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Paul Temple and the Sullivan Mystery

Information about the writer detective Paul Temple and the radio programme The Sullivan Mystery with episode guide, cast list and general trivia:

Paul Temple was a fictional detective written by Francis Durbridge. In between solving mysteries the detective is also a writer of crime novels. His catchphrase was By Timothy. He is married to Steve, a Fleet Street journalist, with an unusual nickname for a woman. They are aided by their manservant and butler Charlie.

The Paul Temple writings were made into books, radio plays, TV programmes and films for the cinema and were most popular between the 1930s and 1960s. Some episodes were co-written with Douglas Rutherford, John Thewes and Charles Hatten.

Sadly some of the original Paul Temple radio play recordings have been lost or were never recorded, just broadcast live. In 2006 Radio 4 remade Paul Temple and the Sullivan Mystery using the original radio script and sound effects. It was repeated for the first time on BBC 7 on Saturday 30 December 2006. Gerda Stevenson replaced Ros Drinkwater and Marjorie Westbury as Steve and Crawford Logan took over the role of Paul Temple which was originally played by Francis Matthews and Peter Coke. This Paul Temple story was originally broadcast as an eight part story in 1947 but is missing from the radio archives.

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Paul Temple Episode Guide


Part One - Having a Wonderful Time: A perfectly ordinary pair of spectacles spells trouble for the suave Paul Temple and his glamorous wife Steve as they set off on a trip to Egypt. Miss Raymond visits the Temple's at home to ask them to deliver a pair of horn rimmed spectacles to a friend called Mr Richard Sullivan in Cairo.

By Timothy! There is a mix up with rooms which is easily sorted but later that night the room the Temples should have been in was ransacked. The victim, Victor Armstrong, cannot understand why nothing was taken. The Temples have their suspicions though and are interrupted by a visit from Inspector Fowler. He tells the detective couple that Miss Raymond has been murdered.

Later that night they are awakened by the sound of distressed crying. They discover the "murdered" woman locked in a cupboard and dead before they could help her. Steve Temple finds a peppermint sweet. It seems it was her sister Lydia who was shot in Half Moon Street. Inspector Fowler asks the Temple's to keep their promise of delivering the spectacles.

Later in a yacht The Temple's are deliberately rammed but are rescued by Mr Darwin who they met briefly the night before. At customs their rescuer has trouble with a careless inspection officer.

The trio safely arrive on the boat plane and are offered a peppermint from a Miss Fraser...

Originally broadcast on Monday 7 August 2006 11:30-12:00.


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Part Two - Interlude at Augusta: During their stop-over in Sicily, Paul and Steve begin to sense that someone is on their trail.

Miss Fraser is travelling further, to Port Darwin. She passes the time by telling the Temple's about her family.

Steve Temple gets air sick. Whilst she sleeps her husband is called upon to visit Mr Constantine who is interested in Paul's business. He offers a payment for the documents he thinks Paul Temple has received from Miss Raymond. He then offers a higher payment for the horn rimmed glasses.

A telephone message awaits Paul Temple at the hotel. The phone rings later, it is Mr Richard Sullivan who asks about the glasses and the health of Miss Raymond. He is staying with Col Marquand at his villa.

Meanwhile Mr Constantine appeals to Mrs Temple to persuade her husband to hand over the glasses before it is too late.

The Temple's visit the villa and hear gun shots...

Originally broadcast on Monday 14 August 2006 11:30-12:00.


Part Three - Introducing Colonel Marquand: At the Villa Negara, events take a mysterious and dangerous turn. A thief is beaten up and shot dead in front of the Temple's.

Colonel Marquand reveals that he knows about the spectacles.

Paul sends Steve up a tree to spy on the Colonel and his friends whilst he goes to them to get more information.

Later, back at the hotel, they bump into Miss Fraser who keeps dropping her handbag and the contents of the bag.

The Temples make their way to the Cafe El Pasaro where they find Mr Darwin. He is waiting for his date who is familiar to Mr and Mrs Temple...

Originally broadcast on Monday 21 August 2006 11:30-12:00.


Part Four - Cairo: Paul and Steve go in search of the elusive Mr Sullivan and meet Miss Fraser again. They discover that her brother has a high position in the TEOC. They travel together to Cairo and telephone Mr Sullivan who doesn't know anything about spectacles or Miss Raymond. It is a case of mistaken identity as there is no Richard Sullivan at the TEOC, only a Mr Clarence Sullivan. Paul meets Mr Quinn in the bar and later they meet Miss Jeans who comes to the rescue of Steve who is attacked by an intruder searching the hotel room of the Temple's.

Mr Quinn is later shot between the eyes and the Commandant of the local police questions Paul Temple. Later Paul and Steve look at the address card given to them by Mr Quinn earlier in the day. The back of the card has a pair of spectacles drawn on it...

Originally broadcast on Monday 4 September 2006 11:30-12:00.


Part Five - The House of Bahri: Steve can't sleep in the heat and goes to the balcony to get some fresh air. She hears voices coming from Miss Jeans room. She hears them talking about getting the glasses when the Temple's leave their room. Steve goes shopping for gloves and does some hard bartering and meets Miss Jeans. They go shopping together and Steve takes ill. Meanwhile Paul meets a ghost...

Originally broadcast on Monday 11 September 2006 11:30-12:00. Colonel Marquand



Part Six - A Message from Sir Graham: Paul gets over the shock of seeing Mr Quinn alive and well. He tells Paul that he wants the spectacles to hand over to Mr Sullivan. He tells Paul that there is a warrant out for the arrest of Mr Sullivan. Paul returns to his hotel to discover that Steve has not been well. He advises her to stay away from Miss Jeans because they both suspect that she poisoned her coffee.

