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Van der Valk Diane Van der Valk Diane


Van der Valk: Diane (ITV 21 Nov 1977, with Jane Merrow)



In Diane Van der Valk finds himself involved with the lady of the title who believes that any man she gets close to ends up dead. She does have reason to believe she is right, two men she has been close to in the last few months have both died supposedly accidental deaths. We, the audience, know that she is right as the pre-title sequence shows a pilot called Ranieri being forced to consume a large quantity of brandy by two hoodlums – we then see him dead in the bath.

Barry Foster gets to show off his fine jazz piano playing skills in the opening post credits scene when he is in a cafe/bar talking to barman Jaap who asks him if he could give an old friend, Diane, some help.

Arlette isn’t in this episode (she is spring cleaning their summer cottage) and there is a strange “doomed romance” air about proceedings as Piet can’t help but be drawn into Diane’s troubles. He also quickly learns that Diane is being watched and that her former lover was a notorious gangster called Phillip Batiste. He has been in prison (and not the dead businessman Diane had claimed) she decided to get her revenge on him after she became pregnant and he ended their relationship.

Diane has diamonds that Batiste wants back and Van der Valk realises that both their lives are now in danger.

This was the final episode of Van der Valk for some fourteen years. In 1991 Barry Foster returned as Piet for a series of feature length mysteries. It’s a strong final episode too, starts out playing the romance angle before twisting into proper tense thriller territory.

Van der Valk Diane

classic quote
“Some women you meet them for the first time and right away you know that they are a thousand miles of bad road.”

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Monday 21 November 1977 at 9.00pm

Writer: Philip Broadley / Director: Mike Vardy

Series: Van der Valk Season 3 Episode 12

Barry Foster as Van der Valk
Nigel Stock as Samson
Jane Merrow as Diane
Bruce Liddington as Paul
William Ellis as Jean
David McKail as Evert
Alex Davion as Ranieri
Derek Smith as Jaap



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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