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Mogul/Troubleshooters, The (1965-72)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

'Camelot on a Clear Day', originally transmitted on BBC1 on 1/6/1970; written by David Fisher, directed by John Matthews

Mogul Oil has secured a potentially highly profitable contract to dig for oil in the African republic of Kisemba. However, the company faces a major obstacle - the internationally respected, Nobel Prize-winning Dr Hoffmann, who runs a leprosy clinic on the territory where Mogul intends to drill. Hoffmann's supporters threaten a boycott, and Mogul MD Brian Stead depatches negotiator Willy Izard to Africa to persuade Dr Hoffmann to accept Mogul's offer of a brand new, modern facility in another location.

Hoffmann, however, is determined to stay put, claiming that the Africans would be uncomfortable in a modern hospital, and defending the clinic that he built himself and has served for 40 years. Hoffmann's devoted all-white nursing staff, led by the formidable Sister O'Connor, are similarly steadfast. Izard leaves, slightly troubled by the encounter.

Under pressure, Izard approaches the Kisemban government's representative, hoping he will allow Mogul to drill elsewhere. He is rebuffed; Stead, meanwhile, is furious at Izard for acting without authority.

Izard and Thornton, Mogul's field agent, are visited by Dr Smallbrook, who they hope will reassure Mogul's crew about the risks of leprosy. They are somewhat taken aback to find the doctor is a woman. She is non-plussed at their request, but becomes interested when she learns that Mogul is threatening Dr Hoffmann's clinic. She offers her view that Hoffmann's clinic is little more than a museum, with little real concern for its patients.

Izard returns to Hoffmann's clinic, but is unable to speak to the doctor. To Sister O'Connor, he explains that Mogul is funding research into the treatment of leprosy in Kisemba, starting with Hoffmann's practice. He suggests that Hoffmann should retire while he still has his reputation. He acknowledges Hoffmann's dedication, but wonders why he appears to dislike his patients. Sister O'Connor defends the doctor, suggesting that he might move his patients into the bush rather than give in.

Izard returns to his hotel, anxious about what would be a publicity disaster for Mogul. However, he soon learns that Hoffmann is dead. Visiting Sister O'Connor, he expresses his regret. She blames Mogul, and threatens to go public. However, Izard spots inconsistencies in her story, and realises that her own pressure is at least partly at fault.

Mogul celebrates its triumph; the drilling has been relocated, and the Hoffmann clinic is to be modernised, funded by Mogul and the Kisemban government. Only Izard remains troubled.