UK / BBC / 1×98 minutes / Sunday 20 July 1952 at 9.00pm black and white

Writer, producer: Rudolph Cartier (his very first production for the BBC) / Additional dialogue by Nigel Kneale (Kneale was the BBC’s only staff writer at the time) / Novella: Albrecht Goes / Associate Producer: Douglas Moodie

Second world war drama. The Ukraine, January 1943; A German padre spends an evening talking to a deserter who is due to be shot the next day and finds out about the man’s family history, this contrasts with the officer with whom the Padre shares a billet, Captain Brentano, who is due to be shipped off to the Stalingrad front line, where he too will face certain death. Like many of the drams that were broadcast live in the early days of TV this production was mounted again 4 days later, Thursday 24 July. Never filmed there are no copies of this production in existence of course, four years later (22 April 1956) Cartier restaged the piece for Sunday Night Theatre (again BBC) Robert Harris and Martin Starkie reprised their roles.

Robert Harris as The Padre / Howard Lang as The Courier-Pilot / Esmond Knight as Major Kartuschke, Legal Officer / Leonard White as Lieutenant Ernst / Donald Pleasence as The Corporal in charge of the Officers Transit Billet / Michael Brennan as Sergeant-Major Mascher, guard at the military prison / Martin Starkie as Private Baranowski / William Devlin as The General, Commander in Chief of the German forces in the Ukraine / Hugh Kelly as Captain Brentano / Cita Crichton as Sister Melanie (Geoffrey Bayldon had a non speaking role in the production)