Shadow Squad

1957 | United Kingdom

Frustrated by the rules and regulations that hampered his criminal investigations, Detective Vic Steele (Rex Garner) turned his back on Scotland Yard and the Flying Squad to set up his own private detective agency. 

Assisted by his trusty Cockney sidekick Ginger Smart (George Moon), Steele set up a company called Shadow Squad. Steele and Smart went about solving whatever case came their way, although there were times when they needed the help of their trusted and, it must be noted, very alert charlady Mrs Moggs (Kathleen Boutall) who often noticed a vital clue that had escaped the two sleuths. The largely based studio-bound series was noted for its moody quality, often employing stark close-ups and also for using a two-part format - the first and second episode being aired on different nights of the same week. The first 26 episodes were filmed in London and produced by Associated Rediffusion but after these 13 adventures the rest of the run came courtesy of Granada Television. 

Its not clear if it was Granada or the actor who played him who made the decision, but once the shooting moved 'up North' the character of Vic Steele left (apparently to take up a long-term assignment in Australia) to be replaced by a former Scotland Yard DI, Don Carter (Peter Williams). This was proved to be a popular move with the viewers and the series continued until June 1959, the last episode finishing in somewhat bizarre fashion with actors Moon and Williams dropping out of character, introducing themselves by their real names and then walking off the studio set. Moon took his character, now employed as a security man, into a short lived spin-off series called Skyport.

Published on January 28th, 2019. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.