Series One - Episode Eight: A Message From Ma

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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 11th November 1986, 16.20pm
Copyright Year: MCMLXXXVI (1986)
Consecutive Episode Number: 8
Fremantle Archive Ref: 33206
IMDB Link: Episode page

Cast & Crew

Colin Freshwater Felipe Izquierdo
Franny Barnes Louise Mason
Smith Graham Seed
Mr. Hellman Frank Gatliff
Anwar Lyndam Gregory
Written By Denise Coffey
Theme Music By Adrian Brett
Make Up Pauline Gyertson
Costume Designer June Cannon
Graphic Designer Peter Lock
Stage Manager Bobby Webber
Production Assistant Lynn Gomez
Designer Gillian Miles
Executive Producer Marjorie Sigley
Producer Charles Warren
Directed By Leon Thau


Secret Agent Notes

During this episode Smith gets woken up by his alarm clock but the alarm 'ringer' does not move to hit the sides. The alarm sound must have been added afterwards!

Episode Synopsis

There are some strange happenings in this week's CAB. Colin plays a trick on Hellman in order to stop him finding the hidden room. Ma Mossop has sent a message "memories are hidden in the table" - but there are a lot of tables around! Franny tries to find out where Ma is staying and Tatters the cat goes missing. Tune in and see if you can unravel the mystery...

Episode Guide

'This is secret agent C.A.B. And Franny the Brill, ace codebreaker. Ma Mossop's shop has more people in it when it's closed than when it's open. One person's even come all the way from Egypt to see her, Anwar, he seems nice and has been very helpful, we probably wouldn't have worked out the hieroglyphic message without him. I'd like to trust him but there's too much about him we don't know. We haven't seen that weirdo who pretends to be a milkman, amongst other things, for a while. But we have seen more of Mr Hellman who seems too interested in Ma Mossop's secrets. He turned up with drilling gear to open the mysterious cupboard. But the door suddenly opened much to his surprise and he couldn't wait to get everything out of that cupboard'.

Hellman has finished emptying out the cupboard but he does not understand why the cupboard is so ordinary. Hellman asks the children if anyone has been near the cupboard but Franny says that no-one has as only they have been in the shop. Hellman asks 'what about you're Egyptian friend?' but Colin and Franny tell him that he was not interested in the cupboard and only Hellman himself has been interested in it. Colin wonders why squeaks would be interested in the cupboard, Hellman says that it is ecological but Colin says that he thought ecology was about trees and things. Hellman corrects him saying that it also is about the content of building and how the space is being used, Hellman says never mind the cupboard and says he will start writing down the contents of the cupboard, Colin says 'statistics' and Hellman agrees. Hellman tells the children to run along while he does his work but Franny says that they will help but Colin does not think they should. Franny excuses them and they go into the back shop.

Franny tells Colin that they do not want Hellman to find the memories hidden in the table but Colin says that he could no find them as he has the key. Franny points out that none of the tables in there have locks on them. Franny then tells Colin they better get back in there before Hellman finds anything that might be important.

They rush into the front shop and Colin starts to look in the drawers of one of the tables from the cupboard. Hellman asks what they are doing so Colin tells him that they are helping, Franny says that Hellman does not want to get all dirty checking all the tables. Colin opens a drawer to another table and quickly closes it saying 'well, just an old mouse, Tatters was keeping it for later I expect'. Hellman tells him to get rid of it and Colin pulls out an old rag and Franny laughs. Hellman walks towards the cupboard and Franny asks him what he has got. Hellman flippantly remarks 'the number nineteen bus, what does it look like'. Hellman shows Franny the newspaper, Franny says that it looks old and Hellman remarks 'it is from 1971, to you that's prehistoric I suppose'. Franny aks if it is interesting but Hellman says he does not know as it is all in Greek.

Colin opens another table drawer and says 'I've found it', Hellman asks what he has found, 'the map' Colin blurts out. Hellman asks what he knows about a map, Hellman tells him to show him the map asking if their Eygptian friend told them what to look for or did the lady instruct them herself. Mr Hellman takes the map and exlaims it is a map of Skegness, Colin says that the map will be useful as they might be going there on their holidays this year. Franny says it will be useful for finding the beach and asks Hellman what map he was looking for? Hellman tells them it is none of their business.

