In New Boy, the opening episode of Park Ranger, Paul Graham is about to start his new job as a trainer park ranger at Bearsdale National Park. He doesn’t get off to the best of starts with his boss, David Martin, when he turns up late for his first day. He also doesn’t get off to the best of starts with new neighbour Katie when his dodgy driving causes her to get thrown from her horse.
Graham is thrown very much in at the deep end when young Jamie Dutton (played by George and Mildred’s Tristram himself Nicholas Bond-Owen) goes missing in the park. The problem is compounded by the fact that he has taken a potentially rabid dog with him – the dog had been smuggled in from France by a truck driver who then sold it to Jamie’s father.
A solidly entertaining opening episode with a script from the always dependable Brian Finch. New Boy manages to not only introduce all the main characters but throws in an extremely tense (and at the time very topical) storyline too.
Rabies was a massively newsworthy subject in the late seventies and early eighties. It was causing big problems across Europe at the time.
UK / ITV – Southern / 1×25 minute episode / Broadcast Wednesday 21 February 1979 at 4.45pm
Writer: Brian Finch / Production Design: Greg Lawson /
Series: Park Ranger Episode 1 (of 6)
Norman Bowler as David Martin
Richard Gibson as Paul Graham
Jenny Logan as Margaret Jackson
Jane West as Katie Jackson
Paul Haley as Charlie
Patrick Durkin as Alf Dutton
Jo Kendall as Alice Dutton
Nicholas Bond-Owen as Jamie Dutton
Mike McStay as Colin