Series One - Episode Five: Prisoner of the Earth

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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
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Episode Details

UK Air Date: Tuesday 21st October 1986, 16.20pm
Copyright Year: MCMLXXXVI (1986)
Consecutive Episode Number: 5
Fremantle Archive Ref: 33203
IMDB Link: Episode page

Cast & Crew

Colin Freshwater Felipe Izquierdo
Franny Barnes Louise Mason
Smith Graham Seed
Mr. Hellman Frank Gatliff
Jo Celina Cherry
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

Tatters the cat seems to have gone missing and Colin and Franny begin to argue about who is responsible for looking after her. There are more mysterious phone calls and a very young girl names Jo arrives on the scene. The shop is visited by a strange-looking woman and Jo discovers something about her which makes the woman leave in a hurry.

Episode Guide

'This is Secret Agent C.A.B. That's the call sign for Colin Freshwater. I'm Franny Barnes - Franny the Brill. I chose C.A.B 'cause that is what's written on the window of Ma Mossop's shop, it used to be a Citizens Advice Bureau, anyway we're looking after the shop and Tatters the cat while Ma's away. There's a secret in the shop which many strange people are trying to find. This is still day three of our mission. Mr Hellman was here again - he said he thought that a false wall has been built in the shop, Tatters went missing, and I went looking for her. Someone tried to break in the shop but he ran away then I solved the code of the secret box. And recorded a message on my tape recorder saying you were code breaker Franny the Brill. A messenger came to collect the box; I didn't trust him so I hid the secret in a safe place and then gave him the box.'

The messenger has the letter coded box in his hand.

Colin is back at the shop, Franny moans at him for not finding Tatters. Franny goes into the front shop as Colin sits down and plays his dictaphone, he listens to Franny's message. Colin tells Franny off as she is not a secret agent, because girls can not be secret agents. Franny points out that Ma Mossop is a secret agent then she tells Colin about how she solved the letter coded lock and then moans at Colin again for not finding Tatters. Franny says that Colin wouldn't even know Morse code. Colin says that every secret agent has to know Morse code. Franny then taps out a message in Morse code on the table and challenges Colin to figure it out. Colin does not know (as he only started Morse code yesterday) so Franny tells him that it is S.O.S, the international call sign for help.

Franny moans at Colin again for not finding Tatters so Colin says about Franny giving away the box. Franny tells him that she took the message out and just gave the messenger the box but Colin says that the box might be the code. Franny says that at least she didn't lose Tatters. They argue about Colin 'losing' Tatters and Franny 'losing' Ma Mossop's secret box.

Outside the messenger puts the box on the seat of his motorcycle but it gets snatched by a passer-by. Smith stamps his feet as he looks about but no-one is to be seen.

Franny tries to telephone the hospital to speak to Ma Massop, Colin and Franny argue about which one of them will speak to her by snatching the phone from each other. Franny then speaks to someone at the hospital and asks to speak to Ma Mossop but after a moment the phone goes dead and Franny hangs up. Franny says that she is fed-up with the gloomy old shop, fed-up with Tatters being lost, all the odd secrets of the shop and the shop with the lights on all day even though it is daylight outside. Franny then says she has to go to get some shopping for her Mum. Franny tells Colin he is to stay until Tatters returns and that he is no longer her friend.

Hellman is opening the box by prising it open with a spoon handle. He opens it and sees the spoon, he moans about the children and throws the box onto the fire.

Back at the shop Colin deletes Franny's message from his dictaphone. He pulls the envelope from the teapot and wonders what is inside. The phone rings and Colin answers it and hears a voice which he records on his dictaphone. The front door bell rings and the door opens, Colin goes through to the front shop to see who it is and Hellman is trying to open the cupboard door with a bunch of keys. Colin asks if they are skeleton keys, like burglars have. Hellman tells him to go away. Colin asks him if he has seen a cat anywhere but Hellman has not. Hellman then tries another key but the cupboard still does not open.

