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Special Branch: You Don’t Exist (ITV 29 Oct 1969, with Mel Martin)



Special Branch You Don't Exist

You Don’t Exist is another very pertinent to modern times episode with Special Branch dealing with a young woman, Barbara Cartwright, who has arrived from Rhodesia but has been refused entry into the country.

Morrissey is given the task of looking after until she is sent home on the next available flight at 11.00am the next day. He arranges for her to stay in a hotel across the road from the airport. Rather than keeping her confined to the hotel Morrissey takes Barbara to see the sights and a nice little romance develops between them. Unbeknownst to Morrissey a court case he is due to appear as a witness in is pulled forward a couple of days.

A good chance for Morrissey to shine in this episode, he has generally been on the sidelines and is usually given short thrift by Jordan who thinks a little bit old school and not hip enough for him. Quite a poignant ending too as Morrissey isn’t able to say a proper goodbye to Barbara.

A young Mel Martin, with very good South African accent, plays Barbara. At the time Rhodesia was not recognised as existing by the British government. Rhodesia’s government had broken away from the UK in 1965 claiming it’s own unilateral declaration of indepence. Huge sanctions were then issued. At the time of this episode there was zero dialogue between Rhodesia and the UK and it wasn’t until the early seventies that steps were taken to change the situation. Civil war and bitter fighting throughout the 1970’s brought an end to the UDI in 1978 with a name change to Zimbabwe Rhodesia in 1979. In 1980 Zimbabwe became wholly independent.

classic quote
“I must say you don’t look like an undesirable.”
“Well you look just like a policeman.”

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Wednesday 29 October 1969 at 9.00pm

Writer: Anthony Skene / Production Design: Peter Le Page / Director: Dennis Vance

Series: Special Branch Season 1 Episode 7

Derren Nesbitt as Jordan
Wensley Pithey as Eden
Keith Washington as John Morrissey
Jennifer Wilson as Helen Webb
Mel Martin as Barbara Cartwright
Bill Horsley as Branch
Ian Gardiner as Hotel Receptionist
Clive Merrison as P.C. Evans
Harry Meacher as Hippie Man
Pamela Miles as Hippie woman