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Justice: To Help an Old School Friend (ITV 12 Nov 1971, with Roger Livesey)



In To Help an Old School Friend Harriet helps Laura Hale whose scientist son has committed suicide. Her son worked at Wingarth Research Station and Laura is convinced that her son was actually murdered by his wife’s lover, Major Bilton who heads up security at the station.

Having met him Harriet is sure there is something off about Bilton but maybe not off enough to murder someone. Then she gets a visit from the sinister Latimer from the Home Office who tells her in no uncertain terms to drop any investigation she may be thinking of starting. She then discovers that the private detective Laura has hired has also been warned off.

Later Harriet is visited by Bilton who makes it plain that Hale was a traitor and he killed himself when it looked like he was going to be found out. The fact that Bilton was having an affair with Hale’s wife was nothing to do with it.

The fabulous Roger Livesey makes an appearance as Harriet’s well connected Uncle George Mallow – he tries to help Harriet and Laura but when he realises just how deep it goes does his best to persuade Laura to drop the investigation.

A strong story with no court room action (other than a brief scene at the start) instead focusing on the machinations of the security services.

classic quote
“I’m not concerned with beliefs, I’m a lawyer. I’m concerned with evidence.”

production details
UK / ITV – Yorkshire / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Friday 12 November 1971 at 9.00pm

Writer: James Mitchell / Production Design: Jane Martin / Director: Christopher Hodson

Series: Justice Season 1 Episode 6

Margaret Lockwood as Harriet Peterson
Roger Livesey as George Mallow
Joan Hawthorne as Laura Hale
Geoffrey Whitehead as Major Bilton
Amanda Murray as Dorothy Hale
Brian Wilde as Latimer
Kenneth Benda as Wetherby
Kenneth Handel as Cobbett
Simon Barnes as Police Inspector
Stuart Nichol as Townley
Graham Leaman as Coroner
Raymond Graham as Manservant