Definitely one of Frank’s stranger cases in Mrs Podmore’s Cat when the somewhat eccentric Mrs Podmore persuades him to house sit her cat for a week whilst she is away at a health farm. Obviously it’s not the sort of thing he would normally do but the money will be handy especially as the phone has just been cut off because he hasn’t paid the bill.
Unfortunately it’s not quite the leisurely holiday Frank anticipates thanks to the arrival of a friend of Mrs Podmore’s, the very dodgy Major Thursby-Byers, and the disgruntled girlfriend of Mrs Podmore’s toyboy Ronnie. To make matters worse to miniature paintings then go missing.
Percy Firbank joins forces with Frank to investigate, the main suspect is the dodgy Major but the paintings are then found in Ronnie’s possession. When she finds out Mrs Podmore makes it plain that she gave Ronnie the paintings, clearly not wanting him to get in trouble and jeopardise their relationship. The funny thing is, Ronnie didn’t take the paintings, it is obvious the paintings were planted on Ronnie by the Major in a clear attempt to ruin things for him with Mrs Podmore.
After the business with the Doctor in Many A Slip and the heart to heart between the two of them it seems like the friendship between Inspector Firbank and Frank has mellowed out considerably.
Nell makes her first appearance of the season in this episode and Mrs Podmore is played by 1940’s star of British Cinema Jean Kent.
UK / ITV -Thames / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Wednesday 6 December 1972 at 9.00pm
Writer: Philip Broadley / Production Design: Allan Cameron / Director: Bill Bain
Series: Public Eye Season 6 Episode 4
Alfred Burke as Frank Marker
Ray Smith as Firbank
Brenda Cavendish as Nell Holdsworth
Jean Kent as Mrs Podmore
Magda Miller as Maggie
Tommy Boyle as Ronnie Baker
Dudley Foster as Major Thursby-Byers
Cheryl Hall as Beryl Taylor
Jeremy Higgins as Alfredo