Another foray into the joyous, endless forests of ‘archival TV,’ all of which is especially helpful during the long (but fortunately shortening rapidly) time between new Doctor Who stories.
Even during these sojourns there are stories which, as it happens, feature an abnormally high concentration of Doctor Who actors from various episodes. In later years, as the entertainment landscape continued to fracture into ever-tinier shards, the notion of collecting actors with a common connection from a show or even a genre and mixing them in an episode of another show had some traction as an engineered ratings gimmick. But in 1977 this kind of ‘event’ was entirely a natural (and very rare) phenomenon.
The second episode of Series 3 of ‘Van Der Valk’ titled ‘Accidental’ was one such constellation. Over there is (yet again–to the point where are almost surprised not to see him) is Patrick Troughton as Father Bosch. Having his scenes in that corner was Hubert Rees from The Seeds of Doom doing his character bit. Then there’s Mary Healey, who would later appear in The Happiness Patrol doing her bit. Lest we forget Nigel Stock, (from Time-Flight) who was a series regular at this time as Barry Foster’s superior) harrumphing his way through the story.
And for the terminally curious… When Rokin, the Chief Prosecutor in an international scandal over charges of corruption in high places, disappears, Van der Valk must find out if the man has been bought off by the villains of the piece. The McGuffin of the piece, Rokin, was played by William Russell, ‘ol Chesterton himself.
As a police procedural with Russell being the endpoint, none of the above character actors shared any scenes together. That’s a pity, because as a Doctor Who concoction, the cherry-on-top would have had them interacting, even the littlest bit.
Still, for a post of this sort, that’s not the point, is it?