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Bergerac Root and Branch Bergerac Root and Branch


Bergerac: Root and Branch (BBC-1 17 Jan 1987, with Christopher Fairbank)



In Root and Branch someone seems to intent on giving Deborah a hard time. She is receiving strange phone calls and strange things seem to be happening around her.

Nobody, apart from Jim, seems to believe her though. In fact Kim, who is home for the school holidays is more concerned with the amount of alcohol her mother seems to be consuming these days. When another phone call sends Deborah rushing out in search of a supposedly injured Kim, Jim persuades Charlie to take Deborah away for a few days whilst he investigates. Jim is sure that whoever is behind the phone calls is actually after him. He may well be right. Once Deborah is off the island it is Jim who stars getting the phone calls.

When Kim’s horse is given LSD and she is almost killed, things are starting to get out of hand. By this point we have seen the man who is making the phone calls and soon after Jim becomes convinced that it is man, Sydney Sterrat, that he put inside for arson six years previously. He is out for revenge because his wife killed herself three months after Sterrat was convicted. She was also pregnant at the time.

Sterrat, by this stage though, has taken Charlie, Deborah and Charlie hostage.

The plot line of the previous episode involving Peggy grieving over the death of her husband seems to have been opened the doors for a bit of flirting between her and Charlie.

The title refers to payback and the bible Eye for an Eye quote. Jim the root and the branch his family.

It’s a tense episode. Christopher Fairbank, aka Moxie from Auf Wiedersehen Pet, proves a very adept villain. Director Baz Taylor had also worked on Auf Wiedersehen Pet. Valerie Holliman, who has a tiny role here as a supermarket assistant was a TV regular during the 1970’s.

Bergerac Root and Branch

Deborah ends up in hospital after a phone call leads her to trouble at a deserted house.

production details
UK / BBC One / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast 17 January 1987

Writer: Brian Finch / Production Design: Roger Cann / Director: Baz Taylor

Series: Bergerac Season 5 Episode 3

John Nettles as Jim Bergerac
Terence Alexander as Charles Hungerford
Deborah Grant as Deborah
Christopher Fairbank as Sydney Sterrat
Louise Jameson as Susan Young
Lindsay Heath as Kim Bergerac
Sean Arnold as Crozier
Jolyon Baker as Det Con Goddard
Nancy Mansfield as Peggy Masters
Barbara Atkinson as Mrs Sterrat
Mark Penfold as Doctor
Valerie Holliman as Store assistant



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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