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Barlow At Large (BBC-1 1971-1975, Stratford Johns, Neil Stacy)



After Z Cars and Softly Softly it was clearly felt there was still enough milage in the character of Detective Chief Superintendent Charlie Barlow for a series solely about him, hence Barlow At Large

The first series, which consisted of one three part story, aired whilst Barlow was still part of the Softly Softly Task Force set. This case saw him seconded to the Home Office investigating a case of police corruption. The following year with the character having left Softly a full ten part series appeared. Barlow was now working in Whitehall as part of the Police Research Services Branch assisted by Detective Sergeant Rees. A regular thorn in his side would be civil servant A.G. Fenton.

For the third season the title was shortened to the simpler Barlow and the cast now also featured Derek Newark as Detective Inspector Eddie Tucker.

In 1973 Barlow joined forced with his Z Cars and Softly sidekick John Watt for a separate series looking at the Jack the Ripper case from Victorian times and in 1975 the pair also joined forces once more for a series called Second Verdict which looked at possible miscarriages of justice.


There were also plans for yet another Barlow series which would have seen him investigating crime in Australia. This fell through mainly to scheduling conflicts for star Stratford Johns but series creator Jones did novelise this concept in a book published in 1977. Title card for the series.

production details
UK / BBC One / 29×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 15 September 1971 – 26 February 1975

Creators: Elwyn Jones, Troy Kennedy Martin / Theme Music: Bridget Fry / Producers: Leonard Lewis (series 1), Keith Williams (series 2-4) / Executive Producer: Leonard Lewis

STRATFORD JOHNS as Det Ch Supt Charlie Barlow
NEIL STACY as A.G. Fenton
NORMAN COMER as Det Sgt David Rees
DEREK NEWARK as Det Insp Tucker (series 3 and 4)


SEASON ONE 15 – 29 September 1971
2. COME TO DUST (22 Sep 1971)
3. HEAT OF THE SUN (29 Sep 1971)

SEASON TWO 7 February – 11 April 1973
1. STRAYS (7 Feb 1973)
2. WANTED (14 Feb 1973)
3. REVIEW (21 Feb 1973)
4. PUBLICITY (28 Feb 1973)
5. WHEELBARROWS (7 Mar 1973)
6. INFORMANT (14 Mar 1973)
7. TRESPASS (21 Mar 1973)
8. ASSESSOR (28 Mar 1973)
9. TREASURE (4 Apr 1973)
10. CONFIDENCE (11 Apr 1973)

SEASON THREE 23 January – 13 March 1973
The series title is now shortened to Barlow.
1. BIG DEAL (23 Jan 1974)
2. SNATCH (30 Jan 1974)
3. PLUNDER (6 Feb 1974)
4. HIT (13 Feb 1974)
5. CORRUPTION (20 Feb 1974)
6. RESTITUTION (27 Feb 1974)
7. SNOOKERED (6 Mar 1974)
8. SECT (13 Mar 1974)

SEASON FOUR 8 January – 26 February 1975
1. VINDICATION (8 Jan 1975)
2. AWAY (15 Jan 1975)
3. BULLION (22 Jan 1975)
4. RAT RUN (29 Jan 1975)
5. ASYLUM (5 Feb 1975)
6. CONTESSA (12 Feb 1975)
7. NEMESIS (19 Feb 1975)
8. PROTECTION (26 Feb 1975)


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.

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