Steve and Paul Temple make their way to The House of Bahri and are taken to a house boat on the River Nile owned by millionaire Mr Bahri. They find a map and a piece of cord which they hope will help them solve the Sullivan Mystery. On their return to shore they find someone in the water, it is Miss Jeans.

Back at their hotel Paul Temple gets a phone call from Sir Graham who is now in Cairo.

At dinner Paul mistakes Mr Oliver J Whiteman for Colonel Marquand and shows him a piece of cord....

Originally broadcast on Monday 18 September 2006 11:30-12:00.



Part Seven - Mr Darwin Entertains: Paul is offered money for the glasses. They go to a bar with an illuminated aquarium with Mr Darwin and they tell him about all the recent events in the Sullivan mystery. Paul Temple gets a note from the waiter from Mr Quinn. It is in code and Mr Darwin helps then decipher it. It reveals a meeting place and time

They travel to the rendezvous where the body of Mr Quinn, shot through the head, is found with a revolver still in his hand. During a mix up with flowers Paul discovers that the waiter is colour blind and could not have known that it was Mr Quinn that game him the note. The brakes and steering of Mr Quinn's car has been tampered with.

Miss Fraser drops her handbag again and loses more peppermints and a revolver. The Temples see this and ask why she carry's a loaded revolver - she aims it at Mr Darwin and pulls the trigger - it is a fun gun loaded with peppermints. They all have a good laugh and make a dinner date.

They meet Sir Graham who asks for the spectacles. Paul tells him that they are in a safe deposit box at the bank. As Sir Graham tells Paul what brought him to Egypt they hear a tap at the window. It is Victor Armstrong, urging them to open the window. He wants to tell them about Marquand, but there are shots fired from a car...

Originally broadcast on Monday 25 September 2006 11:30-12:00.



Part Eight - Still Having a Wonderful Time: Victor Armstrong has been shot in the shoulder and manages to tell Temple and Sir Graham that he was sent to get the spectacles by Colonel Marquand and would get paid 7000. He also tells Temple that he was warned that Olaf Schreider is working against him to get the spectacles. He confesses that Miss Jeans was working for Colonel Marquand. Victor Armstrong does not know why they all want the spectacles.

Armstrong is sent to the hospital and Steve Temple goes out on her own. Sir Graham has his men watch her to ensure her safety. Schreider's men are also watching Mrs Temple and attack her protectors and follow Mrs Temple and kidnap her and take her to Colonel Marquand.

Colonel Marquand phones Paul Temple and tells him he can have his wife back safely in exchange for the spectacles. He warns Colonel Marquand that if Steve is harmed he will smash the spectacles.
Paul goes to the meeting place but is followed by Sir Graham and the police. Paul and Colonel Marquand struggle and tip over a lit stove. The curtains catch fire and the room is soon alight. In the struggle to get the revolver from Colonel Marquand a shot is fired and he dies. Steve and Paul flee the burning building.

Later Sir Graham tells the Temples what he knows about the Sullivan mystery and reveals the secret of the spectacles which starts with the theft of jewellery from the Duke and Duchess Monton by a villain called Ferrington who later escaped to Cairo. He caught Typhoid and before he died he gave his girlfriend Lydia the spectacles which he had specially made to be read with a map which would reveal the exact location of the treasure trove of stolen jewellery. Sir Graham and Temple come to the conclusion that Harold Darwin is in fact Sullivan.

Paul and Steve Temple dine with Miss Fraser and Harold Darwin and shows them both the spectacles. As Mr Darwin hands them back to Temple he feigns dropping them and tries to switch them over with a false pair of glasses. Paul Temple confronts him and in the struggle Miss Fraser pulls out her peppermint gun - which is now a real gun and shoots Harold Darwin in the arm. Miss Fraser reveals that she is really Miss Nicholson from Scotland Yard and is working for Sir Graham.

The jewellery collection is found and the Sullivan mystery is finally solved. Paul looks forward to getting back to England to write his new book but on the ship a steward approaches Paul and tells him that a tall thin gentleman smoking a cigarette called Delaney in C cabin would like to talk with him. The man wants Temple to deliver a book called Alice in Wonderland to his daughter in Waterloo, London for his birthday - Paul declines!

Originally broadcast on Monday 2 October 2006 11:30-12:00.



Cast List For Paul Temple


Paul Temple - Crawford Logan
Steve - Gerda Stevenson
Miss Fraser - Eliza Langland
Joyce Raymond - Lucy Paterson
Victor Armstrong - Michael Mackenzie
Harold Darwin - Richard Greenwood
Receptionist - Nick Underwood
Charlie - Greg Powrie
Mr Constantine - Angus MacInnes
Steward - Nick Underwood
Colonel Marquand - Angus MacInnes
Olaf Schreider - Nick Underwood
Signor Rossetti - Greg Powrie
Patrick Quinn - Gareth Thomas
Sidney Jeans - Wendy Seager
Zoltan Bahri - Angus MacInnes
Tom - John Paul Hurley

The radio play was produced by Patrick Rayner and written by Francis Biber.


Some of the original Paul Temple plays are repeated on BBC Radio7 and many are available on talking book CD and cassette. There are further details of these and Paul Temple books available to buy with free delivery available at Amazon.


Trivia About Paul Temple


The music for the Paul Temple plays on BBC radio was called Coronation Scot which included a steam train journey. It was written by Vivian Ellis.


The four Paul Temple cinema movies were:

1946 Send for Paul Temple with Anthony Hulme
1948 Calling Paul Temple with John Bentley
1950 Paul Temple's Triumph with John Bentley
1952 Paul Temple Returns with John Bentley


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