Paul Temple (TV Series 1969–1971)


Paul Temple (TV Series 1969–1971)

Crime-novelist Paul Temple solves mysteries with the help of his wife Steve.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
West Germany
IMDb  7.4 /10
Creator Francis Durbridge
Release Date1969-11-23
GenreCrime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Content Rating
CompanyBritish Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Taurus Film, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF)
CountryUK, West Germany
Paul Temple 52 episodes, 1969-1971
Ros Drinkwater
Ros Drinkwater
Steve Temple 51 episodes, 1969-1971

Paul Temple (TV series)

Paul Temple is a British-German television series which originally aired on BBC1 between 1969 and 1971. 52 episodes were made over four seasons, each episode having a running time of around 50 minutes.


Paul Temple 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). Season 1 of the Paul Temple television series was produced solely by the BBC, with all 13 episodes set in Great Britain. The first episode was transmitted in November 1969, becoming one of the first shows to be broadcast in colour on BBC1.

Starting with Season 2, Paul Temple became a co-production by the BBC and Taurus Films of Munich, West Germany, and was shown internationally, with many of the episodes using overseas locations in West Germany, France, Malta and elsewhere. During the production of the second season, the producer Peter Bryant successfully persuaded Derrick Sherwin, at short notice, to join him on Paul Temple from the BBC series Doctor Who, on which they had previously worked together. 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 to 1968 by Marjorie Westbury): the BBC wished to drop Ros Drinkwater from the role, but Taurus favoured her retention.

According to Francis Matthews, both Paul and Steve Temple became fashion icons of sorts, creating a style that was to be imitated in ITV's The Persuaders!, while, in America, Ros Drinkwater's role was reportedly emulated by Susan Saint James in McMillan & Wife and Stefanie Powers in Hart to Hart. According to Matthews, Drinkwater chose her own "very expensive" designer clothes for the part.

The series was intended to run for five years, but despite its popularity, especially in West Germany, the BBC withdrew prematurely after two. 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. The series was allowed to peter out, the final episodes at least of the last season all based in Great Britain.


The BBC never repeated Paul Temple. The series suffered badly in the BBC's archive purging of the 1970s. Of the 52 episodes of Paul Temple that were made, only 16 remain in the BBC's archives today. 11 of the surviving 16 episodes are available in colour, and these were re-run on UK Gold in its formative years in the 1990s. The other five episodes survive only as black and white telerecordings. The purge on ''Paul Temple'' was such that, of the first two seasons, only one episode exists ("Games People Play", 19 April 1970). That episode was made completely on film and therefore was archived in the BBC's Film Library. The remaining 25 episodes from the first two seasons were wiped so the tapes (expensive at the time) could be re-used. The only telerecordings that are known to exist are the last five episodes of season 4, which are in black and white.

The visuals of some of the 36 missing episodes survive in the ZDF TV archives in Germany. These come from seasons 2 to 4, which were BBC-ZDF co-produced; however, they only have dubbed German soundtracks. Any BBC tape copies of missing episodes with their original English soundtracks intact are believed to be long-gone from the ZDF archive, with one exception (see below).

In 2016, a DVD was released in Germany containing most episodes from the fourth and final season, with German dubbing. The final five episodes were included in colour, containing both the dubbed German and original English soundtracks. While not every episode on the release contains its original English language soundtrack, one, "A Family Affair", does. "A Family Affair" does not appear to have been returned to the BBC archive, for it was not included on the Acorn DVD releases in the UK.

DVD releases

In July 2009, Acorn Media released the 11 existing colour episodes (still held within the BBC archives) on DVD. These were cleared at the BBFC on 17 March 2009. In April 2012, Acorn Media released a DVD of the final five episodes. Although broadcast in colour, these five episodes were released in black and white, due to the BBC archive only having access to black-and-white copies of those episodes. Colour copies of the last five episodes do exist in an archive in Germany, and were released on DVD in Germany in 2016. However, Acorn Media did not use these recordings for the 2012 DVD release in the UK, instead relying on the BBC's monochrome copies. In August 2013, Acorn Media released all 16 of its previously issued episodes (11 in colour, five in black and white) on DVD, in a release titled Paul Temple: The Complete Collection.

