The Corridor People (1966) DVD9
"Introducing the most bizarre characters on television. Screwballs like Kronk, a fatherly C.I.D. man; a private eye Phil Scrotty; Inspector Blood and Sergeant Hound. They are all in a new off-beat thriller series 'The Corridor People', which starts on Friday." -TV Times introduction, August 26th, 1966

Consisting of only four episodes the Granada series 'The Corridor People' was very much a product of its televisual times, following in the footsteps of such contemporaries as 'The Avengers' and 'Adam Adamant Lives!' However, unlike these more popular series this stylized swinging sixties Mystery/Detective/Thriller/Spy drama has failed to develop any long-term fan base or appreciation. Perhaps this was due to its limited run which prevented the building of a viewing base or perhaps it was just too off the wall and leftfield even for the psychedelic decade.

DVD9 | PAL 4:3 | 01:40:03 | 7.56 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English
Subtitles: none
Genre: Thriller, Adventure

Creator: Edward Boyd
Cast: Elizabeth Shepherd, John Sharp, Gary Cockrell, Alan Curtis, William Maxwell
Country: UK

Episode One: Victim as Birdwatcher

The nefarious criminal mastermind Syrie Van Epp (Elizabeth Shepherd) and her head goon Weedy (Donald Webster) set out to kidnap a birdwatcher, Chris Vaughn (Tim Barrett). It turns out that Vaughn owns a controlling share of the Templar Cosmetic Company and one of its research chemists has inadvertently invented a perfume that renders its users immobile for twenty-four hours. Van Epp wants the company and the perfume but so does the British Ministry of Defence's Department K. The department's head, Kronk (John Sharp), orders Inspector Blood (Alan Curtis) and Sergeant Hound (William Maxwell) to find Vaughn but complications arise when it is discovered that Phil Scrotty (Gary Cockrell), an American private investigator who is on Department K's payroll, is acting as a double agent.

Episode Two: Victim as Whitebait

A crooked businessman, Jolyon de Farge (Robert McBain), knows that the Inland Revenue is closing in on him. Fearing a three million pound tax bill, de Farge employs Syrie Van Epp to find and kill Samson Whitby (Oliver Johnston), the only accountant in England who is capable of spotting his false accounting methods. Since Department K recently assassinated the only person who knew how to contact and identify the super-reclusive Whitby, Van Epp employs the services of Robag (Aubrey Morris), a mad scientist who is able to re-animate the dead. Complications arise when Whitebait (Kevin Brennan), one of a series of random dead men that Robag re-animates in order to give his actions an arbitrary pattern, escapes and returns home. Department K are soon on the case but Van Epp's new recruits, the diminutive Nonesuch (William Trigger) and the Swedish film director Bo (Ray Gatenby), prove to be a particularly troublesome pair.

Episode Three: Victim as Red

Colonel Hugo Lemming (John Woodnutt) was in charge of a British missile-testing base when he suddenly disappeared. For the past seven years his brother Harold (William Moore) has been paying Phil Scrotty to find him. Scrotty is intrigued when Harold turns up with a book manuscript that was written by Hugo since its narrative content appears to predict the events of the Ragnor Railway robbery. The perpetrators of said robbery made off with two million pounds. Kronk is also keen to solve the mystery of Lemming's disappearance: an unconfirmed sighting by a British agent suggests that Lemming is living in Moscow. Syrie Van Epp becomes involved in the case when an amnesiac who stows away in her car declares that something seems to stir in his memory whenever he hears the phrase "two million pounds".

Episode Four: Victim as Black

Helena (Marian Spencer), the Queen Mother of the small Balkan state of Morphania, is in the UK looking for her son, King Ferdinand (Roger Hammond). He in turn is searching for a mysterious black girl: he briefly met her in a Soho disco and has now decided that he wants to marry her. The girl, Pearl (Nina Baden-Semper), is also being sought by Theobald Aboo (Calvin Lockhart), the President of the International Brotherhood of Emergent Africans. Syrie Van Epp becomes involved in the intrigue when her old friend Helena pays her a visit and Phil Scrotty subsequently gets caught between a rock and a hard place when both Ferdinand and Aboo insist that he carries out work for them. When Kronk hears what's going on he employs the use of a prophecy approximation machine: the machine's alarmist, scurrilous and mischievous prediction of future events prompts Kronk and Department K to initiate a kneejerk response to the confused situation.

Related posts:

  1. Shock Corridor (1963) DVD9 Criterion Collection
  2. The Val Lewton Horror Collection: Cat People (1942), The Curse of the Cat People (1944), The Leopard Man (1943), The Ghost Ship (1943), I Walked with a Zombie (1943), The Body Snatcher (1945), Isle of the Dead (1945), Bedlam (1946), The Seventh Victim (1943), Shadows in the Dark: The Val Lewton Legacy (2005) 5 x DVD9
  3. Arabesque (1966) DVD9
  4. One Million Years B.C. (1966) DVD9
  5. Lemming (2005) DVD9