Captain Percival serials

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Captian Percival is the Cold Warrior, Michael Denision is Captain Percival. He belongs to no known orgaization; his power derives directly form the Head of State, His brief - To Safeguard National Security' - he operates unobtrusively. To the outside world he typifies the English Upper Class, member of all the best London Clubs, well dressed, impeccable manners and apparently idle. Beaneath this veneer of a typical English gentleman of leisure lies a sharp intelligence and a smooth wit. He is urbane, charming and completly ruthless... He first appeared in the three-part thriller...

Blood Money

Arden Winch's original idea that a royal child is held to ransom by terrorists, but under presure from the Royal Family's press office The child became the son of a diplomat and all the dialogue referring to 'The Prince' or 'Prince Rupert' was re-voiced.

logoDanny: Gary Whelan
James: Stephen Yardley
Irene: Juliet Hammond-Hill
Meadows: Bernard Hepton
Barratt: Anna Mottram
Captain Percival: Michael Denison
Charles: Cavan Kendall
Rupert: Grant Ashley Warnock
Writer: Arden Winch
Producer: Gerard Glaister
Director: Michael E Briant

Episode One (NZ 18.5.1983, repeated 31.1.89)
Against all odds the closely protected Viscount Rupert Fitzcharles whose father is Administrator-General of the United Nations is snatched from his school by a terrorist group led by German fanatic, Irene Kohl.

Episode Two (NZ 25.5.1983, repeated 31.1.89)
The search for the kidnapped child, Rupert Fitzcharles, begins unsuccessfully. Chief Superintendent Meadows head of the anti-terror squad and the mysterious Captain Percival of the Secret Intelligence Service are in joint command of the investigation. But they have pathetically little to go on.

Episode Three (NZ 1.6.83, repeated NZ 1.2.89)
The ransom for Rupert Fitzcharles has been demanded and the search for him and his kidnappers has been complicated by the intervention of Captain Percival of Special Intelligence. Friction between the terrorists rises as the waiting game proceeds. Meantime the police play down the news in a softly-softly approach.

Episode Four (NZ 8.6.83, repeated NZ 1.2.89)
In part four routine police work is beginning to pay dividends. The possible identities of the kidnappers are being examined and Vivian's identity is uncovered by a newspaperman.

Episode five (NZ 15.6.83, repeated NZ 2.2.89)
Tension builds on both sides as the deadline draws near, Chief Superintendent Meadows' plan is playing off as the clues start to fit as the identities of most of the terrorists become known to the police, but they still have to be found.

Episode five (NZ 22.6.83, repeated NZ 2.2.89)
The Terrorists' hideout has been located, leaving the police with a major problem - how to get young Rupert Fitzcharles out alive. It is a problem that brings all the technical resources of the police and Special Intelligence to bear upon the terrorist gang which has kidnapped the boy.

Captain Percival character returned in:


Serial in six parts by John Brason based on a story idea by Arden Winch.
Terrence Hardiman as Chief Supt. Franks
Michael Denison as Captain Aubrey Percival
Marianne Borgo as Gabrielle
Daniel Hill as Inspector Clark
Jack McKenzie as Chief Inspector Perry
Neville Jason as Constant Delangre
Tamara Ustinov as WPC Baker
Mary Wimbush as Agatha
Ian Cullen as Inspector Hallisay
James Kennedy as Mr. X
Tom Chadbon as Dr. Ormiston.
Designer Campbell Gordon
Producer Gerard Glaister
Director Michael Hayes

1: A bomb is planted, but does not kill the intended ... a plane crashes on a Scottish moor in curious circumstances. Is there a link?

2: The Anti-terrorist Squad put two and two together, but it only makes three-and-a-half ... There is an element missing ... and an assassin picks up the threads.

3: SIS appear on the scene and it all starts to gell. Gabrielle finds sanctuary, but the assassin is not far behind, and the anti-terrorist boys are not far behind him.

4: The assassin has found his target ... but to the police the trail seems to have gone dead.

5 The police find a car, and two dead bodies in a caravan ... and every precaution is taken to protect Gabrielle.

6: The hunt becomes a real moor stalking.... and it is over to Captain Percival to stop the killer.

For reasons unknown this series wasn't screened in NZ, but the next appearance of Captain Pervcival was...

Cold Warrior

A gentleman spy

cold_warrior_titleThe distinguished British actor, Michael Denison, returns at 10 p.m. as Captain Percival in Television Two's new Wednesday night spy thriller, Cold Warrior.

Captain Percival was first introduced to New Zealand viewers in 1983 with the screening of the serial, Blood Money.

To the outside world he is the typical English gentleman - bowler-hatted, public-schooled and impeccably-mannered - but beneath his urbane, charming exterior is a cunning and ruthless man of action.

Captain Percival is the Cold Warrior. He belongs to no known organisation. His power derives directly from the head of State. His brief is to safeguard national securitv. He operates from a houseboat moored on the Thames in sight of the Houses of Parliament - a constant reminder to him that his mission is to sustain that democratic institution.

