Series One - Episode Four: The Sinister Messenger

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C.A.B Episodes

Series One
Mystery at Ma Mossop's

Ep1: Mystery At Ma Mossop's
Ep2: Break In
Ep3: Danger
Ep4: The Sinister Messenger
Ep5: Prisoner of the Earth
Ep6: The Stranger From The Past
Ep7: A Message From The Past
Ep8: A Message From Ma
Ep9: Nine Lives in Peril
Ep10: Friend or Foe
Ep11: Who's Who?
Ep12: The Missing Links
Ep13: A World in Tatters
Series Two
The Wooden Kamel Mystery

Ep1: The Wooden Kamel Mystery
Ep2: Eel Pie and Custard
Ep3: Message From R Leeder
Ep4: Next Stop Timbuktu
Ep5: It's a Snip
Ep6: Saved By The Bull
Ep7: Ear By Gum
Ep8: Finders Keepers
Ep9: Hellman's Trick
Ep10: Hellman's Reward
Series Links:
Series Index
Series Airdates
Series Three
The Mystery Of The Queen's Beast

Ep1: A Face at the Window
Ep2: The Riddle
Ep3: The Bottle of Hastings
Ep4: Robert the Brute
Ep5: The Chamber Pot Plant
Ep6: Getting Taped
Ep7: Trapped
Ep8: The Great Escape
Ep9: Friends or Foes
Ep10: Nicked in Time
Website Links:
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Episode Details

UK Air Date: Tuesday 14th October 1986, 16.20pm
Australia Air Date: Tuesday 25th September 1990, 5.00pm
Copyright Year: MCMLXXXVI (1986)
Consecutive Episode Number: 4
Fremantle Archive Ref: 33202
IMDB Link: Episode page

Cast & Crew

Colin Freshwater Felipe Izquierdo
Franny Barnes Louise Mason
Smith Graham Seed
Mr. Hellman Frank Gatliff
Written By Denise Coffey
Theme Music By Adrian Brett
Make Up Pauline Gyertson
Costume Designer Raymond Childe
Graphic Designer Peter Lock
Stage Manager Bobby Webber
Production Assistant Hilary Cornwall
Designer Gillian Miles
Executive Producer Marjorie Sigley
Producer Charles Warren
Directed By John Darnell


Episode Synopsis

Having discovered the milkman is a phoney, Colin and Franny realise they are in danger. They believe the American and the Professor are the same person as the milkman, and they begin to distrust Mr Hellman even more.

Episode Guide

'This is secret agent C.A.B. C.A.B is the call sign for Colin Freshwater. I'm Franny Barnes, Colin and I have been looking after Ma Mossop's shop while she's away and feeding her cat called Tatters. There's a secret in the shop, which many strange people are trying to find. This is still day three of our mission, and so far we've seen a milkman, an American taking photographs and a Mr Hellman from the EEC or something, he says he has to measure the rooms. The secret is in a wooden box, but we decided to put it in a different hiding place, Tatters is now looking after Ma's secret. We ran after the so-called milkman but lost him or did we?'

Colin and Franny enter the shop and Franny notices him. Colin asks him if he's seen a milkman. The Professor (Smith in disguise) excuses himself and goes to leave but Franny asks him what he wanted. The Professor says that he came for a book but he'd come back another day 'no problem', he says. Colin plays his dictaphone of the milkman and the American saying the same thing. Hellman asks him to explain but he runs off leaving his bag. Colin says to chase him but tells them to let him go, Hellman looks in the bag and pulls out the milkman uniform. Franny says it was 'him', he was the American and he is after them and they are in terrible danger. Hellman says that he is just a Professor who does a milkround in his spare time to make more money, and that he was in disguise as he doesn't want the DHSS to know. Franny says that doesn't explain 'the American', Hellman dismisses this by saying that nothing can explain Americans. Hellman says that he'll look after them as he goes to inspect the cupboard. Colin and Franny go into the back room as Hellman says to himself holding the milkman's hat that 'they are asking too many questions aren't they my mysterious enemy'.

