REVIEW: The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes – The Three Gables

  • Broadcast: March 7th, 1994
  • Character: Langdale Pike

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 “I withstand the blasts of time, can’t you see?” Langdale Pike

 “I don’t think that any of my adventures with Sherlock Holmes started quite so abruptly, or so dramatically, as that which I associate with the Three Gables”. Thus began the story upon which this feature of Granada Televisions The memoirs of Sherlock Holmes is based.

The televised episode, however, has certain deviations and difference from the original story – all to the benefit of the viewers and, I suspect, to accommodate the medium in which it’s presented.

Some changes concern additional scenes or the creation of details and a general rearranging of the unfolding of the mystery, as any adaptation is bound to have, but one particular change, that demands special mention here, is the expansion of the character of Langdale Pike from minor background role to, well… more prevalent background role. Why mentionable, I hear you ask, as if you didn’t know? Because the character is of course played by PETER WYNGARDE who, I might add, is woefully underused.

Langdale Pike – gossip columnist and encyclopeadia of information concerning the comings and goings; the intertwined relationships, and secrets of London’s elite.

Perfect for PETER? Yes, indeed! The character is described by Watson as a “Strange, languid creature, as well as a transmitter for all the gossip of the metropolis”. And Holmes, naturally, helped Langdale to knowledge on occasions. In the original story, Langdale is only briefly referred to, with Watson describing him when Holmes pays him a visit in order to gather information, and to help shed light on the baffling and dangerous case. But in the televised version, the character is expanded, so that we’re able to see him in the flesh. A treat indeed!

‘The Three Gables’ provided a rich hour of fine drama during a season of none-descript situation comedies, bland American imports and endless reruns of old, over worn films. If any kind of criticism is to be made of this production, I’d say that the camera indulged slightly once too than necessary on reflections and double-exposures, and that Jeremy Brett’s Holmes is a little TOO dramatic and flouncy (but convincing and always watchable). That’s all, since the series was a veritable gem for Granada.

We first meet Langdale in the opening scene where a ball is taking place. Society lady, Isadora Klien is suitably impressed by the Duke of Lomond, who is wearing the head of a bull and Douglas Mayberry as a matador, acting out a bull fight for entertainment. Watching all this drama, Langdale sits on a golden throne and reflects with his pocket watch held before him.

He expertly notices that the affections and interest of Isadora abruptly moves away from Douglas towards the Duke. Landale Pike depends upon such social engagements to glean the majority of the tittle-tattle constituting his newspaper column.

Douglas Maybury is cast aside, he brutally beaten and left to die under the instruction of his former love, and so he sets himself a task. He will write the story of his life and affair with Isadora Klien, and will ruin her as she has ruined him. When inevitably Douglas succumbs to the injuries inflicted by Isadora’s henchmen, the script is complete. Realising that her whole social existence would crumble beneath the scandal should the manuscript ever become public, she sets about finding it. However, when has it stolen and brought to her, she discovers that the final page is missing. The author’s revelations and the evidence of murder are both contained on that page.

Later, Holmes visits Langdale to have him identify the picture of a woman that had been found in Douglas Mayberry’s locket. Langdale first plays a game with Holmes – asking him what he makes of a lady he points out in the park. Holmes assesses her without ever really looking in her direction; using his imaginative skills to make a precise deduction.

Pleased with his opinion, Langdale finally reveals who the lady is and where she comes from, for Langdale knew all along but was testing Holmes.

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The two gentlemen are equals, as Holmes comments: “Under that veneer, he is totally isolated, like me” – suggesting a common bond between them, and partly the reason for their relationship. At the mere mention of Douglas Mayberry, Pike comments: “Poor boy, and what a waste”, demonstrating that he not only knows the intricacies of his affair with Isadora, but that there’s more to him than merely gossip. He chooses what constitutes his column and refers to himself as “The good angel”, as he prefers not to ruin any Society figure with a scandal. And indeed in that particular era of British history, what is true doesn’t hold much weight as that which APPEARS to be true. Appearances matter. Gossip reigns, and Langdale is king.

Holmes mentions that Douglas was involved with a rich, well-placed lady and enquires if she’s known to him. Langdale displays a smug smile; he definitely knows something, but is he going to tell? Writing the name on a slip of paper he folds it, and offers it to his old friend, but then as suddenly withdraws it: “Tittle for tattle?” he exclaims. Langdale likes to play games. Holmes is not amused by this condition, and attempts to take the slip from Pike’s hand. Pike promises to retain the paper until the favour is met.

It is this scene that really puts the character on the map – introducing Langdale; showing a little of what he’s capable of and, indeed, how he works. Much more than merely a gossip, Langdale appears to sincerely care for the Society by which he earns his keep.

During a lavish garden party and masquerade ball hosted by the Duke of Lomond’s family, Holmes again consults Langdale who, needless to say, was invited. He greets Holmes with:

“You owe me a favour, dear boy. Remember?”

They discuss the current investigation, and as Isadora’s name is mentioned, a sudden change comes over Langdale; his mood blackens and his propensity for fun wilts.

“She’s deadly!“ he confides.

Holmes is beginning to put the pieces together. Langdale reveals that the Duke of Lomond’s mother is dead-set against Isadora’s forthcoming marriage to her son; that she recognises what the woman is, even if her love-struck son does not. When later Holmes meets with her, she urges him to break the scandal, but he has other plans.

Isadora Klien is confronted by Holmes, who reveals that he knows she’s responsible for the beating Douglas suffered that resulted in his death. The fact that he’d died from pneumonia caused by a ruptured spleen is not, in itself, enough to convict her. Holmes couples this with the knowledge that Isadora is not as noble as she at first appears and is, in truth, the daughter of gypsies. To her, the revelation of this truth poses more of a threat than the hangman’s rope ever could. She agrees, reluctantly, to call off the wedding to the Duke of Lomond and is thus saved from scandal.

At the end of the tale – when Holmes finally solves the mystery and is revealing the numerous twists and turns to Watson, he spots Langdale and raises his cane to him in acknowledgement. Langdale, in turn, proffers the slip of paper expectantly, then comes to realise that Holmes is not going to reciprocate; Sherlock Holmes cannot be played so easily.

Langdale tears the slip of paper into confetti and scatters the pieces into the air. There is a final glimpse of him is of him lifting his monocle to his eye. Watching.

IN RETROSPECT:

PETER WYNGARDE plays Langdale Pike so well it seems, as with Jason king, as if the part was written for him. “I supress much more than I expose,” Pike reveals, and how true. PETER underplays Pike, toning down gestures which Brett would certainly have overstated. His manner and tone are made for this costume Drama; his gravelly voice and refined gestures ARE Langdale Pike.

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“I withstand the blasts of time,” Langdale cries after Holmes. “Can’t you see?”

 Written by Ian Smith

This is a pen and ink sketch drawn by PETER to illustrate his idea for the costume he would wear in the Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes episode, The Three Gables.

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As you can see, he’s written detailed instructions about every part of the jacket. In case you can’t read his handwriting (From top – clockwise):

Langdale Pike

  • Spy Glass
  • Similar to cravat. Lace sleeves.
  • Black Lace.
  • Black neck band.
  • Gold thread.
  • High collar.
  • Gold thread cravat.
  • Black water silk coat.
  • Black water silk breeches.
  • Shining black boots.
  • Walking stick gold nob.
  • Cuffed sleeves.

“PETER WYNGARDE played Langdale Pike – a Victorian Nigel Dempster in ‘The Three Gables’, which opened the 1994 season of The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.

 As always, PETER was distinguished by his rapier wit and style. A memorable performance”

June Wyndam-Davis – Producer: The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

On Monday, 22nd November, 1993, the National Film Theatre in London showed a preview of The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes episode, ‘The Three Gables’ (it was broadcast for the first time on British television four months later, on March 7th, 1994). PETER was a special guest at the event.

The following letter was written by Brenda Peck (Howes and Prior Theatrical Agency) to Carolyn Bartlett, Casting Director at Granada Television:

Dear Carolyn,

How are you? Well, I hope.

Although I’m trying this on agency stationary, it’s really just a personal note to thank you for casting the delicious PETER WYNGARDE in ‘The Three Gables’ episode of the new Sherlock Holmes series, which was previewed at the NFT on Monday evening, and which, of course, I went along to see: going along there last evening, too, to catch the Illustrious Client episode in the 60’s television starring Douglas Wilmer.

I’ve been a great admirer of his work since, I suppose, the 50’s: certainly long before he was Jason King – when he was beautiful Sydney Carton in those splendid BBC classic serials we used to have on Sunday teatimes and what a joy he was in ‘Duel of Angels’ with Vivien Leigh in the West End all those years ago.

It’s a great shame we don’t see more of him these days –as someone in the audience on Monday evening and last night on leaving the NFT someone was saying how marvelous he was and I don’t think they seemed to know him previously – so I’d appreciate your considering him in future for anything else you might be working on.

Of course, there’s no need to acknowledge this but thank you for reading it.

Best Wishes,

Yours Sincerely,

Brenda (Peck).


The Hellfire Club: The OFFICIAL PETER WYNGARDE Appreciation Society: https://www.facebook.com/groups/813997125389790/

 

REVIEW: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes – The Illustrious Client

  • Broadcast: February 20th, 1965
  • Character: Baron Adelbert von Gruner

“I should say there is no more dangerous man in Europe”.

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PETER as Von Gruner with Jennie Linden as Violet de Merville

‘The Illustrious Client’ is part of the BBC’s Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s series, which was originally broadcast in 1963. Not counting the pilot (‘The Speckled band’) it shows all the hallmarks of ageing television productions; grainy film, simplistic camera staging, over-the-top acting and a rather rushed plot. Nevertheless, for all of that, it does have its own style, finer moments and some competent performances. Indeed, I found that I rather enjoyed the episode since I’m a sucker for a good villain!

Picture it: Victorian England at the end of the Nineteenth century. London backstreets; swirling mists… not caused by oppressive weather, but rather some water thrown on hot coals. Let me explain…

You see, Holmes and Watson are having a sauna. Now before you get your tablets out and start composing an email in complete disgust, I can assure you that their intentions are completely honourable. After all, this is the 1890’s filmed in the 1960’s, so we’re not quite at The Tudors era of production where anything goes, and goes at it all of the time! This is entirely civilized and above board. Right then, Holmes and Watson and some other chaps are enjoying their sauna when news reaches them that their services are required in a matter of some delicacy (are they always?!) Cut to 221b Baker Street.

