The Man Outisde
BBC 1972
"Rupert Davies As Baker Who Looks In On A World Of Mystery And Suspense" - BBC Press Tag
The Last Target
TX : 12th May 1972
Director : George Spenton-Foster
Script : Brian Tolka

Cast : Michael Redgrave (Erik Fritsch), Ann Todd (Leni Fritsch), Rupert Davies (Baker), Rose Power, Philip Madoc (Willy Karlweis), Scott Fredericks, David Garfield (Ernst Wernicke) and Brian Cobby.

Synopsis :
" … People die all the time, every minute of the day, in every part of the world and in every conceivable manner …". The words of Erik Fritsch, retired assassin, called back to kill his last target.

Notes :
The series was originally transmitted 9:20pm to 10:10pm on BBC 1.

Murder Story
TX : 19th May 1972
Director :
Simon Langton
Script : Patrick Alexander

Cast : Ronald Fraser (The Major), Joan Hickson (Martha), Rupert Davies (Baker), Helena Ross, Victor Winding, Sally James, Brigid Erin Bates, Paul Thompson, Peter Miles, Dennis Edwards, Colin Baker (Glover) and Pauline Stroud.

Synopsis :
Major Routledge found a body … at least he said he found it …

The Birdwatcher
TX : 26th May 1972
Director :
Michael Ferguson
Script : Robert Holles

Cast : Alec McCowen (Whichelow), Peter Barkworth (Grimsby), Zena Walker (Cynthia), Rupert Davies (Baker), Kathleen Heath, Ameila Taylor, John Caesar, Stanley Meadows and Michael Stevens.

Synopsis :
Major Richard Grimsby was mildly eccentric but harmless: that is until he met Harry Whichelow. The result … Murder.

A Persistent Coffin
TX : 9th June 1972
Director : Michael Ferguson
Script : Peter Draper

Cast : Kenneth Griffith (Isaac), Beth Morris (Myfanway), Ann Beach (Maudlin), John Clive (Rosko), J G Devlin (Titus O'Drum), Rupert Davies (Baker), David Pugh and Sion Probert.

Synopsis :
Hidden in the Welsh foothills in a tiny township called Pswllab … where the manufacture of delicious scandal is everything to the inhabitants …

TX : 16th June 1972
Director : Simon Langton
Script : Hugh Whitemore

Cast : Michael Bates (Griffen), Isabel Dean (Hilda Frisby), Hilda Fenemore (Marjorie Griffen), Richard Morant (Eric), Rupert Davies (Baker), Barbara Leake, Aimee Delamain and Robert Howard.

Synopsis :
Henry Griffen lived a quiet, ordered life working in the town bookshop, until one day he was seen stealing money from the till … And then everything started to go wrong.

Cuculus Canorus
TX : 23rd June 1972
Director : Raymond Menmuir
Script : Victor Canning

Cast : Anthony Hopkins (Albert Watts), Gerald Flood (Edward Kenward), Michael Gambon (Ralph Kenward), Angela Browne (Clare Kenward), Penny Spencer (Mildred), Rupert Davies (Baker), Geoffrey Russell, Edwin Brown and Alan Judd.

Synopsis :
Albert Watts comes to live on a large estate to study the local wildlife … but only because he is blackmailing his hosts. For Murder.

TX : 30th June 1972
Director : George Spenton-Foster
Script :
Hugh Whitemore

Cast : Sian Phillips (Sarah Pelow), Neil Stacey (Robert Peplow), Robert Urquhart (Doctor Ralph Adams), Rupert Davies (Baker), Ken Jones, Izabella Telezynska, Corbet Woodall and Michael Tarn.

Synopsis :
Any visitors would be welcome to Sarah Peplow, recently married and living in the depths of Herefordshire, just so long as they are not bent on her destruction.

A Glass Of Snake Wine
TX : 7th July 1972
Director : Paddy Russell
Script : Rex Edwards

Cast : Donald Pleasance (Victor Cobb), Moira Redmond (Christine Cobb), Frederick Jaeger (Garry Ellaby), Rupert Davies (Baker), Yasuko Nagazumi, Kristopher Kum and John Scoles.

Synopsis :
In the jungle are many strange things. Victor Cobb knows the jungle, he knows its power, the fear it can strike into men's hearts. The influence of civilisation sometimes does not run very deep and the primitive brutality and the need for survival often rise to the surface. Like the jungle, man's existence is full of life and death …

Hawk Street Horror
TX : 14th July 1972
Director : Michael Ferguson
Script : Donald Bull

Cast : Colin Blakely (Flannery), Peter Copley (The Editor), Robert Cawdron (Chief Superintendent Corner), Rupert Davies (Baker), Jeffrey Segal, Brenda Fricker (Molly), Frederick Schrecker, Alec Wallis, Martin Muncaster, David J Grahame, Isabel Sabel, Kathleen Helme, Clifton Morris, Robert Robertson, Marianne Stone, Dave Carter, John Lord, Derek Hunt, Nicholas McArdle, Sheila Walker, Jonathan Adams and Ian De Stains.

