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Beiderbecke Connection, The (ITV 1988, James Bolam, Barbara Flynn)

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The Beiderbecke Affair ITV 1985 Barbara Flynn James Bolam

Connection is the third and final part of the very fabulous Beiderbecke Trilogy. Written by Alan Plater and starring James Bolam and Barbara Flynn the three mystery serials can be counted as some of the best television of the 1980’s.

Bolam is Trevor Chaplin and the rather lovely Flynn is Jill Swinburne two romantically involved school teachers who manage to find themselves in strange goings on at every turn. After having uncovered large scale corruption and the dumping of toxic waste in their last adventure the couple were hoping for a bit of quiet time to enjoy the new arrival to the household, a son (known as firstborn) but of course that idea doesn’t last long when they are asked by an old friend to look after a refuge by the name of Ivan. Of course things are soon getting murky and Trevor and Jill find themselves under observation by Special Branch as well as the steely gaze of the now Detective Inspector Hobson P.H.D. (played by Dominic Jephcott).

Titled after Trevor’s love of Jazz and in particular Bix Beiderbecke these comedy dramas are a real treat – as scintillatingly good now as on original viewing. Plater’s scripts are marvellously witty and the playing between Bolam and Flynn is a particular delight. There is a fine supporting that includes the likes of the superb Terence Rigby as Big Al and Dudley Sutton as jaded fellow teacher Mr Carter.

production details
UK | ITV Network-Yorkshire | 4×60 minutes | Broadcast 27 November – 18 December 1988

Writer: Alan Plater | Music: Frank Ricotti | Producer: Michael Glynn

cast
JAMES BOLAM as Trevor Chaplin
BARBARA FLYNN as Jill Swinburne
DUDLEY SUTTON as Mr Carter
KEITH SMITH as Mr Wheeler
PATRICK DRURY as Ivan
TERENCE RIGBY as Big Al
DANNY SCHILLER as Little Norm
DOMINIC JEPHCOTT as Det Insp Hobson