It appears that Violet, the daughter of General de Merville, has become entangled with a certain Baron Adelbert von Gruner; a devious man and ‘one to whom violence is familiar, who will stick at nothing to gain his ends’. Sir James – the General’s aide, also adds: “I should say there is no more dangerous man in Europe”. The Baron’s intentions are, of course, not as honorable as he would have Violet believe. It’s said that’s just murdered a former wife and several others, which is all idle speculation, naturally, but the honour and life of poor young Violet must be saved at all costs. Does Violet not know of his deeds? I hear you cry. Well, as a matter of fact she does, but she’s heard an alternative and entirely fictional version from the Baron himself, and being hopelessly in love with him, that’s all she needs. The game is afoot!

In a club of ill repute, Holmes and Watson consult Shinwell Johnson – a crook who happens to have his ear to the ground. He agrees to put the word out for something to pin on the Baron – specifically something connected to his numerous female companions. This is a poorly-produced scene with blaring music in the background which makes it difficult to hear what’s being said. The singer, a Cockney girl, is dressed in something that wouldn’t look out of place on a Madonna tour (Jean Paul Gaultier has a lot to answer for!). For me, she seems to spend too much time on getting her London-in-the-1990’s accent right to be bothered with making the lyrics understandable. And I’m sure the lines were outrageously funny, but we’ll never know. However, Shinwell’s dark murmurings of the Baron set the scene.

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Von Gruner at home with Violet

Note: Von Gruner is the male equivalent of Basic Instinct’s Catherine Trammell (minus the lesbianism, of course!): a man who toys with women; was suspected of murder but deftly evaded capture, and is rich. We should be on our guard.

At last we have our first taste of Baron von Gruner and Violet de Merville. He is everything we suspected: intellectual, focuses, predatory, manipulative, and murderous. She is everything we feared: blinded by love, dominated, and more than a little bit stupid (I’ll forgive her for these later. Well, I’m allowed to change my mind, aren’t I?) The Baron is obviously not desirous of Violet, and makes a heart-felt attempt to strangle the poor girl for attempting to enter his secret study then, just as suddenly, loses interest. Despite this, Violet wants him to tell her that he loves her. All he can manage is: “I want you more than anything else in the world”, which is all Violet is going to get. Oh well, he is the star of the piece after all and can’t be seen to be too available, can he?

So why is the Baron so protective of his study? Why doesn’t Violet run to the nearest copper and cry ‘attempted murder’? Why is the Baron wearing the very same boots that Sir John Cleverly Cartney wore in The Avengers? All this and more in the next episode of Soap…

Sorry – I got a bit carried away there. Anyway, the scene is now prepared for Holmes to lock horns with our very own bad boy, and we’re not disappointed. He arrives at the Baron’s home and the pair size each other up while the camera wiggles to and fro to get a better angle. The Baron warns his foe to “draw off at once” and promises the Detective a damn good thrashing if he continues to meddle in his affairs. This is also the scene when we realise why his fiancé is being so daft – Post Hypnotic Suggestion! So the Baron is the David Blaine of Victorian England. It could be worse, but not for violet. But, still, I forgive her (I said I would, didn’t |I?). The Baron projects a confident exterior but we can tell that he’s at least respectful of Holmes’ investigative flair, if not threatened by it. He should be, though, since this is Holmes show after all and the ‘Baddie’ is bound to be defeated. I was a little concerned about the “au revoir” exit Homes makes. It’s not really as tough as a “just you wait!” or a “I’ll get you yet!”, is it? But on we go…

And it’s time for the introduction of the other good character piece of the episode: Miss Kitty Winter, played by Rosemary Leach. Kitty is one of the Baron’s earlier conquests and she’s out for revenge. She reveals that he is every bit as despicable as we feared and that she’d be quite prepared to warn Violet of his previous history. But Holmes needs something concrete to pin on the Baron. Kitty knows of a black book in which he keeps intimate details of his female conquests. So now we have something to work with. Yet as Kitty is leaving she tells Holmes that she doesn’t want payment from him for this or any other information, but would rather “like to see him in the mud with my foot in his cursed face”. Sounds like trouble to me, but Holmes is not at all concerned. OK, so we’ll pretend we didn’t hear that for the sake of the plot.

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Baron von Gruner quizzes Dr Watson on Ming-era pottery

Off we go to see Violet and to warn her that her husband-to-be is a bit of a lad… oh, and a homicidal maniac to boot, but the young lady is having none of it. It would appear that Baron von Gruner is quite adept at his hypnotism.

Kitty is incensed at Violet’s lack of attention to her warnings, and comments: “I don’t give a tinker’s cuss if you live or die”, and at this juncture I’m inclined to agree. There’s’ nothing more infuriating in a drama than to have a weak character, however heavily the plot depends upon it (I shall revoke my absolution – well, it is a gentleman’s prerogative to change his mind!). Surely Arthur Conan Doyle should’ve put more flesh on her? Anyway, we leave Violet for a moment with Kitty’s warning: “You’ll be sorry you didn’t listen to me, my fine lady!”. And she probably would, except that Sherlock Holmes is bound to win through seconds from disaster.

Outside on the street, Holmes has just seen Kitty off in a Hackney Carriage when two thugs see off Holmes in a rather tame tousle compared to today’s standards. (I have to admit that seeing Douglas Wilmer face down in a puddle of water rather pleasing, and he’s supposed to be the hero!). Something is surely amiss. Ah – I know what it is. Holmes is not dead after all, oh no! He was on his guard and put up a brave fight. Good ol’ Holmes!

In the interim, the Baron spots an article entitles “Murderous attack on Sherlock Holmes” in his newspaper, prompting a most evil smirk to appear across his face. We get the impression that he would’ve liked to have seen the attack at close quarters.

Meanwhile, Watson tends to Holmes, who evidently wasn’t quite as badly beaten as we’d been lead to believe. As a result of the attack, he sees to it that Kitty is taken into his protection in case the Baron should have any further murderous inclinations. However, the Showgirl is the last thing on von Gruner’s mind, as it appears he’s already taken steps to skip the country for the Big Apple. This decision seems rather strange to me, given that he’s still of the belief that Holmes has been dealt a fatal blow, and that his marriage to Miss De Merville can go ahead without a hitch.

Always hot on the Austrian’s heels, Holmes discovers that Baron’s plans and announces to Watson that they have three full days before he sails to the Colonies to sort him out (let’s hope they do better than Time Team!). But they do have a secret weapon: Watson is to become an expert in Chinese Potter – a passion of the Baron’s – in twenty-four hours. Oh dear, what was Arthur thinking…?

The cracks are now beginning to show in Violet’s hypnotism and the Baron has to give a little top-up before he sets off for the States, while Watson cries, “Ming, Ming, Ming!” It can only get better.

At last the final scenes. Kitty is “Prepared for anything”, and Watson has indeed become a pottery expert, although I don’t feel he’d fare well on Antiques Roadshow somehow, but he claims that he could hold an intelligent conversation on the subject nonetheless. Well, I’m all for confidence, and besides it’s in the interest of the plot to suspend our disbelief, isn’t it? Watson is to go undercover.

And so off we go with Watson to see the Baron, who suspects that the visitor is not quite what he claims to be. Watson, it must be said, does little to dissuade him; mumbling something about the Tang vase presented to him for inspection, and hastily moving on to the reason for his call, which is the Ming saucer he wished to sell to the Baron. After only a couple of shots at Watson’s amour, von Gruner discovers that he knows little about Chinese pottery, and that he’s indeed a spy. A revolver is produced. Is Watson about to be horribly dispatched?

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Sherlock Holmes confronts the Baron

A sudden noise from the study. “Ah, I see,” exclaims the Baron. “There is more than the one of you!”. Of course, we should’ve known; Watson was merely a momentary distraction whilst Holmes and Kitty attempt to find the infamous ‘Black Book’. The Baron bursts into the study. Holmes ducks bravely behind a curtain; Watson dashes to the rescue, whilst kitty saves the day by throwing her little acid concoction into the Baron’s face, leaving him writhing around in agony.

All rather grim, really.

Back at Baker Street, we’re rushed through the loose ends of the mystery. Kitty manages to escape with only a month in the slammer for melting the Baron’s face, whilst Holmes succeeds in evading the charges of burglary since he apparently has friends in high places. Good heavens! was British Law so corrupt even then?! I’m afraid so.

AFTER THOUGHTS:

Now I bet you’re dying to know what our very own MR WYNGARDE was like in this production. His accent was a curious blend of Gary Oldman in ‘Dracula’ and the late Alan Rickman, which sounds as if it would be quite distracting, but it actually works wonderfully. Well, apart from one phrase used when discussing the hypnotism: “No vinking lites and darkened rrrrooms” which, to me, sounded a bit like Jamie Lee Curtis doing her ‘Inge from Sweden’ bit in ‘Trading Places’.

It’s clear to me that PETER the most ability in the drama – showing a marvelously rapid progression of expressions during the close-up’s in headed exchanges, and creating particularly idiosyncratic gestures and movements when he, as the Baron, inspected his collection of pottery. Von Gruuner is one of those characters who, I assume, would be very difficult to play convincingly. An actor would either triumph or flounder disastrously in the rile and I for one am grateful that PETER carried it so well, since the only other outstanding performance came from Rosemary Leach as Miss Winter.

Douglas Wilmer as Holmes. Hmm. Not convinced at all. His mannerisms and body language were far too camp for my liking. I know that Holmes is supposed to be more than a little dramatic and rather conceited, but Wilmer made me want to give him a taste of the back of my hand. Give me Jeremy Brett any day!

Nigel Stock as Watson fared much better, but was written as too much of a bungling idiot. I mean, this man is supposed to be a doctor of medicine, and yet here he is, running around going “doh!” like Homer Simpson! No, it was a fine attempt, but again the scriptwriters needed a good kick up the rear.