Colin looks at the envelope again, while thinking to himself about where Tatters is. He goes to see if she is outside in the yard.

Hellman is trying another key to the cupboard as a little girl comes in. Hellman asks who she is but she asks what was that noise. Hellman says that Colin is through the back and she can go play with him. She walks through as Hellman tries yet another key.

Outside in a cellar Colin is lying unconscious, as he wakes up he wonders where he is and calls for help.

The little girl goes up to Hellman and says that Colin is not playing; she asks if he is playing but he replies no. A lady then enters the shop (Smith in another cunning disguise). Hellman asks if he can be of any help. The lady says that she wants a fancy box for a present for her niece's birthday. The girl tugs on the lady's dress and Hellman tells her to stop but the lady says that she is her new best friend. The little girl tells the lady her name, Jo, and the lady says her name is Rosemary. Rosemary then looks around and goes through to the back shop. Hellman thinks to himself 'Good luck Rosemary, the box you're looking for no longer exists.'

Colin is trapped in the cellar and calls out for help.

Hellman is trying his last key but the cupboard still does not open, he says frustrated 'no lock in the world can resist these keys'. He holds a small torch to the lock on the cupboard and sees there is a steel door behind the wooden one.

Rosemary is looking around the shop; she looks in the table's drawer as Jo looks on. Jo brings her a couple of items to see if she likes them. Jo then says that Rosemary has 'hairy arms'. Jo then brings Rosemary the teapot (with Ma's secret inside) and asks Rosemary if she likes it, Rosemary takes it off her as Hellman walks in. Hellman asks if she wants the teapot, Hellman points out that it is fourteen pounds and not the four pounds Rosemary mistakingly thought it was. Rosemary puts it down on the table and Jo takes the envelope from out of it and asks if she wants that. Rosemary says no, as Hellman asks Rosemary if she wants it wrapping. Jo asks Hellman if he wants the envelope, he tells her to throw it away as no-one wants it which she does. Rosemary leaves with the empty teapot. Hellman calls for Colin but Jo tells him he is not there. Hellman wonders where Colin has got to.

Colin realises that it must be getting late, he calls out for Franny.

Hellman tells Jo he has to go, he leaves as Jo starts bouncing a ball.

Colin (still stuck) thinks about Franny saying 'Ma Mossop was a secret agent', Colin calls out for Franny to shut up. Colin tries calling out again and starts banging on a dustbin lid.

Franny enters the shop and sees Jo, Franny asks if Jo has seen either Colin or Tatters but she has not seen either of them. Franny tells her to stop bouncing the ball as she might break something. Franny asks if she has seen Hellman, Jo tells her that he does not like children, Jo then tells Franny that she helped Hellman sell a lady a teapot. Franny rushes through to the back shop to see the teapot is gone. Jo asks what is the matter, Jo says she sold it to a lady with 'hairy arms'. Jo tells Franny she threw the envelope in the bin. Franny fetches the envelope from the bin and she picks up Jo telling her she is fantastic.

Smith (still half in disguise) is on the phone to the mysterious man, saying he was disguised as a woman but he still has not got the box as another child was there. He asks about the fourteen pounds for the teapot but he ends up saying that he would pay for it. Smith says that he would have to do something about the children.

Colin calls out 'is anyone there' as Tatters arrives back, Colin tries to stop Tatters jumping down but does not succeed as Tatters jumps down. Colin wonders what will happen if no-one finds them. He sits down and then hears a voice calling out to him 'S.O.S'.

Hellman is on the phone to Mr Grandison saying that there are children everywhere, he can not open the cupboard and that he would have to do something drastic.

Franny, back at the shop, takes the envelope to take home (to keep it safe), she wonders where Colin is and puts out some food for Tatters in case she comes back. Franny leaves the shop.

Colin calls out for Franny, after hearing the voice again, then he starts tapping out S.O.S on the dustbin lid.