In May 2016, the series began to appear in German-speaking countries, released by German DVD company Fernsehjuwelen (the name means 'TV jewels'). These DVD releases cover all the episodes of seasons 2 and 3 and most episodes from season 4, across three different boxsets. Many episodes from seasons 2–4 that are lost from the BBC's own archive still survive in German archives, and many of these episodes are made commercially available for the first time on these DVD boxsets, albeit with dubbed German audio only.

Main cast

  • Francis Matthews ... Paul Temple
  • Ros Drinkwater ... Steve Temple
  • June Ellis ... Kate Balfour
  • George Sewell ... Sammy Carson
  • Blake Butler ... Eric
  • Derek Martin ... Paddy


Learn more
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Season 1

#EpisodeWriterDirectorOriginal airdateBBC archive status
1Who Dies NextPeter MillerDouglas Camfield23 November 1969Missing
Paul and Steve arrive home to find they have been burgled. Curiously, nothing of value seems to have been taken, but books have been removed from the bookshelves as if someone had been searching through them. Searching for what?
2Message from A Dead ManJohn RoddickPaul Ciappessoni30 November 1969Missing
Spending a weekend at Random Cottage, Paul and Steve are visited by a young American, who tells them he has heard a murder being arranged on the telephone. When Paul starts checking he finds that everything the American told him was untrue, but then a man is found dead.
3There Must Be A Mr XDavid EllisEric Hills7 December 1969Missing
After an evening at a gambling club, Paul takes a hostess, Sandra, back to her flat. When Paul arrives home in the early hours of the morning he tells Steve he has been talking over old times with a friend. What is Paul up to?
4Missing PennyCyril AbrahamTina Wakerell14 December 1969Missing
Paul is told a strange story about a girl missing from a village not far from Random Cottage. He learns that she didn't drive a car and she didn't take the only bus to the nearest station. In fact, nobody saw her leave at all...
5The Man Who Wasn't Really ThereJohn TullyDouglas Camfield21 December 1969Missing
A man known to Paul and Steve is reported killed in an air crash in Rome, but Steve is positive that the man called at the Temples' home shortly after the time given for the crash.
6Which One of Us Is Me?David ChantlerPaul Ciappessoni28 December 1969Missing
Paul is asked for help by a man called Howard Hawthorn. Apparently someone is intent on destroying Howard; his character, his marriage, his sanity. Paul asks who this someone is. Howard replies, 'Howard Hawthorn.'
7Inside InformationDavid EllisTina Wakerell4 January 1970Missing
A private enquiry agent calls to see Steve, who tells him she wants him to watch Paul. When the agent asks why, Steve says she suspects Paul of being unfaithful, and requires evidence for a divorce.
8The Masked LadyJohn TullyRex Tucker11 January 1970Missing
A film is being made in an ancestral home about the legend of the strange disappearance of the Masked Lady. A young girl playing the part also disappears.
9Swan Song For Colonel HarpDavid ChantlerTina Wakerell18 January 1970Missing
Colonel Harp is one of the regulars at the Falcon. One day a stranger comes to see him, and Eric observes that the Colonel seems frightened. Shortly, it is announced that the Colonel is selling his house and moving to a cottage in the country. The stranger asks Eric to take a trunk down to the cottage, but the Colonel is not present. The stranger says the trunk contains books...
10Mr Wallace PredictsJohn TullyEric Hills25 January 1970Missing
Paul and Steve find themselves involved with Mr Wallace, a researcher into extra-sensory perception. But Mr Wallace has another talent that interests Paul: he can predict accidents. Unfortunately, the victims never seem to get his warnings in time.
11Letters From RobertJohn TullyPrudence Fitzgerald1 February 1970Missing
Miss Rose Martin was once in love with a man called Robert Stanlake, who disappeared mysteriously 20 years ago. She starts getting letters, from someone who seems to know all about her, signed as Robert Stanlake.
12The Man From the SeaCyril AbrahamsPhilip Dudley8 February 1970Missing
Kate is taking a holiday at the seaside. Walking along the beach, she discovers a body washed up by the tide. A lighthouse keeper tells her he has sent for the police, but Kate later discovers the police have no knowledge of the body.
13The VictimDavid WhitakerDouglas Camfield15 February 1970Missing
Peter Tremayne, a rich industrialist, is being persecuted by someone. He thinks his persecutor is an old enemy, but Paul has other ideas.