The plot was fairly rushed, but did have some good twists and turns, such as kitty’s revenge and Holmes attempted murder, despite not really having a crime to solve as such. I feel this would’ve been much more impressive if Wilmer had been replaced and the duration extended somewhat, but at the time of production there was, of course, numerous constraints on the cast and crew.


ELEMENTARY, MY DEAR WATSON

Views on the Illustrious Client

“There is nothing more important than trifles!” Sherlock Holmes once said – and so, at the beginning of my short essay on The Illustrious Client, starring Douglas Wilmer, Nigel Stock, and with PETER WYNGARDE as the guest villain, I’d like to make two things clear: the title of this article is absolutely none-canonical, while the episode is. Holmes often said: “My dear Watson,” as well as “elementary”, but they were never said together. It’s one of the great misquotes of film and literature, as is “Play it again, Sam,” for example.

I was glad to read in the above piece by Ian Smith was a ‘review’ in its truest sense, since many articles on PETER’s film and TV work are merely re-telling’s of the story. However, as a Holmsian of many years, I had to chuckle at some of his comments.

There’s no doubt that he’s a good and amusing writer, so there’s no point in discussing that. But his knowledge of the world of Sherlock Holmes seems to be rather marginal – or he simply used some of his writing abilities to make fun of the episode, because he disliked it(?)?

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I certainly agree that PETER WYNGARDE made the best with the part of the “Austrian murderer”, von Gruner. In fact, his portrayal is more than a match for that of Eric Porter’s Professor Moriarty in the Jeremy Brett series. If you’ve seen the Anthony valentine version of von Gruner with Brett’s Holmes, you would see how well PETER delivers the character. He is charming and attractive, cunning, sadistic, deadly as a poisonous snake, whist moving almost cat-like around the room. Valentine, on the other hand, looked rather like an old gigolo who’s best times are behind him; you just couldn’t understand why Violet, or indeed ANY woman, would go for him. It couldn’t possibly be for his old-world continental; charm because he had none!

Valentine plays his game like a clever amateur. PETER is in full control of it. The scene where Wilmer’s Holmes confronts von Gruner is a delight, and both WYNGARDE and Wilmer show the best of their acting abilities; this alone is worth the whole film! By the way, as a German, I can say that PETER manages the accent fairly well.

I was surprised to read in Ian Smith’s review that he found Wilmer “camp”. This tag might fit the scene where Holmes leaves the Turkish bath like a Roman senator, but nowhere else. I won’t argue either who was the better Holmes; Brett or Wilmer. In my opinion, Brett was wonderful, but Wilmer was superb. There’s no doubt that the latter plays Holmes as the ‘Thinking Machine’ that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle described, with all the mannerisms found in the books.

On the other hand, Jeremy Brett went quite over the top on a few occasions, and clearly went too far in some of the later episodes.

I still feel that Jeremy Brett and Peter Cushing were the best Holmes, but Wilmer comes close.

I also agree with Ian Smith’s comments on Rosemary Leach’s performance as “that hell-cat” Kitty Winter. She gives a good performance, but on the other hand, I wouldn’t go for her myself, and I can’t see why von Gruner would be attracted to her either. She would clearly have no chance of winning a beauty context!

Written by Uwe Sommerlad


The Hellfire Club: The OFFICIAL PETER WYNGARDE Appreciation Society: https://www.facebook.com/groups/813997125389790/

 

REVIEW: One Step Beyond – ‘Nightmare’

  • Broadcast: 27, June 1961 Character: Paul Roland

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INTRODUCTION:

One Step Beyond, which ran from 1959 to 1961, was created by Merwin Gerard and produced by Collier Young. Each of the 90 episodes were introduced by John Newland – ‘Your guide to the supernatural’, who also directed every one of the stories.

Sometimes billed as Ancola Presents: One Step Beyond – Ancola being the series sponsor, this ABC network show was staged as a sort of docu-drama, since each of the episode were said to have been based on true stories.

While the earlier episodes were all shot in in the USA, the final thirteen installments – including ‘Nightmare’, were filmed at MGM Studios in Borehamwood, England. The idea to bring the show to Britain was John Newland’s, as he felt that it would give the series a new lease of life, and because “Great Britain offered good actors, good situations and good settings”.

‘Nightmare’, being episode 34 of Season 3, was one of those filmed in Borehamwood and on location in Scotland. “We had some pretty wild weather while we were up on the north coast of the Highlands,” Peter remembers. “It was raining, freezing cold, and the sea was lashing the cliffs. I think we were all glad to get back on the bus after that one!”

THE EPISODE:

Come – you’ll witness things strange, unexpected, mysterious, but not to be denied. Join me now and take One Step Beyond…’

So goes the introduction to this episode.

The first scene opens of in the studio artist, Paul Rowland (PETER WYNGARDE), who’s working a portrait of Lady Diana Metcalf (Ambrosine Phillpots) – an elderly woman, who’s sitting across the room from him. She’s obviously a lady of means, as she’s dressed in an expensive gown and with a string of pearls wrapped several times around her neck.

Paul is oblivious to her, as he is of our host John Newland, who conveys the following:

‘There is a great deal more going on here than just an artist painting a portrait – a great deal more.

The world of the psychic co-exists with the physical world; sharing every instance of time, every speck of space. But what an uneasy co-existence. For always the psychic seems like some wild thin; always straining at its own dimension. Always threatening to explode into the other world – the physical world.

Sometimes it does…’

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PETER as troubled artist, Paul Roland

Whilst Paul concentrates intently on his work, the elderly lady entertains him with stories of her mother – also a painter, and of all the artists she had met over the years. She goes on to regale him with the tales of how she came by the striking string of pearls, and of her husband, and family ties.

Throughout her monologue, Paul remains transfixed on his work, and not even mention of his forthcoming wedding to socialite, Jill Barrington, can entice his stare from the canvas. “Everyone knows,” Lady Diane continues. “The dashing young artist from Paris is going to marry her. It’s in all the gossip columns”. Again, there’s not so much as a flicker of interest from Paul.

As we’re brought closer to him, we see how emotional he is over the picture he’s creating on the canvas. In the background, we now hear the woman make mention of the fact that, not once since Paul began working had he ever so much as glanced at her.

“Are you working from memory?” she enquires. When she again receives no response, she gets up from her seat and walks over to him. Paul, in turn, moves away from his easel and stands, staring out through a window.

The elderly woman is shocked when she at last sees what Paul’s been drawing all this time: It’s the face of a beautiful young woman surrounded by flowers, but with a hideous devil-like beast in the background. “If you don’t mind me saying, you haven’t exactly caught me!” her Ladyship comments, sarcastically. “Or am I meant to be that wretched creature peering over her shoulder?”

Paul remains stoic – his gaze unmoving from the window. With this, Lady Diane grabs her coat and bag, but before leaving enquires if the artist if he’s ill. He gives her a momentary glance, before his eyes return to the window.

“Henry (her husband, we presume) always said artists were mad!” she barks before heading for the door. “But I thought he was being reactionary!” And with that, she turns on her heel and stomps out.

Now alone in his studio, Paul walks slowly towards the easel, and gently strokes the face of the young woman he’s drawn in charcoal. “Claire”, he whispers softly. “Claire”.

Later that same evening, Paul’s fiancé Jill (Mary Peach), arrives to find the studio in darkness. She’s carrying a selection of holiday brochures, as she’s hopes that the two of them might finally decide upon a destination for their honeymoon in seven days’ time.

On hearing her call his name, Paul appears in the doorway that leads to his living room. He and Jill embrace, and they take a seat together. She reminds him that May 7th, the date he’d insisted upon for the wedding, was almost upon them. She comments how tired he looks, and handing him the brochures, insists that a holiday would do him good.

Apathetically, he flicks through the pamphlets, prompting Jill to ask if he cares at all about their upcoming nuptials. When she gets no response from him, she resolves to enquire if he loves her at all. When once again Paul declines to reply, she gets up to look at the picture he’s been working on, and when she sees that it’s not Diana Metcalf, asks who the young woman is.

When instead of giving her a name as expected, Paul merely asks her why she wishes to know, Jill becomes irritated – querying whether the girl in the portrait is her “rival”. Paul tells her quietly that she wouldn’t know her if he were to tell her, and that he can’t tell her anything anyway.

Since she’s not willing to accept such a glib answer, Jill heads for the door, snapping: “Well, I’ll leave you alone with her!”

Paul calls her back, and in a somewhat confused state, discloses that he’s never seen the woman before in his life. Unwilling to believe him, and angry at his indifference towards her and the wedding, she departs in a temper.

The next time we see Paul he’s mixing paint on a pallet in his studio, and is about to begin applying the oils to the drawing of the young woman he’d been working on earlier. It’s then that his agent, Geoffrey Heathcote (Ferdy Mane) arrives. It’s obvious that Lady Metcalf has been in touch with him, as he remonstrates with the artist for insulting a valuable client. Paul, however, remains detached from everything that’s being said to him, and instead concentrates entirely on the painting.

At Jill’s apartment later that evening, there’s a knock at the door which wakens her from her sleep. She finds Paul on the doorstep and he asks if he can come inside.

At first he tells her that she’s right – with only six days to go to their wedding, they really need to decide on a destination for their honeymoon. She, however, is more interested in his recent inexplicable behaviour, whereupon he swears once again that he’s never seen the girl in his drawing before.

He goes on to tell her that he’s been commissioned to paint three portraits, but that each has ended with him sketching that girl; “It’s as though she’s trying to possess me,” he confesses. “I can’t draw anything without her face staring at me”.

Her anger at him now turning to sympathy, and recommends that they call a doctor, but Paul refuses. He then attempts to turn the topic of conversation from the girl back to the wedding. With less than a week to go, he tells her, they really must concentrate on the honeymoon. But where to go; Paris, Berlin or Venice, perhaps?

Jill, however, is still concerned for his wellbeing, but he reassures her that he’s merely been working too hard and is overtired; their getting away for a few days will do him the world of good.

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Jill comforts her fiancé, Paul

He then begins to touch her face in the same way he’d done with the drawing of the girl in his studio, and as he takes Jill in his arms, he begins to talk about the little cottage they’d bought by the sea: “It’s the prettiest in Cornwall – you said it yourself”, he says. Jill, though, is bemused, since they don’t have a cottage, in Cornwall or anywhere else. Her confusion is intensified further still when he makes mention of the boat he’d bought and then, worst of all, refers to her as Claire.

