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Special Branch: Smokescreen (ITV 24 Sep 1969, with Paul Darrow)



In Smokescreen Moxon wants Special Branch to do a positive vetting on Doctor Foster Hamilton who is about to undertake a new position at the Ilchester Biochemical Defence Centre. Despite Jordan recommending that Foster Hamilton shouldn’t get the job he gets it anyway on Moxon’s personal recommendation making something of a farce of the whole process.

Just so we know what a new hip man Jordan is, he is at home with his “dolly bird” girlfriend when the case comes through and throughout the episode there is a lot of talk from Jordan’s superiors about his clothes and hair.

There is also a lot of talk about Eden coming up for retirement, Jordan is keen to see him go, Eden himself wants a years extension. It’s not looking too promising though as the Troika case where a major KGB agent got away is being put under internal investigation. The situation is compounded by the fact that, Cowley, one of the men captured in the Troika ring kills himself in prison.

A young Paul Darrow appears at the inquest into Cowley’s death. As usual he steals the scene!

Special Branch Smokescreen

Paul Darrow.

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 24 September 1969 at 9.00pm

Writer: George Markstein / Production Design: Mike Hall / Director: James Goddard

Series: Special Branch Season 1 Episode 2

Derren Nesbitt as DCI Jordan
Wensley Pithey as Superintendent Eden
Morris Perry as Charles Moxon
David Garth as Deputy Commander
Keith Washington as D.C. Morrissey
John Robinson as Dr Foster Hamilton
Sandra Bryant as Christine Morris
Edina Ronay as Sonia Gibbs
Peggy Marshall as Mrs Zoe Foster Hamilton
Donald Pelmear as Cowley
Donald Layne-Smith as Coroner
Paul Darrow as Lawyer
Janet Burrell as Woman Prison Governor
Anton Darby as Reporter
John Dunbar as Foreman of Jury
Lionel Wheeler as Prison Officer



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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