“Doc” Job (The Hidden Motive)

Created by Lester Powell
(1912 -93)

The 1952 BBC radio serial The Hidden Motive related the exploits of “DOC” JOB, an eccentric insurance investigator and bibliophile looking into the possibly fraudulent death claim of a legendary Shakespearean actor, Sir Henry Sloan, whose wife died in her bath. Suspicion soon falls on the extremely wealthy thespian, who just happened to have taken out a £10,000 life insurance policy on her only six months before her death.


Supposedly, Doc (played by Tommy Duggan, an Irish-born actor who specialized, we are told, in Transatlantic, Irish and Jewish roles) speaks with a Canadian accent as he works the case from his sick-bed, while chomping away on raw onions in an attempt to fight off a bout of influenza, while dispatching his hapless young assistant, Robert Damer, to do most of the  legwork.


Before becoming a writer for radio and television, Lester Powell was a draughtsman, poultry farmer, and journalist. He also created The Inch Man, a short-lived 1951-52 BBC series about Stephen Inch, a house dick working in a busy London hotel, but is probably best known for creating the popular BBC radio P.I. Philip Odell.


    (1952, BBC)
    8 30-minute episodes
    Debut: March 25, 1952
    Written by Lester Powell
    Produced by William Hughes
    Starring Tommy Duggan as “DOC” JOB
    and Robert Bailey as Robert Damer
    Also starring Carl Bernard, Robert Bailey

    • “A Claim for Ten Thousand (Part One)” (March 25, 1952)
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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