The Corridor People
Granada Television 1966
Victim As Birdwatcher
TX : 26th August 1966
Guest Cast : Tim Barret, Clive Morton, Windsor Davies, Donald Webster, Simon Prebble, Geoffrey Reed, Keith Pyott, June Watson, William Maxwell, Rex Boyd, Christine Glynn, Duncan Taylor, Doel Luscombe, Alick Hayes, Geoff Tomlinson, Michael Hall

Notes : Director David Boisseau had previously contributed to the series The Man In Room 17 and would also direct for Coronation Street. He also directed the 1960 production (previously produced in 1956) of the sci-fi drama The Burning Glass for Associated-Rediffusion. Actor Gary Cockrell at first trained as a dancer and choreographer and on turning to acting spent the early 60's appearing in numerous films in small supporting roles including Kubrick's Lolita (1962), though he did guest star in two episodes of The Saint (The Careful Terrorist and The Benevolent Burglary) and in Danger Man (The Actor). Scrotty was his only regular starring role and afterwards he appeared in an episode of The Persuaders! (The Old, the New, and the Deadly) as Frank. John Sharp (sometimes credited as Sharpe) was a familiar face to both TV and cinema viewers of the 60's and 70's. Born in Yorkshire in 1920 he became a regular in glossy film series including The Avengers (Traitor In Zebra, Murdersville and Bizarre), The Prisoner (A Change of Mind as Number Two) and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) in the episode The Ghost Who Saved the Bank at Monte Carlo. After playing Kronk in The Corridor People Sharp would star in Coronation Street as Les Clegg. Further roles of note include Z Cars, Maigret and Sergeant Cork. He appeared in such classic films as Bunny Lake Is Missing, Jabberwocky, Barry Lyndon and The Dresser. He did have a role in The Wicker Man, but these scenes were cut before it reached the cinema. Younger audiences will remember him as the curmudgeonly farmer Ezra Biggins in All Creatures Great and Small. He died in 1992.

Victim As Whitebait
TX : 2nd September 1966
Guest Cast : Kevin Brennan, Ingrid Hafner, Aubrey Morris, Oliver Johnston, Ray Gatenby, Patrick Kavanagh, Robert McBain, Sandra Downes, Ian Trigger, June Watson, William Maxwell, Arthur Lester, Robert McBain, George Ghent.

Notes : This episode was recorded on 24th June 1966. Elizabeth Shepherd was born in the UK in 1936, but has lived in Canada since 1972 to concentrate on her theatre work. Amongst her early small screen roles are the 1960 BBC mini series The Citadel, Court Martial, Danger Man (Dangerous Secret) and perhaps her most (in)famous role as a potential replacement for Honor Blackman in The Avengers. After moving to Canada her work concentrated mainly in North America with guest roles in episodes of Spenser For Hire, Poltergeist: The Legacy, Psi Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal and more recently The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne. She has also provided vocal work for the animated series The Avengers and The Silver Surfer.

Victim As Red
TX : 9th September 1966
Guest Cast : John Woodnut, Betty McDowell, Ivor Salter, Betty McDowall, William Moore, Margery Withers, William Maxwell, Michael Hall, Ian Cooper, Rex Boyd

Notes : Actor Alan Curtis who played Inspector Blood also had roles in Doctor Who (The War Machines), The Avengers (Mission to Montreal), The Saint (The Golden Frog and The Death Penalty) and Jason King (An Actor In Search of Two Characters). He was also a sports commentator before turning to acting. William Maxwell who portrayed Sergeant Hound also had roles in The Six Wives of Henry VIII as Duke Wilhelm, the sitcom The Dustbinmen and Strangers. He had a regular role in the Channel Four soap opera Brookside as Jack Sullivan.

Victim As Black
TX : 16th September 1966
Guest Cast : Barbara Couper, Roger Hammond, Nina Baden-Semper, Pauline Collins, Peter Jesson, Mark Hardy, Calvin Lockhart, Peter Stephens, Desmond Bradin, Brian Stone, Bertie Green, Paul Wynter, Sheila Whittingham, Susan Foster, Malcolm Douglas

Notes : This episode was recorded only two days before transmission on 14th September 1966. Producer Richard Everitt had also worked on the Edward Boyd created show The Odd Man as a director. He began his career as a floor manager and worked on the first episode of Coronation Street in this capacity. In 1968 he began producing the soap opera and cast John Sharp in the role of Les Clegg. Further producer credits include The Dustbinmen, The XYY Man, Strangers, Bulman and Lovejoy. He was also an actor and appeared in the film If... Derek Hilton also composed the theme music to such Granada productions as Big Breadwinner Hog, The Dustbinmen, The Lovers, The Cuckoo Waltz and Cribb. He was also musical director on the variety show The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club.

Regular Characters
Portrayed By
Phil Scrotty
Gary Cockrell
John Sharp
Syrie Van Epp
Elizabeth Shepherd
Inspector Blood
Alan Curtis
Sergeant Hound
William Maxwell
Miss Dunner (episodes 1 - 2 only)
June Watson

The series was produced by Richard Everitt, written by Edward Boyd and directed by David Boisseau. All episodes currently exist. Theme music was composed by Derek Hilton and the designer was Michael Grimes. Transmission dates are for the Granada region. The series was transmitted on Fridays.

A short-lived stylised swinging 60s Mystery/Detective/Thriller/Spy drama that failed to develope any long-term cult appeal like its contemporaries The Avengers and Adam Adamant Lives! Perhaps a little too off the wall and leftfield for its own good the Guinness Book of Classic Television describes the programme as "...the Twin Peaks of its day." Coupled with the factor of its short run this may explain its relative obscurity.

Comprising of only four episodes the series was written by and created by Edward Boyd who had previously created the Granada series The Odd Man (1962) and also wrote the screenplay for the Stanley Baker starring film Robbery (1967) with George Markstein and Gerald Wilson. Featuring Humphrey Bogart loving gumshoe Phil Scrotty, comedy police duo Blood and Hound, a villainous Persian millionairess named Syrie Van Epp and the government intelligence agency Department K (headed by Kronk and his assistant cum assassin Miss Dunner) this series is difficult to pigeonhole. Throughout its short run the series took in such fantastic plots as a perfume which knocks out people for twenty four hours, a scientist called Robag (a completely OTT Aubrey Morris) who can resurrect the dead, a defecting Colonel held captive by Van Epp who has lost his memory and a strange royal family who's country might be used in a bid for black world dominance.

The series definitely held The Avengers as a major influence, but could not really compete with the resources that Steed and Emma Peel enjoyed. Shot on video with seemingly the budget of a soap opera the series got more surreal by the episode.

Whilst the comparison to Twin Peaks may give you a feel for the twisty left of centre storylines and characters, the general feel of the programme was more in like watching a lost Harold Pinter play with an added dash of Monty Python. The start of the series, transmitted on Fridays at 9:40pm, was given the cover of the TV Times for the Granada region (North West) and backed up with a one page interview with Elizabeth Shepperd who stated: "I don't think I have ever read such an excellent script. So many scripts fall down on dialogue, but I loved this one. I want to appear in the kind of dramas I personally would watch, and I want to watch this one." Other ITV regions for the same week featured Jane Asher on the cover of TV Times.

Text © ANDREW SCREEN, with thanks to ALISTAIR D McGOWN, 2003.