A LOST episode of Our Man at St. Mark’s — the ’60s ecclesiastical comedy starring Leslie Philips — has been recovered after being bought on internet auction site eBay.
The 16mm film print of “A Previous Conviction” was bought with the assistance of classic TV organisation Kaleidoscope and The Tim Disney Archive.
It’s recovery brings the total number of surviving episodes to four and doubles the number of surviving episodes to feature Carry On . . . star Philips in the lead role.
It will now be transferred to digital format before being offered for loan to the British Film Institute. A public screening is also expected at some point “in the not too distant future”.
Broadcast by A-R between 1963 and 1965, Our Man at St. Mark’s was a “light-hearted but superior” comedy that revolved around the day-to-day exploits of a parish vicar.
“A Previous Conviction” (Tx 23/10/63) hails from the first series of the show and stars regular cast members Philips, as the slightly eccentric Reverend Andrew Parker, Anne Lawson as his girlfriend Anne Gibson and Joan Hickson as his housekeeper, Mrs Pace.
In the episode — guest-starring Warren Mitchell, Frank Tregear and Freddie Jones — Revd Parker’s attempt to give an ex-convict a fresh start in life becomes more than complicated when Anne decides to take a hand.
With the recovery of the print, four out of the 35 broadcast episodes are now known to exist. The others are the very first episode, “The Facts of Life” (Tx 25/09/63), “We Do It on Saturday” (Tx 18/06/64) and “A Funny Thing Happened to Amanda” (Tx 26/04/65).
Philips only appeared in series one of the show. For the remaining two series (1964–5), Donald Sinden took over the charge of St Mark’s as vicar Stephen Young.
- READ ON: You can read more about Our Man at St. Mark’s over at Television Heaven. There’s also a handy episode guide (you’ll need to scroll down to find it on the page). Finally, you see can see the very first episode, starring Leslie Philips, on YouTube. Visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QX3F6F-Zl04.