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Spearhead: Suspect (ITV 18 Jul 1978)



In Suspect B Company Wessex Rangers are nearing the end of an extensive tour of duty in troubled Ulster – they are due to return home but first have one more job to do. The team, led by Colour Sgt Jacko Jackson, have to track down a suspected bomber. They stake out the house of a young woman they believe holds the key to tracking him down but play right into the bomber’s hands.

Meanwhile Jackson has been told that is in line to get a promotion, commanding his own platoon. The job is getting to him though and he is not even sure he wants the army life any more.

The first episode was given the honour of a TV Times cover as well as a three page “minus 1” short story. At this time the magazine was trialling a new concept – whenever a major new series aired the series creator would write a short story detailing events leading up to the beginning of the series.

It’s quite a busy opener, all the main characters get a little bit of screen time but perhaps not quite enough to make an impression. The plot and dialogue is strong though and the episode doesn’t the way you expect it to.

production details
UK / ITV – Southern / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Tuesday 18 July 1978 at 7.30pm

Writer: Nick McCarty / Production Design: John Dilly, John Shergold / Director: James Ormerod

Series: Spearhead Season 1 Episode 1

Michael Billington as Colour Sgt Jackson
Jacqueline Tong as Mary Jackson
Stafford Gordon as C.S.M. Gilby
Roy Holder as Sgt Bilinski
Peter Turner as Pte Adams
Gordon Case as Pte Mayhoe
George Sweeney as Pte Twiss
Charles Cork as Pte Gadd
Tim Swinton as Pte Yates
Stephen Leigh as Pte Tomkins
Paul Keown as Pte Hopkins
Lawrence Davidson as Maj Taylor
Brian Anthony as Capt Simmons
Judi Lamb as Woman
Mollie Maureen as Old Woman
Peter Holt as Bomb disposal Sgt
John Kearney as Constable