Thursday 23 October 2014

Lost Callan Episode and Short Stories by James Mitchell Collected for First Time

Quick bit of news: crime writer and critic Mike Ripley has drawn my attention to Callan Uncovered: The Collected and Missing Files, a newly published – by Mike's Top Notch Thrillers imprint – anthology of long-out-of-print Callan short stories plus a never-before-seen treatment and script by Callan TV show creator and writer James Mitchell. Mike "spent the best part of a year tracking down the stories for the collection" – 24 of which originally ran in the Sunday Express from 1973–1976, with one, the first Callan story, appearing in the TV Times in 1967 – "with the help of the British Library and a network of die-hard Callan fans". In addition, as Mike explains in an article on the Ostara Publishing (TNT's parent publisher) website, Peter Mitchell, the late James Mitchell's son, unearthed "an outline treatment for an episode of Callan and a complete script, originally called The Senator’s Daughter but then changed by James Mitchell to Goodbye Mary Lee. Although Mitchell was credited with writing the scripts for some 30 episodes of the highly successful television show between 1969 and 1972, it seemed that Goodbye Mary Lee was one script which had never been filmed and which could genuinely be called the 'lost Callan episode', not having been read by anyone outside the Mitchell family for more than forty years."

I'm told by Mike there's a copy of Callan Uncovered on its way to me, so I shall be giving it a thorough going over as soon as possible. In the meantime, allow me to point anyone interested in Callan and James Mitchell to these previous posts:

A Magnum for Schneider Book Review

The Callan Spy Thriller Series by James Mitchell

The Man Who Sold Death: James Mitchell alias James Munro

Russian Roulette Book Review

First Editions of Bonfire Night and The Money That Money Can't Buy


  1. All very exciting - my copy just arrived int he post so I presume yours won't be very far behind!

  2. I noticed you'd got a story up on this too after I posted my one. Exciting news indeed! Let's see what the postie has brought when I get home tonight...