Special Branch: Assault (ITV 25 Apr 1973, with Richard Vernon)

In Assault Haggarty is due to meet his father off the train so they can attend a snooker tournament together. However his father catches an earlier train and is viciously mugged and left unconscious.

Because it’s a CID case and not a Special Branch one, Haggarty and Craven have to sit the investigation out but when a senior civil servant, Townsend, is attacked (and has a briefcase full of secret documents stolen) at the same spot they are able to get involved.

Richard Vernon plays civil servant Townsend whose claim to have been mugged in the same spot as Haggerty’s father allows Special branch to get involved.

Haggerty’s father has to spend time recuperating in hospital, closely watched over by Pam and there’s a cute scene when Pam invites Tom home to have dinner with her and Craven. This is followed by an excellent fight scene when Tom and Alan discover the whereabouts of the mugger. He is hiding in the attic of an antiques shop. Haggarty races up the stairs, kicks the attic door in and thoroughly does the guy over before Craven pulls him off.

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Not at all sure about Haggerty’s undercover outfit of coat that is five sizes too big for him.

Even though they have the man Craven isn’t satisfied, especially as he refuses to admit that he took the briefcase full of documents. He continues to push and discovers that Townsend wasn’t mugged at the station at all but had been attacked by two young men he had tried to importune on his way home from his club.

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Craven and Haggerty work really well together here, even if Craven is a little bit too concerned about Haggerty’s flirting with Pam.

Craven and Haggerty work well together.

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Wednesday 25 April 1973 at 9.00pm

Writer: Tom Brennand, Roy Bottomley / Director: Douglas Camfield

Series: Special Branch Season 3 Episode 4

George Sewell as Alan Craven
Patrick Mower as Tom Haggerty
Roger Rowland as Detective Sergeant North
Sheila Scott-Wilkinson as Pam Sloane
Richard Vernon as Townsend
Robert Keegan as Mr Haggerty Sr
John Plume as Bernard Phillips
George Moon as Proprietor
Maria O’Brien as Helen
Angus MacKay as Club secretary
Ron Pember
John Owens
Roger Avon

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.