In Fall of a Birdman Charlie Hungerford has arranged for the filming of a commercial to launch his new range of wine. It involves a hang glider flying over the island to deliver a bottle of his new range to a model on a yacht (typical Charlie shenanigans in fact). However the hang glider disappears out of view during filming of a key shot and is then found dead on the other side of the island.
It quickly becomes apparent that the flyer’s death was no accident. When charter pilot Kendrick tells Jim that he saw a man on the cliffs where the flyer was found, the trail leads to a murky world where birds of prey are a valuable commodity. Local climber and major gambler Jean-Pierre, badly in need of money, has taken a job to steal a protected peregrine falcon and it’s chicks for collector Verrian.
Yet again there is a first rate roster of guest stars popping up including Richard Griffiths, the excellent Philip Stone (probably best known for his regular role on the 1970’s series Justice) as the falcon obsessed Verrian, Donald Sumpter as film director Roscoe and Dave Hill as Kendrick the pilot. There is also a small role for the excellent Pauline Delaney as Jean-Pierre’s landlady (for many years she was a semi-regular on the series Public Eye).
An excellent episode although there are a couple of dodgy moments, one where Jim and Marianne take a glimpse through binoculars of the peregrine falcon at the the heart of the story which leads to a cut in of some stock wildlifee footage and two when Jean-Pierre tumbles off the cliff at the end it is clearly a penny-for-the-guy style model. Still Jim does look cool in those sunnies!
“You know I made two war pictures, corpses littered everywhere. But they were alive of course.”
UK / BBC One / 1×55 minute episode / Broadcast Sunday 13 February 1983 at 9.10pm
Writer: Paul Wheeler / Production Design: Phil Roberson / Director: Ben Bolt
Series: Bergerac Season 2 Episode 6
John Nettles as Jim Bergerac
Terence Alexander as Charles Hungerford
Sean Arnold as Crozier
Annette Badland as Charlotte
Mela White as Diamante Lil
Celia Imrie as Marianne
Richard Griffiths as Jean-Pierre
Philip Stone as Verrian
Donald Sumpter as Roscoe
Jonathan Adams as Dr Lejeune
Heather Canning as Anne Verrian
Dave Hill as Kendrick
Ann Coombs as Maria
Tom Mennard as Challis
Pauline Delaney as Landlady
Brian Grellis as Port Officer
Laurie Montgomery as Cameraman
Betty Henwood as Newscaster
Neville Phillips as Forensic man
Ann Blyden as Model Mary
Paul Jacobs as First policeman
Chris Woodward as Second policeman