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 BBC 2 TV 'Mastermind' 
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Just managed to catch Monday night's 'Mastermind', where there was a contestant, Katharine Drury from Blackpool, whose specialist subject was The 'Roger Brook' Novels of Dennis Wheatley!

A magical moment hearing questions based on our hero.

I was very impressed with Katharine (why isn't she a member here?) as out of 18 questions, she got 17 correct and went on to win the night's qualifying round for the second round. I have to hang my head in shame and admit to only managing 2 out the 18!!

After the specialist rounds the presenter, John Humphries, showed his lack of knowledge about DW's work: "they (the Roger brook books) were very different from those he wrote later, because he wrote a lot of Black magic and all that" and "were they Wheatley's best books, you think, compared with the stuff he wrote later? I remember The Devil Rides Out, I think."

For all of you who missed the excitement and the opportunity to test your knowledge, here are the questions:
(if you have to cheat, highlight the space after the A.'s with your mouse)
1. Q. In which of the Roger Brook novels, first published in 1951, does Wheatley state that his aim is to present the story of the French Revolution as "history without tears"?
A. 'The Man Who Killed The King'.

2. Q. Which school in Dorset did Roger Brook attend before going off to seek fame and fortune in 1783?
A. Sherborne.

3. Q. Georgina is married to which Prussian statesman when Roger meets her in the conference at Erfurt in 'Evil In A Mask'?
A. Baron Ulrich von Haugwitz.

4. Q. The endpaper of the original '74 edition of which novel contains a map of Waterloo and its surrounding area.
A. 'Desperate Measures'.

5. Q. At a meeting in Mannheim in 1795 Roger persuades which revolutionary General to defect to the French Royalists?
A. Pichegru.

6. Q. At what age does Roger run away to France to avoid being forced into the Navy as a midshipman by his father?
A. 15.

7. Q. Catherine the Great made Roger a Knight of the Order of St. Vladimir, but which King gave him his first order of chivalry, The Order of the Sword?
A. Gustavus III.

8. Q. What is the name of the house in which Lord Etheridge is killed in a scuffle after discovering his wife Georgina in bed with Roger?
A. Stillwaters.

9. Q. In 'The Wanton Princess', Roger is unwittingly involved in whose assassination on the 24 March 1801?
A. Czar Paul.

10. Q. Which of the Roger Brook novels was the last of Dennis Wheatley's so-called Black Magic novels to be published?
A. The Irish Witch.

11. Q. In 'The Man Who Killed the King', how much does William Pitt promise to pay Roger if he brings the Dauphin back from France?
A. £100,000.

12. Q. When Roger marries Lady Mary Ware in Stockholm on New Year's Day, 1813, who gives the bride away?
A. Bernadotte.

13. Q. Which of the novels ends with Roger and Georgina listening to church bells ushering in the new century?
A. 'The Sultan's Daughter'.

14. Q. In the final chapter of 'Desperate Measures', which of his wives does he tell Georgina was the worst?
A. Lisala.

15. Q. In 'The Irish Witch', Roger's daughter Susan becomes involved in the revival of which club supposedly founded 50 years earlier by Sir Francis Dashwood?
A. The Hell Fire Club.

16. Q. In 'The Dark Secret Of Josephine', Roger relates how he first met Napoleon in 1793 during the seige of which port?
A. Toulon.

17. Q. In 'The Rape Of Venice' which school bully, now a Colonel of the Dragoons, does Roger meet again in India?
A. George Gunston.

18. Q. What is the name of the French Marquise's daughter with whom Roger falls in love in the first book in the series, but is guillotined in 'The Man Who Killed The King'?
A. Athénais Hermonaie de Rochambeau.


Honest replies, please!

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This was not the first time that DW's works have featured on a Mastermind show. I forget the exact date, but it would have been around the mid-1980s that a contestant on the New Zealand version of the programme took as their special subject the Gregory Sallust novels. I can't even remember if the person concerned was male or female, but I do know they didn't do very well on it. (But then, neither did I!)

As for the Roger Brook questions, I fared a lot better (14), though answering sometimes at a very un-Mastermind kind of speed.

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Well, well - that's fascinating !

If you were ever able to root around and get further details (the date, channel, and particularly the questions ... or should I say the questions AND the answers Very Happy !) I'd love to put them on the site.

An excellent contribution !

All best !

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Charles :

If you were ever able to root around and get further details (the date, channel, and particularly the questions ... or should I say the questions AND the answers Very Happy !) I'd love to put them on the site.



