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The Main Chance: The Best Legal System in the World (ITV 26 Oct 1970)

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In The Best Legal System in the World David is asked by the company secretary of the renowned Bennett Argyle Company because he thinks the managing director, Richard Swanson, is stealing from the company. An investigation could send the share price of the company into a major downward spiral. David comes under intense pressure to abandon the case – of course that is like a red rag to a bull as far as Main is concerned.

Meanwhile Sidney Bulmer is helping Henrietta Carson and Sheila Smith who are involved in a lesbian relationship and are having trouble with Sheila’s potentially violent father. In a twist Sheila’s father Len is played by Glynn Edwards who would go on to play Main’s right hand Walter Clegg in the third and fourth seasons. Here is a bigoted British Rail employee who can’t face up to his daughter’s lifestyle.

David is under fire on all sides in this episode, Henry even tells him if he doesn’t abandon the case he will dissolve the Castleton and Main partnership. “Make it tidy, sign it Brutus” says Main. Sidney Bulmer unkowingly meets his successor Walter Clegg only here Glynn Edwards is playing a father unable to face up to the fact that his daughter is in a Lesbian relationship.

There was a strong two page interview in the TV Times (24 Oct 70) tying in with this weeks episode in which John Stride talked about his marriage breakdown and the parallels it had with Main’s. His turning down of a Hollywood contract and his growing up in West Norwood in South London.

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A very strong script from series co-creator John Malcolm with lots of choice dialogue. Quite a few well known names popping up too including Peter Bowles, Georgina Hale and Arthur Pentelow (best known as Henry Wilks from Emmerdale Farm.) Peter Bowles turns in a nicely cool performance as Roger Lamb who is a colleague of David’s and trying to dissuade him from continuing with the Swanson case.

classic quote
“Forget the moralities, money doesn’t have any.”

production details
UK / ITV – Yorkshire / 1×50 minute episodes / Broadcast Monday 26 October 1970 at 8.30pm

Writer: John Malcolm / Production Design: Tom Carter / Director: John Frankau

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Series: The Main Chance Season 2 Episode 7

cast
John Stride as David Main
Anna Palk as Sarah Courtney
John Wentworth as Henry Castleton
John Arnatt as Sidney Bulmer
Arthur Pentelow as Simon Timothy Foster
Paul Massie as Richard Swanson
Peter Bowles as Roger Lamb
Wensley Pithey as Lord Bennett
Marian Diamond as Mrs Henrietta Carson
Georgina Hale as Miss Sheila Smith
Robert Cawdon as Crispin
Glynn Edwards as Len Smith


Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.

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