The Amateur Cracksman

1.  Raffles The Amateur Cracksman - Gentlemen And Players  (Pilot Episode - first aired September 10, 1975.)

Raffles and his trusting accomplice, Bunny, are invited to a cricket week at the Earl of Milchester's home. Raffles accepts with alacrity - especially as he knows that the Dowager Marchioness of Melrose will be there ... with her priceless diamond necklace.

Episode Quotes:

Raffles:  Cricket, like everything else, is good enough sport until you discover a better. As a source of excitement it isn't in it with other things you wot of Bunny.  Where's the satisfaction of taking a man's wicket when what you really want is the contents of his safe!  I grant you, spin bowling is a useful exercise in low cunning but I'd chuck up cricket tomorrow if it wasn't for the glorious protection it affords me.
Bunny:  I should have thought it brings you before the public far more than is safe or wise.
Raffles:  That's exactly where you're wrong!  To follow crime without punishment you simply must have another career - the more popular or public the better.  It's my belief that Jack the Ripper was an eminent member of parliament whose speeches on reform were reported alongside his atrocities.  And every time I do anything at Lord's it becomes more impossible to think of me except with a bat or a ball in my hand - Raffles the Cricketer, the words are synonymous!
Bunny:  You hope so.

Bunny:  (to Raffles)  I thought you were dead.
Raffles:  I hoped you would.
Bunny:  You might have told me what you were going to do.
Raffles:  My dear Bunny, I didn't plan anything - I improvised on the spur of the moment.
Bunny:  Well, you must have had some idea - you could have given me some warning!
Raffles:  Did it come as a surprise?
Bunny:  I don't mind telling you - it was a terrible shock.
Raffles:  Well, if I'd warned you it wouldn't have been a shock to you, would it?!!
Bunny:  No, of course not.
Raffles:  And did Inspector Mackenzie see your "terrible shock"?
Bunny:  (grudgingly)  I suppose he noticed it.
Raffles:  (dreamily)  Oh, I do hope he saw your face!!  It's the best in the world for showing astonishment and bewilderment and guilessness and honest innocence.  Your innocence is my guarantee, Bunny.  I can't be a criminal with a friend like you!
Bunny:  (with an air of pleased innocence)  Can't you?
Raffles:  (laughing)  The thought is unthinkable!
Guest Stars:
Anthony Valentine:  A.J. Raffles
Christopher Strauli:  Harry 'Bunny' Manders 
Belinda Carroll:  Lady Margaret
Julia Sutton:  Miss Melhuish
Edward Palmer:  Albany Porter
Margot Lister:  Dowager Marchioness Of Melrose
Philip Voss:  Albany Manager
Ken Halliwell:  First Policeman
Brian Nolan:  Second Policeman
Anthony Dawes:  Landlord
John Junkin:  Crawshay
Osmund Bullock:  Viscount Crowley
Eric Francis:  Newsvendor
Michael Barrington:  Earl of Milchester 
James Maxwell:  Inspector MacKenzie
Sandra Berkin:  French Maid 

Director:  Christopher Hodson 
Writer:  Philip Mackie
Story:  E. W. Hornung 

2.  The First Step (first aired February 25, 1977.)

One evening while he is entertaining two friends at his home at The Albany, Raffles is visited by his old friend, Harry "Bunny" Manders. Bunny is goaded into a card game by Raffles' two friends, Carruthers and Tremayne, and eventually loses five hundred pounds. Having paid his debt by cheque, Bunny later confesses to Raffles that the cheque is worthless, and that his reputation will be in tatters when it becomes known. 

Raffles tells Bunny that he is an amateur cracksman, a jewel thief who steals from the rich, but who - well, keeps the profits for himself, and invites Bunny to join him in his escapades. Bunny is surprised, but accepts Raffles' offer, and they arrange a robbery at the house of one of the men who had fleeced Bunny.
Episode Quotes:

Bunny:  But you play cricket all summer and you do nothing for the rest of the year!
Raffles: Yes  - I'm as hard up as you are.
Bunny:  But you can't be!
Raffles:  I have nothing but my wits to live on - absolutely nothing else.  I asked those men here this evening in the hope of  taking money off them - we're in the same boat, Bunny.  We'd better pull together.

Raffles:  Well, it's just like the old days, what!  
Bunny:  Me helping you to climb back into the dorm!
Raffles:  (offering his hand)  Partners in crime!
Bunny:  (shaking Raffles' hand)  Partners in crime!

