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Virginia McKenna as Milborough Lang and George Baker as Wexford.

The Speaker of Mandarin

The main difficulty in filming was the sheer number of people. We ended up hiding the camera to avoid attracting any more. The weather hampered filming too. The crew clambered to the top of the Hong Kong Sheraton Hotel for fabulous views over Victoria Harbour. But, within seconds, the fog came down, and we couldn’t see a thing.

Neil Zeiger

Chief Superintendent Howard Fortune sends his Uncle Reg on an official police visit to China. On his return to England, the Chief Inspector is called to the scene of a murder. The victim is a local woman who has been found shot in her own home. The killing forces Wexford to relive his experiences in China, and eventually, the memory of one particular event helps solve the case.


DCI Wexford
George Baker
DI Burden
Christopher Ravenscroft
Dora Wexford
Louie Ramsay
Milborough Lang
Virginia McKenna
Chief Supt Howard Fortune
Patrick Drury
Adam Knighton
Norman Rodway 3
Adela Knighton
Denyse Alexander
Irene Bell
Annette Crosbie
Zhong Sung Lao
Lim Kay Tong
Lewis Fanning
Michael Carter
Hilda Avery
Marjorie Yates
Maggie Stead
Lois Knox
Frances Cuka 4
Gordon Vinald
Dominic Jephcott
Helena Mitchell
Margery Bauman
Fiona Walker
Angus Norris
Matthew Marsh
Jennifer Norris
Olivia Williams
CID Officer
Stephen Jameson
David Conville 5
Shop Assistant
Christine Collins 6
Jack Heyward
Ian Eastwood 7
Mrs Fanning
Arbel Jones
DS Martin
Ken Kitson
Dr Len Crocker
John Burgess 8
Kevin Smith
Alex Leppard
Silver Perry
Barry Lowe 9
Dave Atkins 10
Sgt Willoughby
Colin Campbell 11
Miss Elf
Annabelle Lanyon
Bank Manager
Ian Barritt
Mrs Thompson
Mary Jo Randle
Dobson Flint
Frederick Treves 12
Original music composed by
Brian Bennett
Production Associate
George Baker
Casting Director
Marilyn Johnson
Production Manager
Graeme MacArthur
Location Manager
Ian Strachan
1st Assistant Director
Phil Hartley
2nd Assistant Director
Stephanie Sullivan
3rd Assistant Director
Sarah Baker
Production Co-ordinator
Catherine Bolwell
Producer’s Secretary
Lesley Courley
Costume Design
Rita Angell
Wardrobe Mistress
Sheryl Brittain
Wardrobe Assistant
Erika Pharoah
Toni Holmes, Deborah McKinlay
Production Buyer
Graham Curtis
Art Director
Peter Bull
Design Assistant
Heather Gibson
John Hamon
Camera Operator
Julian Barber
Focus Puller
Bruce Barraclough
Camera Grip
Alan Imeson
Sound Recordist
Maurice Hillier
Boom Swinger
Liam Ryan
Gaffer Electrician
John Donoghue
Best Boy
Steve Philps
Mick Lay, Roy Robberts
Prop Master
Paul Kearney
Colin Bradbury, Mike Swanston
Standby Prop men
Kenny Palmer, Lee Rogers
Standby Craftsman
Max Grant
Assistant Film Editors
Jim Lownie, Steve Crabb
Dubbing Editor
Peter Dansie
Assistant Dubbing Editor
Mark Newson
Dubbing Mixer
Dave Fallon
Production Accountant
Peter Harvey
Assistant Accountant
Gay Huse
Music recorded by
Dick Plant at Honeywell Studios
Film shot on
16mm Eastmancolor
Processed by
Rank Film Labs
Lighting equipment supplied by
Michael Samuelson Lighting Limited
Grip Equipment supplied by
Snowdonia Films
Film Editor
Christopher Wentzell
Production Designer
Mark Ward
Director of Photography
Ken Brinsley BSC
Executive Producer
Graham Benson
Neil Zeiger




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  2. Herbert Wise 1931-2016: obituary by Philip Purser, The Guardian. ↩︎

  3. Norman Rodway 1926-2018: obituary by Anthony Haywood, The Guardian. ↩︎

  4. Frances Cuka 1936-2020: obituary by Michael Coveney, The Guardian. ↩︎

  5. David Conville 1929-2018: obituary by Michael Coveney, The Guardian. ↩︎

  6. Christine Collins 1942-2015, IMDb. ↩︎

  7. Ian East 1939-2016, Theatricalia. ↩︎

  8. John Burgess 1933-2010: obituary by Mike Leigh, The Guardian. ↩︎

  9. Barry Lowe 1925-2011, IMDb. ↩︎

  10. Dave Atkins 1940 - 2008: obituary by Gavin Gaughan, The Guardian. ↩︎

  11. Colin Campbell 1937-2018, Wikipedia. ↩︎

  12. Frederick Treves 1925-2012: obituary by Gavin Gaughan, The Guardian. ↩︎