Crime Traveller (BBC-1 1997, Michael French, Chloe Annett)

Crime Traveller was a crime drama series with a scifi twist. Detective Jeff Slade discovers that forensic scientist Holly Turner, working within his department has actually got a working time machine. The twist being that the machine can only go back in time about half a day, just far back enough to gather evidence from the scenes of crimes (often as they happen).

The machine was invented by Holly’s father and she is initally unwilling to use it because her father failed to return from the past in time and became trapped in the ‘loop of infinity’. Slade eventually persuades and for eight cases the pair travelled back in time just far enough to solve the crime, they had to be especially careful not to bump into their past selves.

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The series was pretty light hearted and didn’t take itself too seriously with moments such as Slade being convinced that he could use the time machine to win the lottery (of course he could do no such thing). The series was pretty much in the vein of late 1960’s ITC series such as Department S and Randall and Hopkirk.

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Despite the great premise the show never really set the public alight and was cancelled after this one series.

Although according to series creator Anthony Horowitz, ‘The show wasn’t exactly cut. There was a chasm at the BBC, created by the arrival of a new Head of Drama and our run ended at that time. There was no-one around to commission a new series…and so it just didn’t happen.’

production details
UK / BBC-1 – Carnival / 50 minutes / 1997

Writer: Anthony Horowitz
Titles: Red Pepper
Producer: Brian Eastman

Michael French as Jeff Slade
Chloë Annett as Holly Turner
Richard Dempsey
Pip Torrens
Sue Johnston
Paul Trussell

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.