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Fraud Squad: The White Abyss (ITV 26 Sep 1970, with Peter Jeffrey)



In The White Abyss much liked bank employee Henry Cornwallis is supposed to have died whilst on a mountaineering expedition in Switzerland. The residents of his home town have set up a memorial fund to support his wife and children.

Meanwhile rumours are circulating that Cornwallis has faked his own death. Gamble is sent to Switzerland to investigate. Hicks is convinced that his wife knows more than she is letting on and continues the investigation at home. She quickly learns that Cornwallis had also embezzled three hundred pounds from his bank but his manager covered up the incident.

Despite initially believing that Cornwallis is dead Gamble, once in Switzerland, discover he is very much alive. Gamble has a warrant for his arrest but he has no authority outside of the UK.

Back at home Hicks discovers that Cornwallis has set up a mountaineering room at his home and when listening back to tapes made by Cornwallis it’s clear that his obsession has unhinged him somewhat. She also learns that Cornwallis’s boss has designs on Henry’s wife.

As is usually the case for the time period the studio backlot stands in for Switzerland but the production cleverly uses tapes recordings of Cornwallis practicing for his climb to suggest the atmosphere. In fact much of the episode takes place in just two sets – a buffet car en route from Switzerland to Milan and the moutaineering room at the Cornwallis home.

Given Cornwallis’s state of mind there is a certain sense of inevitability when he throws himself from the train.

Fraud Squad The White Abyss

Sgt Hicks listens to Cornwallis’s increasingly bizarre tapes in his mountaineering room.

production details
UK / ITV – ATV / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Saturday 26 September 1970 at 9.00pm

Writer: Stuart Douglass / Production Design: Gerry Roberts / Director: John Sichel

Series: Fraud Squad Season 2 Episode 2

Patrick O’Connell as Gamble
Joanna Van Gyseghem as Vicky Hicks
Ralph Nossek as Proud
Peter Jeffrey as Henry Cornwallis
Wendy Gifford as Angela Cornwallis
Alan Browning as Percy Sayers
Ronald Mayer as George
Alan Cullen as Gordon
Basil Henson as Phillips



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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