On the rooftop of the building opposite the shop Smith is looking at the shop through his binoculars.

In the shop, Franny and Colin discuss Hellman's involvement and that he knows that the American, milkman and the Professor are the same person. Hellman overhearing this calls them into the front shop, passes them a tape measure to measure the room. Colin says that it is three metres sixty-six, Hellman says that the room at the back is four metres eighty-eight meaning that there is a false wall and there must be a secret room through the cupboard. Franny asks why Hellman is so interested with it being Ma Mossop's shop, Hellman says that buildings are his passion.

Smith is still looking through his binoculars waiting for Hellman to leave the shop so he can deal with the children once and for all.

In the shop Hellman says that everyone imagines things when they are young, like Colin with his spies and his MI5 and he had with dragons, cowboys and Indians, pirates and Peter Pan. Franny then thinks to herself that Peter Pan was the only book in the shop that hasn't been torn up. Hellman tries to open the cupboard but the children tell him to stop.

Meanwhile Smith has fallen asleep.

Hellman is banging on the cupboard but Franny tells him there must be a key somewhere so she goes to look in the back room where Colin is going to put a bolt on the back door to stop someone breaking in again but he needs a hammer or something. Hellman enters asking if Franny has found the key but he says he has to go, he walks through to the front shop and Franny says that it might be him they are trying to keep out but Colin tells her that Hellman comes in without having to break in. Hellman calls Colin and Franny into the front shop and asks for a spare key so he can come back later to do his work. They tell him there isn't a spare key and they have to wait for Tatters so Hellman leaves.

On the rooftop opposite the shop Smith is still fast asleep.

Franny calls for Tatters but Colin says that she'll be alright but Franny looks at Ma Mossop's portrait and thinks that something has happened to Tatters. Colin says that she has probably got run over, he leaves to go look for her and turns the lights off as he exits the shop. Smith wakes up to see Colin leave.

Franny closes the window and goes to find the Peter Pan book and she starts to read it wondering if Colin has found Tatters yet.

Colin is in an alley looking for Tatters thinking that she'd be back with Franny anyway, he goes to check the playground.

Franny is reading the book as a shadow appears at the back door trying to get in. After Franny says she'll call the Police the shadow disappears.

Colin is looking for Tatters in the playground, he climbs some play equipment thinking that Franny has it easy being inside and in the warm.

Back at the shop Franny thinks to herself that Colin has it easy 'larking about' while she does all the hard work. The phone rings and she answers but it goes dead. She remembers Colin saying that burglars phone up to check if anyone is in. Last time that happened they moved Ma Mossop's secret box so she takes it to move it again.

Colin is still looking for Tatters.

Franny is sitting down at the table with a puzzle on a piece of paper, she sees the name 'Jane' spelled out diagonally and thinks that might be the code to the locked box, she tries but it doesn't open. Franny sees another name 'Ruth' and tries again but it still doesn't open. Then Franny hears a voice saying '4, 5, 6, 7' which Franny follows and she finds 'Fred' and the box opens. She records a message on Colin's dictaphone saying that she knows something that he doesn't know. As Franny goes to open the box the doorbell rings and someone enters. Franny thinking it is Colin calls out to him to turn the lights on. Franny walks through to the front shop and sees a motorcycle courier. He tells her he's come to collect something and deliver it to a M. Mossop at the hospital. He explains that it is a box with letter coded lock. Franny goes into the back room thinking that he looks familiar. Franny empties the box and puts the piece of paper from the box into a china teapot. She locks the box and gives it to the messenger. He is just about to leave when Franny asks him for a receipt; he says 'no problem' and writes her out a receipt. Franny wonders if he'll be able to unlock the box and the motocycle courier (Smith in disguise again) says to himself 'at last, I've got the box'.