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Spyder’s Web (ITV 1972, Patricia Cutts, Anthony Ainley)



Spy drama series Spyder’s Web tapped into the then highly in vogue cold war espionage genre mixed with more than a teensy bit of The Avengers thrown in. Especially with its male/female partnership in the lead roles. Clive Hawksworth was more often than not partnered with Charlotte “Lottie” Dean (although they did work alone sometimes too) to tackle a series of generally quite esoteric cases whether it be trying to catch a group of eccentric dignataries who are acting as assassins (in The Executioners) or going undercover at a marriage bureau to dealing with the recovery of a British agent who has been encased in a glacier since 1914.

Created by Richard Harris (who didn’t actually write for the series)  and with scripts from the likes of Roy Clarke, Alfred Shaughnessy and Dr Who alumni Robert Holmes Spyder’s Web isn’t as well remembered as it deserves to be. Five years earlier and it would have fallen into that classic Avengers/Prisoner camp and still remembered today.

Guest stars included the likes of Roy Hanlon, Carolyn Jones, Rudolph Walker, Kenneth Griffith, John Barron, Milton Johns, Windsor Davies, Oliver Ford Davies, Joe Gladwin and Lois Baxter. Watch out too for a young Roger Lloyd Pack who was a regular here as Lottie’s butler Albert Mason.

The Spyder of the Spyder’s Web of the title of course referred to any of the actual agents involved on a case.

production details
UK / ITV – ATV / 13×60 minute episodes / Broadcast Friday 21 January 1972 @ 9.00pm – Friday 14 April 1972 @ 9.00pm

Original Idea: Richard Harris / Script Supervisor: Malcolm Hulke / Theme Music: Derek Scott / Producer: Dennis Vance

VERONICA CARLSON as Wallis Ackroyd
ANTHONY AINLEY as Clive Hawksworth
ROGER LLOYD PACK as Albert Mason

1. SPYDER SECURES A MAIN STRAND (Broadcast Friday 21 January 1972 @ 9.00pm)
Writer: Roy Clarke
Lottie and Wallis are called into action when a British agent is shot whilst crossing a communist border and it appears a traitor is in their midst.
guest cast
Dennis Chinnery as “Two” / Michael Slater as Purvis / Heather Canning as Chief’s wife / John Savident as Chief / Charles Kinross as Escaper / Oliver Ford-Davies as “One” / Rosemary Lord as Typist
Designer: Peter Roden

2. THE EXECUTIONERS (Broadcast Friday 28 January 1972 @ 9.00pm)
Writer: Alfred Shaughnessy
Lottie has to get involved in the blue movie game when she discovers that a group of well to do gents obsessed with the decline in moral standards are behind a spate of recent killings of prominent members of the “permissive society”.
guest cast
Charles Lloyd Pack as Butler / Andre Morell as Lord Rushmore / Lockwood West as His Grace / Keith Anderson as Government official / Graham Leaman as Professor / Richard Kay as Peter Fairchild / Donald Layne-Smith as His Honour / Eric Longworth as Vicar
C. Lethbridge Baker as Clerk
Designer: Trevor Paterson / Director: Roy Ward Baker

3. ROMANCE ON WHEELS (Broadcast Friday 4 February 1972 @ 9.00pm)
Writer: Roy Clarke
Lottie has to uncover the truth about a sinister marriage bureau.
guest cast
Carolyn Jones as Miss Hooper / Peter Sallis as Grovnick / John Cazabon as Zolton / Helen Lindsay as Mrs. Dewhurst / Anthony Sagar as Parker / Mollie Maureen as Mrs. Danvers / Derek Ware as Peasant / Roy Hanlon as Brian / Corinna Marlowe as Magda / Robin Browne as Driver / Toby Flood as Man on Train / Henry Szeps as Policeman
Designer: Stanley Mills / Director: James Gatward

4. THE HAFIZ AFFAIR (Broadcast Friday 11 February 1972 @ 9.00pm)
Writer: Roy Clarke
The girls go on the trail of a missing African politician.
guest cast
Earl Cameron as Freddy Hafiz / Corinne Skinner as Beth / John Carlin as Wickering / Rudolph Walker as General Limbo / Horace James as Diwani / Willie Jonah as Doorman / Lucita Lijertwood as Fruit pedlar / Olu Jacobs as First Soldier / Omo Ade as Driver / Ladi Ariyo as Native
Designer: Trevor Paterson / Director: Dorothy Denham

5. LIFE AT A PRICE (Broadcast Friday 18 February 1972 @ 9.00pm)
Writer: Frank Driscoll
Lottie is a soon to be grandmother whilst Hawksworth plays doctor to crack a tricky case.
guest cast
Cyril Shaps as Doctor Hatchington / Harold Kasket as Ambassador / Michael Mellinger as Captain Diaz / John Harvey as Jones (Police Commissioner) / Sean Lynch as Bodyguard / Julia McCarthy as Matron / Robert Tayman as Ted / Rosalind Lloyd as Nellie / Aideen O’Kelly as Maria Delgardo / Stacey Tendeter as First nurse / Alison Hughes as Second nurse / Valerie Holliman as Ethel / Althea Stewart as Mrs. Jenks / John Cannon as Gunman / Keith Norrish as Photographer
Designer: Stanley Mills

