Marion Cutler, a social worker, askes Eddie to investigate the disappearance of a client. He was
working at the coast, living in a hut by the beach, but when Eddie investigates, Steve, the owner of
the hut, tells him he's never heard of the missing person.
Returning to the hut at night to get a piece of a photograph attached to a drawing pin, Eddie is
knocked unconscious and the hut set alight. His clothes ablaze, he jumps through a window and
dives into the sea, suffering minor burns.
Social worker Marion Cutler
Eddie, burnt by the blaze
Obtaining an aerial photograph of a house, Eddie tracks down its owner who tells him that the missing
guy called and tried to sell him the photograph. Suspicious of Benny Sheldon's story, Eddie looks at the
other exposures on the film roll. They are just photographs of the coastline - however, an intruder makes
his way into Radio West and steals them. Dupes have been made from the negatives, and Eddie puts
them side by side in Erica's flat to form a panoramic shot of a section of the English coastline.

Erica tells Eddie that the person he saw arriving at Sheldon's house - along with Steve and the girl he
works with - is a notorious European heroin smuggler. With the aid of a local pilot, Eddie flies overhead,
casting an eye over the are of land he has marked out on a map using the photographs as a guide - an
"uncertain circle" inside which he believes treasure is hidden.
Golf buddies Don Satchley
and Benny Sheldon
Eddie looks down on the "uncertain circle"
Whilst on the flight, Eddie spots Sheldon and his men below. Returning to Sheldon's house, Eddie
stows away in his boat when Steve's assistant Jojo sets out to sea in it. However, she doesn't join the
others, but instead travels to a deserted Napoleonic sea-fort where she has been tending to the social
worker's missing client - and lover, who has been suffering from the bends after diving for Sheldon's
team. Sheldon arrives at the fort and, after a brief chase, Steve and Jojo reveal themselves to be plain
clothes detectives, arresting the gang.
Sheldon's gang, working for South
African criminal Jan Poestma
The sea fort, location of "AN
UNCERTAIN CIRCLE"s exciting climax
This episode reminds me a little of the then
contemporary film adaptations of "Jaws" (the
beach party outside the burning hut) and "The
Deep" (the coastal treasure hunt theme). "An
Uncertain Circle" is another episode that
achieves Robert Banks Stewart's aim of
treating each script as if it were a potential
film. We are treated to Eddie's fight in and
flight from a burning hut, a trip in a light
aircraft, a diverting ruse where Eddie escapes
from a church by absailing from the steeple
using a bell-rope(!) and the fine climax on the
sea-fort. Fast, frenetic and involving.
Eddie with Steve's friend Jojo
A less character and more plot-driven episode than usual for Shoestring. In slightly Hitchcockian
style, Eddie is hired to find Nick Forrest, a missing aerial photographer whom no one claims to have
ever seen, by his social worker (and lover) Marion Cutler. The mystery concludes on a disused fort in
the Bristol Channel, and we even have a very last-minute twist (when Steve & Jojo turn out to be
undercover cops).

"AN UNCERTAIN CIRCLE" is more crime/adventure-based than usual and thus seems reminiscent of
Shoestring's 'successor' Bergerac. The villain is Jan Poestma, a South African druglord, the type of
person who might well have turned up in Jersey a few years later to create trouble for the Bureau Des
Etrangers - were he not arrested here first of course.
Eddie's search for a missing aerial photographer cause both him and the radio
station a bumpy ride…
Original BBC1 tx:
21 OCTOBER 1979
2115 - 2205hrs,
watched by 23.2 million

Filming dates:
9 to 23 July 1979
(drn. 50'00")
Series 1, Episode 4:
directed by MIKE VARDY
Radio West photographer Phil (actor
this episode and "HIGHER GROUND"
Eddie has a rare change of apparel in this episode - he
receives some burns early on and discards his casual shirt
and jacket in favour of a Fruit of the Loom sweatshirt! In a
change of venue, we also visit the Radio West canteen a
couple of times.

In the whimsical ending to this episode, we briefly hear
Eddie begin his weekly 8pm thirty-minute broadcast and
start to tell the 'story' of this week's episode (names
changed to protect the innocent).

A fine episode, but atypical Shoestring.