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Shoestring: Higher Ground (BBC-1 14 Oct 1979, Glyn Houston)

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In Higher Ground, Eddie investigates when Jean, the wife of Major Hansford, an ex soldier now running a private school near Bristol, becomes convinced that someone is targetting her husband. He refuses to talk about his past but a series of strange occurrences and acts of vandalism see’s Shoestring deciding to dig further into just what is going on.

Eddie thinks Hanford’s son Rodney might be involved (he actually knows the young man having been in the same psychiatric ward as him!) but matters very quickly get out of hand when someone tries to shoot Jean and then succeeds in killing her by deliberately cause the horse she is riding to buck her off. It seems though the real answer to the case might lay in the major’s past in Northern Ireland and a large haul of stolen money that was never recovered…

Much of the joy in this episode comes from the interaction between Shoestring and Glyn Houston’s Major Hansford who has an undisguised contempt for the “Private Ear”, Houston is always a strong actor and he really comes into his own in the final third here when his world starts unravelling. There are some nice humourous moments too back at Radio West when Don tries to persuade Eddie to dress as Philip Marlowe for a publicity shoot.

production details
UK / BBC One / 1×50 minuute episode / Broadcast 14 October 1979

Writer: Dave Humphries / Costumes: Kirstie Colam / Production Design: Humphrey Jaegar / Director: Marek Kanievska

Series: Shoestring Season One Episode Three

guest cast
GLYN HOUSTON as Major Hansford
ANNA CROPPER as Jean Hansford
DEREK ANDERS as Curtis
PETE WILSON as Rodney Hansford
ALAN DAVID as Ben Fischer
GORDON KAY as Tom Clarke
KATE PERCIVAL as Stable Girl
BEAU DANIELS as Miss Blair
ANDREW BRADFORD as Photographer
ARTHUR LOVEGROVE as Porter
GEOFFREY GREENHILL, GILLIAN McCUTCHEON as Parents

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Episodes

Hazell: Hazell and the Suffolk Ghost (ITV 31 May 1979, with Meg Davies)

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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

cast
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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Episodes

Blake’s 7: Breakdown (BBC-1 6 Mar 1978, with Julian Glover)

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Episodes

Blake’s 7: Project Avalon (BBC-1 27 Feb 1978, with Glynis Barber)

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