C.A.T.S. Eyes

For other uses, see Cat's eye (disambiguation).
C.A.T.S. Eyes
Genre Detective fiction
Created by
Directed by Various
  • John Kongos
  • Barbara Thompson
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 30 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Rex Firkin
  • Raymond Menmuir
  • Dickie Bamber
  • Frank Cox
Running time 60 minutes; pilot episode, "Goodbye Jenny Wren", 90 minutes (w/advertisements)
Production company(s) Television South
Original network ITV
Picture format 4:3
Original release 12 April 1985 (1985-04-12) – 6 June 1987 (1987-06-06)

C.A.T.S. Eyes is a British television series made by TVS for ITV between 1985 and 1987. The series was a spin-off from The Gentle Touch, and saw Jill Gascoine reprise her role as Maggie Forbes, having left the police force to join an all-female private detective agency called "Eyes", based in Kent, that is actually a front for a Home Office team called C.A.T.S. (Covert Activities Thames Section).

C.A.T.S. Eyes was shown on Friday nights during the first series, before moving to a Saturday night slot for the second and third series. The series was a ratings hit, regularly ranking within the top twenty most watched programmes that week throughout its run. The theme music from the first series by John Kongos was also released as a single in 1985.



The C.A.T.S. Eyes team consisted of former police officer Maggie Forbes (Jill Gascoine), refined Oxford graduate Pru Standfast (Rosalyn Landor), the leader of the unit, and streetwise computer expert Frederica "Fred" Smith (Leslie Ash). Nigel Beaumont (Don Warrington) was the "man from the ministry" overseeing their activities. For the second series onwards, the Eyes detective agency front had been dropped; Pru was replaced by the similarly upper class but more frivolous Tessa "Tess" Robinson (Tracy Louise Ward); and Maggie was elevated to team leader.[1]

The only other character from The Gentle Touch to make an appearance in the series was Maggie's love interest, D.I. Mike Turnbull (Bernard Holley), who appeared in the second episode of the first series, "The Black Magic Man", to help her with a case. Although they were still a couple at the end of The Gentle Touch, it was implied that they had since ended their relationship and were still good friends. However, their relationship was left somewhat ambiguous and unresolved. In the first episode, "Goodbye Jenny Wren" Maggie refers to her son, Steve Forbes, as having "taken off to Australia". She said that if he hadn't have done so, she would not have volunteered to join the organisation. An ongoing reference throughout the series was whenever Maggie was addressed as "Miss", she would correct it sharply to "Mrs" - referring to her being widowed during the first episode of The Gentle Touch.


The series was filmed in the then-closed Chatham Dockyard, as well as locations in Medway and Maidstone. All filming was done on location, and post-production editing was performed at the TVS Television Centre in Maidstone.

The cars used by the regular cast in the series were loaned by Ford Motor Company. In the first series, Pru drove a 1985 Ford Escort 1.6i Mark III Cabriolet, which was also featured at the end of the first series title sequence. Fred had a 1984 Fiesta XR2 Mark II, and Maggie used 1985 Escort 1.6 Mark III. In the second series, Fred and Tessa drove 1986 white and Azure blue Ford Escort RS Turbos respectively, with the latter being the only one produced in that colour, whilst Maggie now had a 1986 Ford Sierra Mark I. Similar looking 1987 models of the vehicles were also used in the third series.[2]


There has been no domestic commercial release of C.A.T.S. Eyes on any format in the UK. This is possibly due to ongoing rights issues after the production company, TVS, dropped out of the ITV network in 1992 and subsequently went through a number of take-overs. This problem affects the majority of the TVS programme archive as much of the original production paperwork and sales documentation has been lost during the intervening years.

