Raffles (TV series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

StarringAnthony Valentine
Christopher Strauli
Victor Carin
Victor Brooks
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of episodes13 + 1 one-off
Running time60 minutes per episode
Original networkITV
Original release25 February 1977

Raffles was a 1977 television adaptation of the A. J. Raffles stories by Ernest William Hornung. The series was produced by Yorkshire Television and written by Philip Mackie. The episodes were largely faithful adaptations of the stories in the books, though occasionally two stories would be merged to create one episode such as "The Gold Cup" which featured elements from both "A Jubilee Present" and "The Criminologist's Club". The complete series has been released on DVD.



Episode # Title Original airdate
0"The Amateur Cracksman"10 September 1975 (1975-09-10)

In this television pilot episode, Raffles is invited to play cricket for a lord's son's cricket team at Milchester Abbey. Raffles conspires to use the invitation as an opportunity to bring Bunny along and burgle the house. Their plans are complicated, however, when Raffles and Bunny learn that an undercover Scotland Yard detective is hunting for burglars at Milchester.

This episode is adapted from the short stories "Gentlemen and Players" and "The Return Match".
1"The First Step"25 February 1977 (1977-02-25)

Bunny meets his old schoolmate Raffles, now a famous cricketer, for the first time in years at Raffles' flat at the Albany. However, Bunny is drawn into a Baccarat game by Raffles' other guests, and loses. After writing bad checks to cover his losses, a desperate Bunny turns to Raffles for help. Raffles, who is himself hard-up, surprises Bunny by proposing that they burgle the wealthy family of one of the other guests, Alick Carruthers (played by Jeremy Clyde).

This episode is adapted from the first half of the short story "The Ides of March", and from elements of "Out of Paradise" and "A Jubilee Present". The title is a reference to the name of the unadapted story "Le Premier Pas".
2"A Costume Piece"4 March 1977 (1977-03-04)

Raffles is intrigued when his club's guest of honour, a brutish South African millionaire, dares the club members to try to steal his diamond stud and ring. With Bunny's help and with a few disguises, Raffles undertakes the challenge of stealing the diamonds, but it becomes a matter of life or death when their well-laid plans go terribly awry.

This episode is adapted from the short story "A Costume Piece".
3"The Spoils of Sacrilege"11 March 1977 (1977-03-11)

Eager to prove his worth in his criminal partnership with Raffles, Bunny takes it upon himself to plan their next burglary of a well-to-do house that was once his childhood home. To win over Raffles, Bunny contrives for him to catch a glimpse of the diamond necklace worn by the lady of the house, at a party. Tempted by the necklace, Raffles agrees to play along, and Bunny takes the lead. But when disaster strikes, it falls to Raffles to extricate them both from ruin.

This episode is adapted from the short story "The Spoils of Sacrilege", with elements of "The Wrong House".
4"The Gold Cup"18 March 1977 (1977-03-18)

During the Queen's jubilee, Raffles and Bunny steal the Royal Gold Cup from the British Museum while in disguise. However, the heist earns the attention of a gentlemen club of criminology enthusiasts, who invite Raffles and Bunny to dinner in order to prove their suspicions.

This episode is adapted from the short stories "A Jubilee Present" and "The Criminologists' Club".
5"The Chest of Silver"25 March 1977 (1977-03-25)

Raffles is going away to Scotland for a week to practice his accent while having electric lights and a telephone installed in his room. With respect to the chest of stolen silver lying in his room, Raffles asks Bunny to store it his bank until Raffles's return. However, when Bunny's bank later becomes the site of a burglary, Bunny fears that their old rival, Crawshay, has targeted the chest of silver.

This episode is adapted from the short story "The Chest of Silver".
6"The Last Laugh"1 April 1977 (1977-04-01)

While enjoying a house party with Bunny as his companion, Raffles becomes infatuated with the house jewels, as well as with a mysterious Italian maid who works at the house. In his quest to steal a ring from the house, Raffles must avoid the close scrutiny of another party guest, Inspector MacKenzie. Later, in his quest to save the Italian maid from a forced marriage and send her to safety in America, Raffles must extract her from the clutches of the head of the Comorra.

This episode is loosely adapted from the short story "The Last Laugh".
7"A Trap to Catch a Cracksman"8 April 1977 (1977-04-08)

At a party thrown by a sporting club, Raffles and Bunny meet Barney MacGuire, an ill-mannered boxing champion from America. MacGuire not only shows off his extravagant boxing trophies to them, but also boasts that he has a secret trap guaranteed to catch any thief who tries to steal them. Raffles takes the boast as a challenge, and decides to make the attempt alone. However, in the middle of the night of Raffles's burglary attempt, Bunny receives a cryptic telephone call from Raffles, telling Bunny that he has been caught.

This episode is adapted from the short story "A Trap to Catch a Cracksman".
8"To Catch a Thief"15 April 1977 (1977-04-15)

Although Inspector MacKenzie suspects that Raffles is the culprit behind a recent string of unsolved society burglaries, Raffles is innocent. Raffles himself deduces that the real culprit is the respectable gentleman Lord Ernest Belville. Raffles learns about Belville, so that he and Bunny can make an attempt to steal Belville's haul for themselves. During their search of Belville's flat, however, Raffles and Bunny are caught in the act by the man himself.

This episode is adapted from the short story "To Catch a Thief".
9"A Bad Night"22 April 1977 (1977-04-22)
This episode is adapted from the short story "A Bad Night".
10"Mr. Justice Raffles"29 April 1977 (1977-04-29)

Raffles and Bunny fail to score during a burglary attempt on an unscrupulous moneylender named Brigstock, while staying at the same hotel. Later, a friend of Raffles named Teddy Garland, who has been roped into massive debt by Brigstock, comes to Raffles for help. For Teddy and for his fianceé, Camilla Belsize, Raffles comes up with a complicated plan to save Teddy from ruin, with Bunny's help.

This episode is adapted from the novel "Mr. Justice Raffles".
11"Home Affairs"6 May 1977 (1977-05-06)

Irritated by constant persecution from Inspector Mackenzie and by the harsh punishments for thieves being politically supported by the Home Secretary, Raffles decides to teach his enemies a lesson by going with Bunny to burgle the Home Secretary's house in Kensington Palace Gardens. The heist goes smoothly, until a mistake by Bunny lands him in trouble, and Raffles must contrive a way to use Inspector Mackenzie to save Bunny.

This episode features an original plot.
12"The Gift of the Emperor"13 May 1977 (1977-05-13)

An agent from the Foreign Office tasks Raffles with stealing a pearl belonging to Kaiser Wilhelm, as an act of patriotism. Inspector Mackenzie, too, is keen on helping Raffles steal the pearl. Yet Raffles is determined to snatch the pearl the old-fashioned way: with no one's help but Bunny's, and for personal profit alone.

This episode is loosely adapted from the short story "The Gift of the Emperor".
13"An Old Flame"20 May 1977 (1977-05-20)

While breaking into a random house in Kensington Gardens, Raffles is caught in the act by a married woman who was his former lover. She lets him go, and tries to rekindle their relationship. Her financially dependent husband, however, is eager to keep Raffles away from his wealthy wife by any means necessary.

This episode is loosely adapted from the short story "An Old Flame".

References and notes[edit]

External links[edit]