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1990 Hire and Fire 1990 Hire and Fire


1990: Hire and Fire (BBC-2 20 Mar 1978, with Colin Douglas)



In Hire and Fire Dave Brett and Kyle are perturbed when one of Brett’s contacts comes to him and tells him someone is killing non-citizens and dumping them on the door-steps of prominent union men. Kyle is even more surprised that Home Secretary Kate Smith wants him to investigate.

When union man Joe Hutchinson tells Kyle and Brett about a union network called Freedom Day that wants a better different type of government that is just a front for a protection racket. Once they have persuaded you to their cause they threaten blackmail unless you continue to pay their “subs”.

Kyle is forced to go undercover as a union man himself. Once Kyle has gained access to the inner circle, Brett and Digger arrive to take them down. Back at the PCD, with the men in custody, Skardon is unhappy to discover that a book of names is missing.

Kyle also have other things to think about when his editor Robert Jessup fires him.

Another brilliant Edmund Ward script, he was a superb writer whose dialogue always gives you pause for thought. The stakes are raised a little higher now too, especially if Kyle doesn’t get his job back. Interesting here too to see the Home Secretary able to see the bigger picture of working with Kyle to serve her own ends, unlike Skardon and Inspector Macrae, who is also working on the case. They can not see past their hatred of Kyle. Of course the Home Secretary is only out to protect herself and by the end of the episode Kyle is back on the outer.

1990 Hire and Fire

Tony Doyle as Dave Brett, Colin Douglas as Joe Hutchinson and Stanley Lebor as Digger Radford.

There are a couple of interesting guest performers too, Colin Douglas (best known for A Family At War) is union man Joe Hutchinson who spills the beans to Kyle and Brett about the Freedom Day scam and Simon Cadell is Kyle’s editor Robert Jessup.

Stanley Lebor’s Digger Radford has also become something of a regular, acting as strong arm man to Brett whenever help is required.

classic quote
“You’ll be cheese in the rat trap, you realise that don’t you.”

“On reflection Home Secretary, I suppose Help is a word that has passed out of our language, as a request or even as a scream when you are drowning.”

production details
UK / BBC Two / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast 20 March 1978 at 8.10pm

Writer: Edmund Ward / Production Design: John Hurst / Director: Alan Gibson

Series: 1990 Season 2 Episode 5

Edward Woodward as Jim Kyle
Tony Doyle as Dave Brett
David Buck as George Molloy
Ken Kitson as Johnny Rolfe
James Greene as Gerald Arnold
Eric French as Non-citizen
John Bott as James Conrad
Sally Travers as Mrs Hutchinson
Colin Douglas as Joe Hutchinson
Robert Lang as Herbert Skardon
Lisa Harrow as Lynn Blake
Yvonne Mitchell as Kate Smith
David McKail as Inspector Macrae
Joseph Brady as Ernest Harrison
Stanley Lebor as Digger Radford
Simon Cadell as Robert Jessup



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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