Well Charles, it took over 5 years but I think I have made some progress with half of your request.

According to the edition of the Radio Times that covers 14 April - 20 April 1984 (issue 3153), at 7.45pm on Sunday, 15 April 1984 there was an episode of Mastermind on BBC One as follows:

MASTERMIND
with Magnus Magnusson
King William's College at Castletown on the Isle of Man is the host for the last heat in the first round of Mastermind 1984.
Colin Driver (telephone engineer) History of the Church of England 1815-1900
Katharine Heaney (local government official) 'De Richleau ' novels of Dennis Wheatley
Valerie Ann Smith (part-time tutor) Life and works of George Eliot
George Thornton (civil servant) Life and works of Mozart
Director LAURENCE VULLIAMY
Producer ROGER MACKAY

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Actually Darren I think you've exceeded my request !

Thanks to your research we now know that there was at least one Mastermind on each of DW's principal characters - Roger Brook (UK Mastermind - where we have the Questions and Answers), Gregory Sallust (in New Zealand, thanks to Cibator's post .... Qs and As not yet known), and now - thanks to you - on the Duke de Richleau.

It would be wonderful if somehow we could get the questions (your next challenge ???? Very Happy ); he's my favourite character and I'd love to see how I fared (maybe not very well Very Happy ).

Again thanks for another great contribution ... see you at the Convention !

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 Re: BBC 2 TV 'Mastermind' 
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Charles :
It would be wonderful if somehow we could get the questions (your next challenge ???? Very Happy ); he's my favourite character and I'd love to see how I fared.


I accepted the challenge, Charles, and the results are below.

I contacted the 1993 Mastermind Champion, Gavin Fuller, and fortunately he has access to Magnus Magnusson's video collection of Mastermind episodes. He is also a Dennis Wheatley fan, particularly the de Richleau novels, so was keen to test himself. Over Christmas he watched the 15 April 1984 episode and transcribed the questions and answers.

I have presented them the same way as Bob Rothwell presented the Roger Brook Mastermind questions back in 2006. To see the answer highlight the space after the A's below.

So, with immense gratitude to Gavin Fuller, you have 2 minutes to answer questions on the 'De Richleau' novels of Dennis Wheatley starting....NOW.

1. Q. In The Second Seal, de Richleau infiltrated a secret society called “The Brotherhood of Union or Death.” By what other name was this society known?
A. The Black Hand.

2. Q. At what college did the future Duc de Richleau receive his military training?
A. Saint-Cyr.

3. Q. In Strange Conflict, what was the name of the evil mulatto who, by means of the occult, helped the Germans to sink British convoys?
A. Doctor Saturday.

4. Q. What was the nickname that Princess Marie-Lou gave to de Richleau?
A. Grey Eyes.

5. Q. What did Princess Marie-Lou in The Forbidden Territory reveal as the secret hiding place of the Shulimoff jewels?
A. Her abacus.

6. Q. Whose murder was investigated by the three inquisitive people Duc de Richleau, Rex van Ryn and Simon Aron?
A. Lady Eleanor Shoesmith.

7. Q. What did de Richleau and his friends aim to do in the operation with the codeword “Golden Fleece”?
A. To stop Romanian oil from getting to Germany.

8. Q. In the Golden Fleece operation what was the name of the Romanian who controlled the company that owned the oil barges?
A. Taluescu.

9. Q. According to Condesa Gulia de Córdoba in Vendetta in Spain, how was her husband Jose allegedly killed in South America?
A. He was mauled by a puma.

10. Q. What was name of the wealthy baronet who lived in Carlton House Terrace whose identity de Richleau assumed in The Second Seal to get himself out of trouble?
A. Sir Pellinore Gwaine-Cust.

11. Q. In The Second Seal, how did the Archduchess Ilona Theresa rescue de Richleau from execution after his court martial?
A. She married him.

12. Q. In Strange Conflict, where did de Richleau and his friends first meet the beautiful mute zombie who they knew as Philippa Ricardi?
A. Waterloo Station (Katherine Heaney said in London, when asked where said Euston station but Magnus let her have the point).

13. Q. According to Jack Straw why did Rex van Ryn go to the Forbidden Territory in Siberia?
A. To look for the Shulimoff jewels?.

14. Q. What was the name of the star of the Moscow Arts Theatre who obtained a pardon from Stalin to obtain Simon Aron’s release from prison?
A. Valeria Petrovna-Kharkov- need to check, GF wrote the words as it sounded on the video.

