In A Sailor’s Return the platoon have more than a few problems to deal with at the hostel. Bernie is a regular who seems to have an answer for everything; James Pope is a former civil servant now living rough and Simon is a young man in his late teens/early twenties who is having trouble with his parents. Meanwhile Major Cartwright crosses swords with old sailor Banjo who he knew back in his Merchant Navy days. Banjo is convinced that Cartwright was responsible for the death of his wife.
Given that this went out in an early evening Sunday night slot it doesn’t pull it’s punches, both in terms of dialogue and situation. There’s a strong scene in the local pub when sailor Banjo lets rip about his feelings on religion when Mrs Major Gibbs is handing out pamphlets. In fact there is quite a naturalistic feel about the series as a whole.
Some excellent guest stars popping up in this episode too, notably Patrick Troughton but there are also appearances from the excellent Joe Melia as an old prison colleague of Pike’s and Frederick Treves as Pope.
UK / ITV – Southern / 1×25 minute episode / Broadcast Sunday 4 November 1979 at 6.00pm
Writer: Anne Valery / Production Design: Greg Lawson / Director: Tristan de Vere Cole
Series: Sally Ann Episode 2 (of 8)
Gerald James as Major Cartwright
Stephanie Cole as Mrs Major Gibbs
Carol Leader as Lieutenant Mark Barker
Philip da Costa as Bramwell
Patrick Troughton as Banjo
Dave Parke as Johnny
Frederick Treves as James Pope
Joe Melia as Bernie
Tony Sympson as Screwy
Kevin Hart as Simon
Mollie Maureen as Nelly