Hellman says they must get on and Franny turns around and Hellman pulls the postcard from her back pocket. He looks at it, 'a view of Cairo' he turns it over to read it, 'don't' Franny calls out but Hellman passes it back saying he has had enough of their jokes and he leaves before he does something he might regret. Franny looks at the postcard and she tells Colin the writing on the card has disappeared.

Hellman is on the phone to Grandison saying that he has drawn a blank and that he hopes that Grandison is not double crossing him, but Grandison hangs up and Hellman says 'that'll add another million to the price'.

Colin has the fifteen pounds and both him and Franny decide to buy Ma Mossop some fruit to cheer her up while she is in hospital. As they do not have the address Franny phones up the hospital and takes the address - Lambeth Road, section 9 attention Major Mossop. Franny says they have to get a message to Ma with the fruit in the morning.

Smith's alarm clock goes off and he tells it to shut up, he sneezes and says that he is getting a cold by keep on having to change costumes and lurking about on rooftops.

Hellman is on the phone to Mr Grandison apologising for yesterday, but Grandison tells him that it is three o' clock in the morning. Hellman puts the phone down saying 'that's ruined his night sleep'.

Franny comes out of the fruit shop with a basket of fruit.

Colin is getting some food for Tatters and a bowl of milk. Franny enters and she tells him off for leaving the back door open. Colin tells her that he was checking to make sure that no-one else has fallen down the hole. Colin asks about the fruit, Franny tells him that Mr Martin from the fruit shop offered to deliver it, Franny tells Colin that he could not have had any anyway. Franny tells Colin to sign the card; she shows him the card with three monkeys on the front with the words 'Since you've been away...' and inside it reads 'everything's been upside down. Hurry home'. Colin says it is a good card as Ma will know that something is up without the hospital people knowing. Franny gets him to sign the card.

Anwar is walking in a park and throws something in the litter bin.

Smith (now in a traffic warden disguise) is speaking to someone, who he refers to as 'dear', on the phone saying that he does not care what Lambeth road say, he knows how to deal with the children, telling them to leave it to him.

Anwar slowly walks over the road and walks up to the shop

Colin is writing some hieroglyphics on some paper which he shows to Tatters, 'that's your name' he says telling Tatters that he sent Ma a message in hieroglyphics. The doorbell rings and someone enters, Colin sighs 'it's rotten Hellman', but he walks through and sees Anwar, he shows Anwar his hieroglyphics. Anwar grumbles that it is too dark in the shop and the sunshine outside is dismal, Anwar reads the hierogylphics. He asks Colin about all the tables scattered around. Colin tells him that they came from the cupboard. Anwar says about Ma Mossop's memories in the table but Colin says they are not in any of them as they are all empty. Anwar says that it is strange they all came from the cupboard; Colin says that Hellman also said it was strange but that Hellman probably felt foolish after opening the cupboard as the cupboard practically opened by itself. Colin calls Hellman a 'Nana' which he explains to Anwar saying it means a 'fool'. Anwar warns him that Hellman is no fool. Colin asks Anwar about the disappearing writing from the postcard of Cairo. Anwar tells him that it is not for him to know.

The door bell rings and the door opens, Anwar says that it is Franny. Colin asks him how he knows 'telepathy?' But Franny says that he met her in the street. Franny asks how Anwar is finding Britain. As they walk through to the back shop Anwar tells them about his problems with his accommodation, saying there is a slot for the fire, the light and the hot water. Franny tells him that it would be cheaper at the Ritz, Anwar says that the cupboard in there is bigger than his room. The cat flap goes as Tatters leaves, Colin tells Tatters to be careful. Anwar says that Tatters is fortunate to have them looking after her. Anwar says he has to go and hopefully next time they will have news of Madame Mossop.

Smith (in his traffic warden disguise) is walking down the street as Hellman passes him, he sees Tatters and grabs her.

Franny asks Colin to help her move the table to get the place tidy again.

Smith is on the phone to 'sir' saying his mission for today is complete, he pulls his moustache off after calling himself a clever cat thief.

Franny tells Colin she is going home for dinner and Colin says he will go with her. Franny asks him if he has locked the back door which he insists he has. Just as they are about to leave the phone rings and Franny answers it. It is a message from Ma thanking them for the fruit and telling them they are not to let anything happen to Tatters and then the phone gets cut off. Colin shows Franny the table in Ma's portrait and the symbol on the drawer is for protection - he deduces that Ma's memories are hidden behind the picture. Franny fetches a chair as the phone rings again. Franny answers it to hear a deep voice telling them that he has got the cat and they are to do as he says.