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The Main Chance Process The Main Chance Process


The Main Chance: Process (ITV 18 April 1975)



In season four opener Process events take a devastating for David Main. His wife and child are killed in a collision with a truck driver. David’s investigator Walter Clegg discovers that the truck driver, George Duncan, had been drinking but that a samples analyst is on the take, switching positive samples for negative ones and getting drunk drivers off scot free. Walter makes a decision, to steal Duncan’s sample, that has massive repercussions for not only himself but David’s whole career as a solicitor.

Clegg’s actions and David’s collusion at those actions provide the impetus for the whole rest of the season.

Events take place over the course of many months, we only see David mourning in a small way – when he first learns the news and then it is straight back to business. Once the police find out what Clegg has been up to he is arrested. David acts as his lawyer and Walter is given a two year suspended sentence which means he is no longer able to work for Castleton and Main. The judge also makes it plain that David’s actions need looking at too and Henry tells him that he believes that his days as a practicing solicitor could be numbered.

Before the accident we see Hilary’s car driving off but not Hilary herself, clearly Estelle Kohler, who played Hilary in the third season was possibly unavailable or didn’t want to be in the fourth season. We haven’t been able to find out for certain but chances are it was most likely part of creator Edmund Ward’s bid to give the series a different edge. Incidentally Hilary’s father was played by Jack Watson previously but is here played by Charles Morgan. Frederick Treves had also appeared in the series before as a different character in season three episode Doll On A Wall.

The Main Chance Process

John Wentworth as Henry Castleton making it plain to David that he believes his days as a practising solicitor are numbered.

The new theme tune (by Anthony Isaac) and opening titles are definitely more “mid seventies” but whilst the titles abandon the train they do keep David’s travel from London to Leeds part of the scene by showcasing a car travelling at speed along the motorway.

Also John Stride’s hair has turned almost silvery in the two and a half year gap between series, he’s still looking very dapper and cool though!

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

Writer: Edmund Ward / Production Design: Malcolm Middleton / Director: Derek Bennett

Series: The Main Chance Season 4 Episode 1

John Stride as David Main
Margaret Ashcroft as Margaret Castleton
John Wentworth as Henry Castleton
Glynn Edwards as Walter Clegg
Philip Brack as Sam Thornaby
Michael Sheard as Analyst
David Hill as George Duncan
Charles Morgan as Harry Selby
Antony Carrick as James Cosgrove
Nigel Lambert as Eric Anderson
Peter Birrel as Joe Farrell
Frederick Treves as Simon Rimsey
Edward Underdown as Judge
Jeffrey Segal as Magistrate



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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