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MARTIN CLIFFORD

tightrope_cb_1 tightrope_cb_2 tightrope_tv_t
 
Full Name: Martin Clifford
Nationality: British
Organization: British Intelligence
Occupation Agent

Creator: Victor Pemberton
Time Span: 1972 - 1972

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Martin Clifford is an agent with British Intelligence.
       Now there's a larf for you. That is likely what Clifford would have said if you told him that. This young man working towards graduation in a small, quiet English village is quite some distance away from suave, cool, deadly operative material when we first meet him.
       He and his fellow A-level students at the Redlow Comprehensive School are not looking for adventure so much as just trying to stay awake in the classes they are required to take. His introduction into the mysterious world of the spy comes when a televised lesson they are watching in the classroom is interrupted by a unknown voice saying, "I have a message for you. How well do you know your staff? Who and what are they? Can you trust them? I am the Voice of Truth."
       Within a short time, Clifford is approached (well, almost run over, according to him) by an older man named Forrester who wants Clifford to work for him and thus British Intelligence to uncover a spy ring working among the faculty of the high school to gather intel on the nearby NATO Air Force base which will soon be the center for some vital exercises.
       As explained in the promo for this adventure, Clifford "finds his life balanced precariously on a tightrope – one false move on either side, and he could fall to his death".
       Clifford lives alone with his father in a small cottage house. The often surly father is gruff with Clifford but there are genuine feelings of affection between the two even though neither has a clue how to show it. Clifford's mother has obviously passed away some time before leaving both without a model for showing feelings. The young man has friends at the school but no one he seems especially close to which may be why he agrees to help Forrester without so much as a 'can I see some identification, please?'
       When the mission is finally completed, Clifford continues to lend a hand when Forrester has the odd mission just right for someone of his age.

TELEVISION


Number of Episodes:13
First Appearance:1972
Last Appearance:1972
Network:ATV

REGULAR CAST
Spencer BanksMartin Clifford [ 1 ]
John SavidentForrester [ 1 ]

       The 13-episodes in the series are really in serial format in that they all comprise one long adventure rather than a series of individual ones.
       The name of the show on ATV was Tightrope, apparently because the main character had to walk such a device to maintain balance between his civilian school/home life and his extracurricular activities as a spy for his country.


1 Episode 1
Episode 1-1, first aired 01/19/1972

Part 1 of 13 - Martin Clifford is inveigled into helping Forrester, a British Intelligence agent, into looking into some of the staff at the school he is attending. Someones in that group are out to cause mischief at a nearby Royal Air Force base.

2 Episode 2
Episode 1-2, first aired 01/26/1972

Part 2 of 13 - Martin Clifford is inveigled into helping Forrester, a British Intelligence agent, into looking into some of the staff at the school he is attending. Someones in that group are out to cause mischief at a nearby Royal Air Force base.

3 Episode 3
Episode 1-3, first aired 02/02/1972

Part 3 of 13 - Martin Clifford is inveigled into helping Forrester, a British Intelligence agent, into looking into some of the staff at the school he is attending. Someones in that group are out to cause mischief at a nearby Royal Air Force base.

4 Episode 4
Episode 1-4, first aired 02/09/1972

Part 4 of 13 - Martin Clifford is inveigled into helping Forrester, a British Intelligence agent, into looking into some of the staff at the school he is attending. Someones in that group are out to cause mischief at a nearby Royal Air Force base.

5 Episode 5
Episode 1-5, first aired 02/16/1972

Part 5 of 13 - Martin Clifford is inveigled into helping Forrester, a British Intelligence agent, into looking into some of the staff at the school he is attending. Someones in that group are out to cause mischief at a nearby Royal Air Force base.

6 Episode 6
Episode 1-6, first aired 02/23/1972

Part 6 of 13 - Martin Clifford is inveigled into helping Forrester, a British Intelligence agent, into looking into some of the staff at the school he is attending. Someones in that group are out to cause mischief at a nearby Royal Air Force base.

7 Episode 7
Episode 1-7, first aired 03/01/1972

Part 7 of 13 - Martin Clifford is inveigled into helping Forrester, a British Intelligence agent, into looking into some of the staff at the school he is attending. Someones in that group are out to cause mischief at a nearby Royal Air Force base.

8 Episode 8
Episode 1-8, first aired 03/08/1972

Part 8 of 13 - Martin Clifford is inveigled into helping Forrester, a British Intelligence agent, into looking into some of the staff at the school he is attending. Someones in that group are out to cause mischief at a nearby Royal Air Force base.

9 Episode 9
Episode 1-9, first aired 03/15/1972

Part 9 of 13 - Martin Clifford is inveigled into helping Forrester, a British Intelligence agent, into looking into some of the staff at the school he is attending. Someones in that group are out to cause mischief at a nearby Royal Air Force base.

10 Episode 10
Episode 1-10, first aired 03/22/1972

Part 10 of 13 - Martin Clifford is inveigled into helping Forrester, a British Intelligence agent, into looking into some of the staff at the school he is attending. Someones in that group are out to cause mischief at a nearby Royal Air Force base.

11 Episode 11
Episode 1-11, first aired 03/29/1972

Part 11 of 13 - Martin Clifford is inveigled into helping Forrester, a British Intelligence agent, into looking into some of the staff at the school he is attending. Someones in that group are out to cause mischief at a nearby Royal Air Force base.

12 Episode 12
Episode 1-12, first aired 04/05/1972

Part 12 of 13 - Martin Clifford is inveigled into helping Forrester, a British Intelligence agent, into looking into some of the staff at the school he is attending. Someones in that group are out to cause mischief at a nearby Royal Air Force base.

13 Episode 13
Episode 1-13, first aired 04/12/1972

Part 13 of 13 - Martin Clifford is inveigled into helping Forrester, a British Intelligence agent, into looking into some of the staff at the school he is attending. Someones in that group are out to cause mischief at a nearby Royal Air Force base.

COMIC BOOKS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

Number of Stories:2
First Appearance:1972
Last Appearance:1972

1 Adventure 1 Adventure 1
Published by Polystyle Publications
Contributors: Stanley Houghton (artist)
Copyright: 1972

Wondering what he would do during his school break, Martin Clifford is suspicious when Forrester sends a telegram offering him an easy job minding a group of athletes on a European tour. He is right to be leery.
Click here to read the story.

2 Adventure 2 Adventure 2
Published by Polystyle Publications
Contributors: Stanley Houghton (artist)
Copyright: 1972

Martin Clifford is forced to learn how to fly jets in order to take a job at the factory creating the latest fighter jet. Forrester is certain someone is out to steal the prototype and he wants Clifford to play minder.
Click here to read the story.

MY COMMENTS

       The 13-episode television serial and the two comic-book adventures are all that comprise the Tightrope, aka Martin Clifford, adventures. They were obviously made for the teen market and in that regard they would should have done alright but from the fact that there were no more, it would seem they were not well received.
       As an adult watching the shows many, many years later, I can see why. Most of the adults have little time for and certainly no pleasant thoughts about the young people and they in turn are rude, snarky, and, well, teenager-ish. I did not care for it myself.

GRADE

My Grade: B-

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