TV UK TV

Armchair Thriller: A Dog’s Ransom (ITV 1978, Zena Walker)

A Dog's Ransom

In A Dog’s Ransom Edward and Gina Reynolds, who live in Chelsea, have been receiving threatening letters, then their dog is kidnapped and held to ransom. The pair reluctantly pay the ransom but the dog isn’t returned. Police Constable Clarence Duhamel decides to conduct an off duty investigation. His investigations lead him to the none too friendly elderly Polishman Kowajinski who manages to get Clarence suspended from the force by claiming he offered Duhamel a bribe to not take thiings further. Unwilling to let things go Duhamel ends up killing Kowajinski.

One of the only Armchair Thrillers not to be an original work, A Dog’s Ransom is based on a novel by the fabulous Patricia Highsmith. In typical Highsmith fashion the story is more about the psychological motivations of the protagonists than the crime itself. The initial dognapping is seemingly only in the story line to bring in the character of Duhamel. There is a great little twist at the end though.

production details
UK / ITV Network – Thames / 6×30 minute episodes / Broadcast 7 – 23 March 1978

Writer: John Bowen / Novel: Patricia Highsmith / Script Executive: Joan Rodker / Story Editor: Robert Banks Stewart / Incidental Music: Roger Webb / Production Design: Peter Elliott / Producer: Jacqueline Davis / Director: Doanld McWhinnie

Series: Armchair Thriller / Story 2

cast
ZENA WALKER as Gina Reynolds
BENJAMIN WHITROW as Edward Reynolds
BRIAN STIRNER as Clarence Duhamel
PAUL ANGELIS as Tom Choley
LEON EAGLES as Kowajinski
PRENTIS HANCOCK as Desk Sergeant
SUSIE BLAKE as Marion Dowell
MARYANN TURNER as Landlady
FRANK DUNCAN as Announcer
NEVILLE BARBER as Chief Supertintendent
DAVID HARGREAVES as Ken Holbrook
RAY ARMSTRONG as Duty Inspector
IRENE SUTCLIFFE as Magistrate
CHRISTOPHER REICH as Box
LINAL HAFT as Cookson
HAROLD REESE as Clerk of the Court
PETRONELLA BARKER as Gillian
RAYNER BOURTON as Jim
STEVE BARRATT as Willis
HERBERT NORVILLE as Ahmed
PHILLIP POLLITT as Tommy
DERRY JORDAN as Jacko
FRANK WYLIE as Inspector Craig