The Zoo Gang

The Zoo Gang

Infobox ITC
show_name = The Zoo Gang
alternative_name = None

caption = The Zoo Gang ITC Press Release Cover
format = Action Adventure
runtime = 60 min.
creator = Paul Gallico (book)
Reginald Rose
starring = Brian Keith
John Mills
Lilli Palmer
Barry Morse
country = UK
network = ATV
first_aired = 5 April 1974
last_aired = 10 May 1974
num_episodes = 6

prod_co = ITC Entertainment

"The Zoo Gang" was a 1974 ITC Entertainment drama series that ran for six one-hour colour episodes.

Five resistance fighters, known only by their animal-based code names, fought during World War II. Thirty years later they are reunited by the death of one of their number, Claude Roget, the husband of Manouche. The series follows the adventures of the remaining gang of four resistance fighters reunited 30 years later to scam habitual con artists and criminals in order to take their money and use it for good causes.

The series is set on the French Riviera in Nice. Despite their ages, they put their skills and experience to use to raise enough money to construct a hospital in the memory of Claude. The gang is (reluctantly) aided by the son of Manouche and Claude, an inspector in the French police.

The gang are known by their wartime codenames, which were based on animals - hence "The Zoo Gang". Guest stars included Philip Madoc, Peter Cushing, Jacqueline Pearce, and "Doctor Who" villain Roger Delgado.

The complete series was released on Region 2 DVD on July 2, 2007. Actor Barry Morse, "The Tiger", was the last surviving actor from the series and provides an introduction in the 'extras' of the DVD set.

Main cast

* Barry Morse as Alec Marlowe - "The Tiger" - Canadian, now working as a vehicle mechanic.
* Lilli Palmer as Manouche Roget - "The Leopard" - French, running a small cafe "Les Pecheurs" in Nice.
* Brian Keith as Steven Halliday - "The Fox" - American, now a businessman.
* John Mills as Thomas Devon - "The Elephant" - English, running a jewellery shop in Nice, was given his nickname because of his excellent memory.

Episode list

This episode list is in airdate order, based on the original ATV transmission:

1 "Revenge: Post-Dated"::Thomas sees a former war criminal (Walter Gotell) in the town and tells Manouche. Together they decide to contact their former comrades, who come to France and help deliver the criminal to the Police. After they complete the mission Alec and Steven decide to stay on a while with their old friends.

2 "Mindless Murder"::The gang uncover an extortion racket who are targeting two married movie stars (Ingrid Pitt and Clinton Greyn). The extortionists want the Morning Star, a rare diamond in the care of the Martins. The gang decide to take out the crooks, but first they have to get their hands on the well-secured diamond themselves.

3 "African Misfire"::The art collection of a deposed African president (Earl Cameron) is stolen and the gang set about recovering it, only to discover they know the thief - a former wartime colleague.

4 "The Lion Hunt"::When the revolutionary Pedro Ortega - 'El Leon' (Roger Delgado) - enters France and is accidentally arrested by Manouche's son Georges, the police and the ministry need him released again. Georges gets the Gang to get El Leon out of prison but then they find that the Minister had arranged a deal with El Leon for million francs but was going to double-cross him so the Gang set to saving the day.

5 "The Counterfeit Trap"::The gang decide to stop a gold-smuggling ring, paying for the gold with counterfeit French Francs. Alec gets arrested when the police think he killed the couriers. Peter Cushing stars as the local investigating magistrate with Jacqueline Pearce as his wife.

6 "The Twisted Cross"::The gang come to the aid of a German (Bernard Kay) being attacked in an alley. It turns out that he is the only one who knows the location of a sub full of sunken treasure. The gang agrees to help him in return for a share of the loot to pay for Claude's memorial hospital. They dive for the treasure and recover the only surviving piece - a jeweled swastika - which is immediately confiscated by French custom officers. But they quickly discover that the custom officers are fakes who killed the real officers, and the gang comes up with a plan to recover it and make a little more money.


The series theme music was composed by Paul and Linda McCartney.

External links

* []
* [ Action TV]
* [ The Official Website of Barry Morse]

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