In The Dig a group of archealogical students and their teacher Carol are conducting an excavation on a clifftop. The land is owned by Charlie and is close to the building that Jim is moving into. On their first night camping, one of the female students is attacked – by a giant bird she claims. Then a second girl is attacked in broad daylight and then goes missing, later turning up dead.
The Dig is one of the show’s occasional forays into the paranormal and a nicely spooky atmosphere is maintained throughout. Charlie seems particularly affected, he falls ill whilst helping Jim move and then again whilst some rather bizarre things (including a painting falling off a wall and the fire blazing of it’s own accord) are going on in his lounge room.
It also, unlike most of the series other fantasy episodes, doesn’t pull back when it comes to a rational explanation – there isn’t one! The clifftop scenes of Jim being attacked by some kind of raven that only he can see (and ending up covered in scratch marks in the process) whilst a group of locals, who are attempting shut down the dig, beat the ground with their shovels is full on Nigel Kneale or Ghost Story for Christmas territory. The implication is that the bird is some kind of guardian to the Viking who is buried on the clifftop.
The series seems much busier this season, mostly it feels because it’s been decided to give Lomas and Willy a bigger role to play in the action. We are even seeing scenes of the pair of them out on the town together.
UK / BBC One / 1×55 minute episode / Broadcast Sunday 28 January 1990 at 8.05pm
Writer: John Collee / Director: Geoffrey Sax
Series: Bergerac Season 8 Episode 3
John Nettles as Det Sgt Bergerac
Susan Wooldridge as Carol
George Sweeney as Martin Thomas
Ian Michie as Lawrence
Tushka Bergen as Alice
Sukie Smith as Eleanor
Akim Mogaji as Sam
Terence Alexander as Charlie Hungerford
John Telfer as Willy Pettit
David Kershaw as Ben Lomas
Trevor Cooper as Sorel
Paul Hegarty as Doctor
Anna Mottram as Charlotte Thomas
Gordon Gostelow as Eli Thomas
Sean Arnold as Barney Crozier
Barbara Horne as Nurse