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Special Branch Diversion Christine McKenna Special Branch Diversion Christine McKenna


Special Branch: Diversion (ITV 2 May 1974, with Denis Lill)



In Diversion Strand takes centre stage after becoming convinced that there is a traitor in his department. He is making a show of appearing drunk in public and spending a lot of time with the married Beth Summers (she is the only one who has been taken into his confidence)

He hasn’t told anybody apart from Beth what he is doing and his activities soon bring him to the attention of Fletcher and Special Branch, Haggerty is quick to paint him as guilty but Craven is not so sure.

We get to find out quite a bit more about Charles Strand in this episode and the fact that he works for “D” department. He’s not averse to taking the pretend relationship with Beth further, in fact it turns out that that’s what the whole thing is about. Strand thought his colleague Lister was the target but in reality it’s Beth Summer’s and her husband Tim, who also works for the department. The pair record Strand’s night of passion with Beth and then try to blackmail Strand. Mainly because Tim is the one leaking information (for cash) and thinks he is about to be discovered.

Special Branch Diversion

Craven and Haggerty are keeping a close eye on Strand who has visited a strip club. 

Lister, who has already claimed his loyalty to Strand, decides to take matters into his own hands. An “accident” involving a “faulty” gas installation leads to the death’s of the Summers’.

There was an interesting two page interview in the TV Times (27 Apr 74) with guest star John Cairney. He had been quite a well known player in the 1960’s but had had something of a breakdown. He had recently moved his family back to his native Scotland, to the tiny village of Pittenweem in Fifeshire where he was renovating a medieval house.

Special Branch Diversion Denis Lill

Denis Lill’s Tim Summers is not quite as trustworthy as he makes out.

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Thursday 2 May 1974 at 8.30pm

Writer: Peter J. Hammond / Director: William Brayne

Series: Special Branch Season 4 Episode 12

George Sewell as Craven
Patrick Mower as Haggerty
Paul Eddington as Strand
Frederick Jaeger as Fletcher
Nicolette McKenzie as Beth Summers
John Cairney as Lister
Denis Lill as Tim Summers
Keith Marsh as Head Waiter
Peter Sproule as Constable
Sandra Hale as Stripper



Hazell: Hazell and Hyde (ITV 7 June 1979, with Maev Alexander)




Hazell Nicholas Ball

In Hazell and Hyde James is asked to find a young woman, Claudine, who has apparently joined a group of squatters. When Hazell tracks down the group he is told that they had forced her to move on – her drug use was causing big problems. When a body turns up it looks like Hazell has found her, and an identification by her father seems to confirm it. However Choc Minty quickly arrives on the scene and makes it plain the dead girl is not the Claudine he is looking for but a woman who had apparently crossed Claudine in some way.

Claudine actually turns out to be something of a psychopath and having killed once has decided to make her next target our intrepid hero.

Meanwhile Jim has finally found himself somewhere else to live, his old flat having been reclaimed by the fellow he lent him the use of it.

It’s definitely something of a walk on the seedier side of life for Hazell. Maev Alexander, wjho plays the disturbed Claudine, is best known for her role as Christine Russell in the first couple of seasons of Sutherland’s Law.

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Thursday 7 June 1979

Writer: P.J. Hammond / Production Design: Robin Parker / Director: Baz Taylor

Series: Hazell Season 2 Episode 8

Nicholas Ball as Hazell
Maev Alexander as Claudine
Peter Bourke as Graham Morris
Myrtle Devenish as Old lady singer
Christopher Godwin as Claw-Hammer
Betty Hardy as Mrs. Gladys Hazell
Michael J. Jackson as Squatter
Norman Lumsden as Old man singer
Ronald Mayer as Pianist / Singer
Roddy McMillan as ‘Choc’ Minty
Desmond McNamara as Cousin Tel
Yvonne Nicholson as Squatter
Mark Penfold as Mortuary attendant
John Rapley as Mr. Clive
Katherine Stark as Annie

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Hazell: Hazell and the Suffolk Ghost (ITV 31 May 1979, with Meg Davies)




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

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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Hazell: Hazell Gets The Boot (ITV 10 May 1979, with Billy Murray)




Hazell Gets The Boot

In Hazell Gets The Boot Hazell finds himself more or less coerced into taking on a supposedly simple job for villain Dave Castle. His Bently has been stolen and he wants James to get it back for him. Hazell’s investigation leads him to a scrap yard where the car is being hidden. He gets more than he bargained for when two of the Connell gang ambush him and give him a thorough going over.

Meanwhile Hazell’s love life is also going through a troublesome patch. Patsy Flanagan is spending some time at his flat after having a dust up with her husband. Hazell is keen for the arrangement to be just a night or two of pleasure but Patsy is keen on a more permanent arrangement.

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Thursday 10 May 1979

Writer: Willis Hall / Director: Carol Wilks

Series: Hazell Season 2 Episode 4

James Hazell as Nicholas Ball
Billy Murray as Big Dave
Pauline Delaney as Sister
Peter Bourke as Graham Morris
Liz Crowther as Cynthia
Betty Hardy as Mrs Gladys Hazell
Cindy O’Callaghan as Patsy Flanagan

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