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Spearhead: Suspect (ITV 18 Jul 1978)

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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

cast
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

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

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