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Special Branch: Care of Her Majesty (ITV 3 Dec 1969, with Hilary Dwyer)

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In Care of her Majesty Jordan is sent to a British Embassy in Eastern Europe to investigate the theft of £10,000 from the Embassy strongroom. He catches the Ambassador and his team by surprise by arriving a day early. Prime suspect would, on the surface, seem to be the commercial attache Ansell, who on a trip to the UK went via Switzerland and is believed to have banked a large sum of money.

Ansell though has actually been taking bribes to ensure building developments go to the “right” people and it turns the robbery is just a cover to find out who is giving information to the other side.

A departure from the norm type of episode, Jordan, Inman and Moxon are the only series regulars. Not that the episode really ventured abroad of course and only briefly ventured outside the confines of the studio.

It was a busy week for Hilary Dwyer, on Saturday evening she also appeared in ITV play The Comic. She’s very good here as the teasing Sarah Landring who very quickly catches Jordan’s eye but may just know more than she is letting on.

Robert Banks Stewart who wrote this episode was also responsible for  a couple of classic crime drama series in Shoestring and Bergerac.

Special Branch Care of her Majesty

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Wednesday 3 December 1969 at 9.10pm

Writer: Robert Banks Stewart / Production Design: Roger Allan / Director: Jonathan Alwyn

Series: Special Branch Season 1 Episode 12

cast
Derren Nesbitt as Jordan
John Franklyn-Robbins as Reddon
Hilary Dwyer as Sarah Landring
Robert Mill as Stroud
Geoffrey Lumsden as Sir Pearce Challis
Lindsay Campbell as Colonel Dysart
Donal Cox as Corporal Doyle
Angela East as Cellist
Michael Reeves as Painist
Anthony Dawes as Warmby
Daniel Moynihan as King
John Bryans as Ansell
Fulton Mackay as Inman
Morris Perry as Moxon

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Hazell: Hazell and the Big Sleep (ITV 24 May 1979, with Ian Marter)

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Hazell Nicholas Ball

In Hazell and the Big Sleep, James goes undercover at an hotel, posing as a wealthy antiques expert from America. He has been hired by an old police colleague who now runs security at the hotel. Somebody is stealing on a pretty intense level.

There are plenty of suspects it would seem, from the concierges on the front desk, to various of the residents.

A chance meeting at the hotel with Choc Minty sees Hazell more or less being blackmailed into working for him – two Mafioso’s have arrived from the US and Minty wants Hazell to find out what they are up to. Especially as various big time London heavies are also showing up to pay their respects to them.

The so-called Australian girl who Hazell has been getting friendly with is actually an FBI agent, also on the trail of the two Mafia gents.

Not the best episode of the series by a long shot. The playing by all concerned is way too big for a start. Star Wars fans may find the episode of interest though for it’s brief appearance by Peter Mayhew who is best known for playing Chewbacca.

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Thursday 24 May 1979 at 9.00pm

Writer: Trevor Preston / Production Design: Philip Blowers, Peter Elliott / Director: Baz Taylor

Series: Hazell Season 2 Episode 6

cast
Nicholas Ball as James Hazell
Roddy McMillan as Minty
Desmond McNamara as Tel
Peter Bourke as Graham
Geraldine Gardner as Sheel
Richard Durden as Jeremy Ironside
Ian Marter as Roper
Glyn Jones as Meltzer
Blain Fairman as Koch
Irene Sutcliffe as Mrs Lovegood
George Tovey as Webb
Ken Parry as Lugosi
Peter Mayhew as Giant
James Fuller as Sam
Paul Haley as Dave Dunn
John Quarmby as Billy Bush
Martyn Whitby as Danny Scaife
Charles Pemberton as Tony Rycott
Rosalind Wilson as Girl in Office

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