Season 2

#EpisodeWriterDirectorOriginal airdateBBC archive status
14Right VillainDerrick SherwinKen Hannam5 April 1970Missing
Paul is literally 'taken for a ride' when he contemplates buying a new car. Sammy Carson, ex-villain and part-owner of the garage involved, offers Paul the car in exchange for his help – which he badly needs!
15Kill Or CureBill StruttonChristopher Barry12 April 1970Missing
Steve's friend Ilse Goetz visits London with her uncle, a pharmaceutical manufacturer. After contacting the Temple's, she disappears – and when Paul investigates, her uncle warns him not to get involved...
16Games People PlayJohn GouldPhilip Dudley19 April 1970Exists
While in Malta, Paul and Steve are drawn into the 'sweet life' of a group for whom luxury has become a necessity – a life that soon lures the innocent beyond boredom into danger.
17The ArtnappersBill StruttonKen Hannam26 April 1970Missing
Gallery raids and art thefts are becoming increasingly commonplace – often the only losers appear to be the insurance companies. Paul finds that even they can limit their liability to pay by investing in crime...
18The Black RoomMoris FarhiChristopher Barry3 May 1970Missing
How deeply within ourselves can we bury the effects of violence? Paul discovers methods by which unscrupulous men use a victim's past to force their way into a frightening future.
19Antique Death: Part 1Michael ChapmanJohn Matthews10 May 1970Missing
Paul is amused when he discovers that the copy of an Etruscan Apollo which he has bought causes a ripple of alarm in museum circles as the original is reputed to be unique and no other copy is known to exist. But when the figurine disappears, the chase leads Paul to Amsterdam and into the dangers that lie beyond the respectable front of dealing in `genuine' art-fakes.
20Antique Death: Part 2Michael ChapmanJohn Matthews17 May 1970Missing
Paul moves from Amsterdam to Bruges in his search for the Arezzo Apollo figurine which has been stolen from him. The death of Genevieve Duclos leads him closer to those responsible and deeper into the dangerous world of organised international crime.
21Double VisionJeremy BurnhamKen Hannam24 May 1970Missing
Paul, on a visit to Edinburgh to attend a Crime Writer's Conference, is asked by a beautiful young German girl to read her first novel. A charming girl – an innocent request – but the book seems to be in great demand...
22Steal A Little HappinessBill StruttonPhilip Dudley28 June 1970Missing
Paul and Steve pick up a hitchhiking street urchin called Gina outside Milan and soon discover the pressures poverty brings to bear on the young. In an attempt to help the girl Paul uncovers a relationship between Gina and Ettore, a helpless old man, that is based on need rather than on cupidity.
23The SuitcaseJohn TullyJohn Matthews5 July 1970Missing
Secret Service plot or the bitter end to a tangled domestic quarrel? This is the fascinating question facing Paul Temple when a suitcase explodes in a Surrey country house.
24Murder In Munich: Part 1David RobertsMichael Ferguson12 July 1970Missing
Temple, on a visit to Munich, is horrified to find that he's been mistaken for an assassin. Worse still, he's expected to proceed with, and complete, the killer's assignment.
25Murder In Munich: Part 2David RobertsMichael Ferguson19 July 1970Missing
Temple, cleverly framed for murder on a visit to Munich, has a life and death race against time to prove his innocence.
26Re-TakePaul EricksonDouglas Camfield26 July 1970Missing
What is the-connection between a series of crimes in Rome seven years ago and the disappearance of a child in London now?

