The Main Chance: What About Justice? (ITV 18 June 1969)

In What About Justice?, the very first episode of The Main Chance, Henry Castleton asks London based solicitor David Main to travel up to Leeds to take on a case in which the son of prominent businessman Charles Arkwright has been arrested for “receiving”.

David isn’t keen, he is still smarting over being turned down for a partnership with Henry – mainly down to the fact that Henry wants a large sum of money for a partnership, money David doesn’t yet have. Arkwright offers to pay David the money he needs if he will take on the case.

Meanwhile David shows his human side when he also takes on the case of George Wilkinson accused of stealing from the post office. He is guilty but there are genuine extenuating circumstances and David manages to get him two years probation rather than a prison sentence.

Right from the beginning Anna Palk’s Sarah is a vital part of Main’s practice. Anna is already involved with Lord Radchester who she would eventually go on to marry. Here he is played by Michael Elwyn but would be played by John Standing in later series.

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Main is also having problems with Peter Findon, the articled clerk at the practice who prefers shopping with his wife to actually working.

As was the way in the first season Kate O’Mara was the star of the show as far as the TV Times was concerned giving her the cover and a three page feature inside despite her screen time on the episode amounting to less than five minutes.

It’s also clear from her scenes with David that their relationship is not exactly on an even keel. In fact so much so that by the end of the episode Julia has changed the locks of their house and made it plain that their marriage is over.

classic quotes
“you pay me for advice Charles, get Main.”

“you don’t pay him for owning the hammer, it’s knowing what to hit with it.” – Main to Arkwright on the highly expensive hiring of a top barrister.

production details
UK / ITV – Yorkshire / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Wednesday 18 June 1969

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Writer: Edmund Ward / Production Design: Vic Symonds / Director: John Frankau

Series: The Main Chance Season 1 Episode 1

John Stride as David Main
Kate O’Mara as Julia Main
Anna Palk as Sarah Courtenday
John Arnatt as Sidney Bulmer
Philip Bond as Peter Findon
Margaret Ashcroft as Margaret Castleton
John Wentworth as Henry Castleton
Liz Bamber as Priscilla Graves
Willoughby Goddard as Sir Ernest Lang
Robert Hartley as Frederick
Leslie Sands as Charles Arkwright
Frederick Danner as Tony Arkwright
David Lodge as Detective Chief Superintendent Guthrie
Arthur Hewlett as Sir Archibald Maclaren
Peter Halliday as John Smith
Michael Elwyn as Lord Radchester
Julian Grant as Detective Constable Sharp
Alfred Bell as Tobias Wheeler
John Atkinson as Magistrate
Joan Peart as Mrs Hume-Gilbert
George Innes as George Wilkinson
Martin Boddey as Jerome Culber
Alan Bird as Detective Sergeant Rafferty
Michael Atha as Pageboy

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.