In Favours, the penultimate episode of the entire series, things are starting to get desperate for James, time is running out where the bank is concerned. Meanwhile one of his tenant farmers Brian Ainsworth needs help paying off a loan that James acted as guarantor for. James can’t help him but can’t tell him the real reason why – if it gets out that James is in danger of having to sell Melford then he will have no chance of saving it. The issue becomes more pronounced when he learns that the Gazette are looking for a story.
Meanwhile James is more than a little surprised when Stella Clisby turns up unannounced. She claims to not have an ulterior motive for her visit but James is not so sure, especially when Hadleigh gets a phone call from her boss enquiring about the sale of Melford.
There’s a nice guest appearance from Gordon Jackson as businessman Alan Mannett, who is acting as middle man in the potential sale. Knowing that he is completely backed into a corner Hadleigh tells Mannett to go ahead with the sale.
Hadeigh, knowing what dire straits Ainsworth is in, asks the bank for one last favour. By this point Ainsworth (another brilliant performance from Michael Elphick) is at breaking point. His wife has lost the baby she was expecting and the bailiffs have turned up to execute a county court judgement against him. Hadleigh turns up in the middle of all this and finds himself staring down the barrel of a shotgun. Unfortunately when the press get hold of the story and turn into a “siege” situation Mannett’s clients withdraw their offer.
A real downbeat but fabulous episode, there’s a very sad moment when Hadleigh tells Sutton that he has to give Sutton notice. Hadleigh has simply run out of money and can’t afford to keep him.
UK / ITV – Yorkshire / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Friday 21 May 1976 at 9.00pm
Writer: David Ambrose / Production Design: Chris George / Director: Tony Wharmby
Series: Hadleigh Season 4 Episode 12
Gerald Harper as James Hadleigh
Peter Dennis as Sutton
Michael Elphick as Brian Ainsworth
Diana Davies as Ellen Ainsworth
Myra Frances as Stella Clisby
David Ryall as Dick Iverson
Bruce Bould as Bob Whiteside
Anthony Roye as Dr Mullen
Gordon Jackson as Alan Mannett
Teddy Turner as First Man
Bert Gaunt as Second Man