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Special Branch: Short Change (ITV 19 Nov 1969, with Fulton Mackay)

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In Short Change the departure of Superintendent Eden is a signifier for change complete with new title sequence (same ITC style series theme tune though) and the arrival of Detective Superintendent Inman who very quickly stamps his authority on the team.

Meanwhile the Troika affair is still playing out as one of the three main people involved Christine Morris, escapes from the open prison where she is serving a five year sentence. Things very quickly go wrong, the man who has paid to drive her panics when he sees a road block and crashes the car. With Christine recaptured the emphasis is on who paid Brewer to help with the escape.

Inman and Jordan discover that Christine Morris is not really Christine Morris, the real Christine died aged 3. Before they can take the issue further MI5 are negotiating with the Russians to exchange Morris (who is clearly a KGB plant) for a British political prisoner being held in prison in Russia. Jordan and Inman know that they are being played for fools by the Russians but there is literally nothing they can do about it.

In a subplot Morrissey is in trouble over an altercation he got involved in at a demonstration. He ends up suspended whilst the case is investigated – it could even cost him his position with SB.

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Wednesday 19 November 1969 at 9.00pm

Writer: George Markstein / Production Design: Fred Pusey / Director: William G. Stewart

Series: Special Branch Season 1 Episode 10

cast
Derren Nesbitt as Jordan
Fulton Mackay as Detective Superintendent Inman
Morris Perry as Mr Moxon
David Garth as Deputy Commander
Keith Washington as John Morrissey
Maurice Good as Charlie Brewer
Tommy Godfrey as Mr Harris
Nellie Hanham as Mrs Harris
Mancella St Amant as Francoise
Jean Aubrey as Sally
Alexis Chesnakov as Mr Kraminsky
Anthony King as Somerset House clerk
Peter Thornton as Newsreel man
Pamela Sholto as Miss Walsh
Elizabeth Proud as Detective Constable Rogers

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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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