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Special Branch: Red Herring (ITV 9 May 1973, with Diana Quick)



In Red Herring a group of hippy terrorists are wreaking havoc on the streets of London with a series of bomb attacks. Craven and North find themselves teamed with a bomb disposal squad, led by Captain Dwyer, to track down the group.

The excellent guest cast includes Diana Quick, Roger Lloyd Pack and Billy Hamon as the hippy terrorists. Hamon popped up in pretty much every show going in the early seventies. He should probably have had a bigger career than he did. His career had fizzled out by the late 1980s. In a nice twist it turns out that Paul is actually an undercover Special Branch cop.

Special Branch Red Herring

Roger Lloyd Pack as hippy terrorist Paul.

Another episode that doesn’t feature Patrick Mower, in fact so far he is barely in the third season. This would have been a good one for him – you could just imagine him going undercover as hippy to break the terrorist gang. The bomb disposal scenes are incredibly tense, it easy to see why Thames-Euston decided to make a whole series (Danger UXB) on the topic a few years later.

Special Branch Red Herring

There is a funny scene when Craven tries to explain to elder Mrs McCafferty (played by character actress Hilda Barry) that she needs to be evacuated.

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Wednesday 9 May 1973 at 9.00pm

Writer: Peter Hill / Director: Mike Vardy

Series: Special Branch Season 3 Episode 6

George Sewell as Alan Craven
Roger Rowland as Detective Sergeant North
Norman Jones as Captain Dwyer
Diana Quick as Sarah
Billy Hamon as Chris
Roger Lloyd Pack as Paul
Hilda Barry as Mrs McCafferty
Leon Eagles as Borotchek
Sarah Aimson as Rosemary Brown
John Abbott
Trevor Martin
Linda Regan
Sheila D’Union
Charles Pemberton
Leslie Schofield
Bruce Callander