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Ultra-rare Tod Slaughter series recently shown on TV

Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 4:24 pm
by todmichel
As you maybe noticed, "King of the Underworld", the so-called "feature" made from three episodes of the 1952 TV series "Inspector Morley Investigates" finally made its appearance on British television - on Talking Pictures, Satellite 343 - when almost everybody thought it was a "lost" title.
Moreover, the print was complete (several years ago I watched a print from a private collector's collection and it was missing the middle episode) and in excellent shape.
The same channel also showed another, separate episode from the same series, "Murder at the Grange".
Now, if only they could also put their hands on the sequel, "Murder at Scotland Yard" (released in 1954) also made of three episodes !
As I told before, the complete series (13 episodes) was never aired in UK but was shown on WGN-TV in the USA, in the mid-Fifties. I have one episode, "The Red Flame", never shown in any form in Great-Britain, and also the "episode version" of "Murder ar Scotland Yard" (later incorporated in the feature of the same title.

So, if the people at Talking Pictures were able to get "King of the Underworld", the sequel must exist somewhere, as well as all the other episodes ? :(

Re: Ultra-rare Tod Slaughter series recently shown on TV

Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 8:21 am
by goldenband
As a Tod Slaughter fan, this is wonderful news! Is King of the Underworld now available to watch anywhere online? If not, will it be rerun? I have British colleagues who might be able to record it for me if so.

I see from your posts on Scarlet Street that "Murder at the Grange" was broadcast by the BBC in 2004. Did Slaughter play a role in every episode of Inspector Morley Investigates, including "The Red Flame"? It's a bit hard to follow what little information I can find online about the series.

Is there a complete Slaughter filmography out there? My wife and I are about halfway through watching the extant films (at least the ones that circulate), and are having a blast. Too bad Darby and Joan appears to be lost, as the title alone had us intrigued.

Re: Ultra-rare Tod Slaughter series recently shown on TV

Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:39 pm
by todmichel
I can't tell you if "King of the Underworld" will be shown again, but in any case I can send you a DVD-r of it as a gift.
"Murder at the Grange" was shown very recently, just find "Talking Pictures" on Google and on their page you'll find the scheduled programmes for this months and the following ones.
Yes, Tod is the star of all the episodes (13 in all) in the series. His name was forgotten in the credits of "Murder at the Grange" when they decided to release it theatrically as a featurette; originally it was known as "Death at the Festival". The same misadventure happened to Arthur Lucan and Bela Lugosi when their movie, "Mother Riley Meets the Vampire" was released as "My Son the Vampire" in America; they just forgot the two stars in the replacing credit card !
If you're interested Talking Pictures is announcing the 23 episodes of "Colonel March of Scotland Yard" (from 26, but the three first ones were released as a feature in UK - in France they were released as a 26 episodes series both in theaters and on television). The three first ones are available from Renown on DVD as "Colonel March Investigates".
Incidentally "Murder at the Grange" also exists on DVD, as a bonus with the 1948 feature "The Fall of the House of Usher" by Ivan Barnett (also from Renown).
Yes, I'm working on a complete book on Tod to be published next year, in French, but an English translation is planned. I collect everything on Tod since the mid-Sixties.
Apart from "Darby and Joan" that seems a lost film, there is (at least) another Tod Slaughter mystery, the featurette (probably directed by Widgey R. Newman) "Soldiers Without Uniform", that was completed, submitted for certificate, got an "U" without cuts... and never was released, under that title or another !