6. EMERGENCY EXIT (Broadcast Friday 25 February 1972 @ 9.00pm)
Writer: David Ellis
The gang need to discover just the other sides new escape route actually involves.
guest cast
Kenneth Griffith as Ratznik / Brian McDermott as 397 / Jon Laurimore as Felton /
Noel Trevarthen as Waldman / Donald Webster as Coles / Valerie Bell as Carol Felton / Barry Linehan as Kalashnikov / John Flint as Beecham / Janet Lees Price as Miss Davies
Designer: Stanley Mills / Director: David Wickes

Spyder's Web

Anthony Ainley as Clive Hawksworth

7. RED ADMIRAL (Broadcast Friday 3 March 1972 @ 9.00pm)
Writer: Alan Hackney
Rear Admiral Manders is announced to be a pacifist by a new government computer – a big problem that Lottie and Hawksworth have to sort out.
guest cast
Gordon Whiting as Dr. Lane / John Barron as Rear Admiral Manders / Milton Johns as Arthur / Joan Peart as Mrs. Manders / Neville Phillips as Desk clerk / David Firth as Michael Manders / Milos Kirek as Dimitri
Designer: Stanley Mills / Director: John Cooper

8. LIES AND DOLLS (Broadcast Friday 10 March 1972 @ 9.00pm)
Writer: Alfred Shaughnessy
Lottie receives the orders from her latest case from a talking minah bird and finds herself heavily immersed in the underground art scene.
guest cast
David Nettheim as Grolik / Otto Diamant as Dr. Karovny / Mark Eden as Dr. Dolek / Frank Tregear as Walter Harley / Daphne Heard as Mrs. Harley / Damien Thomas as Aston / Rita Merkelis as Slav girl / Joyce Wren, Wolfgang Manthey and Christopher Leith as Puppeteers
Designer: Stanley Mills

9.THINGS THAT GO BANG IN THE NIGHT (Broadcast Friday 17 March 1972 @ 9.00pm)
Writer: Marc Brandel
Lottie and Hawksworth must prevent the last secret weapon invented by a now dead inventor from falling into the hands of The Other Side.
guest cast
Jerry Stovin as Todd / Mark Heath as Dr. Long / Daniel Moynihan as Tom Woffington / Joe Ritchie as Ted Woffington / Jo Rowbottom as Debbie / Anne Jameson as Ava Woffington / Nicholas Smith as Dick Woffington / Stephanie Mildenhall as Guinevere
Designer: Trevor Paterson / Director: Ian Fordyce

10. AN ALMOST MODERN MAN (Broadcast Friday 24 March 1972 @ 9.00pm)
Writer: Roy Clarke
Lottie and Co are perturbed when it appears that prominent policiticians are getting involved with voodoo.
guest cast
Rollo Gamble as Commissioner / Edwin Brown as Auctioneer / Michael Deacon as Newscaster / Alan Haines as Security man / Mike Pratt as President Baras / Peter Birrel as Dominic / Neville Phillips as Mario / Alan Clements as Reporter / Lelia Goldoni as Performer
Designer: Trevor Paterson

11. NOBODY’S STRAWBERRY FOOL (Broadcast Friday 31 March 1972 @ 9.00pm)
Writer: Robert Holmes
The group must rescue the body of a british agent frozen in a glacier since 1914 – but now thawed out, before it falls into the hands of the other side.
guest cast
Joan Haythorne as Mrs. Gibbes / Meadows White as Grocer / Allan Cuthbertson as Pyke / Charles Lamb as Archivist / Windsor Davies as Airport Official / Heather Canning as Chief’s wife / John Savident as Chief / Rosemary Lord as Pansy / Oliver Ford Davies as Heath
Designer: Stanley Mills / Director: John Cooper

12. THE PREVALENCE OF SKELETONS (Broadcast Friday 7 April 1972 @ 9.00pm)
Writer: Marc Brandel
V.I.P’s are being targets by a new device that can bring on premature aging (of both people and documents), its upto Lottie and Hawksworth to save the day.
guest cast
Richard Warner as Sir Nigel Pilgrim / Ferdy Mayne as Peter Tony / Mark Heath as Dr. Long / Robin Wentworth as General Syddley Smith / Frederick Peisley as Millard / Bill Stewart as Sid / David Pinner as Addison / Juan Moreno as Emil / Jeremy Mason as Cashier / Lois Baxter as Heather; Valerie and Julie
Designer: Trevor Paterson / Director: Ian Fordyce

13. REV COUNTER (Broadcast Friday 14 April 1972 @ 9.00pm)
Writer: Roy Clarke
“If God had intended the Isle of Wight to be part of England, he would have joined it the mainland.” Lottie and Hawksworth get mixed up with freedom fighters in Hampshire.
guest cast
Lloyd Lamble as Vicar / Jean Hardwicke as Milk bar assistant / Sean Lynch as Leader / Kenneth J. Warren as Edwards / Joe Gladwin as Newbold / Jack Carr as Geary / Una Brandon Jones as Socialist female / Paul Luty as Lightning / Paul Haley as Vince / Steve Peters as Freddy
Designer: Trevor Paterson / Director: Dorothy Denham