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Raffles (ITV 1977, Anthony Valentine, Christopher Strauli)

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Following of from a 1975 play and based on the famous series of books by E.W. Hornung the series stars the suave Anthony Valentine as the even suaver A.J. Raffles, a regular on the country house circuit in turn on the twentieth century England, darling of the cricket scene and with an eye for the ladies Raffles is actually a major jewel thief and safe cracker, aided by his old public school fag Bunny Manders (played with a nice sense of eagerness by Christopher Strauli) Raffles robs his way across the stately homes of England with Detective Inspector Mackenzie (Victor Carin) hot on his trail.

Guest stars include the likes of the lovely Jan Francis as well as Peter Sallis, Jill Gascoine, Carol Drinkwater, Brian Glover, Alfred Marks, Tony Britton and Robert Hardy to name just a few.

production details
UK / ITV – Yorkshire / 1×75 minute episode 13 x50 minute episodes / Broadcast 10 September 1975 and 25 February – 20 May 1977

Creator and Writer: Philip Mackie / Stories: E.W. Hornung / Theme Music: Anthony Isaac / Executive Producer: David Cunliffe / Producer: Jacky Stoller

cast
Anthony Valentine as Raffles
Christopher Strauli as Bunny

THE EPISODES

THE ORIGINAL PLAY
1×90 minute episode / 10 September 1975
1. RAFFLES – THE AMATEUR CRACKSMAN

Raffles whilst attending a cricket match at the Earl of Milchesters manages to find time to steal a priceless diamond necklace.

guest cast
Michael Barrington as Earl of Milchester / Margot Lister as Marchioness of Milchester / James Maxwell

ONE SEASON 25 February – 20 May 1977

1. THE FIRST STEP

When Bunny, Raffles’ best friend ,is targetted by a con artist card player Raffles gets his own back by stealing some jewels.

guest cast
Jeremy Clyde / Thorley Walters / Susan Skipper / David Firth / Lockwood West / Godrey James / Sally James

 

2. THE SPOILS OF SACRILEGE

Bunny thinks it would be a good idea to pull a daring robbery – close to home.

guest cast
William Mervyn / Barbara Hicks / Sally Osborn / William Humbert / John Pickles / Ted Morris

 

3. A COSTUME PIECE

Raffles sets up a daring plan to rob a less than friendly but very wealthy South American.

guest cast
Brian Glover / Alfred Marks / Peter Myers / Jill Gascoine / Lesley Daine / Terence Soall / Eddie Tagoe / Andrew Jackson

 

4. THE GOLD CUP

The Criminologists Club sets out to trap Raffles.

guest cast
Peter Sallis / Tony Britton / Diana Weston / John Quentin / Basil Henson / William Moore / Charles Rea / Michael Nightingale / Adam Bareham / Alan Haines / George Tovey / Dixon Adams / Ronald Goodale

 

5. THE CHEST OF SILVER

When his flat is due to be looked over by the police Raffles arranges for Bunny to take care of his prized chest full of silver.

guest cast
Geoffrey Hutchings / John Ringham / James Murray / Mike Murray / Trevor Ray

 

6. A TRAP TO CATCH A CRACKSMAN

When Raffles is targetted by a brash American boxer it is upto Bunny to save the day.

guest cast
Christopher Malcolm / John Stratton / Don Fellows / Carol Drinkwater / Lloyd Lamble

 

7. AN OLD FLAME

A former girlfriend of Raffles’, Lady Paulton is determined to get Raffles off his crime beat.

guest cast
Gerald Flood / Caroline Blakiston / Gary Watson / Malcolm Rogers / Peter Spraggon / Frank Tregear / Clifford Parrish / Maurice Quick / Michael Syers

8. A BAD NIGHT

After agreeing to take on a ‘job’ for Raffles, Bunny finds himself targetted by a young woman.

guest cast
Jan Francis / Norman Bird / Brenda Cowling / Carole Bollard / Dennis Chinnery

 

9. TO CATCH A THIEF

Lord Ernest Belville, a fellow thief, decides to get one over on Raffles.

guest cast
Robert Hardy / David Parfitt / John Flint / Mike Perry

 

10. MR JUSTICE RAFFLES

Raffles is determined to get back at a loanshark who is out to get one of his friends.

guest cast
John Savident / Charles Dance / Lynette Davies / Gabrielle Brune / Alan Downer / Andrew Jackson / Maurice Bush / Steve Emerson

 

11. THE LAST LAUGH

An Italian with Mafia connections sets out to get Raffles after he agrees to help out a young woman.

guest cast
Robert Lang / Cyril Shaps / Marina Sirtis / Bruce Robinson / Gillian Webb

 

12. THE GIFT OF THE EMPEROR

Raffles for once finds himself in league with Scotland Yard when he has to try and steal a pearl that once belonged to the Queen.

guest cast
John Hallam / John Carson / Frank Middlemass / Hilary Gasson / Yuri Borenko

 

13. HOME AFFAIRS

Raffles decides to target the Home secretary after he makes a speech in parliament about theives.

guest cast
Graham Crowden / Erin Geraghty / Claire Davenport / Erik Chitty / Colin Edwynn

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