Episode list

Series 1 (1985)

Episode Title Written by Directed by Viewers
Original airdate
1"Goodbye Jenny Wren"Terence FeelyWilliam BrayneTBA12 April 1985 (1985-04-12)
Maggie arrives to join the new unit on the day that Jenny, the third member, is killed while investigating a Russian trawler anchored in the estuary. Fred avenges Jenny's death in a cat and mouse game with the Russians. 90-minute pilot episode.
2"The Black Magic Man"Ray JenkinsBen Ringham TerryTBA19 April 1985 (1985-04-19)
A cat burglar breaks into a Special Branch 'safe house', where two illegal female immigrants are being held for questioning. He helps one of the women to escape and Maggie, on the trail of the thief, has to track them both down.
3"With Vinegar and Brown Paper"Ray JenkinsRobert FuestTBA26 April 1985 (1985-04-26)
A death on the motorway leads Maggie to a man on the run, in fear of his life, and to a plot involving forged bearer bonds.
4"Under Plain Cover"Jeremy BurnhamWilliam BrayneTBA3 May 1985 (1985-05-03)
A man's body is found floating in the river. Pru, investigating the mysterious death, finds that an official "block" has been put on the case. Despite this, she exposes a secret deal to build a new CIA listening post in London, and obtains justice for some defrauded investors in exchange for keeping her mouth shut.
5"Something Nasty Down Below"Don HoughtonJohn FrankauTBA10 May 1985 (1985-05-10)
An old Woman tells 'EYES' she has just seen her husband, who was supposed to have perished when a submarine sank nearly forty years ago. Maggie's investigation reveals that the submarine was carrying gold and that the crew mutinied, killing the officers and disappearing with the loot. The murderers, now in their seventies, are willing to kill again to protect themselves.
6"Cross My Palm With Silver"Jeremy BurnhamRobert FuestTBA17 May 1985 (1985-05-17)
A clairvoyant asks Pru to find the location of a "vision" - a place where she is convinced she is going to die. Pru discovers that several other dangerous individuals are also searching for it, and that there is a real pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
7"Frightmare"Don HoughtonJames HillTBA24 May 1985 (1985-05-24)
Fred is in the office at night, guarding a valuable jewel for a rich client. Keeping her company is her latest 'date' - an attractive young man who works for the client. The jewel turns out to be a red herring, and before the night is over, Fred begins to doubt her sanity.
8"The Double Dutch Deal"Martin WorthIan ToyntonTBA31 May 1985 (1985-05-31)
Fred, acting as 'best man' at a friend's registry office wedding, stumbles on a marriage racket run by an unscrupulous organisation for Asian girls wanting EEC citizenship. She falls for a Dutch boy used by the organisation, and is devastated when the investigation ends in his murder.
9"My Father Knew Lloyd Mbotu"Terence FeelyWilliam BrayneTBA7 June 1985 (1985-06-07)
A hit man is sent from a newly independent African country to kill Pru's father, who had incurred the enmity of the President whilst serving in the British army there. The retired General refuses protection and Pru is sent to guard him. Her father thus learns for the first time of her real job. Meanwhile, Maggie, acting for an insurance company, exposes a chair-ridden accident victim as a fraud.
10"Love Byte"Ben SteedJames HillTBA14 June 1985 (1985-06-14)
A self-made entrepreneur asks 'EYES' to follow an ex-con with whom his young daughter has become involved. Fred unmasks a blackmail sideline run by the entrepreneur's second in command, based on client's personal information fed into the organisation's central computer.
11"Fingers"Anthony SkeneRobert FuestTBA21 June 1985 (1985-06-21)
Pru is asked to investigate the theft of an old Debussy manuscript from an exclusive piano emporium. The thief turns out to be an attractive young music buff - a member of a family of thieves who are not all as harmless as he is.
12"Blue For Danger"Jeremy BurnhamTom CleggTBA28 June 1985 (1985-06-28)
When Mrs. Driscoll asks the 'EYES' operatives to follow her husband, it seems a perfectly straight forward assignment. It turns out to be the most perilous case they have ever handled, leading Maggie into deep waters, where a ruthless and terrifying adversary lurks.

