Strange Report

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Strange Report
Strange Report title superimposed over the three main characters
GenreCrime drama
Action/adventure
StarringAnthony Quayle
Kaz Garas
Anneke Wills
Opening themeRoger Webb
Composer(s)Roger Webb
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of episodes16 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Norman Felton
Producer(s)Robert Buzz Berger
Editor(s)Keith Palmer
Running time50 mins
Production company(s)Arena Productions
DistributorITC Entertainment
Release
Original networkITV
Picture format35mm film 4:3 Colour
Audio formatMono
Original release21 September 1969 –
11 January 1970

Strange Report is a British television crime drama series starring Anthony Quayle as Adam Strange. It was produced by ITC Entertainment and first broadcast in 1969.

Adam Strange, a retired Home Office criminologist, solves bizarre cases with the help of Hamlyn Gynt (Kaz Garas), Evelyn McClean (Anneke Wills) and sometimes Professor Marks (Charles Lloyd-Pack). He employs the latest techniques in forensic investigation, which he undertakes in his own laboratory in his flat in Warwick Crescent in the Maida Vale/Little Venice area of London.

Unlike other ITC productions, which were created in order to be sold to the U.S. market, Strange Report was created in collaboration with NBC's films unit Arena in the United States (the show's executive producer was Norman Felton, better known for his involvement in The Man from U.N.C.L.E.); the suggestion was that the first half of the series would take place in the United Kingdom, and the second half would see Strange visiting the United States. This idea could not be agreed upon, which explains why such a short season of episodes was created. Quayle and Wills decided not to continue with the series, owing to personal concerns.

In the United States, NBC broadcast Strange Report between 8 January and 10 September 1971. It aired on Fridays from 10:00 to 11:00 p.m. Eastern Time throughout its American run.[1]

The series's opening theme, composed by Roger Webb, was also available as sheet music.

Cast and characters[edit]

Episode list[edit]

Filmed July 1968 – March 1969 on location and at Pinewood Studios, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire.

Airdate[2] is for ATV Midlands. ITV regions varied date and order.

Episode # Prod # Title Directed by Written by Original airdate Filmed
1104"REPORT 5055: CULT
Murder Shrieks Out"
Charles CrichtonMoris Farhi21 September 1969 (1969-09-21)Sep 1968
A pop singer is electrocuted during a charity performance; through this Adam Strange becomes involved with a religious sect focused on charitable works, and he requires Ham Gynt to infiltrate it.
2103"REPORT 0649: SKELETON
Let Sleeping Heroes Lie"
Peter MedakBrian Degas and Tudor Gates28 September 1969 (1969-09-28)Aug/Sep 1968
When it is found that a man whose skeleton has been found on a London Second World War bombsite was killed by a bullet and not a falling bomb, Strange investigates a thirty-year-old crime.
3115"REPORT 2641: HOSTAGE
If You Won't Learn, Die!"
Charles CrichtonJohn Kruse5 October 1969 (1969-10-05)Feb 1969
Strange is called in to mediate when a Chinese diplomat is kidnapped and the Chinese government threatens to retaliate.
4116"REPORT 0846: LONELY HEARTS
Who Killed Dan Cupid?"
Peter DuffellRoger Parkes12 October 1969 (1969-10-12)Feb/Mar 1969
The owner of a lonely hearts club is murdered, and the police arrest a client recently introduced to a girl who has a big-time crook for a friend.
5113"REPORT 8319: GRENADE
What Price Change?"
Charles CrichtonBill Strutton19 October 1969 (1969-10-19)Jan 1969
A clash between factions at a university demonstrating about defence research looks like descending into violence. The police ask Strange to look into the affair.
6110"REPORT 3906: COVERGIRLS
Last Year's Model"
Peter DuffellTerence Maples26 October 1969 (1969-10-26)Nov/Dec 1968
Strange finds himself entangled in the world of fashion when Evelyn models for a designer whose collection is then stolen and is threatened unless she pulls out of the show.[ambiguous]
7107"REPORT 3424: EPIDEMIC
A Most Curious Crime"
Daniel PetrieDon Brinkley2 November 1969 (1969-11-02)Oct/Nov 1968
Strange meets the men who turn blood into gold by smuggling illegal immigrants into Britain. One of the immigrants has cholera, bringing with it heartbreak, disillusionment, and murder.
8109"REPORT 2475: REVENGE
When a Man Hates"
Charles CrichtonMartin Hall9 November 1969 (1969-11-09)Nov 1968
Strange finds himself on the death list of a man released from prison, who is bent on wreaking revenge on the people who put him there. The problem is, who is he and where is he?
9114"REPORT 1021: SHRAPNEL
The Wish in the Dream"
Brian Smedley-AstonJan Read23 November 1969 (1969-11-23)Feb 1969
Following a man's death, Strange becomes personally involved when he receives a coded tape recording. Uncanny events lead to an eternal triangle and possible murder.
10112"REPORT 8944: HAND
A Matter of Witchcraft"
Peter DuffellEdward DeBlasio30 November 1969 (1969-11-30)Dec 1968/Jan 1969
Strange is asked to help the police when a young office worker is murdered in brutal circumstances and witchcraft seems to be involved.
11102"REPORT 1553: RACIST
A Most Dangerous Proposal"
Peter DuffellArthur Dales7 December 1969 (1969-12-07)Aug 1968
A story about the conflicting ideals of father and daughter: he a racist leader of an anti-black organisation, she tolerant and a believer in integration. When a clergyman is murdered and the father is suspected, Scotland Yard asks Strange to investigate a potentially explosive racial situation.
12106"REPORT 7931: SNIPER
When is Your Cousin Not?"
Peter MedakNicholas Palmer14 December 1969 (1969-12-14)Oct 1968
A student leader is murdered in an East European country. A girl who claims to be Strange's cousin lures him there to investigate.
13111"REPORT 4821: X-RAY
Who Weeps for the Doctor?"
Charles CrichtonRoger Parkes21 December 1969 (1969-12-21)Dec 1968
A man commits suicide because a set of X-ray photos shows he had a brain tumour. At the autopsy it is found that no such condition existed. Strange investigates how this mistake could have occurred.
14105"REPORT 2493: KIDNAP
Whose Pretty Girl Are You?"
Daniel PetrieDon Brinkley28 December 1969 (1969-12-28)Sep 1968
A beauty queen is kidnapped, but is it a publicity stunt or real? The girl's wealthy father asks Strange to help, and what is thought to be a hoax takes a nasty turn.
15101"REPORT 4407: HEART
No Choice for the Donor"
Robert AsherEdward DeBlasio4 January 1970 (1970-01-04)Jul/Aug 1968
When a noted heart surgeon goes missing, his wife goes to Strange, believing he has been kidnapped to perform a heart transplant on a ruthless foreign dictator using a live donor.
16108"REPORT 4977: SWINDLE
Square Root of Evil"
Brian Smedley-AstonLeigh Vance11 January 1970 (1970-01-11)Nov 1968
A gang of swindlers trick a banknote printing company into printing a massive order of a country's currency, but it soon transpires that the government of that country has no knowledge of the deal.