Immediately, Jill goes to the phone and starts to dial the doctors number. Completely oblivious to her actions, Paul picks up his jacket and starts heading for the door. He smiles, believing her to be calling the travel agent: “Where did we decide to go?” he asks as he opens the door to leave. “Venice?”

The following day, Jill visits Geoffrey Heathcote to share with him the events of the previous evening. The agent confides that that he’s been handing painters for years and that he genuinely likes Paul.

She tells him that she believes that her fiancé desperately needs the help of a doctor; not just a regular GP, but a psychiatrist. Geoffrey confides to her that he has a plan, but that if it fails, they could both be in trouble. Nevertheless, they decide to try anyway.

Back at the Studio, Paul is again working on the painting of the young woman, when there’s a knock at the door. When he fails to respond, the visitors – Geoffrey Heathcote and Psychiatrist (Patrick Holt), decide to let themselves in. As they do so, Paul throws a blanket over the painting to hide it from view.

Geoffrey asks Paul why he’s stopped answering his phone. given that he’s been trying for hours to contact him. He tells the young artist that the Doctor is a buyer for a museum, and that he could be interested in buying some of his paintings. Paul merely continues wiping paint from his hands, without a word.

The Doctor tells Paul that he’ll be leaving for London in the morning, so if their visit is not convenient, he could rearrange at a later date. Once again, Paul doesn’t respond. However, as the Doctor approaches the easel where the artist has been working, Paul whips the blanket from over the painting to allow the Doctor to see it.

The first thing that he notices is the creature that’s peering over the young woman’s shoulder, and he asks Paul what it is. But instead of answering the Doctor’s question, the young man grabs a pallet knife and begins slashing at the painting before running from the studio to his living quarters and slamming the door behind him.

Geoffrey now joins the Doctor to look at what’s left of the painting, and asks his companion what he makes of Paul’s behaviour. The Doctor says that he’s obviously disturbed, and that they should try to persuade him to go to his private nursing home for a few weeks where he can be observed.

The Doctor then notices a hand towel that Paul had been using to clean his hands and sees that it’s been knotted several times like a garrote. He also points to the creature in the painting which he refers to as a “gargoyle”, saying that in art especially, such effigies are often used as a symbol of evil. The Doctor concludes that the woman in the painting is merely a figment of Paul’s imagination, upon whom he can display violence so that he doesn’t have to reveal the identity of the real person: that person being his fiancé, Jill.

The Doctor discloses to Geoffrey that it’s imperative that they find out what exactly is behind Paul’s apparent psychosis, and so they try knocking at the young man’s door in an attempt to speak to him, but they’re merely met with silence.

A car rounds the bend on a narrow coastal road; Jill is at the wheel with Paul in the passenger seat. She asks him where exactly they’re going: “Cornwall”, he replies, adding that she should continue along the same road whilst he takes a nap.

Eventually they reach the tiny village of Cadgwith, which is nestled along the edge of a cove. As the car pulls up near by a cliff edge, Paul gets out and surveys the scene. His eyes are immediately drawn to a little stone cottage, where he walks slowly up the path and knocks on the door. After a moment or two, the door is answered by Claire (Jean Cadell) – a little old lady who, on seeing Paul, whispers the name ‘John’ and falls faint into his arms.

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Claire collapses when she comes face-to-face with her beloved ‘John’

A doctor is called who attends to the lady; saying that her heartbeat is now growing stronger and that she’ll soon regain consciousness.

Whilst Paul takes a look around the cottage, the Doctor informs him that that the Claire is something of a recluse; never leaving her home from one year to the next. Her fiancé, he continues, died during the Great War, and that she’d spent the past 40 years mourning him. The house, he explains, would’ve been their honeymoon cottage.

Just then, Paul spots an old photograph of Claire with her fiancé, who’s in uniform. He’s the spitting image of Paul!

Over the photo’ frame is a lace scarf. The Doctor explains that it was a local custom for the groom to give his intended such a gift exactly seven days before their wedding. On each day thereafter, the bride would open one of the knots. Paul notices that only five of the knots had been undone: “That’s because he died two days before the wedding”.

At that moment, Claire begins to regain consciousness, so Paul sits beside her on the sofa. She smiles lovingly at him, and they embrace. As he leaves the cottage, the young artist looks as if an enormous weight has been lifted from him. He smiles to himself, and walks back to the car.

We’re now returned to the Narrator, who brings us up to date with what happened to Paul and Jill after their trip to Cornwall. He tells us that that the two married as planned and that Paul’s fame as an artist rose year on year.

Claire, the old lady in the tiny coastal village, passed away some years ago. She lies buried, we’re told, in a small churchyard next to her beloved John.

But how to explain the inexplicable experience of Paul Rowland, whose journey had been into a life he’d apparently lived before? There are millions of people around the world, John Newland informs us, who’d tell you that the explanation is quite obvious. Reincarnation. A single flame – passed from torch to torch throughout eternity.

“Others may give another psychic explanation, but such phenomena has been reported again and again through the ages”.

The most famous person ever to unearth evidence of his own reincarnation, it’s said, was the 19th Century poet, Gabriel Rossetti: “For there exists today an absolute likeness of Rossetti and the woman he loved, painted some 300 years before his birth”.


The Hellfire Club: The OFFICIAL PETER WYNGARDE Appreciation Society: https://www.facebook.com/groups/813997125389790/

“Fantabulosa!”and other ‘Gay Codes’

“His appearance, mannerisms and speech were saturated with elements or camp and queerness”. Andy Medhurst

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“How bona to vada yer eek!” shrieked Jason. “O00aaawwwh!” replied the butch omi in the brown leather jacket, “She’s got all the Palare, ain’t she!”
 
This is a story of impressions and interpretations. My impression of an author’s ‘interpretation’ of the viewers and critics of the ‘Jason King’ TV series… oh, and the impression it’s left on all of us!
 
I’ve been reliably informed that the author whose work is under scrutiny here, namely Andy Medhurst – a lecturer on modern culture at Sussex University, is not being judgemental at all, but is actually bestowing upon us an experts understanding of Seventies culture and fashion in the person of a television icon.
 
Whilst I can read the section in question on that level, I can also able to view it from a different standpoint. You see, Medhurst throws various hypotheses into the mix from a third person perspective; i.e. the unseen person or persons who suggests that “for heterosexual woman watching the original broadcasts, King’s obsessive interest in his own finery marked him out as a daring individual” or who refers to fans today as “The kitch and irony lobby who venerate King”.
 
This kind of approach puts me in mind of a friend of mine who, whenever I’d remark or complain about something, would always wheel out the ubiquitous ‘SOME. For instance, when on one occasion I whinged at getting accosted by the Jehovah Witness’ twice in a week, she said: “Well, SOME might say that’s the Lord trying to get your attention!” There was no “SOME” about it. These were her words, no one else’s!
 
That’s the ‘impression’ I get from this chapter’; that really, underneath it all, Andy Medhurst is just trying impose on the reader his own particular understanding of the series, the character of King, and the actor who played hi. Like Admiral Lord Nelson sticking a telescope to his bad eye, people see what they want to see. This is my ‘interpretation’… 

 I was recently shown a copy of a book called ‘Action TV: Tough-Guys, Smooth Operators and Foxy Chicks‘, which is basically a collection of academic essays on classic British and American television from the 1960’s and 70’s.
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The chapter of interest here is entitled ‘King and Queen: Interpreting Sexual Identity in Jason King’ which, as already stated, was penned by university lecturer, Andy Medhurst. According to his personal ‘interpretation’, ‘Jason King’ is veritably littered with coded messages of the gay variety. Apparently, at the time the series was first broadcast in 1971 “Homosexual coding in popular culture were only just beginning to become decipherable to mainstream heterosexual audiences”. Well I never! 

“King’s style, then, clearly has queer credentials”. Andy Medhurst

If this alleged “Homosexual coding” is taken at face value, then there must’ve been more than PETER WYNGARDE involved in the conspiracy. Indeed, the entire cast and crew of the series must surly have been complicit in concealing those missives and signals so that only those of a certain persuasion would recognise them. Those same cast and crew would also have had to remained steadfast in their silence which, at the time of writing, has lasted almost 50 years.
 
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“Vogue me up ducky” Jason asked the polone across the table.
 
Over the course of several paragraphs, scorn is seemingly poured upon both the viewers of the original broadcasts who failed to spot these “codes” (that would be all of ‘em then!), and the present-day fans of the series, who are referred to as “The kitch and irony lobby who venerate King”. But the most scathing derision is reserved for the “mainly heterosexual female” admirers of PETER WYNGARDE, of whom we’re asked: “How can these women, some laughter asks, be so gullible? How could they have not seen that king was a queen?”
 
It should be remembered that PETER was considered a “heartthrob” WAY before Jason King threw on his first pair of flairs. In 1957, after playing Sidney Carton in the BBC serialisation of ‘A Tale of Two Cities”, he received over 3,500 letters from adoring female fans – the highest number ever sent to the Beeb for a single actor in a play, before or since.
 
In an article entitled ‘PETER WYNGARDE Plays Down His Heart-Throb Label’ (21.02.59). Picturegoer magazine stated that they received more letters from women about PETER than any other TV star. Similarly, TV Mirror and Disc News in their article of 12 December, 1957, maintained “The letters poured into the TV Mirror post-box. Who is he? When are we going to see him again? How old is he? Is he married? and so on. Inevitable the signature was Mrs or Miss… A new idol has been born PETER WYNGARDE’.
 
Long-time fan, Tania Arnold, explains what that attraction of PETER and Jason King is:
“Having read through Andy Medhurst’s article, I don’t feel that the author himself is saying that he thinks women are silly to be attracted to Jason King/PETER WYNGARDE, in fact he states at one point “King’s magnetism to heterosexual women seems wholly understandable.” He does highlight what he sees as some snarky hipster commentators who have taken the view that women are silly for loving Jason (because of what they perceive as his “campness”) and then examines this attitude.
 
