Events reach almost farcical proportions in Film Story when an old film director friend of Hadleigh’s, John Stevens, persuades him to let him spend three weeks shooting part of his new film, The Man Eater, at Melford Park. Chaos quickly descends, James has to retreat to the Attic, Sutton is on the verge of walking and only Lady Helen seems to be having a good time.
Meanwhile glamorous leading lady Susan Debrat quickly has her eyes on James, much to the disgust of Joanna who lets the green eyed monster take charge.
Susan feigns a sprained ankle so that she can stay at Melford rather than the hotel where the rest of the crew are staying. She quickly reveals that her father is a very wealthy South African tobacco grower. He is about to make inroads into the UK and needs a well connected front man.
The scheme could mean a lot of money for James but the South African issue and the discovery that Susan’s father has a less than good reputation where his employees are concerned gives James pause for thought. James also discovers that Susan’s father’s business partner Perlberger is one of the main financiers of the movie and insited that Melford was used as a locaiton. Once James discovers he is being played by Susan he goes into attack mode, in that quietly cool way he has of course.
The spiky dynamic between Joanna and James continues to be a major plus point this season. Joanna is always keen to speak her mind and tell Hadleigh exactly how it is.
UK / ITV – Yorkshire / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Friday 16 April 1976 at 9.00pm
Writer: Owen Holder / Production Design: Mary Rea / Director: Tony Wharmby
Series: Hadleigh Season 4 Episode 7
Gerald Harper as James Hadleigh
Peter Dennis as Sutton
Ambrosine Phillpotts as Lady Helen
Jenny Twigge as Joanna
Stephanie Beacham as Susan Debray
Michael Johnson as John Stevens
James Bree as Robert Marshall
Richard Beale as Perlberger
Mike Perry as Assistant director