Bergerac: Late For a Funeral (BBC-1 6 Dec 1981, with Gary Watson)

In Late For a Funeral Jim has his hands full with two bodies. On a tourist sight-seeing cruise (led by Francine) a group of tourists discover two bodies in the water – one, a skin diver, has only been dead a few hours – the other, a Luftwaffe pilot, has been dead forty years.

Also why have two German apparent museum experts turned up asking Charlie’s help (one of his businesses is a salvage operation) in locating a downed Messerschmidt somewhere off the coast of Jersey.

In a bit of background on Crozier we learn he is president of the Jersey Model Aeroplane Club. It’s background that comes in handy – Barney’s father flew hurricanes during World War II which is what led to Barney’s model plane interest. It also means he has quite an expansive knowledge of what the Luftwaffe were upto on the island during the occupation. This episode is Barney’s biggest appearance to date and he actually works with Jim well rather than trying to undermine him.

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Barney and his plane collection.

As Jim’s investigations continue it seems that Hermann Göring had possibly visited Jersey in search of treasure to plunder for Hitler’s collection and the plane that went down may in fact contain some of it.

James Cossins turns in an excellent performance as plane mad (or is it just plain mad?) Tuchel who runs an aircraft museum and is a history buff too.

A typically strong script from Dennis Spooner is undermined somewhat by the very murky underwater fight scene at the end that ends up being somewhat risible.

Unfortunately over the last few episodes the gorgeous Cecile Paoli has been given very little to do as Jim’s girlfriend Francine (aka Frankie) she generally just happens to be on the scene at the right time but there has been no real development of their relationship.

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production details
UK / BBC One / 1×55 minute episode / Broadcast Sunday 6 December 1981 at 8.15pm

Writer: Dennis Spooner / Production Design: John Hurst / Director: Henry Herbert

Series: Bergerac Season 1 Episode 8

John Nettles as Jim Bergerac
Cecile Paoli as Francine
Terence Alexander as Hungerford
Sean Arnold as Crozier
Mela White as Diamante Lil
Danny Schiller as Gulliver
Annette Badland as Charlotte
James Cossins as Tuchel
Gary Watson as Bishop
George Mikell as Falkenhorst
Jonathan Elsom as Sammler
Leon Eagles as Moellendorf
Jonathan Adams as Dr Lejeune
Eve Bland as Mrs Picot
John Gabriel as Hans
Ann Tirard as Use
Geoffrey Lumsden as Dean
Christopher Ellison as Corby
Michael Watkins as Eddie
Eric Mason as Helmsman
Warren Saire as Daniel

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.