“That being said, I feel that the author’s basic premise of the associations of campness encoded in things like Jason King’s wardrobe is really drawing a long bow. And I think that anyone who reads Jason King’s non-conformity and individual flair as “camp” because he is not compliant with prevailing cultural ideals of what masculinity is, is missing the point entirely. It is precisely Jason King’s uniqueness and individuality that makes him so appealing. He is different – i.e., not like the average slob down the street, or god forbid, sitting next to you on the couch at home.
 
“Jason is an individualist, and a dandy: a man of taste, style and means. Also, and I think this is an important point that Medhurst’s article misses, Jason is a man who understands – as so few other men do – that women really enjoy seeing a well-dressed man who actually takes care and pride in his appearance and enjoys showing off his looks and style to his best advantage.
 
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The sight of Jason King stroking a pussy resulted in legions of hysterical gay fans accusing ITC of placing ‘Heterosexual Codes’ in the series

 

“Women respond to the fact that Jason King is making an effort to look good ‘for them’. The only thing “effeminate” (I dislike this word) about this is that so few men bother to do it (or understand its powerful impact), while women routinely dress to appeal to men. Jason King/PETER WYNGARDE ‘gets’ this in a way no other actor I can think of does.

“Some pop stars get it, and artists such as Prince (also hugely desired by women) had the same ability to present himself as an object of desire for women, but really, this insight – and having the daring and panache to pull it off – is very uncommon. Sadly a lot of ‘conservatively-minded heterosexual’ men still view the act of making an effort with their appearance as “gay.” Maybe because of out-dated notions that women are supposed to make themselves look pretty in hopes of being chosen by the man. They see making an effort as some kind of sign of weakness (the one who chooses has the power) whereas Jason King and pop stars and other who embody this rare peacock quality are in fact seizing a kind of power (the power to attract) that few other men are able to achieve in this way. This is born out in the huge number of female admirers they attract.

“The premise of the show is that Jason is a ladies’ man – he is so successful with them because he understands what women like and want, and I think that PETER’S phenomenal popularity in the role is a testament to the fact that he was so beautifully able to embody this fantasy ideal.  

“PETER as Jason is a brilliant, handsome, exceptionally stylish, unusually attentive, witty, kind and capable character. Played so expertly, and by an actor of PETER’S accomplishments and personal magnetism – and let us not underestimate the devastating power of that voice! – it’s not surprising at all that women in their hordes would swoon over him. I suspect that PETER as Jason is so potent as a fantasy figure for women because he embodies the sort of refinement, charm and romantic intensity that is rather less easy to find in real life!

PETER, as the artist behind the marvellous creation that is Jason King, is of course going to be the subject of female adulation. His personal life (or more precisely, what people “think” they know about it), is irrelevant to the way his fans admire him as a romantic figure. We don’t know him in real life, any more than we know any performer, but we love what he presents to us on the screen: a wonderful captivating fantasy figure. Mocking his fans for admiring him as an attractive man is always going to smack of jealousy, to me. And it only shows that these men just don’t understand the dynamics at play here”.

Alley Sillers – another life-long fan of PETER and Jason King added: “I think the character was ‘of the times’, looking back on it now it does seem a bit ‘campy’ but at the time ( I was a young teenager and well aware of gay men) I had a HUGE crush on Jason/PETER! He was so fashionable at the time and a trendsetter.
I was recently looking at some episodes of The Persuaders and giggling at the wardrobe for Tony Curtis and Roger Moore! They would totally be considered “gay” nowadays. Liza Minelli is considered a “gay icon”, I am sure she doesn’t mind this. If Jason King would be one, then more power to the character!”
When I worked in a video store in the 1990’s, a lady came to the counter with a tape she wished to purchase and noticed a picture I had of PETER pinned up behind the counter. Her legs almost buckle under her when she spotted the photo’, and falling into an almost dreamlike state she gasped: “Oh, my God! PETER WYNGARDE! You know, whenever I read a book now, I always imagine the hero looking like him”.
  
Medhurst, as have other scribes before him, attempts to justify his philosophy by referencing the fact that PETER played homosexuals in three plays prior to taking the role of King – those being Charles Granillo in ‘Rope’; Jan Wicziesky in ‘South’; and Sir Roger Casement in ‘On Trial’[1]. What is not mentioned (and not for the first time, I might add), is that by the time the first episode of ‘Department S’ was broadcast in March 1969, PETER had already appeared in almost 200 film, TV and stage plays. In only the three productions named above did he play a homosexual character. The other 197+ sorts were as straight as the proverbial die![2]
  
Mention is also made of PETER’s two “camp” pre-‘Jason King’ appearances in ‘The Avengers’. Whilst most classic British TV fans would likely concede that ‘The Avengers’ is indeed as ‘camp’ as a row of pink frilly tents, if we’re to follow Mehurst’s line of thought then certainly the regular cast, and each of the turns who crossed swords with John Steed and Co. over the years, must therefore also be considered as “camp”. Whilst I appreciate that this chapter isn’t the focus of these other guest stars, it does rather smack of desperation to use PETER’s portrayals of John Cleverly Cartney and Stewart Kirby in particular as fodder to bolster the argument.
  
Just to put Mr Medhurst’s hypothesis to the test, I tasked not one, not two, but THREE of my gay friends who’s ages range from 27 and 63, to watch the entire series of ‘Jason King’, and to highlight anything in the dialogue or acting styles that might be interpreted as, well, queer. Disappointingly, not one of them could identify anything that could remotely be described as “gay” (coded or otherwise), or which referred to homosexuality or homosexual activities in any kind of clandestine way.
 
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All the boys love a ‘Bear’.
 
Since this theory was beginning to quickly unravel, I decided to contact my long-time friend, Mrs Anne Frost, who just so happens to be the sister of scriptwriter and producer, Dennis Spooner. Ann told me that she’d met and spoken to PETER many times over the years, and that she and her brother had huge respect for him, both as an actor and a person. Indeed Spooner had gone on record as saying that he regarded PETER as the most gifted actor he’s ever worked with. No one is more acquainted with Spooner’s work with ITC than Anne.
 
I duly sent her a copy of the aforementioned chapter, and asked her what she thought of it. When she finally stopped laughing, she told me that ITC had a stringent process through which every screenplay would pass before it appeared on our television screens. To begin with, a script would be read by Dennis, who was the series Executive Story Consultant, and then it would be passed to Monty Berman for his approval. That was way before it ever landed in the hands of the actors or directors involved. Any proposed changes to a script would again require Spooner and Berman’s endorsement. So, unless they, Senior Director Cyril Frankel, and all the actors and above-named directors/writers were colluding, Anne says that the whole “Gay Code” nonsense is clearly a figment of someone’s over active imagination! 

“His appearance, mannerisms and speech were saturated with elements or camp and queerness”. Andy Medhurt

In order to be absolutely certain that Medhurst’s ‘interpretation’ was away with the, a-herm – fairies, I then asked members of the Hellfire Club (The Official Peter Wyngarde Appreciation Society) if they’d ever noticed anything overtly “gay” about ‘Jason King’. The general consensus appeared to be ‘No’!
 
These are some of the comments left on our Website:

“I would say no, but now I come to think of it, I’m not even sure what constitutes a ‘gay code word’”. James Gaden

“There’s always a pattern to anything if you look hard enough. Doesn’t make it true though. The only gay reference that ever stuck out for me was when Jason called Quirley ‘Queerly’ which to me was just good comedy”. Duncan Campbell

“A load of nonsense. On a par with the urban myth that ‘Captain Pugwash’ had characters with rude names (it didn’t)”. Stephen Tanith Nightshade

“Rubbish. There were eight different writers and four different directors credited on Jason King. Are we to assume they were all party to this subversive code-word conspiracy? It’s a case of someone imposing his own personal interpretation on the show”. Clive Davidson

“Most of the writers of Jason King were hard-drinking ITC stalwarts with betting slips tucked under their hats”. Michael Coldwell.

“What’s a ‘gay’ code? not been gay I wouldn’t know and neither would the writers on ‘Jason King’ – another urban myth?” Bernard Dunn

“Most of the writers of Jason King were hard-drinking ITC stalwarts with betting slips tucked under their hats”. Michael Coldwell

“Tripe!” Fitzcarraldo Fannen

“Intriguing! What are some examples of words he suggests are gay code words?” Andrew Humphrey

“Dennis Spooner would have take anyone messing about with the scripts outside and chinned them. Is “Fancy!” a gay code word?” Michael Coldwell

“I guess you can see what you want to see. The show is a bit camp but no more”. Patrick Nash

“What a load of bunkum!” Jo Nathan

“Even my yo yo has gone limp!” This is delightful British humour…nothing more nothing less! (From JK episode “If it’s got to go…” Dave Asher

“Maybe the wish is mother to the thought. In other words you see what you want to see. It was light. It was fun. Does it matter?” Linda Rushing

“It’s the sign of a good programme if different folks get different things out of it”. Andrew Humphrey

“I would not dismiss it but would welcome a complete rerun (rerun reel!) on TV just to tune into this thesis. I am convinced that Peter used the medium to add to the acting genre”. Deepinder Singh Cheema 

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As Jason trolled across the soundstage, his bonaro new kaffies showed just enough basket to grab the attention of the fruit under the black capello.
 
Mr Al Samujha, who is a life-long fan of ‘Jason King’ and an expert on all things ITC, had this to say about Mr Medhurst’s ‘Interpretation’:

“I’d love to see a sample of this ‘Code’! It’s certainly not ‘Julian and Sandy’. Sounds like a trite bit of ‘post-modern’ revisionist claptrap to me. It’s a ridiculous proposition that this wide selection of writers conspired as a ‘pink mafia’ to lace all of their scripts with what must qualify as the most obscure Polari ever. So obscure that the broad audience had not a single clue; mostly because it is imaginary nonsense”.

 He continues: “The piece is a particularly personal point of view- if you’ll pardon the expression (and for wont of a more appropriate phrase), ‘Queerness is in the eye of the beholder’. I use ‘queerness’ in particular as this seems to be the author’s personal bent, rather than just plain campness.

