TV UK TV

Chinese Detective, The (BBC-1 1981-1982, David Yip, Derek Martin)

Chinese Detective

A real point of difference marked out crime drama The Chinese Detective as something special, especially during the early 1980’s when Britain was being ripped apart by racial strife. Detective Sergeant Johnny Ho works out of London’s Limehouse district and finds that racism is rife amongst both his colleagues and the villains he is investigating.

One of his main motivations for joining the force in the first place was the opportunity he believed it afford him in clearing his father’s name. Ho was convinced his father had been found guilty of a crome he didn’t commit.

Despite an affinity for working alone Ho finds himself partnered with the experienced DS Donald Chegwyn and all too often crossed swords with his boss DCI Berwick who despaired of Ho’s scruffy lackadaisical ways.

Created by Ian Kennedy Martin (creator of The Sweeney and brother of fellow writer Troy), The Chinese Detective was excellent, it’s appeal helped along enormously by a star making turn from David Yip. Incidentally the groovy theme tune is by Harry South – the man behind the Sweeney theme tune.

production details
UK / BBC-1 / 14×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 30 April 1981 – 5 November 1982

Creator: Ian Kennedy Martin / Producer: Terence Williams

cast
DAVID YIP as Det Sgt Johnny Ho
DEREK MARTIN as D.C.I. Berwick
ARTHUR KELLY as Det Sgt Donald Chegwyn
ROBERT LEE as Joe
JOHN BOTT as Det. Chief Supt Halsey

SEASON 1 30 April – 4 June 1981
1. RELEASE (30 April)
2. HAMMER AND NAILS (7 May)
3. THE FOUR FROM FULHAM (14 May)
4. INCOME TAX (21 May)
5. WASHING (28 May)
6. ICE AND DUST (4 June)

SEASON 2 10 September – 22 October 1982
1. TRIALS (10 Sep)
2. OBLOMOV (17 Sep)
3. WHEELS WITHIN WHEELS (24 Sep)
4. TAPDANCER (1 Oct)
5. BOUNTY HUNTER (15 Oct)
6. CHORALE (22 Oct)
7. PASTS (29 Oct)
8. SECRET STATE (5 Nov)