Special Branch: Alien (ITV 25 Apr 1974, with Patrick Troughton)



In Alien Gunter Hellman is a 30 something student revolutionary from Germany who has been allowed into Britain for a supposed research trip. SB are convinced that he is in the country to cause trouble. Fletcher gives Craven 72 hours to come up with enough evidence on him to get him out of the country.

In an interesting twist Haggerty is also on surveillance duty watching Hellman’s wife but Fletcher doesn’t want Craven to know that Haggerty is on the case.

Frederick Jaeger’s Commander Fletcher is back after a couple of episodes out, whilst Strand does not make an appearance. The guest cast is excellent and includes Patrick Troughton as the professor who enables Hellman to visit the UK and Gareth Thomas as a union activist. Damien Thomas and Ann Firbank play the Hellman’s whilst Susan Jameson continues in her role as Mary Holmes. In fact she is now in a relationship with Craven.

Mary and Craven are now romantically involved.

classic quote
“When the cause becomes bigger than the man, the man becomes dispensable.”

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Thursday 25 April 1974 at 8.30pm

Writer: Ray Jenkins / Director: Douglas Camfield

Series: Special Branch Season 4 Episode 11

George Sewell as Craven
Patrick Mower as Haggerty
Frederick Jaeger as Fletcher
Susan Jameson as Mary Holmes
Damien Thomas as Gunter Hellman
Ann Firbank as Gisela Hellman
Gareth Thomas as Steve Ryman
Patrick Troughton as Professor Denny
Keith Bucklery as Martin Kingswood
Susan Tebbs as Dr Barbara Latimer
Peter Cellier as Sir Terence Gabon
Paul Antrim as Detective Sergeant Maguire
Donald Eccles as Bishop Garnett-Templeton
Geoffrey Lumsden as Appeal chairman
Susan Richards as Mrs Ryman
Michael Guest as TV Reporter

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