“People fling themselves into over analysis with gay abandon and see whatever they will see in a particular piece. I find this happens quite a lot in analysis of ITC stable-mate, ‘The Prisoner’. As Barry Norman once famously said (according to Spitting image at least!) you pays your money and you takes your choice.

“Being an innocent abroad ‘Department S’ and ‘Jason King’ never delivered to me the arcane communications of Masonic Polari – I never thought about it on that level. It was just good all-round fun! It wasn’t meant to provide a particular life stance or philosophy; it’s just entertainment. As for people placing sexualised key words or messages in their writing- well…!”

Of course, everyone’s entitled to interpret any TV show, work of art or piece of music et al in any way they wish, and Andrew Medhurst is no exception. However, it might’ve strengthened his case if he’s given us at least one well-defined example of these so-called “Homosexual codes” and where others might be found. Clearly, we’re expected just to take his word for it.

“Jason King is not a person but an image; a conglomeration of signs” Andy Medhurst

The interesting thing about Medhurst’s Chapter is that the character of Jason King is referred to as a “fop”: “and foppery,” it’s claimed, “is never far away from effeminacy and effeminacy is never far away from homosexuality”. So whilst Jason is a “fop”, John Steed, for instance, is merely “dapper”. And what about the cravat-wearing, close-buddy relationship of Danny Wilde and Brett Sinclair in ‘The Persuaders!’? According to Medhurst: “For a man in the early 1970’s to be deeply interested in fashion was an indication that he was keen to chafe away at traditional demarcations of masculinity”.
 
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“Do you prefer oysters or snails, Danny?” Sinclair enquires. “Oh, no!”, Wilde laments. “Not this again!”
As has been pointed out many times, if you look hard enough you will find cyphers and symbols in just about anything. I recall that when a supposed apocalyptic code was uncovered in the King James Version of The Bible, a mathematician in the US picked up a copy of the 1972 San Francisco phone directory and asked a passerby on the street to select a page at random. From that page and the numbers contained on it, he produced a code which would’ve predicted the first Gulf War and the attack on the World Trade Centre in 2001. If you can do that with a phone directory, I’m sure you can do it with a Seventies television series!

[1]. On Trial, which was broadcast on July 8th, 1960, focused on the trial of Sir Roger Casement for treason. The programme had nothing to do with the individual’s homosexuality.
 
[2]. Medhurst stretches the point by trying to include PETER playing Garry Essendine in ‘Present Laughter’ in this list…. because it was written by Noel Coward. (Oh, pur-leez! ).

 Article Details:

• Author: Andrew Medhurst
• Book: Action TV: Tough-Guys, Smooth Operators and Foxy Chicks by (9780415226219)
• Chapter: ‘King and Queen: Interpreting Sexual Identity in Jason King’ (pages 169-188)

The Hellfire Club: The OFFICIAL PETER WYNGARDE Appreciation Society: https://www.facebook.com/groups/813997125389790

REVIEW: Pick-Up Girl

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  • Youth Theatre Production
  • British National Tour – Autumn/Winter 1946/47.

The story, which was written by Elsa Shelley, is set entirely in a juvenile court, and is set in the United States during the present day (for reasons known only to the Author herself, the American location was retained).

The play was premiered in Britain in May of 1946, having been produced by the New Lindsay Theatre Club, and transferred to the West End in July of the same year. Producer and director, Peter Cote, brought in a youthful cast – possibly to appeal to a younger audience, for this revival.

In the very early performances, PETER played ‘The Door Attendant’ – a very minor role even in a youth theatre production, but managed to gain promotion throughout its run, by playing both ‘A Young Man’ and, after Bryan Spielman left the cast, taking over as ‘Policeman Owens’.

Interestingly, in all the programmes that were produced for the English tour misspelled PETER’s name – listing him as PETER WINGARDE.

Although the ideals and objectives of Juvinile Courts both here in Britain and in the United States are identical, court procedure in America is quite different, and those processes had to be explained by a serving magistrate (Mark Auliff J.P.) in the programme, given that audiences weren’t quite so familiar with U.S. courtroom dramas back then as we are now.

The eponymous ‘Pick-Up Girl’, Elizabeth Collins, was played by Doreen Hughes who, Mr Auliff pointed out, had her counterparts in this country. Elsa Shelly, we were told, had spent years studying child criminals, and had used the play to point out that the age of female delinquents in particular, had dropped from 18 to just 15.

Mr Auliff continued by saying that he’d seen the play in rehearsal, and was impressed by its accuracy – recommending it to anyone who had an interest in ‘social problems’. “I believe that the deep-seeing and relentless analysis so dramatically placed before us in ‘Pick-Up Girl’,” he continued, “cannot fail to leave an indelible mark on the imagination”.

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Above: Press advertisement for the play in Leeds

‘On tour of a play about juvenile delinquency by Elsa Shelley called ‘Pick-Up Girl’, Peggy joined late to replace an actress who’d fallen out with the director.

A very young PETER WYNGARDE was in the cast. One day he missed a matinee performance because he’d mixed up the days and had gone to the cinema instead. Peggy decided to help and covered up for him.

When he returned to the theatre for the evening performance, he found a note from Peggy. ‘I’ve told them you’d gone to the matinee of the pre-London tour of the Old Vic with Olivier and Richardson in the same production. And that I thought you’d learn more than at our matinee. Back me up, Peggy’.

The fact that the Old Vic was not expected in town for another two weeks seem to have escaped her and landed WYNGARDE in even deeper trouble.

“I was severely reprimanded for making up such a poor excuse,” says WYNGARDE.

Peggy simply roared with laughter.’

Taken from: ‘Peggy: The Life and Times of Margaret Ramsey, Play Agent’ by Colin Chambers. Methuen Publishing Ltd.

  • ISBN-10: 0312177135
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312177133

 

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Original programme from The Bristol Hippodrome. Notice PETER’s name has been misspelt.

What happens on tour, stays on tour…

The tour of ‘Pick-Up Girl’ visited many of the major towns and cities of England in 1946/47, including Birmingham, Bristol and… Blackpool.

The company were put up in a typical B&B close to the famous Grand Theatre on Church Street, where the play was to be performed. One of the older actresses in the group who’d been cast to play Mrs. Marti and was eventually replaced by Peggy Ramsey (see the story above), had managed to get her claws into PETER and wouldn’t let go.

“Everywhere I went, she was there,” he says. “At lunch, dinner – whatever, she always succeeded in getting a seat next to me. In the end I decided to s***w her and get it over with”.

The trouble was that the bed in they chose creaked so much that everyone within a 25-mile radius knew what was going on: “It was really off-putting,” PETER recalls, “but all she kept yelling was ‘Oh God! Oh God! Don’t stop! Don’t stop!’”

On the following morning when he went down for breakfast, PETER found all the other members of the cast – which included Edmund Bailey, all sitting quietly in the dining room. That was until everyone last one of them to man started up with: ‘CREAK! CREAK! CREAK! CREAK!…’ At which Bailey inquired: “SO – what did you get up to last night, PETER?”

“I didn’t know what to do with myself as I munched my cornflakes,” he admits. “They didn’t let me forget it in a hurry either!”

The Hellfire Club: The OFFICIAL PETER WYNGARDE Appreciation Society: https://www.facebook.com/groups/813997125389790/

 

OUT ON THE TOWN WITH PETER

Over the years, PETER has attended hundreds of parties and events. This on-going section will tell the stories behind some of his adventures…

Check below the first post for latest updates.


A SURPRISE ENCORE WITH A CUDDLE FROM THE KING

The London Evening News – Thursday, 10 October, 1973

Dawn was almost breaking before Sally Ann Howes and PETER WYNGARDE got to their beds today after their triumphant West End first night in The King and I. It had been an emotional occasion at the Adelphi Theatre, with audience applause thundering out and curtain call after curtain call.

One of the most emotional moments of all – which was totally unexpected by the stars – came when the curtain rose one more time to find the two of them hugging each other with delight. PETER explained: “We thought the curtain was down for good and we just fell into each other’s arms in relief. It was a magic moment.

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PETER at a party after the triumphant first night revival of The King and I.

“I don’t know what we said but it sort of sealed the occasion. I imagine we were just gasping our thanks to each other”.

Backstage after all the congratulations from people like Cicely Courtneidge, who looks upon herself as a second mother to Sally Ann Howes, the stars exchanged presents.

He, using a line from the script, gave her a large model elephant. “I think it’s brought us both good luck”, he told her.

She, remembering that the King wears glasses in the show, gave his a pair of Georgian spectacles. Said TV’s Jason King: “When I get the lenses taken out , I will wear them in future performances”.

Both of them went on to a series of parties to mark the opening. There were public ones and private celebrations. PETER got to two of them but missed a third. “With a matinee due today,” he said, “I felt I had to sleep some time”.

It was his first West End musical, and he was at the theatre early to mentally adjust himself from London to Siam – leaving one world for another.

“It was wonderful hearing the adulation for the music,” he said. “I was so nervous that I must’ve gargled a hundred times before going on stage.”

“But it was exhilaration rather than fear. My last words to Sally were, “look into my eyes while we’re out there.”


about1

PETER pictured with Verity Lambert at the 1961 World premiere of ‘Too Late Blues’, which starred Bobby Darin and Stella Stevens.


CENTRE GIRL OF THE YEAR

Francois Bes was elected Centre Girl of the Year on November 10th, 1972, at a gala evening held at the new Regent Centre Hotel in London, in front of 600 Centre Hotel staff and guests, which was followed by a buffet dance.

PETER was asked to head a panel of four judges, who included ex-boxer, Henry Cooper, television presenter, Shaw Taylor, and fashion editor, Linda Foster.

centregirl

During her 12 month reign, Bordeaux-born Francois – a secretary to the company’s Purchasing Manager, not only won the opportunity to represent Centre Parks at various events throughout to coming year, but was also given the chance to win the prestigious Catering Princess title.

PETER and his fellow judges were asked to select a winner from the twenty finalists on poise and personality.


“I’ve always loved Classic Cars. I’ve owned a Bristol, Studebaker, TR7 and several Porsches. 

The first car I had was a 2-stroke Jowett, which has a chassis that made partly from a material which made the strangest noises. Andrew Faulds, who was a fellow actor and who I shared a dressing room with when I played Voltimand in Sir Alec Guinness’ production of ‘Hamlet’.  

