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1990: Health Farm (BBC-2 26 Sep 1977, with Ray Smith)



In Health Farm, penned by the always excellent Edmund Ward, Jim Kyle is surprised to be one of the first journalists to be given a look at one of the government’s new “adult rehabilitation centres” or mind laundry as the Home Secretary calls it.

Head of the PCD Herbert Skardon is surprised too. Delly Lomas has arranged the visit to the showpiece Mayfield centre in the hope that Kyle sees the “good work” they are doing and that there is no story there.

Meanwhile the PCD also has a major problem on it’s hands with trade union secretary Charles Wainwright (the brilliant Ray Smith). He had been chosen to deliver a speech in the US protesting about Britain’s treatment and new sanctions about to be imposed. Instead of protesting he agrees with the sanctions and makes an impassioned speech which gives us some helpful background on what brought Britain to it’s current state. It tracks back to 1983 when a crisis and severe lack of voter turnout brought the current Government to power.

Kyle wants to interview Wainwright but he learns from his government contact Faceless that the Government intend to make Wainwright a prominent addition to the Mayfield Rehabilitation Centre. (Kyle and Faceless normally meet clandestinely, cars parked next to each other, talking through the wound down windows, we never get to see Faceless only hear him – hence the name.)

1990 Health Farm

Kyle and Brett meet wit Wainwright. They would like him to go public with the story of his speech but he has already agreed with the Home Secretary to keep his mouth shut.

There’s a nice recurring bit of business involving a fellow journalist who is clearly employed simply because he looks like Kyle – whenever Kyle needs to shake off the PCD he sends him out instead.

Kyle and Dave Brett, who is one of the leaders of the resistance, decide to try and break Wainwright out of Mayfield. They turn out to be too late though as Wainright has already been “rehabilitated”.

classic quote
“No barbed-wire, no straitjackets, no padded cells. After all, this is 1990.”

production details
UK / BBC Two / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast 26 September 1977

Writer: Edmund Ward / Production Design: Robert Berk / Director: Kenneth Ives

Series: 1990 Season 1 Episode 3

Edward Woodward as Jim Kyle
Robert Lang as Herbert Skardon
Barbara Kellermann as Delly Lomas
Tony Doyle as Dave Brett
Paul Hardwick as Faceless
John Savident as Dan Mellor
Donald Douglas as Dr Gelbert
Ray Smith as Charles Wainwright
Howard Bell as Halloran
Michael Napier Brown as Nichols
George Murcell as Greaves
Mathias Kilroy as Pearce
Mitzi Rogers as Agnes Culmore
John Rhys-Davies as Ivor GriffithTV, 1990, BBC, Edmund Ward, Kenneth Ives, John Rhys-Davies, Ray Smith, Donald Douglas,



Hazell: Hazell and Hyde (ITV 7 June 1979, with Maev Alexander)




Hazell Nicholas Ball

In Hazell and Hyde James is asked to find a young woman, Claudine, who has apparently joined a group of squatters. When Hazell tracks down the group he is told that they had forced her to move on – her drug use was causing big problems. When a body turns up it looks like Hazell has found her, and an identification by her father seems to confirm it. However Choc Minty quickly arrives on the scene and makes it plain the dead girl is not the Claudine he is looking for but a woman who had apparently crossed Claudine in some way.

Claudine actually turns out to be something of a psychopath and having killed once has decided to make her next target our intrepid hero.

Meanwhile Jim has finally found himself somewhere else to live, his old flat having been reclaimed by the fellow he lent him the use of it.

It’s definitely something of a walk on the seedier side of life for Hazell. Maev Alexander, wjho plays the disturbed Claudine, is best known for her role as Christine Russell in the first couple of seasons of Sutherland’s Law.

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Thursday 7 June 1979

Writer: P.J. Hammond / Production Design: Robin Parker / Director: Baz Taylor

Series: Hazell Season 2 Episode 8

Nicholas Ball as Hazell
Maev Alexander as Claudine
Peter Bourke as Graham Morris
Myrtle Devenish as Old lady singer
Christopher Godwin as Claw-Hammer
Betty Hardy as Mrs. Gladys Hazell
Michael J. Jackson as Squatter
Norman Lumsden as Old man singer
Ronald Mayer as Pianist / Singer
Roddy McMillan as ‘Choc’ Minty
Desmond McNamara as Cousin Tel
Yvonne Nicholson as Squatter
Mark Penfold as Mortuary attendant
John Rapley as Mr. Clive
Katherine Stark as Annie

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Hazell: Hazell and the Suffolk Ghost (ITV 31 May 1979, with Meg Davies)




Hazell and the Suffolk Ghost

In Hazell and the Suffolk Ghost our intrepid hero pays a visit to the seaside when an accountant, Peter Harlow, calls him in over a cottage he has been left in a will. He has no idea why he has been left the cottage but since he has taken over ownership more than a few strange things have been happening.

Hazell stays at the cottage for a few days and manages to find no small amount of comfort when Harlow’s wife Stephanie turns up (Harlow himself is in New York). Although there is clearly something spooky going on it’s definitely man made and it doesn’t take Hazell too long to work it out.

The episode was a rare outing outside of London for the series, it was filmed in the East Anglian village of Walberswick and surrounds. Although all the interiors were filmed in studio of coure.

classic quote
I may be common but I’m not stupid

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Thursday 31 May 1979

Writer: Richard Harris / Production Design: Philip Blowers, Peter Elliot / Director: Mike Vardy

Series: Hazell Season 2 Episode 7

Nicholas Ball as Hazell
Michael Gaunt as Peter Harlow
John Woodnutt as Vicar
Desmond Llewellyn as Bell
Richard Simpson as Weaver
Meg Davies as Stephanie Harlow
Desmond McNamara as Tel
Peter Woodward as Gregory Summers
Joy Steward as Mrs Summers

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Hazell: Hazell Gets The Boot (ITV 10 May 1979, with Billy Murray)




Hazell Gets The Boot

In Hazell Gets The Boot Hazell finds himself more or less coerced into taking on a supposedly simple job for villain Dave Castle. His Bently has been stolen and he wants James to get it back for him. Hazell’s investigation leads him to a scrap yard where the car is being hidden. He gets more than he bargained for when two of the Connell gang ambush him and give him a thorough going over.

Meanwhile Hazell’s love life is also going through a troublesome patch. Patsy Flanagan is spending some time at his flat after having a dust up with her husband. Hazell is keen for the arrangement to be just a night or two of pleasure but Patsy is keen on a more permanent arrangement.

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Thursday 10 May 1979

Writer: Willis Hall / Director: Carol Wilks

Series: Hazell Season 2 Episode 4

James Hazell as Nicholas Ball
Billy Murray as Big Dave
Pauline Delaney as Sister
Peter Bourke as Graham Morris
Liz Crowther as Cynthia
Betty Hardy as Mrs Gladys Hazell
Cindy O’Callaghan as Patsy Flanagan

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