Sunday, October 29, 2017

Barlow and Watt investigate Jack the Ripper

Charlie Barlow, played by Stratford Johns, was television's most famous policeman in the Sixties and early Seventies.

He appeared in Z Cars, Softly Softly and Softly Softly: Task Force, and a number of spin-off series.

The most imaginative of those spin-offs involved Barlow and his long-term sidekick John Watt, played by Frank Windsor, investigating the Jack the Ripper murders. (Harry Hawkins must have been busy elsewhere.)

It was broadcast in colour even though this was 1973, but the version available online is in black and white.

This clip gave wide exposure to the theory that the murders were the result of a Masonic conspiracy to cover up a scandal in the Royal Family.

Joseph Sickert was really Joseph Gorman and almost certainly not the painter Walter Sickert's illegitimate or adopted son. He certainly was a fantasist.

Yet the idea of a Masonic conspiracy caught the public imagination. It was fully developed by Stephen Knight in his Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution and inspired the film Murder by Decree.

1 comment:

Phil Beesley said...

The Omnibus episode in which Patricia Cornwell unconvincingly argued that Walter Sickert was Jack the Ripper is available on iPlayer. Cornwall makes a strong case that Sickert may have composed a hoax letter to Scotland Yard but stumbles when family diaries record that he was in Paris at the time of one murder.