Series 2 (1986)

Episode Title Written by Directed by Viewers
Original airdate
1"One Away"Paul WheelerDennis AbeyTBA5 April 1986 (1986-04-05)
Edward Stone, a Soviet spy serving a life sentence in a top security jail, makes a daredevil escape by posing as an army officer in a jeep. Beth, Stone's illegitimate daughter, is kidnapped by Stone's accomplices - she is unaware of her father's identity. Awaiting his escape to Russia, Stone insists on phoning his estranged wife to arrange a meeting. Tension mounts as Maggie's life is endangered, Stone tries to effect his escape to Russia and persuade Beth to accompany him, and a Home Office contact, O'Donahue's. true allegiance is revealed.
2"Powerline"Terence FeelyIan SharpTBA12 April 1986 (1986-04-12)
When undercover agent Shirley is killed in some lonely woodland, Fred and Tessa investigate posing as 'travellers' and join a band of nomadic religious freaks camping rough on Lord Leydon's estate. Tessa goes to Manor House to visit the impoverished James Leydon who already suspects her of working with the 'thought police'. A 'friend' of Jamie's, Barbara Dalchley, turns out to be in league with Sergei, a Russian defector, and Seth, one of the 'travellers' whose mission is to take pictures of nuclear missile bases. A security patrol around the estate rescue Fred and Tessa when their camper van is sabotaged, and the episode ends with Tessa involved in a shoot-out.
3"Hit List"Gerry O'HaraRaymond MenmuirTBA19 April 1986 (1986-04-19)
When an Arab prince and a group of foreign associates with Mafia connections are gunned down on a country estate, the 'EYES' team uncover a drug racket fronted by an international casino consortium. The Triads take exception to the Mafia trying to take a slice of their action and innocent and guilty alike fall by the wayside.
4"Good As New"Paul WheelerCarol WisemanTBA26 April 1986 (1986-04-26)
When Sara John's, the daughter of a Russian defector is threatened by a Soviet agent while on a school trip, the 'EYES' team is alerted, and warning bells ring in Whitechapel where one employee shows a more than passing interest in their case. Fred and Tessa go undercover, posing as a grounds man and games mistress respectively, to protect the young schoolgirl while Maggie discovers that Sara's estranged parents are desperately close to revealing a major spy scandal, putting their daughter's life at risk.
5"Rough Trip"Gerry O'HaraWilliam BrayneTBA3 May 1986 (1986-05-03)
When a young schoolboy is abducted by a terrorist group, the C.A.T.S.EYES team discover that Simon Maxstead's father has access to some top secret government information for which the boy is being held to ransom. Nigel orders the case 'top priority' and Maggie, Tessa and Fred uncover a major international terrorist ring from Bangladesh posing behind a front of an innocent grocery shop.
6"Passage Hawk"Barry AppletonAnthony SimmonsTBA10 May 1986 (1986-05-10)
Jailed in South Africa for bank robbery, Ben Hutchins is released to custody in England as he is supposedly dying of cancer. On arrival, he tries unsuccessfully to escape from his "escort", Kerber, and evade Maggie and Nigel. Further checking by the 'EYES' team reveals that Hutchins health is, in fact, alright but Kerber, a well-known assassin has his own plans for a funeral at which four prominent black African leaders will be present.
7"Freezeheat"Terence FeelyTerry MarcelTBA17 May 1986 (1986-05-17)
drug racket, using a refrigerated trucking company, Coldburn, for cover, is exposed when Chas' lorry is attacked and he turns to Fred and the 'EYES' team for help and protection. When Chas is kidnapped and required to 'talk' by the Coldburn men, his silence is punished by being locked in the deep freeze. The 'EYES' team arrive in the nick of time to save Chas from a chilly ending and a top ranking drug squad commander is exposed.
8"Fit"Reg FordTerry MarcelTBA24 May 1986 (1986-05-24)
During an army training stint for the 'EYES' team, Sir Jack Fenn tells Maggie that they are holding a top Czech spy, Kessler, for debriefing. On investigating the other recruits, she discovers that a number of them do not 'check out', and Fenn suspects that the KGB want Kessler - dead or alive. Events take on an unexpected turn when a kidnap and subsequent murder attempt on Kessler are foiled by the team, and Fenn also has something to hide.
9"Honeytrap"Terence FeelyRobert FuestTBA31 May 1986 (1986-05-31)
Yuri Yevgenev, a Russian secret agent, lands up in the local police station after being set up by Maggie and the Special Branch boys. In the ensuing KGB attempts to have Yuri returned, Maggie's life is threatened, and Tessa and Fred discover that a Home Office secretary supplied information leading to Maggie's capture. Fred and Tessa affect a dramatic rescue and save Maggie from impending torture.
10"Crack-Up"Paul WheelerEdward BennettTBA7 June 1986 (1986-06-07)
Following a car bomb, the 'EYES' team's police contact Roddy is seriously injured, and the team are accused of negligence. Maggie feels responsible and after a period of erratic behaviour, she collapses and is diagnosed as being mentally exhausted. During convalescence, her memory starts to return, and then the truth drug is administered, her recollections reveal unexpected double dealing.
11"Tranmere Dan And Tokyo Joe"Jenny McDadeDennis AbeyTBA14 June 1986 (1986-06-14)
When two ex-P.O.W's think they recognise a frighteningly familiar face on the front page of a newspaper, they call in the 'EYES' team to investigate. Meanwhile, Tessa goes undercover as the chauffeur to a junior Government Minister with bizarre tastes which lead the team on a calamity course to danger.

