international co-production of the TV era. This made it practicable, in terms of the show's budget, to film location scenes for the series overseas (i.e. in Munich and other cities in West Germany). The episodes were subsequently dubbed into German, using German voice artists, for broadcast by ZDF to German audiences.

Only 16 of the 52 episodes currently exist in the BBC's television archive with their original English soundtrack, and only 11 of these are in colour (for the other 5, only black and white telerecordings survive); the other 36 episodes are lost. Many of the missing episodes survive, in colour, in ZDF TV's archives in Germany, but with dubbed German soundtracks.

The theme tune of the television series was composed by Ron Grainer, who composed very many tv themes for the BBC during the 1960s.

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.

  • Send for Paul Temple (1938), Anthony Head (2007)*
  • Paul Temple and the Front Page Men (1939), Anthony Head (2009)*
  • News of Paul Temple (1940), Anthony Head (2008)*
  • Paul Temple Intervenes (1944), Toby Stephens (2011)*
  • 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 Margot 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 surviving English-language radio episodes, including the 1940 Canadian remake of Send for Paul Temple, have been released on CD by the BBC Audiobooks.

The 11 surviving colour episodes still held by the BBC archives (featuring Francis Matthews and Ros Drinkwater) of the BBC-TV version of "Paul Temple" were released on DVD on 6 July 2009 by Acorn Media UK. A further five black and white recordings (of originally colour episodes) were released in April 2012. Most of the otherwise lost colour episodes still exist in the archives of ZDF, the series' German co-producer, all with soundtracks dubbed into German (and a handful in English too). These German recordings have since begun to be released on DVD in Germany by Fernsehjuwelen DVD.

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.[22]

During 2011–12 all four Paul Temple movies were released by Renown. A DVD box set of three was released in November 2011; the fourth film, Paul Temple's Triumph, was released singly, initially to Renown Club members only, in March 2012, but has since become generally available.

Between February 2016 and February 2017 all the existing Paul Temple radio serials up to 1968 were released on CD across 3 new box sets. These sets include the previously unreleased 1960 remake of Paul Temple and The Gilbert Case and the original 1950 Kim Peacock version of Paul Temple and The VanDyke Affair.

International adaptations[edit]

Netherlands[edit]

In the Netherlands several of the radio plays were recorded with Dutch actors and with the main character's name translated to 'Paul Vlaanderen '.

Germany[edit]

In Germany, 12 Paul Temple radio serials were adapted 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, Friedrich W. Bauschulte, Pinkas Braun, Heinz Schimmelpfennig, Siegfried Wischnewski, Wolfgang Wahl, Günther Ungeheuer and Paul Klinger amongst others.

All 11 surviving 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.

In 2014, an abridged remake of the lost 1949 version of "Paul Temple and the Gregory Affair" was aired and released, followed by a live radio show in 2015 with the cast and the WDR Radio Orchestra, hosted by German Comedian Bastian Pastewka.

In 2015, all four Paul Temple feature films were released on DVD.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Prof. Jeffrey Richards, Send For Paul Temple (documentary), aired on BBC Radio 4 FM, 20 May 1998
  2. ^ http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/search/0/20?order=asc&q=%22Paul+Temple%22
  3. ^ Prof. Jeffrey Richards (ibid)
  4. ^ http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/search/0/20?order=asc&q=%22Paul+Temple%22
  5. ^ http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/search/0/20?order=asc&q=%22Paul+Temple%22&svc=9371569#search
  6. ^ http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/bc672a8f1ba743d59bf1562277dccf2f
  7. ^ Prof. Jeffrey Richards, Send For Paul Temple (documentary), aired on BBC Radio 4 FM, 20 May 1998
  8. ^ http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/search/0/20?order=asc&q=%22Paul+Temple%22
  9. ^ a b Paul Temple: The Radio Shows, The Original Old Time Radio WWW Pages
  10. ^ Remade in 1968 with Peter Coke and Marjorie Westbury, as Paul Temple and the Alex Affair
  11. ^ Remade in 2011 starring Crawford Logan
  12. ^ Remade in 2013 starring Crawford Logan
  13. ^ Remade in 2010 starring Crawford Logan
  14. ^ Remade in 2006 starring Crawford Logan
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ Remade in 2008 starring Crawford Logan
  17. ^ Peter Coke, who in 1954 took over the lead role, had a small part in this serial
  18. ^ Remade in 1959 with Peter Coke and Marjorie Westbury
  19. ^ Remade in 1963 with Peter Coke and Marjorie Westbury
  20. ^ Remade in 2008 starring Crawford Logan
  21. ^ Remake of Send for Paul Temple Again, with the name of the villain changed from "Rex" to "Alex"
  22. ^ Renown Pictures Limited

External links[edit]