New Scotland Yard: Papa Charlie (ITV 24 Nov 1972)

Papa Charlie opens with Kingdom at home, he is back living with his wife (having been estranged for the first part of season one) but this is the first time Kingdom or Wards personal life has been on view for some time.

Kingdom is heading to Parkhurst on the Isle of Wight to arrange for the transfer of dangerous inmate Charles Change at the same time Kingdom’s wife is kidnapped by his family and held to ransom in exchange for Charlie’s release.

A heavy episode for the series. The whole thing is completely shot on film instead of the usual mix of taped interiors and filmed location shots. As soon as the kidnappers make their demands Kingdom is taken off the case but of course he’s not prepared to let that stop him. To complicate matters Kingdom’s questioning of Change brings on a heart attack in the ageing criminal but it’s decided that Ward should take his place on the journey to ensure the kidnappers think nothing is amiss.

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The shot on film style gives Papa Charlie a real punch, making it look similar in tone to a Thames-Euston series like Special Branch or The Sweeney. Michael Turner, who plays Detective Chief Superintendent Petersen here, would go on to take the main role in the series for season four. His character was called Clay though.

production details
UK / ITV – London Weekend Television / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Friday 24 November 1972 at 9.00pm (some ITV regions aired the episode on Saturday 25 November at 8.30pm)

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Writer: Stuart Douglass / Production Design: John Emery / Director: John Reardon

Series: New Scotland Yard Season 2 Episode 7

John Woodvine as Kingdom
Sally Home as Angela Kingdom
Ken Haward as P.C Noble
Dave Carter as Prison Officer
Tony Melody as Charles Change
Les Clark as Warder
John Hartley as Kidnapper
Derek Ware as Kidnapper
Alison King as Betty Roper
John Caesar as Station Sergeant
Michael Stainton as Station officer
Max Faulkner as Telephone-box villain
Michael Turner as Chief-Supt Petersen
John Carlisle as Det Sgt Ward
Susan Brown as Jean Gorton
Alan Chuntz, Jim Dowdall, Val Musetti, Geoff Silk as Bogus policemen

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.