Raffles:  Believe it when you see the tiara.  That tiara spells salvation, Bunny!
Bunny:   But the risk!
Raffles:  (intently)  But don't you see - that's the fun of it - the risk you run - like gambling you can lose - it's a sporting chance.
Bunny:   A sporting chance....
Raffles:  Come on Bunny - it's just a few more yards to the crease!

Raffles:  (approaching safe and pulling on gloves)  Middle and leg, Bunny.  Ohhh, I love this kind of safe!  I'm almost sorry Lochmaben showed me how - it would have been such a test of my skill with brains and fingers - very like slow bowling.

Raffles:  (to Maud)  Greater love hath no man than this - that he commits burglary for his friend.
Maud:    (in wonderment)  I didn't think Bunny had it in him.
Raffles:  Oh, he's solid worth, Bunny - through and through.  He's a trump!

Guest Stars: 
Sally Grace:  Polly
Lockwood West:  Butler
Susan Skipper:  Maud
Thorley Walters:  Lord Lochmaben
Godfrey James:  Sergeant Croom 
David Firth:  Tremayne
Jeremy Clyde:  Alick Carruthers
Victor Brooks:  Becket, the Albany Porter
Director:   Christopher Hodson 
Writer:   Philip Mackie
Story: E. W. Hornung 

3.  A Costume Piece (first Aired March 4, 1977.)

Reuben Rosenthal is an extremely rich man from South Africa who has done very well in the diamond industry. He is also extremely crude and while making a speech at Raffles' club, he flaunts his diamonds to the assembled company.

Raffles determines to have some of Rosenthal's diamonds for himself, and stakes out Rosenthal's house in St. John's Wood using a variety of ingenious disguises. 

He and Bunny break into Rosenthal's house, but all is not smooth sailing and Bunny has a particularly rough night. 
Episode Quotes:

Bunny:  Well, I'm your man, of course, but we've got enough to live on for months.  I don't actually see the necessity.
Raffles:  (Outraged)  Necessity!!  My dear Bunny, does the writer only write when the wolf is at the door, does the painter paint for bread alone - must you and I be driven to crime like Harry of Bethnal Green and Dick of Whitechapel??!!!
Bunny:   No, but ...
Raffles:  Art for art's sake is a vile catchword but I confess it appeals to me, and I am an artist!
Bunny:  (bewildered)  An artistic thief?
Raffles:  In this case my motives are absolutely pure.  I thieve for the sake of thieving but if I don't have a try for those diamonds I shall never hold up my head again!
Bunny:  We shall have our work cut out ...
Raffles:  A man's reach must exceed his grasp, dear boy, or what the dickens is a heaven for!!??

Raffles:  (disguised as a Police Officer)  Come on Bunny - let's have some fun with Beckett!  (raps at the Albany Porter's door)  - Come on, young fellow me lad!!
Bunny:   I say, Raffles, that really is a marvellous disguise ...
Beckett: (bland)  Good evening Mr. Raffles.
Raffles:  (abashed)  Good evening, Beckett.
Beckett:  Been to one of those fancy dress balls, have you sir?
Raffles:  Yes ... a costume piece.

Guest Stars:
Alfred Marks:  Reuben Rosenthall 
Terrence Soall:  Waiter
Lesley Daine:  Maisie 
Jill Gascoine:  Dolly
Brian Glover:  Billy Purvis
Andrew Jackson:  Coachman
Eddie Tagoe:  Kaffir Servant
Peter Myers:  Club President
Director: Christopher Hodson 
Writer: Philip Mackie
Story:  E. W. Hornung 


4.  The Spoils Of Sacrilege (first Aired March 11, 1977.)

Bunny feels that he could be doing more in his role as partner in crime with Raffles. He suggests to Raffles that he take a more active role in their next burglary, and Raffles agrees. 

Bunny arranges for their next target to be at his old home, now the residence of Lord and Lady Osborne. He arranges for Raffles to see Lady Osborne's diamonds at a party and Raffles is hooked. 

But unfortunately for Bunny, the organisational side of things is not quite as simple as he had thought it to be. 

Episode Quotes:

Bunny:   (flourishing a map)  The place I used to live in in the country showing all the details you could possibly ask for!
Raffles:  Why should I ask for them?
Bunny:   To burgle it, of course.
Raffles:  Why should I want to do that!!?
Bunny:   Because you'e a burglar!
Raffles:  (patiently)  A burglar, Bunny, not a thief - at least, not a thief who steals anything and everything out of habit whenever the opportunity presents itself.  Thas is a vice and a crime and deserves to be punished.  I, on the other hand, steal in order to remain virtuous, to pay my bills - a respectable member of society.  I admit there aretimes when I am tempted by a particular object - a necklace, a tiara, or by the difficulty of a particular task - the risk, the challenge - then perhaps I go a'burgling, but I really don't think that entitles you to call me a burglar as if I were Bill Sykes and wore a striped jersey and carried a bag over my shoulder marked "swag".

