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The Persuaders: Five Miles to Midnight (S1EP17 ITV Fri 7 Jan 1972, Joan Collins)



In Five Miles to Midnight, New York hood Frank Rocco (Robert Hutton) is hiding out in Rome but finds things getting a little hot when he kills an Italian gangster. He decides he needs to get back to the US and the US Government is equally keen to have him back. They decide Danny Wilde and Lord Brett Sinclair are the ideal pair to escort him.

Quite the episode, a script by Terry Nation and a guest appearance from the glamorous Joan Collins. There was in-depth interview with Joan in the weeks TV Times in which she said that she very much identified with Mary Whitehouse and that she didn’t think it was good to see sex scenes on the screen. She also made it plain that she wouldn’t be getting nude on screen saying “It’s my body and I don’t particularly want anybody to see it.” She would of course change her mind later in the decade, stripping off for starring roles in The Stud and The Bitch (both based on novels by her sister Jackie).

Jean Marsh also guest stars, she was already becoming a major household name thanks to the success of Upstairs Downstairs in which she played Rose. Robert Hutton was the main American name, having been a jobbing Hollywood actor since the early 1940’s. He was cousin of Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton. By the mid 1960’s he had moved to the UK and was making the odd movie appearance (including the infamous Joan Crawford movie Trog) and the odd TV appearance, generally in ITC shows such as The Saint and Man in a Suitcase.

production details
UK / ITV – ATV / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Friday 7 July 1971 at 7.30pm

Series: The Persuaders Episode 17 of 24

Writer: Terry Nation / Director: Val Guest

Tony Curtis as Danny Wilde
Roger Moore as Lord Brett Sinclair
Joan Collins as Sidonie
Robert Hutton as Frank Rocco
Laurence Naismith as Judge Fulton
Robert Rietty as Torino
Ferdy Mayne as Sangallo
Jean Marsh as Nicola
Arnold Diamond as Brusati
Ian Thompson as Vasile
Robert Gallico as Manny Howard