Hypnotist, The aka Scotland Yard Dragnet

Date: 1957
Director: Montgomery Tully
Production Company: Merton Park Studios

Stars: Roland Culver, Patricia Roc, Paul Carpenter, William Hartnell
Location(s): London, Shere, Surrey

Region(s): ,


Val Neal, a young test pilot, begins to suffer psychosomatic attacks of pain and choking whilst recovering in hospital after bailing out of his plane. Mary, his fiancée, calls upon Dr Pelham to help but being unhappily married and in love with Mary he uses his influence to implicate Val in the murder of his wife.

Additional Information:

Screen captures and uncredited Now shots uploaded by Richard Lovejoy.


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  • 'Now' required

Test pilot Valentine Neal (Paul Carpenter) walks to his aircraft with the planes engineers and designers with a view to breaking the sound barrier. ARG Forum advises that this is Ford Airfield in Sussex. The Ministry of Aircraft Production type B1 hangars helped in the location fix.

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The plane, an Hawker Sea Hawk F1, WF 202, is shown to take off with two hangars in the background. Included to help with the identification and for me to give my grateful thanks to all the members of the Forum who provided so much help and interesting information during my research.

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As the action then cuts to the soon to be troubled flight, the plane changes to Hawker Sea Hawk, WF186, with entirely different markings! One wonders how many of the original viewers noticed this likely stock footage insert. Included to reveal this obvious cinematography trickery and to thank Iain Taylor of the ARG for advising that this plane was from NAS 898 Brawdy, Pembrokeshire.

Val cannot pull the plane out of its subsequent dive and ejects at a rather too low a level and ends up in hospital. University College, Malet Street, London WC1 also seen in The Brain Machine.

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Clearly a re-visit will be beneficial when the present work is finished.

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Physically healed after the landing, Val is left with a psychiatric problem and arrangements are made for him to see a retired psychiatrist known to Val’s fiancée Mary Foster (Patricia Roc). The best way to treat him, it is suggested, is for Val to go and live with Dr Francis Pelham (Roland Culver). The therapy involves going over his life’s events that include this school. Transition shot. Unknown location.

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A snow covered house. Another transition overlap. An improved shot in hypno031. Unknown location.

Dr Pelham is gradually persuading Val that he “is going mad” and cannot marry Mary. After advising her of the fact, and why, he returns “home” to Dr Pelham’s flat. Queens Gate Terrace, London SW7 Also seen in Time is My Enemy.

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Parking remain a premium today.

Val helps Barbara Barton (Ellen Pollock) who lives in another flat with her boxes after a shopping trip. Queens Gate Terrace, London SW7.

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Little has changed in this expensive area.

After constant questioning about his childhood, Val violently escapes from an hypnotic trance and also the building. Queens Gate Terrace, and Queens Gate, London SW7

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This has to be a first, scaffolding on the screen capture and none on the "Now" shot. They clearly did a good job in those days.

Dr Pelham takes a cab to Mary’s offices to tell her that Val has run off. Spring Gardens, London SW1 with The National Gallery in the background. A similar shot appeared in "A Touch of Class".

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Dr Pelham, avoiding the scaffolding, would today be entering the Trafalgar Hotel.

Val wanders through London in a daze. St James’s Street, London SW1

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Not so easy to wander across the road these days.

Dean’s Mews, Cavendish Square, London W1. The sculpture of Madonna and child by Jacob Epstein.

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I nearly captured the sun in the right place.

Langham Place, the BBC and All Souls Church.

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The two icons remain proud centre stage.

He sits and hears a plane overhead. Park Lane and the Dorchester Hotel in the background.

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Sometime since deckchairs were seen there I would suggest.

Hyde Park Corner and the Wellington Arch.

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A serious carriageway re-adjustment has taken place.

The Mall with Admiralty Arch to the left Admiralty Citadel to the right.

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Fortunately, a similar time of year.

Hungerford Bridge footbridge looking towards Waterloo Bridge.

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Not such an uninterrupted view these days but this bridge is probably safer than the old one.

Meanwhile Dr Pelham has persuaded Mary to return to her home with him. No longer an unknown Mews, Ray and Ron Glenister have identified this as Devonshire Close, London W1. (RL)

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To confirm their identification, to include scaffolding.

Pelham pays the taxi driver as it stands outside the neighbouring property “Chez Noos". No:43 Devonshire Close, London W1 as identified by Ray and Ron. (RL)

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The name "Chez Noos" seems to have been dropped over the years.

They climb the steps to her front door. Devonshire Close, London W1 as found by Ray and Ron. (RL)

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Does one really have to step over that planter to go up the stairs?

Mary heads of to the village of “Netherstowe” to find out more about Val’s mother as Pelham “believes” Val's mental problems stem from her. Gomshall Lane, Shere leading into Shere Village, Surrey.

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The footpath and the building have long gone.

She goes to the local church to find the grave of Val's mother. St James Church, Shere, Surrey. Also seen in "On the Fiddle".

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Parking there is no longer permitted.

The church and lychgate. St James Church, Shere, Surrey.

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Still very much the same 60 years on.

She finds the gravestone. I am sure all the others are genuine.

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They certainly are but the exact location was still difficult to find given some surprising changes.

While Mary is visiting the Neal family doctor Val continues to walk London streets and enters “The Downbeat Club”, Litchfield Street, London WC2. The Ivy restaurant and the St Martin’s Theatre, The Mousetrap had already been running 5 years.

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"The Mousetrap" now in its 64th year but "The Ivy" has been "running" even longer.

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Val “picks up” Susie (Kay Callard) at the club and walks her home. The shop in the background says (FURN)ITURE. Unknown location.

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He is invited in for a drink to her “top floor flat”, No 10 where ever it is. Unknown location.

Val sleeps at Susie’s flat but has left by the time she awakes and we next see him at Waterloo Station where he ponders his memories and suddenly remembers he has been seeing a doctor.

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Somewhat busier now and no traffic.

Remembering that Mary had introduced him to the doctor he finds her address from the telephone directory and awaits her arrival home. A further shot of the mews to aid identification. Whether or not it aided Ray and Ron it certainly confirmed their identification of Devonshire Close, London W1 (RL)

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There has certainly been some work done on those properties.

They embrace outside her home. Following on from hypno29 it has to be Devonshire Close, London W1 (RL)

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No such warm embrace today.

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As Mary explains what happened to his mother and the events that caused his mental problem a clearer picture of the house they lived in is revealed to help us locate it. Unknown location.

The following morning Mary calls at Queens Gate Terrace for lunch to see a police car waiting outside, soon she will learn that Barbara Barton has been murdered during the night, that she was actually Dr Pelham’s wife and that they had been separated for many years and never spoke.

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The background buildings on Queen's Gate have long been redeveloped.

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Needless to say, Dr Pelham who wants to marry Mary, starts to implicate Val as the murderer and informs the police. Whilst Pelham writes his statement the police, Det Insp. Ross (William Hartnell) and Det Sgnt. Davis (Gordon Needham) leave the Police Station to visit Val and arrest him. Unknown location.

The truth is eventually established and Pelham is arrested for the murder of his wife. Queens Gate Terrace, London SW7

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With all the parking now, a higher angle would have been very welcome.