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Director  Bill Baggs
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P.R.O.B.E. is a series of videos mostly written by Mark Gatiss and produced by BBV Productions. It predates Torchwood as the first ongoing spin-off of the Doctor Who universe.

Contents

The series features Caroline John as Liz Shaw, working for the Preternatural Research Bureau. Many former Doctor Who actors, including former Doctors Jon Pertwee, Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy, appear in the series playing different roles. (Due to licensing restrictions, no overt reference to The Doctor is permitted.) Doctor Who alumna Louise Jameson co-stars with Caroline John in all four films, as Patricia Haggard.

Originally released on VHS, the series is not widely available on video. When an interviewer commented to series author Mark Gatiss that he had never seen the series, Gatiss replied "No, and you never will. One, they're not available. And two, I forbid it. Christ, for all I knew, they were the only things I would ever get to make. And I learned a frightening amount from working on them." All four films were released on DVD on 3 March 2012 exclusive to Galaxy 4 shop with a 12 rating.

A fifth film written and directed by Bill Baggs was released 20 April 2015 with Hazel Burrows taking over as Liz Shaw.

The Zero Imperative (1994)

The Zero Imperative was released direct-to-video in January 1994 by BBV.

Synopsis

Former UNIT luminary Liz Shaw and her assistant Bayliss are investigating a series of bizarre murders, all committed near a soon-to-be-closed psychiatric hospital.

When the hospital is unexpectedly reprieved by rich Industrialist Peter Russell events seem to move out of Liz's control. Are the incumbent director of the clinic, Doctor Dove and his predecessor Doctor O'Kane harbouring the killer? What is the centuries-old horror hidden in the grounds?

And what exactly is the secret of room zero?

Cast

  • Liz Shaw – Caroline John
  • Patricia Haggard – Louise Jameson
  • Louise Bayliss – Linda Lusardi
  • Dr. Jeremiah O'Kane – Jon Pertwee
  • Dr. Colin Dove – Sylvester McCoy
  • Peter Russell – Colin Baker
  • Dr. William Bruffin – Mark Gatiss
  • Patient Zero – David Terence
  • Dr. Beatrice Hearst – Nicola Fulljames
  • Dr. Gilchrist – Patricia Merrick
  • Cummings – Jonathan Rigby
  • P.R.O. – Sophie Aldred
  • Orderly – Simon Messingham
  • Orderly – Alexander Kirk
  • Orderly - Robert John Preston
  • Patient One – Peter Davison
  • Daniel – Bill Baggs
  • Boy's Voice – Daniel Mills
  • Trivia

  • This film is occasionally listed as part of BBV's series The Stranger, although it is a standalone production. The only apparent connection besides production company is that Colin Baker stars in both.
  • The Devil of Winterborne (1995)

    The Devil of Winterborne was released direct-to-video in January 1995 by BBV.

    Synopsis

    When P.R.O.B.E. are summoned to investigate the savage murder of retired headmaster Mr. Whittaker and his dog, Liz Shaw is disturbed to find evidence of a satanic ritual near the scene of the crime. The trail leads of deceit and corruption extends to the current occupants of nearby Winterborne School, where it appears that someone is determined to cover up an ancient secret – at any cost. With another animal having bit the dust, the current headteacher accused of murdering a pupil, and one of the school's oldest employees having been stabbed with a knife, Liz finds herself under increasing pressure from all sides to produce results, especially with P.R.O.B.E. under threat from within – and the death toll mounting. However, a shocking revelation from headteacher Gavin Purcell reveals that The Devil of Winterborne is at large – and only Liz can stop it.

    Unnatural Selection (1996)

    Unnatural Selection was released direct-to-video in October 1996 by BBV.

    Synopsis

    In 1975, the British Government quietly closed down a secret evolutionary project codenamed BEAGLE, ordering the destruction of all research materials.

    Today, the horrific discovery of several oddly mutated bodies alerts Liz Shaw and P.R.O.B.E. to the fact that something is stalking the original site of project BEAGLE – something which may challenge the very nature of humanity itself!

    With a crack security team at her disposal, Liz desperately attempts to track down the perverted results of the project.

    But who or what is hunting whom?

    Cast

  • Liz Shaw – Caroline John
  • Patricia Haggard – Louise Jameson
  • Julius Quilter – Charles Kay
  • Brian Rutherford – Geoffrey Beevers
  • Soldier – Stephen Bradshaw
  • Soldier – Keith Brooks
  • Alfred Emerson – Mark Gatiss
  • Col. Ackroyd – Alexander Kirk
  • Dr. Gilchrist – Patricia Merrick
  • Soldier – Mark Moore
  • Security Guard – George Murphy
  • Soldier – Gabriel Mykaj
  • Clare – Zoe Randall
  • Angela – Kathryn Rayner
  • Cummings – Jonathan Rigby
  • Dr. Dennis Lancaster – Simon Wolfe
  • Ghosts of Winterborne (1996)

    Ghosts of Winterborne was released direct-to-video in November 1996 by BBV.

    Synopsis

    The Devil of Winterborne has only recently been exorcised by P.R.O.B.E.

    But when the body of its last victim disappears, and a book of black magic spells is stolen from a local museum, Liz Shaw begins to wonder if the ghosts of the past have really been laid to rest.

    Forced into an unholy alliance with the school's disgraced headmaster, Liz must fight not only her own warring emotions, but a festering evil that threatens to corrupt the Earth again after 100 years.

    But how do you fight a shadow from hell?

    Cast

  • Liz Shaw – Caroline John
  • Patricia Haggard – Louise Jameson
  • Gavin Purcell – Peter Davison
  • Christian – Daniel Matthews
  • Margaret Wyndham – Charmian May
  • Andrew Powell – Reece Shearsmith
  • Max – David Hankinson
  • Ian – Nathan Hamlett
  • Librarian – Alan Nicholas
  • Story Notes

  • The end credits list Mrs. Wyndham's first name as Barbara, rather than her on-screen name of Margaret. However, Mrs. Wyndham's deceased twin sister, Ms. Taploe, was also named Barbara.
  • Until the release of Zygon: When Being You Just isn't Enough in 2007, this was the only Doctor Who related product to be given an 18 certificate although in 2012 Ghosts was re-rated 12.
  • When to Die (2015)

    When to Die was released direct-to-video on 20 April 2015 by BBV.

    Synopsis

    Liz investigates the government execution of an immortal Corporal who 'no longer has a use'.

    Cast

  • Liz Shaw - Hazel Burrows
  • Patricia Haggard - Georgette Ellison
  • Giles - Bill Baggs
  • Secretary of State for Defence - Matthew Ellison
  • Security Guard - Danni Fletcher
  • Josie Williams - Clare Groome
  • Receptionist - Kathrina Gwynne
  • Major Johnson - Neil Gwynne
  • Charlie Reynish - Ken Hann
  • Bennett - Marcus Kinsella
  • Soldier - Ruben Sanchez
  • Bosnian Diplomat - Brian Stansbridge
  • Corporal 7891Alpha - Peter Ward
  • References

    P.R.O.B.E. Wikipedia


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