The recently rediscovered episode of 60s spy drama The Rat Catchers – The Unwitting Courier (see the original Wiped story about the find here) – is a classic slice of prime-time television at its best. Dark and gritty but with some great moments of comic relief to lighten the tension, The Unwitting Courier boasts strong performances from all the regulars – Derek Flood, Glyn Owen and Philip Stone – who make the most of a literate, intelligent script by writer Raymond Bowers. From the opening notes of the memorable theme tune right through to the end credits, The Unwitting Courier demands the viewer’s full attention.
Below you can watch the first few minutes and see for yourself.
A missing episode of 1960s spy drama The Rat Catchers is making its way back to the archives after being discovered on a P2P file-sharing website.
The Associated Rediffusion show, which ran for two seasons between 1966 and ’67, concerned a top secret British Intelligence Unit (the ‘rat catchers’ of the title) which battled enemy spies and criminals in order to protect the security of Great Britain and the Western Alliance.
In total 25 60-minute colour episodes were produced, but until the find only the first episode, Ticket To Madrid, was known to exist, along with an incomplete print of season two’s The Heel of Achilles.
Now season one’s The Unwitting Courier can be added to that list, after being located by a classic television enthusiast on a popular torrent site.
The finder, ‘Marcus’, broke the news on the Mausoleum Club forum, which you can read here.
The uploaded episode doesn’t originate from a 16mm film print but a VHS copy obtained at a film convention. Nevertheless it is said to be of good quality and classic TV organisation Kaleidoscope has downloaded a copy with the intention of handing it over to Dick Fiddy at the British Film Institute.
Wiped hopes to bring you a follow-up to this exciting story soon.
The Rat Catchers