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The Incredible Robert Baldick is a 1972 drama that formed part of the third season of Drama Playhouse, the BBC's launching pad for potential series (the first and second seasons had already seen pilot episodes make it to full runs with Codename, The Befrienders, The Regiment and The Onedin Line. It marked the return to the drama department, for the first time in six years.
The pilot episode was entitled "Never Come Night" and was produced by Anthony Coburn, and directed by Cyril Coke. The drama was described as 'Victorian Gothic Suspense'. Robert Baldick, played by Robert Hardy, was an eccentric dilettante scientist/detective, possessed of a personal steam locomotive, The Tsar, originally built for Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, complete with armour plating, bulletproof glass and an on-board laboratory.
The programme was scheduled to be shown on Wednesday 6 September 1972 but, in the immediate aftermath of the Munich massacre, the production was removed at the last moment. The programme was finally shown on 2 October 1972, but despite achieving 6.6 million viewers and mainly positive feedback - The Observer ; "The Incredible Robert Baldick should rate like mad: it's a kind of take-home Hammer film wrapped in silver foil. The well-heeled hero is a piece of nineteenth-century fuzz dedicated to fighting evil in its more occult manifestations. He steams about in a special train.