Season 3

#EpisodeWriterDirectorOriginal airdateBBC archive status
27House Of the DeadDavid RobertsGeorge Spenton-Foster10 January 1971Missing
Paul Temple receives a strange invitation to an abandoned house to investigate a five-year-old murder.
28Sea BurialDavid RobertsRonald Wilson17 January 1971Missing
On a visit to Sweden, Paul Temple receives a mysterious summons that pitchforks him on to the trail of an ingenious and unusual crime.
29Night TrainMichael J. BirdDouglas Camfield24 January 1971Missing
Coincidence, perhaps? Or does the appearance of Freddie Price as a sleeping car attendant on the Temples' train have a more sinister significance?
30CorridaLindsay GallowayKen Hannam7 February 1971Exists
Bulls and Christian Martyrs. That's the toll throughout the centuries at the ancient arena in Arles. Is the bullring about to be used for another sport – like the killing of escaped criminals?
31Death For Drivers' ReasonsJohn LucarottiKen Hannam14 February 1971Missing
A quiet stretch of coastline holds all sorts of menacing surprises for Paul and Steve's yachting weekend.
32A Greek TragedyLindsay GallowayGeorge Spenton-Foster21 February 1971Missing
Tragedy? Or a menacing conspiracy of silence? What exactly is going on in the small mountainside village in Greece? And what is the tie-up with those grim events as far back as the winter of 1944?
33The SpecialistsMichael WinderEric Price28 February 1971Exists
Strange people – specialists. Bodyguard one day – the next assassin. Very efficient and reliable to the man who pays him – first.
34Has Anybody Here Seen Kelly?Dennis SpoonerEric Price7 March 1971Exists
Very efficient these Intelligence Agents. Almost clever enough to conceal the truth from the Temples as they make a surprise visit on an old friend in a small Riviera fishing port.
35Requiem For A DonJeremy BurnhamChristopher Barry14 March 1971Missing
Suicide? Or murder? Temple's investigation into the death of an old friend causes a lot of long faces in a famous Midlands University town.
36MotelDavid SimonSimon Langton21 March 1971Exists
Why should a lonely Scottish motel be the gathering point for a gang of criminals?
37Cue Murder!David SimonGeorge Spenton-Foster28 March 1971Exists
Tension and drama build up to a breathless climax as Paul reveals a murderer before a television audience.
38Death Of FaschingWolf RillaViktor Ritelis4 April 1971Exists
Paul takes a strange partner at a Fasching Ball in Munich – and thereafter has to watch his step.
39Catch Your DeathPatrick AlexanderFrank Cox11 April 1971Exists
Paul and Sammy between them track down a dangerous thief – and nearly catch a nasty cold!

Season 4

#EpisodeWriterDirectorOriginal airdateBBC archive status
40Paper ChaseJeremy BurnhamGeorge Spenton-Foster9 June 1971Missing
A glimpse under the covers for Paul of secret political warfare in London.
41Death SentenceDavid EllisDouglas Camfield16 June 1971Missing
Susan Grant hasn't an enemy in the world – so why do they want to kill her?
42RicochetMarc BrandelDarrol Blake23 June 1971Exists
Paul, on a visit to St Moritz with Steve to meet his accountant, soon finds he has other problems on his mind than facts and figures.
43With Friends Like You, Who Needs Enemies?Victor CanningMichael Ferguson30 June 1971Exists
Sammy Carson is accused of murder, with surprising results.
44Party PieceLindsay GallowayKen Hannam7 July 1971Missing
Sammy meets up with a jazz pianist friend, and involves Paul in a crime of considerable ingenuity.
45The Quick and the DeadDerry QuinnGeorge Spenton-Foster14 July 1971Exists
The old priests have been dead for centuries, and they can't harm anybody.
46The Man Who Forged Real MoneyJohn LucarottiKen Hannam21 July 1971Missing
An African Embassy in London makes good cover, for a clever international conspiracy.
47A Family AffairWolf RillaDavid Maloney28 July 1971Missing
Paul takes a sea trip to Hamburg – and a nose-dive into a ruthless story of family treachery.
48The Guilty Must DieJohn TullyDouglas Camfield4 August 1971Exists (in black & white)
Paul goes away to the country for a few days leaving Steve to witness a murder.
49Game, Set and MatchJeremy BurnhamDarrol Blake11 August 1971Exists (in black & white)
When Andy King, a veteran professional tennis player from Australia, arrives in Britain for another tournament, trouble isn't far behind.
50Long Ride to Red GapJohn WilesGeorge Spenton-Foster18 August 1971Exists (in black & white)
Sammy, on a car journey near Godalming, claims to have been ambushed and attacked by a band of Red Indians. And he's not joking!
51Winner Take AllDonald JamesChristopher Barry25 August 1971Exists (in black & white)
Against a horseracing background Paul finds himself involved in a takeover bid between two sides in a large criminal organisation.
52Critics, Yes! But This Is Ridiculous!Eddie BoydMichael Ferguson1 September 1971Exists (in black & white)
A midnight intruder into a small Scottish library rips apart several of Paul's novels. Is he settling an old score? Or do his actions have a much more menacing reason?