Buccaneer (BBC-1 1980, Bryan Marshall, Clifford Rose)

In drama series Buccaneer Tony Blair is an airline pilot who ends up running his own seat of his pants airline.

The story begins with Blair working for Red Air freight and getting caught up in a political coup in Central Africa. Teaming up with financial backer Charles Burton and his wife Monica Blair spots and opportunity to buy the ailing company and the single plane that it owns.

Former owner Ray Mason is pretty bitter at having to give up the airline and makes things pretty difficult for Blair and Burton by being willing to take on any job – big or small and sometimes dodgy Red Freight starts to become viable again.

Bryan Marshall was excellent in the lead and there was a nice dynamic between Blair and the Burtons and that little bit of sexual undercurrent between himself and Monica. The series was created by The Brothers team of Eric Paice, N.J. Crisp and producer Gerard Glaister and definitely had potential to continue in that same vein but only one season of 13 episodes was made.

production details
UK / BBC One / 13×55 minute episodes / Broadcast 27 April – 20 July 1980

Creators: Eric Paice, N.J. Crisp / Script Editor: John Brason / Producer: Gerard Glaister

Bryan Marshall as Tony Blair
Clifford Rose as Charles Burton
Pamela Salem as Monica Burton
Carolyn Courage as Kum Hayward
Mark Jones as Ray Mason
Shirley Anne Field as Janet Blair
Cecil Humphreys as Paul Blair

1. RELUCTANT HERO (27 Apr 80)
2. ALBATROSS (4 May 80)
3. GROUNDED (11 May 80)
4. A KIND OF CUCKOO (18 May 80)
5. LET’S MAKE A KILLING (25 May 80)
6. THE THIN END (1 Jun 80)
9. INTRUDERS (22 Jun 80)
10. FEET OF CLAY (29 Jun 80)
11. ELDORADO (6 Jul 80)
12. A NO GO ITEM (13 Jul 80)
13. EMERGENCY (20 Jul 80)

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.