Raffles:  (grimacing)  Don't think I'll be doing any slow bowling for a week or two.
Bunny:   Don't tell me they damaged your spinning finger?!!
Raffles:  Not permanently - but yes, they have.
Bunny:  (indignantly)  The brutes!
Raffles:  It was when I wrenched my hand away.  It's lucky I did, though - they haven't got a cricket team in Wormwood Scrubs!

Raffles:  And our motto is "Victory or Wormwood Scrubs"?!!
Bunny:   Hear, hear!

Guest Stars:
William Mervyn:  Osborne 
Ted Morris:  Station Porter
John Pickles:  Policeman
William Humbert:  George Osborne
Sally Osborn:  Lady Adela
Barbara Hicks:  Lady Osborne
Director:  Christopher Hodson 
Writer:  Philip Mackie
Story:  E. W. Hornung 


5.  The Gold Cup (first aired March 18, 1977.)

The St. Agnes Cup is being held in the British Museum Collection, and is under threat of imminent purchase by a rich American. Raffles, who has fallen in love with the Cup, uses one of his ingenious disguises and with Bunny's help steals the Cup from under the noses of the Security Guards at the Museum. He sends the Cup to Queen Victoria as a Jubilee present on behalf of the criminal element in Society. 

Lord Thornaby, head of the famed Criminologists' Club, suspects Raffles of the crime. He invites Raffles and Bunny to a dinner at his home at which all the members of the Criminologists' Club will be present. Raffles manages to convince them that he really is the Cleverest Cracksman of all time.

Episode Quotes:

Bunny:  So what have you done with the thing?
Raffles:  I've given it to the Queen as a Jubilee present.
Bunny:  (flabbergasted)  You haven't!!
Raffles:  Well, I've sent it to her Private Secretary, Sir Arthur Bigge - if that will do for you - I thought they might take rather too much stock of me at the GPO if I addressed it to the Sovereign herself.
Bunny:  But why on earth do such a thing at all?
Raffles: (reproachfully)  My dear Bunny, we have been reigned over for sixty years by infinitely the finest monarch the world has ever known - the world is taking the present opportunity of signifying the fact for all it is worth - every nation is laying the best it has to offer at her royal feet - every class in the community is bringing her its gifts - except ours.  The Criminal Class.  I have tried to remove one reproach from our fraternity, one blot from our sullied escutcheon.   

Raffles: (raising his glass)  The Queen!!  God Bless her!!
Bunny:  (raising his glass in turn)  God Bless her!!

Guest Stars:
Tony Britton:  Lord Thornaby
Diana Weston: Lady Alice 
Ronald Goodale:  Second Footman
Dixon Adams: First Footman
William Moore:  Museum Policeman
Basil Henson:  Selby
Alan Haines:  Museum Attendant
Michael Nightingale:  Butler 
Charles Rea:  Inspector Woodward
John Quentin:  Parrington 
Peter Sallis:  Kingsmill
George Tovey:  Cab-driver
Adam Bareham:  Valet
Director:   Alan Gibson, David Cunliffe
Writer:   Philip Mackie
Story:   E. W. Hornung 

6.  The Chest Of Silver (first aired March 25, 1977.)

Raffles tells Bunny that in order to improve his Scots dialect, he will be visiting Scotland for a few days. During his absence his rooms at London's Albany are to be renovated, and it is important that certain items are not found there. Therefore, Bunny is entrusted with a chest full of silver, and Raffles requests that he lodge the chest of silver with the Bank. 

Bunny complies, but are things quite what they seem? 
Guest Stars
Victor Carin:  Inspector McKenzie
Geoffrey Hutchings:  Bank Clerk
Alan Hockey:  Electrician
John Ringham:  First Commissionaire
Anthony Powell:  Second Commissionaire 
David Aldridge:  Third Commissionaire
Peter Dean:  Fourth Commissionaire
John Who:  Masseur
Terrance Soall:  Waiter
Johnny Wade:  Growler Driver
Joan Haythorne:  Rich Lady
Trevor Ray:  Bunny's Porter
Mike Murray:  Sergeant 
Robert Dorning:  Club Man
James Murray:  Policeman

Director:   Alan Gibson
Writer:  Philip Mackie
Story: E. W. Hornung 

7.  The Last Laugh (first aired April 1, 1977.)

Whilst attending a reception at the Italian Ambassador's one evening, Raffles and Bunny conspire to steal an item of jewellery which is on display. Faustina, a maid who works at the Embassy, comes to their aid when it looks as though they are going to be caught. To repay Faustina's assistance, Raffles arranges to rescue her from the Embassy where she is being kept against her will by Count Corbucci, the evil Ambassador. 

