In The Story of a Panic James, who is a board member of a merchant bank, discovers at a special meeting that the current chairman, Sir Geoffrey Osborne, is planning to retire at some stage in the next few years and wants James to take over. Sir Geoffrey makes it plain that James would need to significantly improve his share holding. Sir Richard arranges a million pound loan (putting Melford as security in the process) but a run on the pound threatens to completely ruin Hadleigh.
Jennifer though is conspicuous by her absence, supposedly in New York helping friends set up an art gallery. Hilary Dwyer, who played Jennifer, had recently given up acting to help husband Duncan Heath set up his acting agency. She doesn’t appear in this season at all. However despite her non-appearance much of the episode revolves around. Her make up bag is found on a train. Is she actually in London? James needs to find out.
Further investigation reveals that the art gallery Jennifer was involved with was caught up in shady practices and three of the people involved, including Jennifer, have gone missing. James rushes to New York but discovers it’s all something of a nothing. Jennifer had instead headed to Los Angeles to an artists colony. He does reveal to Helen on his return that they have decided to call it a day.
Richard Easton who plays Joanna’s new much older boyfriend had appeared in season 2 episode Nicola Penn as a close friend of Hadleigh’s.
Same memorable theme tune but complete new scenes for the opening title.
The TV Times of the week, 28 Feb 1976, had a typically unrevealing interview with Gerald Harper (a well known hater of interviews and unwilling to give out personal details it was never easy for the interviewer and this was is par for the course – it does touch a little on the genesis of the show though.)
UK / ITV – Yorkshire / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Friday 5 March 1976 at 9.00pm
Writer: David Ambrose / Production Design: Mary Rea / Director: Derek Bennett
Series: Hadleigh Season 4 Episode 1
Gerald Harper as James Hadleigh
Ambrosine Phillpotts as Lady Helen
Peter Dennis as Sutton
Jenny Twigge as Joanna Roberts
Richard Easton as Bill Townsend
Richard Vernon as Sir Geoffrey Osborne
Anthony Corlan as Gregory Baker
Peter Ellis as Taylor
George Innes as Teddy Monks
Larry Cross as Newscaster
Robert McBain as Police Inspector
Frank Duncan as Alastair Patterson
Jane Dore as Traffic Warden
Roger Ostime as City man
Carl Rae as Croupier
Delena Kidd as 1st Party Woman
Monica Grey as 2nd Party Woman
Joseph Greig as Tedbut