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Special Branch: Troika (ITV 17 Sep 1969, with Gene Sandys)

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In Troika, the opening episode of Special Branch, the team are on trail of a spy ring who are believed to be passing secrets to the Russians.

They quickly take down two of the three but the third Greenaway who is proving hard to find. As the team drill down on the investigation they realise that Greenaway has got away by posing as a women. Worse still they then discover that Greenaway is actually a Major Alexandrov of the KGB.

A good introductory episode, it’s made plain very quickly that Jordan is something of a cool dude. The team also work fluidly together (with the exception of new boy DC Morrissey who is still finding his feet) but what is interesting is that the case isn’t completely solved – Greenaway gets clean away and makes something of a fool of the entire team.

Roger Rowland who plays Felding in this episode would go to appear again in seasons 3 and 4 as different character Detective Sergeant Bill North.

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production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 17 September 1969 at 9.00pm

Writer: George Markstein / Production Design: Mark Hall, Roger Allen / Director: Mike Vardy

Series: Special Branch Season 1 Episode 1

cast
Derren Nesbitt as DCI Jordan
Keith Washington as DC Morrissey
Wensley Pithey as Superintendent Eden
Morris Perry as Charles Moxon
Robert Wilde as Policeman
Jennifer Wilson as DS Helen Webb
David Garth as Deputy Commander
Donald Pelmear as Cowley
Gene Sandys as Greenaway
Sandra Bryant as Christine Morris
John Wilder as DCI Whitney
Angela Ellis as DC Brooks
Edward Clayton as Detective Sergeant
Ivor Danvers as Man Observer
Susan Denny as Woman Observer
Larry Cross as Mr Graham
Brian Ellis as Immigration Officer
John Livesey as Harry
Anthony Colby as First Detective
Tony Moore as Second Detective
Roger Rowland as DCI Felding
Richard McNeff as Radio Operator
Ray Barron as Radio Operator
Andree Evans ass Mrs Cowley

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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.

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