Synopsis :
The Hawk - a killer who struck and then vanished. But his victims were never found …

Bye, Bye, Mrs Bly
TX : 21st July 1972
Director : George Spenton-Foster
Script : Robert Holles

Cast : Sylvia Coleridge (Mrs Bly), Rupert Davies (Baker), Barbara Lott (Mrs Hamp), Jane Sherwin, Denis Carey, Margery Withers, Martin C Thurley, Graham Simpson, Jackie Rohan, Michael Lees, Cyril Appleton, Brian Cant, Alec Linstead, Jenny Nevison, Tracey Wilkins and Tony Groves.

Synopsis :
The village children thought Mrs Bly a witch; their elders regarded her as an unbalanced eccentric. But some sense there was a dark secret in her life …

Doubts Are Tratitors
TX : 28th July 1972
Director : Michael Ferguson
Script : Dorothy Alison

Cast : Anna Massey (Sally), Moray Watson (Frank), Renny Lister (Jill), Rupert Davies (Baker), Philip Bond, Joy Harrison, Maggie Walker and Michael Sheard.

Synopsis :
Frank doesn't mind his wife's passion for causes … until some of them conflict with his own professional duties, in British Security … And then the trouble begins …

TX : 4th August 1972
Director : George Spenton-Foster
Script : Ronald Duncan

Cast : George Baker (Lockley), Petra Davies (Madelaine Lockley), Rupert Davies (Baker), Richard Bebb, Denis Lill, Peter Myers, John Rolfe, Carol Davis, Charlotte Cornwell, Jon Rallson, Leslie Southwick, Desmond Cullum-Jones (The Barman), Tenniel Evans (Detective Inspector Metcalf), Sally Ann Marlowe and Briony McRoberts.

Synopsis :
Philip Lockley never wished harm on anyone. But when the fear starts to grow in his mind that he is the killer whom the police are seeking, then conscience forces him to become his own detector. With surprising results.

Appointment To View
TX : 11th August 1972
Director : Douglas Camfield
Script : A M Kittermaster

Cast : Ron Moody (Vane), Anna Cropper (Myra) and Rupert Davies (Baker).

Synopsis :
When a Major Vane arrives to inspect a large house which Myra is selling … she begins to suspect he has ulterior motives.

The First episode was supported by the following article in the Radio Times:

Rupert Davies Made His Debut In A Luftwaffe Camp In Silesia - Rupert Davies plays a raconteur introducing the stories in a thirteen-part thriller series, starting with a spy intrigue starring Michael Redgrave and Ann Todd. Here Davies tells his wartime thriller story to Madeleine Kingsley:

Comfortably arranged on the chaise-longue of his Television Centre dressing room with a glass of claret close at hand, Rupert Davies enjoys the well-to-do air of an eighteenth-century country gentleman. "But the profits from Maigret dried up years ago," he protests with robust humour, before telling you enthusiastically about the new house in Wales from which he was temporarily exiled because his Rolls-Royce was off the road. Life has not always run so smooth a course for Davies - until he was twenty-nine and became a professional actor at the end of World War Two, it was a potpourri of adventure. The drama began in Liverpool, 1919, when Rupert was three. "The entire city police force was out looking for me. I was found sitting on a bollard by the docks gazing out at the big ships. This was wrongly interpreted as a burning desire to be a sailor. In fact all I wanted to do was to locate the source of the hooters you could hear from the furthest parts of the city".

"I was terrified by bangs and shrieks": So at sixteen, instead of embarking on the stage career he's planned, Rupert was sent off as a sea cadet on HMS Worcester. During his two-year apprenticeship, his life was fairly tough: "You got up at five-thirty every morning and had almost no money. I think my father deposited eight pounds per voyage with the ship's captain and this was doled out to me at the rate of one-pound-a-port. But by way of compensation I did see the world. I did seven voyages to Australia where I managed to drink my first glass of beer at the most southerly pub in the world". When war broke out Rupert had just completed his training as an observer with the Fleet Air Arm: "It was a good thing for me to be involved with aeroplanes. I was terrified by bangs and shrieks, but in an aeroplane you've got your flying helmet on and you're listening to morse code signals through your headphones. You see pretty lights and tracer bullets but you don't hear a thing. On reflection, I was probably more frightened when filming for Waterloo - like the horses, I reacted badly to the cannon on the battlefield".

"I spent fourteen hours in a dinghy": Unfortunately, Rupert's service with the Fleet Air Arm was to be short-lived. Within a year, his plane came down off the Dutch coast. He was captured and held as a prisoner of war for the next five years. Landing in enemy waters in the middle of a stormy night with an unexploded mine for company was "absolutely terrifying" for Davies at the time. Now it's a tale he loves to tell: "The pilot and I spent fourteen hours in a dinghy trying to keep afloat. He was a very religious man who seemed to be having visions. He sat staring into space and did very little except bale out with his shoe on my instructions. I didn't dare to move an inch myself; my heavy flying gear and boots were completely waterlogged and I must have weighed a ton. During the morning I ripped off my shirt front and tied it to a rocket stick in the hope of attracting rescue. The shirt, I may say, was not service issue, but a high-grade poplin one that had been very difficult to get hold of at the time. Tearing it up really did upset me - but it worked!".

