Paul Temple

(1969)

Paul Temple is a British-German television series which originally aired on the BBC between 1969 and 1971. It features Francis Matthews as Paul Temple, the fictional detective created by Francis Durbridge, who solves crimes with the assistance of his wife Steve. It aired in 52 episodes each with a running time of around fifty minutes. Producer Derrick Sherwin was reassigned on short notice from the BBC's Doctor Who television series.

This was a co-production by the BBC and Taurus films of Munich, West Germany, which had no connection to the earlier BBC radio scripts, which was shown internationally. According to star 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, 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.

Paul Temple used overseas locations in France, Malta, Germany and elsewhere. The series was intended to last for five years, but, despite its popularity, especially in Germany, the BBC withdrew prematurely. 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. There also appears to have been some disagreement between the BBC and Taurus over the casting of Steve Temple, the BBC wishing to drop Drinkwater, but Taurus favouring her retention.

  • First Aired
    1969