Helping Percival in his counter-espionage activities are Danny (Dean Harris), his bodyguard and hitman, and Jo (Lucy Fleming), a young computer operator who also occasionally doubles as an agent. The action is set among the many famous locations in the heart of London and each story in the four-part (TVNZ combine two episodes as one) series carries a surprising twist in its tail.

1: Bright Sting
When I discover how the Soviets mean to acquire 'Bright Sting', I will take the appropriate action.
The Russians are determined to get their hands on a radar-weapons system and Percival is equally determined to stop them. There are also problems with a left-wing journalist who publishes the names of people said to be connected with the secret service.
Captain Percival: Michael Denison, Danny: Dean Harris, Jo: Lucy Fleming, Sir William Logie: David Swift Giles de Vere: Neil Stacy, Malcolm Russell: Julian Fellowes.
Writer: Murray Smith
Producer: Gererd Glaister
Director: Andrew Morgan

2: Dead Wrong
by Murray Smith
Her Majesty's Government does not arrange the deaths of unpopular journalists. Or anyone else who irritates us. We'd be knee-deep in them. My own personal prejudices would fill Oxford Street-end to end....
Percival suspects a russian defector is a KGB plant but the Americans want the man delivered to them at once. In Geneva, Percival gets and unexpected chance to act against one of the world's most vivious and effective terrorists.
Captain Percival: Michael Dennison
Danny: Dean Harris
Jo: Lucy Flemming
Sir William Logie: David Swift
Giles de Vere: Neil Stacy
Krotkin: Eugene Lipinski
Elliot: Bruce Boa
Writer: Murray Smith
Producer: Gerard Glaister
Director: Andrew Morgan

3: What's Good for General Bullmoose
by John Brason
If we fall for it, it could put us on the wrong track for half a decade. And possibly lead us to eliminate perfectly loyal and valuable agents....
Percival suspects a Russian defector is a KGB plant, but the Americans want the man delivered to them at once.

4: The Man from Damascus
by Murray Smith
My knowledge of Riffi, or Abu Wahid as he is known in the abbatoir of international politics, is more intimate than most mothers have of their favourite child ...
Two men are arrested at Heathrow after detonating equipment is found in their luggage, but they escape. Meanwhile a junior military attache at the Soviet Embassy wants political asylum, but Percival stalls for time. In Geneva, Percival gets an unexpected chance to act against one of the world's most vicious and effective terrorists.
Captain Percival: Michael Denison, Danny: Dean Harris, Lucy Fleming, Sir William Logie: David Swift, Giles de Vere: Neil Stacy.
Writer: Murray Smith,
Producer: Gererd Glaister
Director Andrew Morgan

5: The Immigrants
by John Brason
What I am afraid of is an assassination attempt.

6: The Sprat
by Arden Winch
starring Dean Harris and Lucy Fleming
As you no doubt know, if people defect from Russian Intelligence and do not manage to disappear completely, their lives tend to be in the words of Thomas Hobbes , nasty, brutish and short....

7: A Message from Trebizond
by David Reid
We do nothing until I tell you. Don't look so glum - your chaps will get all the glory in the end. On the whole we prefer not to draw attention to ourselves....
A woman working in radio is suspected of altering her scripts in order to give information to terrorist groups in the Germanspeaking world. After one of her broadcasts an airline office is blown up and specialbranch wants to arrest her -but Percival seems to be on her side.
Percival: Michael Denison, Danny: Dean Harris, Jo: Lucy Fleming, Logie: David Swift, Sophy: Tracey Childs
Producer Gerald Glaister
Director Pennant Roberts

8: Hook, Line and Sinker
by Murray Smith
I must say, a freelance secret agent is one of the safest covers. Precisely when did he join the KGB? And what's he doing in London.... ?

45 of theme tuneBenjamin Woolley, writing for the English Listener (May 1984), discovered that COLD WARRIOR (10.00pm) followed some of the traditions of the series Smiley's People which set a new style for the portrayal of spying on television. Before Smiley we witnessed the cinematic spying mode of Bond which matched TV's The Professionals: fictional spies were licensed to kill and did so with the backing of brutally efficient intelligence organisations. Then along came Le Carre's Smiley and a version of spydom that included the way ordinary folk see the secret service; a vision supplied by media reports of exposed double agents stripped of the Official Secrets Act's protection. "Spying," said Woolley, "had now become an effective metaphor for the moral duplicity of society and by implication the rot at the centre of the British establishment." The Smiley Trilogy (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, The Honourable Schoolboy and Smiley 's People) successfully employed the metaphor - "there were no goodies, or baddies, only maybes".

Michael Denison as the "Cold Warrior" has been described as a polished version of Smiley, "with tastes, dress and accent more overtly those of the gentry". And like Smiley, he is working on "special operations" outside mainstream secret-service activity. Woolley sees the "Cold Warrior" persona as a marriage between the attractions of Smiley's character and the action/simplicity of the model supplied by The Professionals and by James Bond.

Cold Warrior

Michael Denison as Captain Percival (left) and Philip Bond as Lord Stonewaynone

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Michael Denison as Captain Percival (left) with David Swift (right)

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Michael Denison as Captain Percival (left) with Tracy Childs as Sophy (right)