Broadcast[edit]

The series was repeated on UK satellite channel Bravo in 1996/1997, and on UK digital terrestrial channel ITV4, from digitally restored prints, in 2005/2006. (The episode 'Heart' was not screened by ITV4.) Satellite channel Men and Motors also screened the series in 2007.

Home media[edit]

Techno Film released two episodes – "SHRAPNEL" and "HOSTAGE" – on Super 8 cine film for home use in 1970.

ITC Video released two VHS tapes of the series in the UK in 1994, containing the episodes – 'Heart'/'X-Ray', and 'Covergirls'/'Cult'.

The series was digitally restored for Carlton Visual Entertainment by BBC Resources in 2003. The full series was released on DVD in the UK by Network as a five-disc special edition in 2004 and as a four-disc edition in 2005. The special edition was subsequently re-released in the UK in 2007 and the regular one in 2009. The series was also released on DVD in Australia by Umbrella Entertainment in 2007. In 2011, Network re-released the episode 'Kidnap' in its retro-ACTION! Volume 1 Blu-Ray, this is the first time an episode of the series had been shown in a superior high-definition quality. The same episode was further released in Network's 2018 retro-ACTION! Blu-Ray.

Novel[edit]

A paperback novel "based on the famous TV series" and written by John Burke was published by Hodder & Stoughton in 1970.

Records[edit]

The theme to the series by Roger Webb was released as a 7 inch single on Columbia records (DB 8803) in 1971. "The World of Love", the song from the episode 'Cult', was released as the B-side of The Strangers' first single, "I've Got You", on the little-known Harvard record label (Harv 001) in 1970. The accompaniment to the song is credited to Geoff Love who, in 1972, recorded his own version of the Strange Report theme for the Music For Pleasure LP Geoff Love and his Orchestra Play Your Top TV Themes (MFP 5272). This version can also be found on the Virgin Records CDs This Is Easy (1996) and This is....Cult Fiction Royale (1997), and the ITV 50 Cult TV Themes CD (2005) released to celebrate 50 years of ITV.

In 2009, Network issued a soundtrack album containing Webb's theme music and original scores composed for the episodes "REPORT 4407: HEART – No Choice for the Donor", "REPORT 1553: RACIST – A Most Dangerous Proposal", "REPORT 0649: SKELETON – Let Sleeping Heroes Lie", "REPORT 5055: CULT – Murder Shrieks Out", "REPORT 7931: SNIPER – When is Your Cousin Not?" and "REPORT 3424: EPIDEMIC – A Most Curious Crime", as well as unused and alternate takes, plus library music from other composers also used in the series.

Note: 'The Strangers' mentioned here should not be confused with either the Australian or Irish groups of the same name.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brooks, Tim, and Earle Marsh, The Complete Directory to Prime-Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946–Present, Sixth Edition, New York: Ballantine Books, 1995, ISBN 0-345-39736-3, pp. 984–985.
  2. ^ Dates from ITC Episode guide issued with the Network DVD

External links[edit]