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Bergerac Picking It Up Bergerac Picking It Up


Bergerac: Picking It Up (BBC-1 18 Oct 1981, with David Savile)



From it’s opening title sequence, excellent theme tune and glossy sheen it’s clear that Bergerac is a cut above the average 1981 crime drama. When Picking It Up begins Detective Sergeant Jim Bergerac is arriving back on the island of Jersey (after having spent time in hospital on the mainland getting a gammy leg fixed up) and gets caught up in an incident involving an attempted plane theft that results in the death of one his best friends – fellow policeman Tom Draycott.

There is then some handy plot exposition in a conversation Jim has with a fellow cop. The Bereau Des Etrangers is newly formed to look after crime involving tourists as well as the very wealthy (including Jim’s ex father-in-law Charlie Hungerford) who have made tax haven Jersey their home.

Jim is keen to get right back to work but his boss says his latest medical has him unfit for duty. Even though he is now officially still on sick leave Jim is determined to get to the bottom of Draycott’s death. Jim also meets Draycott’s French girl friend Francine for the first time. By the end of the episode he has moved into the basement flat attached to the studio she rents on a rather nice vineyard.

In more key plot exposition Jim picks his daughter Kim up from school, he is divorced and only sees her occasionally but he takes her home to mum Deborah at the luxury mansion owned by her millionaire businessman father. There is quite a lot of antagonism between Jim and Deborah as befitting a newly divorced couple.

Meanwhile as Jim investigates he discovers a link to a South African gun dealer leading to a quick solving of the case. Of course that means Jim’s sick leave is cancelled and he is officially back on the force.

An excellent opener that not only provides a strong plot but also introduces all the major characters and a chunk of Jim’s back story. The only bum note is the fact that Children’s TV presenter Floella Benjamin has her voice dubbed with a very dodgy American accent for her role as singer Juniper.

classic quote
“She’s got the eyes perfectly. Warm as lasers.” – Jim looking at a portrait of Charlie.

production details
UK / BBC One / 1×55 minute episode / Sunday 18 October 1981 at 9.00pm

Writer: Robert Banks Stewart / Production Design: Antony Thorpe / Director: Martyn Friend

Series: Bergerac Season 1 Episode 1

John Nettles as Jim Bergerac
Cecile Paoli as Francine
Terence Alexander as Hungerford
Sean Arnold as Crozier
Mela White as Diamante Lil
Annette Badland as Charlotte
Danny Schiller as Gulliver
Tony Melody as Chief
David Savile as Gurney
Floella Benjamin as Juniper
Deborah Grant as Deborah
Lindsay Heath as Kim
Alan Thompson as Mr Pollender
Elizabeth Choice as Mrs Pollender
Raymond Adamson as Senator
Lindsay Campbell as Chairman
James Greene as Alcoholic
Michael Bott as Constable
Graeme Eton as Sergeant
Sally Harrison as Air stewardess
Joyce Irvine as Medical clerk
Carole Walker as Theatre sister
Sandra Miller as Nurse
Michael Chesden as French inspector
Frank Tregear as Businessman
Harold Messias as Asian
Judith Byfield as Mary
Roland Oliver as Flying instructor
Stephen Bent as CID man
Lesley Murray as Hire-car receptionist
Brian Tully as Vicar



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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