The Human Jungle

1963 | United Kingdom

Dr Roger Corder, M.D., D.P.M., Harley Street psychiatrist and consultant psychiatrist to St. Damien's Hospital was a television character that became so real to viewers between 1963 and 1965, that hundred's of letters were received by the studio each week, asking for his help. 

Corder, a widower in his late forties, (his wife having died in a plane crash), was left to bring up their teenage daughter Jennifer (Sally Smith). He was a wealthy man whose father had been a Swiss brain specialist, his mother a concert violinist, and although he had the perfect connections to work on the neuroses of the rich, he chose instead to devote his time to help people with real problems. During his working week he would help mothers who couldn't cope with their children, fathers who had run away from their homes and their responsibilities, young people fighting against authority and those who, having lost all self-respect, had also lost the will to live. Support for the good doctor came from junior colleague Dr Jimmy Davis (Michael Johnson) and his secretary Nancy Hamilton (Mary Yeomans). 

The starring role in this dramatic series went to Herbert Lom, later to become famous as Inspector Clouseau's boss (and arch nemesis), Chief Inspector Dreyfus, in the Pink Panther film series. Lom was born in Prague in 1917 and had been a star of the cinema long before the role of Dr Corder came his way. It was his first television role, but one that he accepted readily as the subject matter interested him greatly. "When I played my first psychiatrist (in The Seventh Veil) I was deeply interested in the subject because I had a friend who had recently undertaken such treatment. But I've always had a latent feeling for the mysteries of the subconscious. I even got a doctor friend to teach me how to hypnotise myself. I felt this would help me learn my parts much faster!"

Published on December 21st, 2018. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.