Francis Durbridge Presents: Breakaway – The Family Affair (BBC-1 1980, Martin Jarvis)

Francis Durbridge Presents Breakaway

In The Family Affair, the first of two stories under the Breakaway title, police detective Sam Harvey is about to take early retirement to pursue a career as a writer of children’s books, before he can though he is shocked to the core when his parents are murdered.

Harvey had seen his parents off at the airport, they were about to travel to Australia to visit their daughter but after Harvey left the airport so did they. In a somewhat bizarre scene the van they are in is attacked by a gunman in a helicopter which forces the van off the road and leaving Harvey’s parents dead.

From there the plot gets ever thicker. Harvey has no idea why anyone would want to kill his parents but it seems there are plenty of suspects. The female chauffeur who drove them to the airport lies about mistaking them for somebody else, the sinister Walter Randall who definitely has something to hide and Leo Corby who comes forward with evidence but seems to have his own agenda.

Another absolute Durbridge gem with another clever, convoluted script and full of those little clues that he likes to drop him at least twice every episode. The casting is great too including the likes of John Lee, Glyn Houston, Paul Shelley, Derek Farr and Derek Benfield (Bill Riley from The Brothers.)

See also Breakaway The Local Affair

Francis Durbridge Presents Breakaway

Doomwatch heart throb Simon Oates as Voss.

production details
UK / BBC One / 6×30 minute episodes / Broadcast 11 January – 15 February 1980

Writer: Francis Durbridge / Music: Joe Griffiths /Production Design: Don Giles / Producer: Ken Riddington / Director: Paul Ciappessoni

Series: Francis Durbridge Presents Season 10 Episodes 1-6

Martin Jarvis as Sam Harvey
Glyn Houston as Bert Sinclair
Joan Benham as Hannah Harvey
Richard Caldicott as Jason Harvey
Hilary Ryan as Jill Foster
Norman Hartley as Phil Morgan
Simon Oates as Larry Voss
John Lee as Norman Harris
Jason James as Sergeant Hunter
Angela Browne as Margaret Randall
Paul Shelley as Peter Bradford
Derek Farr as Walter Randall
Derek Benfield as Leo Corby
Mela White as Barmaid

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