In Fire in a Honey Pot Kingdom investigates a series of fires that have happened at various betting shops and gambling clubs. Kingdom is convinced a local arsonist it to blame and even manages to get a confession out of him. Then with the man in the cells another club goes up in smoke and this time it leads to a death.
Much of the episode revolves around the goings on of Hazel and Jack Strode who run the Cloud Seven gambling club and are paying protection money to a local gangster. Hazel meanwhile has secretly been siphoning off some of the protection racket money to do a runner with one of the crooks.
Quite a strong episode, written by Bergerac creator Robert Banks Stewart. One of the real plus point of the series is the high calibre of writers contributing scripts. There is another nice nod to Kingdom’s flower obsession when he uses film of the Chelsea Flower Show to get a confession out of the arsonist.
This is the second episode of the season to not feature Kingdom’s oppo Alan Ward, instead the somewhat generic Detective Sergeant Gilson is on hand. Well known faces popping up include June Brown, Leslie Schofield as a reporter and Frank Mills as a fireman. Mills is one of those great unsung character players who pops up at least once in pretty much every show of the decade!
UK / ITV – London Weekend Television / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Saturday 10 June 1972 at 7.00pm
Writer: Robert Banks Stewart / Production Design: Bryan Bagge / Producer: Jack Williams / Director: Bryan Izzard
New Scotland Yard Season 1 Episode 8
Robin Hawdon as Tony Logan
Veronica Hurst as Hazel Strode
Alan Curtis as Jack Strode
John Arthur Baron as Giles Strode
Ken Halliwell as Leach
Maurice Bush as Frank Gray
Huw Thomas as Newscaster
John Woodvine as John Kingdom
Peter Blythe as Detective Sergeant Gilson
John Crocker as Arthur Jones
Frank Mills as Barrett
John J. Carney as Ray Dunbar
Yasuko Nagazumi as Mikki
Leslie Schofield as Phillip Barkis
June Brown as Jean Strode