All goes well, but there is a very nasty shock in wait for Raffles, and an endless night. 
Guest Stars: 
Robert Lang:  Count Corbucci
Marina Sirtis:  Faustina
Victor Carin:  Inspector McKenzie
Victor Brooks:  Beckett, the Hall Porter
Gillian Webb as Madame
Bruce Robinson as Risi 
Cyril Shaps as Pinelli

Director:  Jim Goddard
Writer:   Philip Mackie
Story:   E. W. Hornung 

8.  A Trap To Catch A Cracksman (first aired April 8, 1977.)

Barney Maguire is America's champion heavy weight boxer and a loud-mouth. At Raffles' Club one evening he brags to Raffles and Bunny that he has a trap which would trap the cleverest of Cracksmen. He also denigrates the noble game of cricket and ridicules his English boxing opponent. 

This is enough to tempt Raffles into breaking into Maguire's premises, but he is unaware of the nature of the trap which awaits him. It is left to Bunny to save the day. 
Guest Stars: 
Christopher Malcolm:  Barney Maguire
Lloyd Lamble:  Swigger Morris
Don Fellows:  Jethro
John Stratton:  Sergeant Thompson 
John Ludlow:  Second Police Constable
John Rolls:  Police Doctor
John McDermott:  Police Constable Bristow
Trevor Ray:  Bunny's Porter
Carol Drinkwater:  Florrie

Director: John Howard Davies
Writer: Philip Mackie
Story: E. W. Hornung 

9.  To Catch A Thief (first aired April 15, 1977.)

Raffles discovers that another man is setting himself up in opposition as a gentleman thief. Raffles finds the position particularly annoying because he is being accused by Inspector Mackenzie of things which he did not do. Eventually Raffles discovers that the thief is Lord Ernest Belville, and he and Bunny break into Belville's rooms in quest of some stolen loot. 

Eventually there is a confrontation between Raffles and Lord Ernest Belville, and things turn out very badly indeed for one of them. 

Episode Quotes:

Raffles:   Inspector Mackenzie, I am not a thief - if I were one, which I am not, I would consider it a disgraceful abuse of hospitality to steal from my hosts - it is not playing the game - I would refuse to do it, if I were a thief, which I am not.

Raffles:  (admiringly)  He's a tip top cat burglar!  He's nearly as good as me!
Bunny:   (scathing) His score is more than you've made in the whole of your life!
Raffles:   (gripping the loot)  Not now, it isn't!

Bunny:    Becket?
Beckett:  Sir?
Bunny:    Have you ever heard of people in their right minds addressing parcels to themselves?
Beckett:  Not in their right minds ...
Bunny:    ....no.
Beckett:  Not unless for some reason they didn't want to see a thing until tomorrow?
Bunny:    (enlightened)  Ahh, yes, yes!!!

Raffles:   That's quite enough for Lord Ernest to revenge himself upon us by tipping off the police.
Bunny:    Well, he may have been born a gentleman but he certainly didn't behave like one.
Raffles:   Almost qualifies him as a sneak.
Bunny:    Wouldn' t hesitate to describe him as one!
Raffles:   In my extreme childhood we would have designated him as a tell-tale tit!
Bunny:    Tongue shall be slit.
Raffles:  ... or even split..
Bunny:    (hotly)  An honest, manly criminal would have come straight to your place and done the honest, manly, decent, straightforward thing.
Raffles:   What's that?
Bunny:    Demanded that you hand the swag back to him!

Lord Ernest:  How do you fancy your chances in the next Test with a bullet hole in each leg?
Raffles:         I believe you'd do it.

Guest Stars
Robert Hardy:  Lord Ernest Belville
Victor Carin:  Inspector McKenzie
Victor Brooks:  Beckett, the Hall Porter 
Mike Perry:  Cab Driver
David Parfitt:  Page Boy 
John Flint: Policeman

 Director:  Christopher Hodson 
Writer:  Philip Mackie
Story:  E. W. Hornung 

10.  A Bad Night (first aired April 22, 1977)

Raffles is extremely interested in the Van Den Berg's wedding presents, but finds that he has an engagement at Lord's to play cricket against the Australians on the day that they go on display. Bunny offers to go in his place. 

