Francis Durbridge

and France

Whilst the Paul Temple radio serials were widely produced across Europe, France was the exception and Francis Durbridge’s popularity in France stems from the local production of seven of his television serials between 1966 and 1975. Yet his first exposure in France was with the publication of La Bande des Oiseaux Noirs which was based upon Paul Temple and the Front Page Men.

This was published in 1941 by Editions R Simon of Paris and quite how a young British author came to be published in Paris in the middle of wartime when Paris was occupied by German military forces is a bit of a puzzle. No records exist of a licence so maybe this was just done opportunistically without a contract. However it surely would have been subject to censorship by German military censors so perhaps it is also an early indication of the appeal of his mysteries to Germans.

The first television serial produced in France was The Scarf (L’écharpe) in 1966 and followed upon the earlier great success of this serial in Germany, Italy, Sweden and Finland. It was directed by Abder Isker (1920-2010) who also translated it with Yves Jamiaque. Abder Isker then translated and directed six further television serials forging the sort of association with Francis Durbridge as did Alan Bromley at the BBC. Of these The World of Tim Fraser proved particularly popular as it had in Germany.

All of these serials were also published as novels in France as were also some of the novels based on earlier BBC serials that had not been produced in France.

Work by Francis Durbridge in France