Harman Patil (Editor)

Paul Temple (TV series)

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
1 Ratings
Rate This

Rate This


No. of series

First episode date
23 November 1969

Number of seasons



Crime drama

No. of episodes

Final episode date
1 September 1971

Number of episodes

Paul Temple (TV series) httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaenaaa22

Created by
Francis MatthewsRos DrinkwaterGeorge Sewell

Derrick SherwinPeter BryantAlan Bromly (Season 1 only)

Softly - Softly, No Hiding Place, Special Branch, Adam Adamant Lives!, Sutherland's Law

Paul Temple is a British-German television series which originally aired on BBC1 between 1969 and 1971. 52 episodes were made over 4 seasons, with each episode having a running time of around 50 minutes.


Paul temple on malta pt 1


Paul Temple features Francis Matthews (1927-2014) as Paul Temple, the fictional detective created by Francis Durbridge, who solves crimes with the assistance of his wife Steve (Ros Drinkwater). Season 1 of the Paul Temple television series was produced solely by the BBC, with all 13 episodes set in Great Britain. The very first episode was transmitted in November 1969, becoming one of the first shows to be broadcast in colour on BBC1.

Starting with Season 2, Paul Temple became a co-production by the BBC and Taurus films of Munich, West Germany, and was shown internationally, with many of the episodes using overseas locations in West Germany, France, Malta and elsewhere. During the production of the Second Season, the producer Peter Bryant successfully persuaded Derrick Sherwin to join him on Paul Temple, from the BBC's Doctor Who television series at short notice. Both Sherwin and Bryant had previously worked on Doctor Who together. There was some disagreement between the BBC and Taurus over the casting of Steve Temple (who had been played in the radio series of Paul Temple from 1945-68 by Marjorie Westbury): the BBC wished to drop Ros Drinkwater from the role, but Taurus favoured her retention.

According to Francis Matthews, both Paul and Steve Temple became fashion icons of sorts, creating a style that was to be imitated in ITV's The Persuaders!, while, in America, Ros Drinkwater's role was reportedly emulated by Susan Saint James in McMillan & Wife and Stefanie Powers in Hart to Hart. According to Matthews, Drinkwater chose her own "very expensive" designer clothes for the part.

The series was intended to go on for 5 years, but despite its popularity, especially in West Germany, the BBC withdrew prematurely after 2 years. Huw Wheldon, the BBC's managing director for television, later explained to Matthews that it was really "Lew Grade territory" and cited the BBC's preference for such historical dramas as The Six Wives of Henry VIII and Elizabeth R. The series was allowed to peter out, the final episodes at least of the last Season all based in Great Britain.


The BBC never repeated Paul Temple. The series suffered badly in the BBC's archive purging of the 1970s. Of the 52 episodes of Paul Temple that were made, only 16 remain in the BBC TV archives today. 11 of the surviving 16 episodes are available in colour, and these were re-run on UK Gold in its formative years in the 1990s. The other 5 episodes survive only as black and white telerecordings. The purge on ''Paul Temple'' was such that, of the first two seasons, only one episode exists ("Games People Play", 19 April 1970). That episode was made completely on film and therefore was archived in the BBC's Film Library. The remaining 25 episodes were wiped off their original videotape holdings by the BBC's Engineering Department so the tapes (expensive at the time) could be re-used. No telerecordings are known to exist (other than the last five episodes of season 4).

The visuals of some of the 36 missing episodes survive in the ZDF TV archives in Germany. These are believed to emanate from seasons 2 to 4 which were BBC-ZDF co-produced, however they only have dubbed German soundtracks. Any BBC tape copies with their original English soundtracks intact are believed to be long-gone from the ZDF archive.

In 2016, a German DVD release of the fourth and final season, with German dubbing, presented the final five episodes in color with an English soundtrack. While not every episode on the release contains the original English language soundtracks, one, "A Family Affair," does. This episode is not held by the BBC and was not included on the Acorn DVD releases, as noted below. "A Family Affair" does not appear to have been returned to the BBC archive at this time.

DVD Releases

In July 2009, Acorn Media released the 11 existing colour episodes on DVD. These were cleared at the BBFC on 17 March 2009. In April 2012, Acorn Media released a DVD of the final 5 episodes ever broadcast, which are only available in black and white. In August 2013, Acorn Media released all 16 existing episodes (11 in colour, 5 in black and white) on DVD, in a release named Paul Temple: The Complete Collection.

In May 2016, the series appeared in German speaking countries, released by German DVD company Fernsehjuwelen (English translation: TV Jewels). The DVD releases were from series 2 onwards in three different boxsets, the third of which to be released later. Episodes previously described as missing appeared for the first time on DVD, albeit with synchronised German audio only.

Main cast

  • Francis Matthews ... Paul Temple
  • Ros Drinkwater ... Steve Temple
  • June Ellis ... Kate Balfour
  • George Sewell ... Sammy Carson
  • Blake Butler ... Eric
  • Derek Martin ... Paddy
  • References

    Paul Temple (TV series) Wikipedia

    Similar Topics