In The Big M private detective Johnny Treherne gets caught up in a dangerous case when his latest client is found dead. Johnny becomes convinced that the dead man was caught up in a protection racket run by a gang of crooks that were responsible for the murder of Treherne’s father.
Original Radio Times publicity… The Big M: After two-and-a-half years and two-hundred-and-twenty-two transmissions of thriller serials, producer Alan Bromly is taking a holiday before starting to prepare a series of full-length thriller plays. During this remarkable run of thriller serials, there have been twenty different stories by sixteen writers, using twelve directors and more than one-thousand performers. Bromly himself directed four of them, including the latest by Lester Powell, “The Big M” in six parts, the first of which you can see tonight. “This thriller differs considerably from anything else we have done,” he says. “It’s what you might term a `twisted’ love story, set against the background of a hot, decadent, south-west Britain.
The `M’ in the title stands for manana, meaning `tomorrow’ and typifies the `leave-it-till-tomorrow’ mood – a lethargy engendered by the heat”. A strong acting cast includes Michael Bryant and Mitzi Rogers. Bromly considers this is one of the tautest thrillers he has handled – and he should know! What makes a thriller-serial writer? “Many authors can turn out a good play,” says Bromly, “but those who can construct a six-part serial are rare. Most seem to be novelists, the exception being Peter (Modesty Blaise) O’Donnell who is, of course, a strip-cartoon writer. But then he has imagination and a discipline from working on newspapers. He is used to thinking visually”. Thriller serials are one of BBC Television’s best overseas sellers and have been sold to countries ranging from Norway to Malaya, Zimbabwe to Australia.”
UK / BBC Two / 6×25 minute episodes / Broadcast 29 August – 3 October 1967
Writer: Lester Powell / Story Editor: Roger Parkes / Production Design: Richard Wilmot / Producer and Director: Alan Bromly
Michael Bryant as Johnny Treherne
Mitzi Rogers as Verity Hassett
Reginald Marsh as Tancred
Barry Linehan as Inspector Scott
Michael Wynne as Stratton
Peter Wyatt as Fred Creech
Ann Hamilton as Candy Hassett
Frank Williams as Victor
Stephen Bradley as China Berry
Bernard Martin as Jack Berry
Derek Martin as Motorist
Victor Brooks as Inspector Spain
Christopher Wray as Sergeant Probert
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