Written by Roger Marshall
Directed by Kim Mills
Marker’s relocated to Birmingham – a new city and a fresh start. The first job for Frank is to find an office – which he does at the back of a local estate agent. It’s somewhat dingy and overlooks a timber yard, but it’s still a snip at £4.00 a week, furnished. His first client is Mrs Jessup (Pauline Delaney) who hires him to find her missing husband. She asks him if he’s good at finding people and Marker replies it that depends on “how well they’re hidden. How far they’ve gone. How long they’ve been gone and then on whether or not they want to be found”. It seems a straightforward case, but as so often happens, Frank later finds out that he hasn’t been told the whole story ….
Public Eye would regularly relocate to new cities (later series found Marker in Brighton and then Windsor) and refreshing the location does help to shake the stories up. We get to see a bit of Birmingham in this story as he walks the streets looking for Mrs Jessup’s husband.
Pauline Delaney would later return to Public Eye during the fourth series as Mrs Mortimer, the closest thing to a friend that Frank ever has. Here, she plays a completely different character – initially she’s the concerned wife, but later we scratch a little deeper under the surface to uncover the truth. When Frank learns that Donald Jessup left three years ago, he begins to smell a rat and when he finally tracks him down he understands just how he’s been used
Roy Dotrice is Donald Jessup, or as he’s now called, Donald Scott, and Virginia Stride is Karen Scott. Roger Marshall plays a good wrong-footing trick as the audience is allowed to make an inference about their relationship, which turns out to be incorrect.
Along the way Frank bumps into various characters, my favourite is Angie (Diana Beevers), who’s intrigued by the notion that Frank’s a private detective, asks him to sample the punch she’s made (judging by his expression it packs quite a kick) and then invites him to stay for her party – the carrot is that afterwards she’ll look for Jessup’s forwarding address. Marker agrees and Angie asks him to answer the door. “Don’t forget you’re mine” she says, a sentiment that’s at the heart of the story.
Next Episode – Works with Chess, Not with Life