Police Surgeon

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Transmitted 10 September 1960

Police surgeon Dr. Geoffrey Brent decides to take a personal interest in Jim Clark, a juvenile delinquent who is beginning to make repeat appearances at the police station. Aware that his home life is less than ideal, the Doctor helps get young Jimmy off the hook for stealing money from a vending machine. Later, they bump into one another in a cafe, whereupon the Doctor takes the opportunity to play guidance counselor. Just as the "patient" is beginning to respond to the "treatment," even demonstrating his improvement by thwarting the efforts of a group of punks to swipe a violin from an old derelict, he is re-arrested for the vending machine theft.


Having been conditioned by modern television into the pattern of half-hour for comedies and one hour for dramas, it was a bit disconcerting watching a half-hour crime drama, and I was left with the feeling that I had just glimpsed the B-story excerpts of a full-length program. The result is rather lightweight and not especially engaging.

This aside, as the predecessor to The Avengers the show is still an intriguing study: it is not an especially flattering portrayal of police work, as it features some non-stereotypical, startlingly human officers—flawed, even dim. Ian Hendry's Dr. Geoffrey Brent is not dissimilar to Dr. David Keel—broody, distracted, mumbling. No one is especially outstanding in the acting department save for guest Michael Crawford, who was exceptional as the juvenile delinquent.

Technically the program is typical of the "taped live" studio productions of the day, right down to the posterized credit slides and quasi-jazz music score, although it was considerably less ambitious in production design than The Avengers, with most scenes dominated by dialog. While there were a couple of awkward scene transitions, there were no obvious technical flaws.




Designed by
Written & Produced by
Directed by

Alpho O'Reilly
Julian Bond
John Knight


Dr Geoffrey Brent
Jim Clark
Inspector Bryant
Old Man
Sgt. Manning
Cafe Proprietor
PC Johnson
PC Rowan
WPC Collins
1st Teddy Boy
2nd Teddy Boy
3rd Teddy Boy

Ian Hendry
Joseph Tomelty
Michael Crawford
Robin Wentworth
Blaise Wyndham
Alister Williamson
Edmond Bennett
Robert Russell
David Stuart
Diana Kennedy
Keith Goodman
Anthony Foyle
Anthony Ashdown
James Garrett


Robert Russell


Blaise Wyndham

Dead of Winter

Website Copyright 2002-2017 David K. Smith. Program and images Copyright 1960 ABC Television.