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News and updates for the Patrick Wymark Boardroom - a website about the Power Game actor.

Maintained by Harry Dobermann. Email me at

A Witchfinder’s Feast

Uncategorised Posted on Sun, May 03, 2020 17:29:55
Ian Ogilvy and Vincent Price in Witchfinder General

Hubble, Bubble…oops, wrong movie

Ian Ogilvy’s Turnip and Onion Soup forms the backbone of my Witchfinder General themed lockdown lunch. Jenny Hammerton of Silver Screen Suppers and Peter Fuller of the Vincent Price Legacy UK website are currently putting together a Vincent Price Co-Star Cookbook pairing 50 of the Merchant of Menace’s favourite recipes with 50 recipes from his co-stars. Since they were looking for test-cooks, I leapt in to grab the only movie that paired Vincent Price with Patrick Wymark: Witchfinder General!

“An excellent meal – almost as pleasurable as victory”

In the movie, set in 1645, Ian Ogilvy plays Richard Marshall a young farmer who has inherited his father’s farm but has enlisted in the Parliamentary army for “as long as the trouble lasts.” Halfway through the movie, Richard reports to Oliver Cromwell (Patrick Wymark) who gives him the task of hunting down the fugitive King Charles. As the Cromwell Museum, Huntingdon will tell you, General Fairfax was actually in charge of the army at the time – but since Patrick Wymark also speaks the opening narration, the movie calls it, “Cromwell’s Parliamentary Roundheads”. I will be donating the cost of the meal I would usually have been eating to the museum in penance, and can only suggest you do the same.

In homage to that other great Patrick Wymark/Patrick McGoohan movie Dr Syn Alias the Scarecrow and in the interests of social distancing and Coronavirus masking, I prepared the meal in the guise of Dr Syn.

Soup’s pretty filling, but I thought I would need something to go with it. Watching the movie, most of the meals seem to involve some kind of bird, and did wonder for a moment if I could bring in Richard Johnson’s Four Time Chicken not just an excellent recipe but something fit for these utilitarian lockdown times. But then I remembered how I ballsed it up and thought better of it. And then, I noticed that in the aftermath of the witch burning scene in Lavenham town square, director Michael Reeves had included some quaint sentimental shots of village children roasting potatoes in the dying execution pyre.

So, Baked Potato it was!

As to what to drink with the meal, ale seems to be appropriate choice. Although not while you’re preparing the meal. The recipe calls for 2 pints of beef stock, and during my first attempt I miscalculated and used one too many Knorr Stock Cubes. The result was very salty. So, keep it sober seems to be the motto.

Ian Ogilvy’s recipe seems pretty true to the era. Food was scarce for most people, and as a Puritan, Ogilvy’s character would probably have disapproved of fancy cooking. At the core of the recipe is one large turnip, one onion and a 1.2 litres of beef stock. After my initial disaster I played it safe with a can of beef stock (diluted half way through with an equal quantity of water). And no, I didn’t mistake it for a can of ale! Now you’ll notice that all I could find in the shops was a swede. I assume that Ian Ogilvy’s recipe intends a white turnip, which would be historically accurate since the swede was not introduced to England until the 1750’s. But even trying different shops for my two attempts, the swede is all that was on offer. Since the recipe also includes a pinch of curry powder, I’m sure we can run with the swede!

So, the swede and onion is chopped up together with a clove of garlic which I sliced and crushed with my blade as if I was a roundhead cavalryman. Then you just mix the lot up with some melted butter and sweat for ten minutes.

This is where it gets complicated
Add that pesky beef stock and then simmer

It goes without saying, I’m not giving you the full recipe here.- But 30 minutes later, after a vigorous buzz with a liquidiser, the Turnip and Onion soup was ready to eat!

Ian Ogilvy’s Turnip and Onion Soup

Perhaps a bit darker than Mr Ogilvy’s original, but still very tasty. I’d expected more of a turnip taste but to my unsophisticated palate the beef stock dominates. Nevertheless, the swede and onion provides a hearty texture. A nice accompaniment to that Witch Ember Roasted Potato. Next week you can join me when I make authentic Cock Ale. What’s Cock Ale? Don’t ask!*

  • You asked! Boil a chicken in 8 gallons of ale, add 4lb of raisins, nutmeg and 2 quarts of sack. Seal for 7 days and then bottle for a month. Lovely.

