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Hadleigh: First Impression (ITV 22 Jun 1973, with Nigel Hawthorne)



Hadleigh First Impression

In First Impression Hadleigh is in London looking to hire a new manservant. Maxwell’s wife has fallen badly ill and Maxwell has retired to look after her. James is interviewing a number of men to replace him, using the house of old civil service colleague Oliver Mason as a base. He is somewhat perturbed by the arrival of Jennifer Caldwell. Another friend of Oliver’s who has turned up to make his apartment ready for his arrival.

She is an art restorer and is very forthright with her opinions. Hadleigh is very interested in Jennifer, he somewhat disingenuously describes himself as a farmer to her. She is pretending to be all independent and has just leased a flat of her own but actually has fairly wealthy parents.

Jennifer, for her own part, is very taken with Hadleigh too. In fact the sparks are positively flying between them and by midway through the episode it’s clear this is going to be the start of something major. In fact Hadleigh professes his love for her proposes marriage before the episode is out. There is an excellent conversation where Jennifer questions James on why now and why her. She too admits she is in love with Hadleigh but having just got her life settled how she wants it doesn’t want to make a decision immediately.

After a gap of two years Hadleigh returned to ITV with a brand new theme tune and title sequence. In fact this is the theme music that most people will remember, it’s written by Tony Hatch. Maxwell has gone and in his place is Sutton who, in this first episode at least, seems to have something of a sinister air. Aunt Helen is still around but the lounge room of Melford Hall has had something of a make over.

The gorgeous Hilary Dwyer is Jennifer and it’s clear as taken with Hadleigh as she is her own women and has something of a temper on her when riled.

Donald Sumpter had previously appeared in Hadleigh prequel Gazette, in the episode Between The Lines, playing a well-to-do chap called Paddy Fawcett who knew Hadleigh quite well. Here he plays a friend of Jennifer’s called Tony.

Hadleigh First Impression

Despite very strong feelings on both sides Hadleigh definitely takes Jennifer by surprise when he proposes.

production details
UK / ITV – Yorkshire / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Friday 22 June 1973 at 9.00pm

Writer: Jeremy Paul / Production Design: Eric Shedden / Director: Mike Newell

Series: Hadleigh Season 3 Episode 1

Gerald Harper as James Hadleigh
Hilary Dwyer as Jennifer Caldwell
Nigel Hawthorne as Oliver Mason
Ambrosine Phillpotts as Aunt Helen
Donald Sumpter as Tony
Georgina Melville as Lois
Peter Dennis as Sutton
Robert Hartles as Godwin
John Dunbar as Chettle
Frederick Hall as Churchill
Joseph Greig as Mr Poiner
Bart Allison as Jenkins
Colin Edwynn as Furniture Delivery Man
Tom Gowling as Waiter
Gwen Harris as Mrs Lillee