Andrew and I would tootle around Hyde Park in the Jowett on our days off, trying to pick up birds”. PETER WYNGARDE

car


PETER at the opening night of ‘Oh, Calcutta!’ at the Roundhouse, Camden, London: Monday, 27th July, 1970 

calcutta

“I didn’t like the show”, PETER said. “I found it very amateurish”.

calcutta  


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(Above): PETER (just in picture to the right), with Roger Moore and Princess Muna of Jordan during her visit to Elstree Studios on 7 July, 1966.


The London Evening Standard – Thursday, 21st September, 1972

Actor PETER WYNGARDE, star of the television series Jason King, and singer Dana Gillespie were among guests who fled a fire early today at a Piccadilly nightclub.

Firemen, some wearing breathing apparatus, rescued five people trapped by the flames. The rescue was hampered because firemen were unable to get their appliances into Mason’s Yard, off Jermyn Street, to tackle the blaze at the three-story Music Workshop Club. But after dragging an escape ladder across the yard, they rescued two men from the roof and helped three others from the top floor flat down an internal staircase.

Lee Jackson, a 25-year-old flautist with Jackson heights, was playing at the club when the alarm was raised. He said: “We had just finished our set when the manager yelled fire, but he’s known as a practical joker, so we ignored him.”

PETER WYNGARDE, who was unhurt in the blaze said: “I smelt smoke, so raised the alarm and left.”


In 1973, whilst PETER was on a promotional tour of Germany and Austria, he took a couple of days off to go skiing in Switzerland.

Whilst there, he met a group of underprivileged British kids and their teacher, who’d been taking on by a charity. As a kindly gesture, he paid for the group to go up the mountain by cable car.

skiing

Julia Young, who was then part of the class told the Hellfire Club recently: I met PETER when I was on a charity skiing trip in Switzerland. He wanted to do something for our group and tried to arrange skiing lessons but his PR people wanted to big up the charity angle and he refused. Instead he arranging sleighs to take us to his hotel, and he had a tea party for us in the lobby. Such a wonderful, kind and generous man. He gave me hope that celebrities can be nice people as well”.


Jason King still reigns, just less of a woman’s man

The Sunday Express – 26 April, 2015

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TV HERO Jason King was the epitome of the dilettante dandy in the 1970s, breaking crime rings and hearts with equal gusto.

For some, his famous breakfast quip “a bit too early for coffee… I think I’ll have Scotch”, will for ever hold memories of a bygone, more carefree era.

Actor PETER WYNGARDE, who played the suave author-cum-spy in Department S and Jason King between 1969 and 1972, was once mobbed by 30,000 hysterical Australian women at Sydney airport.

Now the wavy locks of hair are gone, the moustache is duly trimmed and the clothes, said by Hollywood star Mike Myers to have inspired the Austin Powers look, are somewhat tamer.

Still, at 86, WYNGARDE was the star attraction yesterday as he signed autographs at the London Film Memorabilia Convention.

He still had a gaggle of adoring female fans clamouring to speak to him.

He once admitted: “Jason King had champagne and strawberries for breakfast, just as I did myself. Yet when I think about it now, I’m amazed I’m still here.”

Life was not always so lush, however. As the son of a diplomat he grew up in different countries and was in Shanghai when the Japanese invaded during the Second World War. Author JG Ballard was a fellow prisoner of the Japanese at Shanghai’s Lunghua civilian internment camp in 1943.


lunch

PETER is seen here with Susan Hampshire, treating pensioners to a Silver Jubilee dinner at (1977) at Annabelle’s Cafe in Fulham Road, London.


BEER

PETER at the Munich Beer Festival, 1973


Miss TV Europe

On January 4th, 1973, PETER was elected Chairman of a panel of judges who elected 24-year-old Sylvia Kristel from Utrech in the Netherlands, ‘Miss TV Europe’. The then model, beat Zoe Spink of the United Kingdom and Anne-Marie Godart from France into second and third places, respectively.

The event took place at ATV’s Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire.

One of the more noteworthy moments of the evening was the image of PETER giving Ms Kristel her first ever ‘screen kiss’. She, of course, latterly became the star of the soft porn ‘Emmanuel’ films and their endless sequels, and of Stanley Hyers remake of ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ in 1981.

ROLF

Australian ‘entertainer. Rolf Harris, who was one of the judges and also appears in the photograph above, was jailed in 2014 on sexual assault charges.


On November 10th, 1971, PETER was asked to act as Chairman of a panel of nine judges of the ‘Miss World’ contest, which was broadcast live on BBC1, and compared for the 10th and final time by TV personality, Michael Aspel.

PETER’s team of judges for the occasion included Peter Scott, Des O’Connor, Douglas Fairbanks, Julie Ege, Peter Dimmock, Sam Speigel, Jean Terrell and Lovelace Watkins. Each of the judges where asked to submit their first, second and third choices. PETER’s votes, in order of preference, were as follows: Miss Guyana, Miss Brazil and Miss Portugal.

So, how close were PETER’s choices to the final outcome? In third place was Miss Portugal; Second, was Miss United Kingdom; and the Miss World crown and £40,000 first prize went to Miss Brazil.

Oh, well – one out of three wasn’t bad!

Although PETER enjoyed the occasion, his comments concerning the event some time later weren’t quite so complimentary:

“I thought it would be marvellous, but I must say I was a little disappointed with the selection – and the winners. But I mean, how can you possibly judge?

“You’re awarding points on the basis of personality a well as looks, yet you saw next to nothing of their personalities. And they’d all been taught to look the same with those funny little walks. They looked as if they were about to fall over backwards!

“They’d walk up to the judges table like this, or this, and then they go off again, I’ve got nothing against the contest; I never sympathised with Women’s Lib. I think it’s a good thing to have so many countries brought together under any circumstances, and especially good for the country that wins in terms of public relations. But for a genuine contest to choose the world’s most beautiful woman! You’d be better taking them to bed, one by one, and judge them on sex appeal!”

N.B. If you look very, VERY carefully at this clip, you’ll just catch a glimpse of PETER on the Judges Panel.


 

The Hellfire Club: The OFFICIAL PETER WYNGARDE Appreciation Society: https://www.facebook.com/groups/813997125389790/

THE ANATOMY OF LIBEL

Sections of this article was posted as a shorter piece in our ‘Do They Mean Me’ section, but because it’s become so extensive, I felt it deserved a page of its own. If nothing else, this is a study in how one person’s bigoted and warped mind can set in motion a series of events that can ruin an innocent person’s reputation.

The article in question, which is printed here in its entirety, was originally posted on an Internet blog called ‘The Tap’ and, subsequently, copied to a second blog entitled Mind Control Victim. Both these ‘sites present themselves as purveyors of the “truth” and advocates of the public’s ‘Right To Know’ what’s REALLY going on. Huzzah!

However, in spite of all the bravado and bluster, BOTH these websites carry a bog-standard disclaimer which read:

Articles posted here are for your consideration at your discretion. No purported facts have been verified. Articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster nor the site owner’.

In other words, ‘Any old scumbag with an issue is welcome to post their uncorroborated and libellous crap on here, but don’t blame us if an innocent person’s reputation is left in tatters as a result!

logo

THE OFFENDING ARTICLE:

‘The BBC used to go mental having to phone the police station to say look Peter Wyngarde was one of their top TV stars and could his latest arrest in a public toilet be overlooked, but Wyngarde,  real name (Cyril Louis Goldbert ) would be constantly at it with young lads, he had a bit of an entourage of rent boys that onlya top star could afford.

Peter Wyngardes mad album When Sex Leers Its Inquisitive Head was originally commissioned by RCA to cash in on his popularity, it was released and quickly withdrawn a week later.  Presumably nobody had actually listened to it prior to its release.  Instead of the requested set of easy listening tunes, Wyngarde delivered a series of wild, pervy spoken word rants, backed by wild free-form noise jazz, tribal drums, lustful moaning, and shouts of exultation.

It’s practically impossible to describe the myriad fragments sufficiently, and it boggles the mind to think of how this got made in the first place.  One of a kind, for sure, but its become the record for gay parties and rent boy fests

In 1975, he was arrested and convicted for an act of “gross indecency” in the toilets of Gloucester Bus Station, which followed an arrest and caution for similar activities in the toilets at Kennedy Gardens in Birmingham the previous year,

and several warnings brushed off by the BBC. After the first incident, Wyngarde was interviewed for the News of the World and the Birmingham-based Sunday Mercury, and asserted that the arrest was due to a misunderstanding; in his defence after the second incident he claimed he had suffered a “mental aberration”. Although it affected his image, particularly with his audience who largely identified him as ladies’ man Jason King, Wyngarde’s homosexuality was actually well known in acting circles, where he was known by the nickname of “Petunia Winegum”. From 1956, he had a stormy on-off ten-year-long relationship with fellow actor Alan Bates

After losing his TV celebrity status, and squanderinga smal fortune on alcohol and bumboys, Wyngarde worked in Austria, acting and directing at the English Theatre in Vienna, and also in South Africa and Germany. He landed the role of General Klytus in the 1980 film version of Flash Gordon, though his face was hidden behind a mask for the part. His distinctive voice is clearly recognisable in the film, I remember a rather glitzy bisexual couple (I won’t say names, but they were well known on the ‘alternative’ scene in Nottingham at the time) who were usually in the Flying Horse on Saturday nights. They would often have a party at their house after the pub or even after the clubs once they had started business. They would particularly do this if a TV or stage star was in the Flying Horse bar and would invite him (invariably a him) back. I remember great excitement and a clamour for invitations to this couple’s  when Peter Wyngarde (TV’s Jason King) was in the Fly. The couple would also pick up a rent boy for their joint sexual pleasure. It was in connection with this couple that I first began to hear of drug use among fringes of the homosexual scene. I remember trying cannabis once with a boyfriend I met in the flying Horse, and was given poppers once by another boyfriend at the time, but that is all I  saw personally.

There were loads of rent boys, often the dolly boys on scooter types, there were wealthy gay business men up from London looking for pretty boys to take to smart restaurants and be repaid by a nobbing in their hotel room.

