In Under Suspicion, en route to taking his disgruntled girlfriend Jenny Deane to a hotel James Eliot goes through a red light he is pulled over by the police. His situation is made worse by the fact that he stumbles when he gets out of his car (not that he has been drinking but got his foot caught in the seat belt).
Eliot happens to know both of the policemen who pull him over, Sgt Charlie Thompson is something of a friend but P.C. Joe Blake has a serious grudge against James, he was caught up in a case that saw the policeman demoted from detective to traffic duty. Later when Eliot is seen in a pub handing money over to Thompson the go ahead barrister finds him arrested on corruption charges.
Eliot maintains that the money was payment for Thompson helping James organise builders (Thompson’s brother) for his cottage renovation. However pub landlord Ted Watson claims he heard Eliot say the money was for Thompson not picking him up over the fact that he was drink driving. It’s clear that Watson is lying but Eliot doesn’t know why.
Keith Washington who plays Joe Blake had been a regular on the first season of Special Branch. In the early 80’s he switched from acting to directing working on shows as diverse as Brookside to Jonathan Creek.
This was easily the strongest episode of the season so far for Anthony Valentine, Harriet is completely secondary to the proceedings. Ian Moody manages to make a vital contribution too; He pays a visit to the nightclub owned by Watson’s daughter. She was involved in a previous case that Joe Blake worked on when he was still a detective and Thompson (having called in a few favours) is convinced that Blake somehow kept her out of trouble. It’s also one of those rare episodes that doesn’t feature the courtroom.
“It’s worth a try Charlie but it’s very dodgy.”
UK / ITV – Yorkshire / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Friday 26 July 1974 at 9.00pm
Writer: David Ambrose / Production Design: Mary Rea / Director: Brian Farnham
Series: Justice Season 3 Episode 10
Margaret Lockwood as Harriet Peterson
Anthony Valentine as James Eliot
John Stone as Ian Moody
John Bryans as Bill Corletti
Rosie Collins as Rosie
Sarah Douglas as Jenny Deane
Tony Melody as Charlie Thompson
Keith Washington as P.C. Joe Blake
Jenny Laird as Betty Watson
Frank Mooney as Det Sgt Reed
Michael Atha as Old man in pub
Ray Mort as Ted Watson
Hector Ross as Supt Miller
Sandra Duncan as Diane Watson
Carole Bollard as Sandra