Series Three - Episode Three: The Bottle of Hastings

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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 27th June 1989, 16.20pm
Copyright Year: MCMLXXXVIII (1988)
Consecutive Episode Number: 26
Fremantle Archive Ref: 37964
IMDB Link: Episode page

Cast & Crew

Colin Freshwater Felipe Izquierdo
Jace Freshwater Ben Felton
Tracey Barnes Tracey McDonald
Hellman Frank Gatliff
Vine Michael Bertenshaw
Robert John Vine
Written By John Kershaw
Casting Director Linda Butcher
Make Up Hazel Burgess
Costume Designer Janet Powell
Graphic Designer Peter Lock
Stage Manager Dennis Redwood
Production Assistant Cheryll Gunn
Lighting Director Peter Bower
Designer Graham Probst
Executive Producer Charles Warren
Produced and Directed By Neville Green


More images can be found in the image galleries

Episode Synopsis

The strange covered object in the Wooden Kamel is the missing Queen Beast which stood guard at Hampton Court. Why is it at the shop? Who is the mysterious motorcycle rider called Robert and why has a strange plumber named Vine come to fix the water when nothing seems to be wrong with it?

Episode Guide

'Secret Agent C.A.B reporting, Hellman is mixed up in something strange. The missing Queen's Beast is in his shop, he said it just appeared. Also a man called Robert has brought a parcel to the shop wrapped up in yellow paper, it's all going to take some sorting out.'

'It might be a bomb' Hellman says, but as Colin unwraps it - it turns out to be a bottle which Vine grabs and exclaims 'it's just a mucky old bottle', Hellman moans at him for interfering. Tracey returns to the shop with a newspaper, on the front page is a picture of Hellman with the Queen's Beast. Vine says that it has been taken from a different angle to the one Jace developed. Jace goes into the fron shop and Vine follows leaving Hellman, Colin and Tracey in the back. Hellman starts to worry that someone will find him with the beast. Hellman goes to find Vine in the front shop.

Robert checks some TV's in a shop window and see's images of the stolen Queen's Beast.

Tracey and Colin examine the newspaper saying that someone is trying to frighten Hellman into doing something for 'them'. Hellman returns and say's he'll have to leave the country but Colin warns him that it's too late as the paper says that all ports and airports are closed in a bid to catch the thief. Tracey then see's a piece of paper in the bottle Robert delivered. Hellman takes it out the bottle spilling some of the liquid from the bottle, Tracey say's it could be poison but Vine enters and states it's only water so Hellman stops worrying.

Robert is by the TV shop and radios back to base saying that he's paid Hellman's electric bill and is proceding to execute the soap plan.

Back at the shop Jace finds a CCTV camera above the beast, Tracey wonders if it recording now. Hellman starts to complain that no-one is helping him but Tracey say's that he's lucky anyone is helping. Colin covers the camera with a cloth and an elastic band.

Back at the canal boat Robert is cutting a bar of soap in half, then he cuts a small thin hole into one of the two halves.

Vine goes into the back shop to meet Hellman, he starts work on some of the pipework but water gushes out. Tracey comes in and finds the piece of paper from the bottle on the floor, she starts to read what it says:

'Don't sit there Hellman looking bored, solve the puzzle and you may become a lord as we promised.'

Colin enters and accusses Hellman of helping someone to get a title. Hellman says that he isn't and he doesn't know what the message means. Vine listens to this. Jace comes in with the paper the bottle was wrapped in and finds another riddle written on it:

'I was wrapped around a single mistake, it happened in Ten-Sixty-Six, think what it is, then with an N, get yourself out of a fix'.

Vine comes up and reads the end of the message, 'answers on a postcard in the usual place', Jace tells him it is in the newsagent's window. Colin figures it out as 'the Battle of Hastings' and Vine picks up the bottle saying that 'this must be the Bottle of Hastings'. Tracey then utters that's the mistake - an 'O' instead of an 'A'. They add a 'N' to figure out the puzzle as 'ON'. Jace goes to the front of the shop and peers out the door, Vine follows him and tells him that he is trying to help, Colin hears this as he peers around the door that separates the front and back shop.

Hellman gives Tracey five pence for the postcard message. Tracey leaves as she says she won't be back as she has to go home. Colin asks Hellman why he has the Queen's Beast and why he has to solve all these clues. Hellman tells him to ask the plumber as he seems to know everything.

Tracey runs to the newsagent. Nearby Robert is listening to a radio broadcast about the missing Queen's beast saying that there are no developments but a picture has appeared in newspapers and now the security at Hampton Court has been increased.

Hellman says that he should be a Lord, Vine then leaves. Colin says that Hellman has been had if he thinks that someone will give him a title for helping them. Colin and Jace, not believing Hellman, start to leave. Robert arrives in the shop and stops Colin and Jace leaving. Hellman asks him for his name, he say's that Hellman will get a name that he richly deserves.

Meanwhile in the back of the shop Vine quickly packs up and leaves. Robert then flips on a switch and the shop fills with light, saying that he's solved the puzzles for them. Robert goes to the back room with Hellman requesting a cup of tea but Hellman says he can't as there is no water. Robert turns on the tap and water begins to flow. Robert truns the hands on the clock to lock the doors, he fetches Colin and Jace and beckons them into the back room as Hellman starts to make the tea.

Robert says that Colin should know what the rest of their plan is. He gives Hellman his third and final test. Hellman says that he won't help anymore but Robert gives him the bar of soap and tells him to wash his hands and he has until this time tomorrow to find the solution. Robert says that he'll be back for his cup of tea as he exits the shop.

Hellman frantically starts to wash his hands with the soap and he finds a small piece of paper inside with writing too small to read. Jace and Colin tell Hellman they'll bring their magnifying glass when they come back tomorrow. As they leave the beast seems to call out Colin's name, Colin starts to have allucinations of the beast calling to him. Vine is watching as this happens as the episode ends with an update from Jace:

'What does it say on the paper and will we be able to read it with the magnifying glass? What will happen to Mr Hellman if we can't? Is Vine really a plumber? Who is Robert? Did Hellman steal the Queen's Beast? And why do they want him to solve all their riddles and puzzles? And why is Colin behaving so strangely?'