In those days a phone call from a BBC director would get you off parking charges or being caught out with bum-boys,

but i am told it does not happen today’

_____________________________________

This has to be the most rancid, appalling and utterly shameful article ever to find its way onto an Internet blog!

So who is the barefaced liar behind it? Well, here’s the lying lowlife in his full glory…

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This clown professes to be a “Business Director” living in the Far East although, based on the numerous grammatical errors and the way the page is constructed, he obviously has only a rudimentary grasp of English Composition. He doesn’t give his age, but it’s clear from the terms he uses, such as “Bum-Boys” etc., that he’s no spotty-faced youth. Indeed, I’d hazard a guess that he’s at least 55, and also rabidly homophobic. Indeed, he appears intolerant of anyone he so much as perceives to be of that denomination, and is clearly the type person who’s wholly incapable of carrying out any proper research, other than to trawl the Internet for tittle-tattle and gossip.

All that said, you’d think that someone who’s hard-faced enough to have written and published such a caustic column as this, would’ve at least had the strength of conviction to attach his name to it!

N.B. It is my belief that the above is the so-called “Owner” (his word) of The Tap not, as first suspected, merely a contributor. Please see the following for more information: https://www.blogger.com/profile/17267094484651413428

Now to the numerous lies and inaccuracies contained within this steaming pile of horse manure:

PARAGRAPH 1:

  • From the 200+ TV plays and series (episodes) PETER has appeared in, only NINE of them were produced by and/or broadcast by the BBC. That’s less than 5% of his entire television output over 60 years. So why would the BBC go mental” over a personality they’ve barely ever employed?

PARAGRAPH 2:

  • Lifted, word-for-word, from ‘From This Swamp Blog’ (re-blogged on other ‘sites).

PARAGRAPH 3:

  • Apart from this article, I have never, EVER heard that Peter’s album had “become the record for gay parties and rent boy fests”, and I have a number of gay friends, none of whom have ever heard it. Since the author has not supplied any evidence of this in the form of first-person testimonies, it can only be concluded that either the writer himself has frequented such gatherings and has witnessed the record being played or, as I suspect, he’s made the whole thing it up!

PARAGRAPH 4: (This is by far and away the most shoddily-written section, and that’s in the face of some pretty stiff competition, as you can see!):

  • The first three lines have been cherry-picked from Wikipedia and, have been taken out of context, and are therefore entirely misleading.
  • “…several warnings brushed off by the BBC.” Again, why would the BBC be so interested in a man they’ve so rarely employed?
  • PETER was NEVER interviewed by the News of the World in 1975.
  • The final four lines have been lifted directly from Donald Spoto’s disputed book, ‘Alan Bates: Otherwise Engaged’.

PARAGRAPH 5:

  • PETER has never worked in Germany (an inaccuracy copied verbatim from Wikipedia).
  • After losing his TV celebrity status, and squanderinga (sic) small fortune on alcohol and bumboys,…)”. Entirely based on supposition. The author is not familiar enough with PETER WYNGARDE to know what he spent his money on!
  • For around 9 months in his late teens, PETER was based in Nottingham while performing in rep at the Playhouse Theatre. He never set foot in the City from then until he appeared in The King and I in 1973. Until this article appeared on the Internet, PETER had never heard of a public house called The Flying Horse, and had certainly never been a patron there. This is obviously a story the author ‘bought’ from a man in a pub…!
  • Because of the appalling use of grammar and composition, it’s difficult to determine whether the following sentence is meant to be the author’s own words, or that of a supposed ‘Eye Witness’ – i.e. I remember trying cannabis once with a boyfriend I met in the flying Horse, and was given poppers once by another boyfriend at the time, but that is all I saw personally”. In spite of all the accusations thrown at PETER by this illiterate moron, whoever made this statement, ‘he’ admits to seeing NOTHING, and apart from sharing a joint and a handful of Poppers with boyfriends (which, once again, has absolutely nothing to do with PETER!), ‘he’ can proffer ZERO but hear-say!

PARAGRAPH 6:

  • Again, nothing to do with PETER!

PARAGRAPH 7:

  • ‘He’ (‘Witness’ or ‘Author’?) says In those days a phone call from a BBC director would get you off parking charges or being caught out with bum-boys, but i (sic) am told it does not happen today”. “…told – by who? If it was the same source who avowed to PETER having a contract with the BBC, then I wouldn’t believe him if he told me it would go dark before morning!

Bearing in mind the damning charges the author of this filthy article has made, a visitor to one of these websites responded thusly: Wyngarde was never a star at the BBC. A quick check shows that, aside from a couple of bit parts, his TV work, certainly that which made him a star, was for ITC who made programs for commercial TV. So, the likelihood of anyone at the BBC intervening in an arrest of Wyngarde by the Police is hardly possible. This begs the question, why say it is so when it ain’t?’ The culprit declined to reply because the assertions made by this idiot have absolutely no foundation.

It’s clear that this frenzied jumble of lies and Internet gossip, coupled with an absence of basic writing skills, are the product of a very warped and extremely bitter mind. It is also a very dangerous mind and one that should never have been afforded a platform by either of the aforementioned websites. We can only look forward to the day when Libel Laws finally catch up with the Internet, and these cretins are at last held to account.

N.B. There had been a third blog that carried this article, but has now seen fit to remove it.

THE COMPARISON:

peter-4

The ‘author’(!) of this barely-legible commentary has obviously scavenged bits and pieces of it from other websites, and then added a bit of his own venom to spice it up. The section concerning the Flying Horse public house in Nottingham, which PETER fervently denies knowing any knowledge of, first appeared on The Nottinghamshire Rainbow Heritage website.

As you can see when the two articles are compared side-by-side, how much of The Tap column is the twisted machinations of ‘Tapestry’s’ disturbed little mind:

THE TAP ARTICLE

I remember a rather glitzy bisexual couple (I won’t say names, but they were well known on the ‘alternative’ scene in Nottingham at the time) who were usually in the Flying Horse on Saturday nights. They would often have a party at their house after the pub or even after the clubs once they had started business. They would particularly do this if a TV or stage star was in the Flying Horse bar and would invite him (invariably a him) back. I remember great excitement and a clamour for invitations to this couple’s when Peter Wyngarde (TV’s Jason King) was in the Fly. The couple would also pick up a rent boy for their joint sexual pleasure. It was in connection with this couple that I first began to hear of drug use among fringes of the homosexual scene. I remember trying cannabis once with a boyfriend I met in the flying Horse, and was given poppers once by another boyfriend at the time, but that is all I saw personally.

There were loads of rent boys, often the dolly boys on scooter types, there were wealthy gay business men up from London looking for pretty boys to take to smart restaurants and be repaid by a nobbing in their hotel

ARTICLE FROM THE NOTTINGHAMSHIRE RAINBOW HERITAGE

 I remember a rather glitzy bisexual couple (I won’t say names, but they were well known on the ‘alternative’ scene in Nottingham at the time) who were usually in the Flying Horse on Saturday nights. They would often have a party at their house after the pub or even after the clubs once they had started business. They would particularly do this if a TV or stage star was in the Flying Horse bar and would invite him (invariably a him) back. . The couple would also pick up a boy or a girl or sometimes both for their joint sexual pleasure. It was in connection with this couple that I first began to hear of drug use among fringes of the gay scene. I remember trying cannabis once with a boyfriend I met in the flying Horse, and was given poppers once by another boyfriend at the time, but that is all I saw personally.

There were rent boys. There were wealthy gay business men up from London looking for pretty boys to take to smart restaurants and be repaid by a night in their hotel room.

As you can see, there is no mention of PETER WYNGARDE in the original article. 

Both of the above articles can be viewed for verification at the following addresses:

Nottinghamshire Rainbow Heritage: http://www.nottsrh.webeden.co.uk/#/flying-horse-remembered/4541107712

The Tap: http://tapnewswire.com/2012/12/peter-wyngarde-petunia-winegum/

CONSEQUENCES:

peter_wyngarde

The damage caused by this reprehensible article can be seen in comments left on The Tap and Mind Control Victim websites, and on other blogs and news pages. Take this one, for instance, which appears on a Cult TV forum:

I met PETER WYNGARDE five years ago, through a photographer friend of my then boss. Very dry, very amusing, very nice baseball cap, but there were so many rent boys knocking around the place that I made my excuses and left…”

It’s clear that this person is talking through an orifice other than his mouth. He doesn’t say WHERE this ‘meeting’ took place or, indeed, why his boss should take him to a venue that’s swarming in so-called “rent boys”. Indeed, how did he know they were who he claims they were? It’s all supposition based on the kind of ludicrous article studied here.

CONCLUSION:

It’s clear that this column has been cobbled together by some uneducated bigot in a grimy back bedsit at the backend of nowhere. Nevertheless, the repercussions are very real

Numerous attempts have been made to contact the Webmaster of The Tap to have this defamatory article removed, but on each occasion he, or she, has declined to reply. Meanwhile, there it remains for the entire world to see and be influenced by.

The following is from a third-party ‘site (i.e. neither The Tap of Mind Control Victim), which demonstrates how the kind of thing we’ve just read can descend into something MUCH worse. From supposed “rent boys”, we now have accusations of paedophilia!

Whilst the Webmaster(s) of The Tap continue to ignore the irreparable damage they’ve done, and continue to do, we’ve attempted to have the various search engines – by use of the Right To Be Forgotten Act of 2012, to expunge this poisonous column from their search facilities. The procedure, though, is so convoluted, it’s almost impossible to navigate. And, of course, the Act only covers Northern Europe, so Google and their classmates outside that area of influence are not obliged to do anything.

If any of PETER’s fans would be interested in exerting pressure on The Tap to delete this caustic piece of propaganda, their email address is as follows: editor@tapnewswire.com

You can also add a pro-PETER comment on their website, at:

http://tapnewswire.com/2012/12/peter-wyngarde-petunia-winegum/ (You can log in using Facebook, Google, Twitter, Pininterest and Linkedin).

I, for one, cannot wait for the day when the law finally catch up with the Internet, and is able to make these scumbags accountable for their lies and innuendo.


The Hellfire Club: The OFFICIAL PETER WYNGARDE Appreciation Society: https://www.facebook.com/groups/813997125389790/