They Hanged My Saintly Billy

Uncategorised Posted on Sat, May 02, 2020 15:57:47
William Palmer and Patrick Wymark

Patrick Wymark starred as William Palmer – the Rugeley Prince of Poisoners in Peter Dews’ adaptation of Robert Graves’ THEY HANGED MY SAINTLY BILLY 0n BBC1, 4 May 1962

A Cromwell Trilogy

Uncategorised Posted on Thu, April 02, 2020 23:03:16
Patrick Wymark as Oliver Cromwell 1967

We enjoyed following the Twitter commentary on the Cromwell movie last week by the Cromwell Museum ( see it here ). The Museum in Huntingdon had only re-opened after a refurbishment on the 1st of March so the closure on 17th March caused by the current epidemic has dealt a blow to the Museum (if you enjoy the commentary, you could make a donation to the Museum here ).

Of course, Patrick Wymark actually played the Earl of Strafford in Cromwell but he had already played Cromwell three times – including a little known educational series on the Civil War. When we say “little known”, we mean “little known to us” since we’d never heard of the programme until recently. Perhaps the fact that it was shown generally late at night during the 1966 World Cup explains its anonymity (publicity photos from the series are miscaptioned as being from Witchfinder General).

The excitement of the Twitter commentary inspired us to bring together Patrick Wymark’s three portraits of Cromwell in a new page, which you can find at this link.

Touchstone and Tuba

Uncategorised Posted on Sat, March 28, 2020 16:22:04
Gordon Gostelow as William and Patrick Wymark as Touchstone

On 22 March 1963, BBC 1 broadcast Michael Elliott’s production of As You Like It , in which Patrick Wymark recreated his performance as the jester Touchstone. Elliott’s July 1961 production at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford had won acclaim from the critics, who fell in love with Vanessa Redgrave playing Rosalind. The play transferred to London’s Aldwych Theatre on 10 January 1962.

The TV production gave TV audiences the opportunity to see the stage cast re-united, including Patrick Allen as Orlando, Rosalind Knight as Celia and Max Adrian as Jacques.

Earlier in the month, BBC audiences had seen Patrick Wymark in another comic role in the 1 March 1963 Comedy Playhouse: Our Man In Moscow. Written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, who had already generated a comedy success with Steptoe and Son, the play starred Robert Morley as Sir William Hunter, the British ambassador in Moscow. Wymark played Nicolai, a Russian tuba player wanting to defect to Britain.

David Collings – Crime and Punishment

Uncategorised Posted on Mon, March 23, 2020 21:39:48
David Collings – 1940 – 2020

David Collings, famed for guest roles in series such as Sapphire and Steel, but with a wide and varied career, has passed away. He made his TV debut as Raskolnikov in the 1964 adaptation of Crime and Punishment.

Patrick Wymark played Porfiry, the detective who slowly uncovers Raskolnikov’s guilt in a double-murder. More about Crime and Punishment here.

The Doppelganger Martini

Uncategorised Posted on Wed, March 18, 2020 20:33:32

Introducing the Doppelganger Martini – created to commemorate the famous scene in the film Doppelganger between Patrick Wymark, Ed Bishop and George Sewell where they celebrate the plugging of a security leak.

The Doppelganger Martini follows the standard recipe of a Vodka Martini, but – as in the film – the proportions should be a mirror image (ie more Vermouth than Vodka). The Martini should always accompany information served up on a plate to our prime suspect.

The Power Game: The New Boy

Uncategorised Posted on Thu, December 12, 2019 23:30:59

13 December 1965 saw Patrick Wymark return as Sir John Wilder in the first episode of The Power Game. Now pitted against a new adversary in the form of Caswell Bligh, played by Clifford Evans

Danger Man – An Affair of State

Uncategorised Posted on Sun, December 08, 2019 13:30:37

‘There are many sharks in San Pablo’ Patrick McGoohan and Patrick Wymark in the 13 November 1960 episode of Danger Man – An Affair of State

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