"We were up to our waists in water": "A German tanker rounded the bay and I saw a rescue craft being lowered. Never had I been so glad to see the enemy. We were up to our waists in water. The Germans on the tanker were very friendly, particularly the moustachio'd cook, who told us: `I was interned on the Isle of Man in World War One - you going to be very hungry, so I make you good stew'. The Luftwaffe squadron leader who came to claim us was more menacing: `For you ze war is over,' he assured, `but three, four months, over for everyone! Hitler will be in Buckingham Palace, the swastika will fly …'". At that time, with the Battle of Britain just beginning, it looked as if the German officer might be right, and it was five years before Davies and his fellow prisoners in a Silesian camp could be certain of victory for the allies. "The Russians have crossed the Oder":

"It was during a dress rehearsal of The Wind And The Rain," remembers Davies, "that a German came up on the stage and said to us: `Gentlemen, you have just half an hour to pack all you can carry, because the Russian soldiers have crossed the Oder - and gentlemen, please! If you will stop shouting you will hear their guns'. What a thrilling moment that was for us!". Some of his experiences as a Prisoner Of War were fairly hair-raising, including an escape attempt that misfired and earned Davies ten days in solitary confinement. But the years behind enemy lines did give him his chance to act. At a Luftwaffe camp in Silesia, Rupert met up with two other aviator prisoners who, like him, were keen amateurs but later went on to make their names in the theatre: actor Peter Butterworth and scripwriter Talbot Rothwell.

Rupert Davies recalls that they made a great team, in spite of the difficulties of putting together a strong production". "We had to rely on the Red Cross for scripts, and as for musical instruments for us to play, the situation was ridiculous. Until 1942 all we had to make do with was one old ukulele and a copy of `Drink To Me Only'".

"Ja, Rupert, that was very good": "But that changed when the Americans came into the war: they sent us a whole trainload of orchestral equipment, beautiful saxes and drums, all in mother of pearl and good enough for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra". Amazingly, costumes proved no problem: the Germans brought them in from Berlin and even had some made to order. Says Davies: "We had no money to pay for the clothes, but the Germans were happy to accept Red Cross soap. As Macbeth I wore a gold mail costume splendid enough for the West End stage". This production, Rupert's first major debut, was produced by another prisoner, young John Casson, "mostly from notes received from his father (Sir Lewis) through the mail".

Davies' Macbeth was a great success, particularly with the Germans. "The Commandant called me over after the show and said: `Ja, Rupert, that was very good - written by Schiller, nicht?'. He thought Shakespeare had done the translation". Bawdy Revues By A Future Monk: Besides the Shakespeare and the Shaw, the prisoners used to write their own sketches. "Talbot Rothwell was thinking up his Up Pompeii! material all those years ago, and there was a gentleman who's now a monk on Caldy Island who wrote our bawdiest revues. The Germans couldn't understand how we could send up the top brass so mercilessly. "In Deutschland das ist verboten," they'd say. (Radio Times, May 4, 1972 - Article by Madeleine Kingsley).

The series was presented by Rupert davies, produced by Derrick Sherwin and script edited by Martin Hall.

It is somewhat astounding to think that any viewers were drawn to the anthology series The Man Outside in May 1972, particularly when the content of the Radio Times article heralding the premiere of the series drifted off into Rupert Davies' reminiscences about theatrical antics in the Second World War.

Certainly Davies appeared in the series as a raconteur who introduced (and often featured in) the events played out for audiences throughout the series, but as the programme failed to concern itself with amateur dramatics in World War Two, the context of the article seemed somewhat dubious (apart from inflating the ego of a man who, ultimately, outstayed his welcome on BBC Television).

The Man Outside was in actuality another addition to the production line of anthology programmes which dotted the schedules throughout the 1970s. The series adopted the premise of "fear of the unknown", as embodied by "the man outside the door" or "the man outside the social circle" or "the man outside of the law".

Over the course of thirteen episodes, thriller vignettes offered audiences cheap thrills at half the price (the programme was a far cry from the popular Brian Clemens' series Thriller) which were nicely diverting but instantly forgettable.

Patrick Alexander and Hugh Whitemore were the most notable script contributors, with the series produced by Derrick Sherwin and directed by (amongst others) Simon Langton and Douglas Camfield. The programme featured performances from Michael Redgrave, Ronald Fraser, Anthony Hopkins, Michael Gambon, Sian Phillips, Moira Redmond, Donald Pleasance, Frederick Jaeger, George Baker and Anna Massey.

The series has never been commercially released in any format.

Text © Matthew Lee, 2005.