Browsing YouTube tonight I’ve made a real discovery. Somebody called TellyComedyAndDrama has uploaded all 26 episodes of the 1950s TV series Colonel March, based on the Carter Dickson character – ‘the leading nosey-body in the world,’ according to his Scotland Yard colleague Inspector Ames. Some of the episodes are based on stories from the Department of Queer Complaints (1940).
Colonel March is played by an eyepatch-wearing Boris Karloff, who plays him with typical Carter Dickson old-world courtliness. The films are period pieces, but fun to watch (and to listen to – the music is classic).
Error at Daybreak opens with March on holiday, reading The Psychology of Crustaceans on the beach until he is interrupted by a small boy. Some wonderful stilted dialogue ensues but is thankfully cut short by the murder of obnoxious millionaire Norman Caine.
The Abominable Snowman has a more of the trademark Carter Dickson weirdness, (and has comments relating mainly to the accuracy of the yeti footprint Colonel March finds on his office windowsill in the opening scene… ‘I wonder if this is the first show to make the mistake of portraying the yeti as white. The real creature is black or dark brown.The foot prints were quite wll done and not unlike the ones i have seen in Northern India.’ )
Present Tense opens with the cheapest air accident ever filmed. The plot revolves around spiritualism and the haunting of March’s niece by her deceased husband. Warning: the sound on this one is quite poor.