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The Main Chance: Coroner’s Verdict (18 Jul 1975)



Fittingly Coroner’s Verdict, the last ever episode of The Main Chance is written by series creator Edmund Ward. David is asked by Detective Sergeant Allington to look into the circumstances surrounding his wife’s death, he blames Doctor Fenway who was prescribing her medication. Meanwhile Andrew is acting for Doctor Fenway.

Margaret offers David a partnership once again, free and on his own terms but David won’t agree to it whilst Henry is still in charge. As much he values Henry he feels it is the right time for him to retire.

Watch out for a very rare view of David’s apartment from the other side of the room at the beginning of the episode, in fact it may be the only time we see that side of the room. As befitting last episode status all the series regulars are present, David hires Walter via Peter Jarrett to do the background work on Fenway,. Margaret is busy trying to lure David back into partnership. Henry is using David’s apartment as something of a base whilst on the court circuit in London. Inge is already realising that work comes before everything else for David.

By the time the episode ends there is some sense of closure, Henry does decide to retire (but will still act as a consultant to both Margaret and Henry), David has made it plain to Inge that he is just a stop on the train line of life and she decides to head back to Norway. Finally Laura looks like she may be the only woman to understand that the only way to actually keep David is to not want to keep him.

The actual final scene is a brilliant end to a brilliant series, Clegg and Main the only two left in the courtroom and David’s last line being “a keyhole with the usual draft blowing through it called the future.”

Maurice O’Connell who plays the widowed Ray Allington is best known for his role as Dolly’s wife in Lynda La Plante’s Widows. Derek Farr also pops up playing the coroner in charge of the inqust. Having been a well known movie actor in the forties and fifties he was having something of a renaissance during the mid-seventies with starring roles in Mr Nightingale and London Belongs To Me.

classic quote
“Life’s an ambush Inge, the only way to live it is as a moving target. “

production details
UK / ITV – Yorkshire / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Friday 18 July 1975 at 9.00pm

Writer: Edmund Ward / Production Design: Mike Long / Director: Bob Hird

Series: The Main Chance Season 4 Episode 13

John Stride as David Main
Glynn Edwards as Walter Clegg
Margaret Ashcroft as Margaret Castleton
John Wentworth as Henry Castleton
Sharon Mughan as Inge Lindstrom
Gary Bond as Andrew Retford
Ingrid Hafner as Laura Granton
Maurice O’Connell as Ray Allington
Derek Farr as Robert Douglas
Michael Turner as Doctor Fenway
Rod Beacham as John Paulton
Margo Johns as Mrs Fenway
John Nettleton as Joseph Shelton
Michael Hawkins as Harold Layton
Diane Mercer as Dorothy Yeldham
James Lynch as Jury foreman



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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