Bunny falls into the hands of Netje, the younger daughter of the Van Den Berg family who has taken it upon herself to guard the wedding presents from rogues and thieves and who just happens to be an expert with firearms.
Guest Stars:
Jan Francis:  Netje
Norman Bird:  Sergeant Holly 
Carole Bollard:  Treske
Dennis Chinnery:  Waiter
Brenda Cowling:  Mrs. van den Berg

Director:  Christopher Hodson 
Writer:  Philip Mackie
Story:  E. W. Hornung 

11.  Mr. Justice Raffles (first aired April 29, 1977)

Teddy Garland, who is a friend of Raffles', finds that he is in debt to the moneylender, Brigstock. After paying a visit to Brigstock Raffles and Bunny manage to pay Garland's debt back. 

When Brigstock asks Raffles to steal a letter which is evidence in a court case pending against him, Raffles agrees, but has an agenda about which Brigstock knows nothing. 

Ultimately Raffles puts Brigstock into a position where he must choose between his love for his money and life itself. 
Guest Stars:
John Savident:  Brigstock
Charles Dance:  Teddy Garland  
Alan Downer:  Detective
Gabrielle Brune:  Duchess of Darlington
Lynette Davies:  Lady Camilla Belsize
Maurice Bush:  First Heavy
Steve Emerson: Second Heavy
Andrew Jackson:  Cab Driver

Director:  Christopher Hodson
Writer:  Philip Mackie
Story: E. W. Hornung 

12.  Home Affairs (first aired May 6, 1977.)

Sir Arthur Rumbold, the over-bearing Secretary for Home Affairs, announces that he wishes to introduce much more ruthless penalties for offences against property. Raffles, believing this to be a retrograde step back into the dark ages of the hulks and transportation for life, is furious and determines to teach Sir Arthur a lesson by burgling his own affluent London home. 

After announcing to Bunny that the burglary will be an unplanned affair, Raffles goes enthusiastically to work, but it is not long before events start to go drastically wrong. 
Guest Stars
Graham Crowden:  Sir Arthur Rumbold
Claire Davenport:  Lady Rumbold
Victor Carin:  Inspector McKenzie
Colin Edwynn:  Policeman
Victor Brooks:  Beckett The Albany Porter
Farrell Sheridan:  Footman
Norman Shelley: Butler
Erin Geraghty:  Jane

Director:  Jim Goddard
Writer: Philip Mackie
Story: E. W. Hornung 

13.  The Gift Of The Emperor (first aired May 13, 1977.)

Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany is seeking to embarrass the British Government by handing a pearl which had once belonged to Queen Victoria back to the tribal leader who had owned it in the first place.

Raffles, although annoyed at the behaviour of the Kaiser, is much more interested in acquiring the pearl for his own use, and is put on the spot when he is approached by the British Government who want him to steal the pearl for them. This conflict of interests makes Raffles play his cards very close to his chest as he endeavours to successfully acquire the pearl for himself. 

Ultimately, in their quest for the pearl, Raffles and Bunny both end up joining the hunting set at a house party where Herr von Heumann is also a guest. 
Guest Stars:
John Hallam:  Herr von Heumann
John Carson:  Carstairs
Victor Carin:  Inspector McKenzie 
Yuri Borienko:  Rumpelmayer
Hilary Gasson:  Felicia
Frank Middlemass:  Lord Willoughby
Director:  Jim Goddard
Writer:  Philip Mackie
Story:  E. W. Hornung 

14.  An Old Flame (first aired May 20, 1977.)

One evening whilst wandering the streets of Kensington with Bunny, Raffles, who is becoming blase about the ease with which he is able to steal from the well-heeled, acts on the spur of the moment and breaks into a house while the owners are actually present. 

By an odd coincidence he finds that he has chosen the house of an old flame of his, a long lost love who is very unhappily married. He is discovered by this lady in the act of stealing her jewellery, but she confesses to Raffles that she still loves him, and wants him to go away with her. 

Raffles still loves the lady, but he also loves his life at London's Albany, and playing cricket for England, and stealing diamonds. 

Raffles must find a way of maintaining the status quo. 
Guest Stars
Caroline Blakiston:  Lady Paulton
Gerald Flood:  Lord Paulton 
Gary Watson:  Dr. Addison
Victor Carin:  Inspector McKenzie
Victor Brooks:  Beckett the Hall Porter
Michael Syers:  Footman
Maurice Quick: Pelham,
Frank Tregear:  Undertaker
Peter Spraggon:  Police Constable
Clifford Parrish:  Priest
Malcolm Rogers:  Cab Driver

Director:  John Howard Davies
Writer:  Philip Mackie
Story:  E. W. Hornung 

Add this page to your favorites.