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Special Branch: Intercept (ITV 18 Apr 1974, with Walter Gotell)

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In Intercept a visiting South American president, Morales, is spending three days in London. He is considered something of a dictator and there have been a spate of bomb attacks in the city aimed at his countrymen. Strand wants Craven, along Detective Sergeant Mary Holmes, to investigate.

Meanwhile we discover that the man behind the bombings, local gangster Hodges, is not in fact politically motivated but is working on a plot o steal a haul of diamonds that Morales is to pick up while in London. His bomb man, Paddy Regan, is very much a loose cannon and is working to his own agenda.

Mary goes undercover as a hostess (cue a very dodgy wig and outfit) at one of Hodges’ nightclubs to get close to him but it’s role that puts her in danger when she rebuffs his advances. Craven is not happy, he has fallen for Mary and she seems to quite like him too.

Another strong episode with a key role for Susan Jameson, her second appearance in a row. There is a good dynamic between herself and Craven and apart from the penultimate episode she features in all the remaining stories.

There is an excellent folky tune plays whilst Craven heads out to meet Hodges, he rather bizarrely takes out a row boat to the middle of a park lake.

Patrick Mower isn’t in this episode.

Special Branch Intercept

Det Sgt Mary Holmes goes undercover…

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Thursday 18 April 1974 at 8.30pm

Writer: Ian Kennedy Martin / Director: William Brayne

Series: Special Branch Season 4 Episode 10

cast
George Sewell as Craven
Paul Eddington as Strand
Susan Jameson as Detective Sergeant Mary Holmes
Walter Gotell as Morales
Maxwell Shaw as Hodges
Patrick Duggan as Paddy Regan
John Bindon as Harry Beauchamp
Michael Da Costa as Tony Compson
Peter Miles as Rodriguez
Arnold Diamond as Straker
Paul Williamson as Bomb Expert
Clare Shenstone as Rena Del Orte
Patsy Peters as Night club singer

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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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