Series 3 (1987)

Episode Title Written by Directed by Viewers
Original airdate
1"Twelve Bar Blues"Andy de la TourGerry MillTBA25 April 1987 (1987-04-25)
What's the link between the murder of a stripper in a Middle East nightclub, and Jethro Blackstock, who runs a talent agency and lives in luxury on the South coast? The 'EYES' team investigate a number of cases of arms going missing from local military establishments, and Tessa gets a job as a barmaid in a seedy pub, to find out more. Maggie meets an 'old flame', Derek Moore, who warns her of the dangers involved with Blackstock. The girls remain convinced he is connected with the arms smuggling.
2"Carrier Pigeon"Paul WheelerJ.B. WoodTBA2 May 1987 (1987-05-02)
Fred is visiting Amsterdam for a few days break when she recognises an old school friend working with a film crew who are making a commercial. Later in a Dutch disco, Fred meets up with Sara Fields and they remember the old days. Flying back home, Sara is caught smuggling drugs through customs and is arrested. Convinced her friend is innocent; Fred puts her own life on the line to prove it but was it worth it.
3"Country Weekend"Paul WheelerRaymond MenmuirTBA9 May 1987 (1987-05-09)
Tessa visits her mother in the country for the weekend, accompanied by Fred. Their break is interrupted when three men arrive and hold them all hostage, and the relaxing weekend does not turn out the way anyone expects.
4"The Big Burn"Terence FeelyAlan BellTBA16 May 1987 (1987-05-16)
The discovery of electronic listening 'bugs' on some valuable antiques stolen from a country house, leads Maggie, Fred and Tessa into the world of espionage and petty crime. The bugs are 'foreign' in design, but why should they have been placed in the home of jailed forger Joe McCrewer.
5"A Naval Affair"Francis MegahyClaude WhathamTBA23 May 1987 (1987-05-23)
Ship designer Alan Moss' house burns down and all his work on revolutionary design concept for warships is destroyed. His plans had previously been rejected by the Admiralty and he was successfully going it alone until the fire. The 'EYES' team join Moss on a sailing trip which goes wrong when the rudder breaks, but they manage to get safely back to shore. An explosion at Maggie's flat seems like another attempt to kill Moss and Maggie goes to the Admiralty where she meets Commander Hutchins, a supporter of Moss' designs.
6"Family Tradition"Paul WheelerRaymond MenmuirTBA30 May 1987 (1987-05-30)
Following an annual lunch with close friend Sir Edward John - who recruited Nigel - the 'EYES' team investigate Sir Edward's son Howard, a civil servant with access to secrets, who is reportedly acting strange. Maggie gets to know the Howard family when she goes to Sir Edward's 70th birthday party with Nigel. After Howard fails in a suicide bid, Maggie discovers Sir Edward's 'secret' and the reason for Howard's behaviour.
7"Backlash"Terence FeelyFrancis MegahyTBA6 June 1987 (1987-06-06)
Pressed into taking a fortnight's holiday, Maggie looks up an old school friend but within hours they both narrowly escape a hit and run driver. Then while visiting a stately home, tumbling scaffolding seems like another deliberate attempt on Maggie's life. So, when her friend Penny is shot, a guilty Maggie is determined to find out who is responsible and uncovers some disturbing revelations.


External links

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