TV UK TV

Hamish Macbeth (BBC-1 1995-1997, Robert Carlyle, Ralph Riach)

Hamish Macbeth

Hamish Macbeth was a three season crime drama series starring Robert Carlyle as a laid back Scottish Highlands village bobby. Hamish was well liked in the village of Lochdubh and was not averse to smoking a bit of pot with the local doctor.

The villagers, especially shopkeeper Rory (and his teacher girlfriend Esme) and hotel owner Barney also played a big part in the series. The show also made much play of the gorgeous Scottish Highland’s locations. (Actually filmed in the village of Plockton which also served as the location for cult 70’s film The Wicker Man).

Hamish was concerned not to solve any major crimes in case his superiors should promote him to the big city. At the beginning of the series Hamish had a couple of love interests, the not that serious one with local reporter Isobel and the pretty serious one with daughter of the laird Alex. Alex returned to Lochdubh as the series began and was unsure of whether to pick up again with Hamish, she would later die in tragic circumstances midway through season two.

Hamish’s right hand in the show was TV John McPhee so called because he was the first person in Lochdubh to own a TV. The series also carried a strain of darkish humour throughout, for instance TV John was convinced of the fact that should he ever smell pomade then his death would be close at hand. This came to happen in the fantastic final two part story Destiny that saw most of the cast embark on a journey to bring home The Stone of Scone.

This final two parter also had Hamish and Isobel realise how much they loved each other.

Hamish Macbeth would have perhaps continued longer but Robert Carlyle was becoming a major movie player and wasn’t willing to commit to a longer running role.

production details
UK / BBC-1 – Zenith – Skyline / 20×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 26 March 1995 – 4 May 1997

Creator: Daniel Boyle / Novels: M.C. Beaton / Music: John Lunn / Costume Design: Leigh Bellis / Script Editor: Dominic Minghella (Season 1), Ming Ho / Producers: Deidre Keir (Seasons 1-2), Charles Salmon (Season 3)

cast
ROBERT CARLYLE as Hamish Macbeth
RALPH RIACH as TV John
JIMMY YUILL as Lachlan(95)
BILLY RIDDOCH as Lachlan(96-97)
STUART DAVIDS as Lachie Jr
VALERIE GOGAN as Alex(95-96)
BRIAN PETTIFER as Rory
ANN LACEY as Esme
DUNCAN DUFF as Doc Brown
BARBARA RAFFERTY as Agnes
STUART McGUIGAN as Barney
DAVID ASHTON as Major Roddy MacLean

THE EPISODES
SEASON ONE 26 March – 30 April 1995
1. THE GREAT LOCHDUBH SALT ROBBERY
2. A PILLAR OF THE COMMUNITY
3. THE BIG FREEZE
4. WEST COAST STORY
5. WEE JOCK’S LAMENT
6. A BIT OF AN EPIC

SEASON TWO 24 March – 28 April 1996
1. A PERFECTLY SIMPLE EXPLANATION
2. IN SEARCH OF A ROSE
3. ISOBEL PULLS IT OFF
4. RADIO LOCHDUBH
5. NO MAN IS AN ISLAND
6. THE LOCHBUBH DELUXE

SEASON THREE 16 March – 4 May 1997
1. THE HONOURABLE POLICEMAN
2. DEFERRED SENTENCE
3. THE LOCHDUBH ASSASSIN
4. THE GOOD THIEF
5. THE TROUBLE WITH RORY
6. MORE THAN A GAME
7. DESTINY PART 1
8. DESTINY PART 2