15. Q. What was the name of the member of the British Embassy staff in Madrid whom Wheatley called the Scarlet Pimpernel of the Spanish Revolution?
A. Arthur Talbot.

16. Q. Who was the prisoner in the mask, with whom the future Duc de Richleau changed planes?
A. The Duc de Vendôme.

17. Q. What name was given to the Duc’s Russian home where, as an 18-year-old, he first met his future wife?
A. Ivanitz - need to check, GF wrote the word as it sounded on the video.

18. Q. What was the secret of the Forbidden Territory in Siberia that was discovered by de Richleau and his friends?
A. The air park at Romanovsk.

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Darren,

What can I say ???

Wow !

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Well, Charles, you can say how many you got right!

My score was three.

Three to beat, Charles - can you do it?

Splendid stuff, Darren!

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Managed 9, 10 or 11, depending on how rigorous the adjudicators are being. (E.g., is "London" considered adequate for Q12?). Not so good as I did for the Roger Brook set!

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Katherine Heaney got 17 out of 18. Q7 was answered incorrectly.

That's impressive, Cibator - re. your answer of London for Q12, Katherine said "in London", and when asked where she said "Euston station" but Magnus let her have the point even though the answer was Waterloo.

Gavin Fuller noted the interesting point that there were no questions on The Devil Rides Out.

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Thanks for the compliment, Darren.

Darren :
Katherine Heaney got 17 out of 18. Q7 was answered incorrectly.

Looks though it helps to have Katherine as your name (see post above, re K. Drury). Only one word for either of them - phenomenal!


Darren :
Gavin Fuller noted the interesting point that there were no questions on The Devil Rides Out.

Perhaps there were some in the stack, but time ran out before they could be put. Gateway To Hell and Dangerous Inheritance were missed out as well.

I thought nearly all the questions were pretty straightforward, requiring just instant recall of one fact. It's when you're required to link two or more pieces of data in some way that it gets tricky. (E.g.: in how many of the books does Marie Lou appear? - I don't know that one myself, off the top of my head.)

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Cibator :
Looks though it helps to have Katherine as your name (see post above, re K. Drury). Only one word for either of them - phenomenal!


Phenomenal indeed.

I tried to find out about the Gregory Sallust questions on the New Zealand Mastermind but got nowhere. I did find something interesting, though.

Cibator - am I right in thinking that Gavin Fuller is not the only Mastermind Champion to have contributed to this library?

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Darren :
I tried to find out about the Gregory Sallust questions on the New Zealand Mastermind but got nowhere. I did find something interesting, though.

Cibator - am I right in thinking that Gavin Fuller is not the only Mastermind Champion to have contributed to this library?

Well Darren: now that you've dropped that very heavy hint, I might as well come clean and admit to having won the NZ version of the Mastermind title back in 1981. The following year saw a fairly disastrous appearance in Mastermind International (4th out of 5), held in the Christchurch Town Hall, now alas much-damaged in the 2011 earthquake and facing an uncertain future.

My specialist subjects were the history of chess (1450-1972), the history of science (1500-1950) and the major novels of J B Priestley. DW as a subject could never have been a goer, as his books were already being phased out at Wellington public library, and I brought hardly any with me when I emigrated in '77.

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Darren :
Gavin Fuller noted the interesting point that there were no questions on The Devil Rides Out.

Perhaps they didn't want any confusion between the novel and the film version. Also, since it is DW's single best-known work, it might not have been considered Mastermind fodder...
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Cibator :
I might as well come clean and admit to having won the NZ version of the Mastermind title back in 1981. My specialist subjects were the history of chess (1450-1972), the history of science (1500-1950) and the major novels of J B Priestley. DW as a subject could never have been a goer, as his books were already being phased out at Wellington public library, and I brought hardly any with me when I emigrated in '77.

Wow - it is indeed an honour. Mastermind had so much prestige when I grew up. You have a wide range of interests. I found you via a remote chess forum.

"The history of science (1500-1950)?" - not exactly a narrow subject, the range of questions potentially could have been vast!!!

Cibator :
I thought nearly all the questions were pretty straightforward, requiring just instant recall of one fact. It's when you're required to link two or more pieces of data in some way that it gets tricky.

Your experience will explain this insight.

Do you have any NZ Mastermind contacts at all from the 1980s? I would love to chase up the Gregory Sallust questions.

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