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Hamish Macbeth (BBC-1 1995-1997, Robert Carlyle, Ralph Riach)

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Hamish Macbeth was a three season crime drama series starring Robert Carlyle as a laid back Scottish Highlands village bobby. Hamish was well liked in the village of Lochdubh and was not averse to smoking a bit of pot with the local doctor.

The villagers, especially shopkeeper Rory  (Brian Pettifer) (and his teacher girlfriend Esme (Ann Lacey)) and hotel owner Barney (Stuart McGuigan) also played a big part in the series. The show also made much play of the gorgeous Scottish Highland’s locations. (Actually filmed in the village of Plockton which also served as the location for cult 70’s film The Wicker Man).

Hamish was concerned not to solve any major crimes in case his superiors should promote him to the big city. At the beginning of the series Hamish had a couple of love interests, the not that serious one with local reporter Isobel (Shirley Henderson) and the pretty serious one with daughter of the laird Alex (Valerie Gogan). Alex returned to Lochdubh as the series began and was unsure of whether to pick up again with Hamish, she would later die in tragic circumstances midway through season two.

Hamish’s right hand in the show was TV John McPhee (Ralph Riach) so called because he was the first person in Lochdubh to own a TV. The series also carried a strain of darkish humour throughout, for instance TV John was convinced of the fact that should he ever smell pomade then his death would be close at hand. This came to happen in the fantastic final two part story Destiny that saw most of the cast embark on a journey to bring home The Stone of Scone.

This final two parter also had Hamish and Isobel realise how much they loved each other.

Hamish Macbeth would have perhaps continued longer but Robert Carlyle was becoming a major movie player and wasn’t willing to commit to a longer running role.

Cast: ROBERT CARLYLE as Hamish Macbeth; RALPH RIACH as TV John; JIMMY YUILL as Lachlan(95); BILLY RIDDOCH as Lachlan(96-97); STUART DAVIDS as Lachie Jr; VALERIE GOGAN as Alex(95-96); BRIAN PETTIFER as Rory; ANN LACEY as Esme; DUNCAN DUFF as Doc Brown; BARBARA RAFFERTY as Agnes; STUART McGUIGAN as Barney; DAVID ASHTON as Major Roddy MacLean

Creator: Daniel Boyle / Novels: M.C. Beaton / Music: John Lunn / Costume Design: Leigh Bellis / Script Editor: Dominic Minghella (Season 1), Ming Ho / Producers: Deidre Keir (Seasons 1-2), Charles Salmon (Season 3)

UK / BBC-1 – Zenith – Skyline / 20×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 26 March 1995 – 4 May 1997

THE EPISODES

SEASON ONE 26 March – 30 April 1995

1.THE GREAT LOCHDUBH SALT ROBBERY
Hamish manages to outwit his superiors(and not cover himself in unwanted glory at the same time) when he solves the mystery behind the bizarre death by salt vat drowning of a local wife beater. Hamish is also extremely unhappy when his former love Alex the daughter of Laird Major Rodney Maclean returns to Lochdubh with a new boyfriend in tow.

Jimmy Soutar…………………………….. RAB CHRISTIE
Det Insp Bruce…………………………… BILL LEADBITTER
Malkie Clunie…………………………….. JON CROFT
Big Geordie Robb ………………………. KENNY RYAN

WRITER: Daniel Boyle
DIRECTOR: Nicholas Renton

 

2.A PILLAR OF THE COMMUNITY
Newcomer to Lochdubh Vicky Jeffries is a bit of a meddler, Hamish investigates when she begins receiving death threats, he then discovers that her husband is one of his favourite western authors.

Vicky Jeffreys……………………………. PHYLLIDA LAW
Paul Jeffreys……………………………… DAVID RYALL
Cameron Dicks………………………….. KEN DRURY
Evadne McTurk………………………….. LINDA ORMISTON

WRITER: Stuart Hepburn
DIRECTOR: Nicholas Renton

 

3.THE BIG FREEZE
When a down on his luck Major Rodney Maclean decides to stage a break in at his home, Hamish gets involved and tries to make it look like a job by the notorious Raspberry Ripple gang who are targetting the Highlands.

Det Insp Bruce……………………………. BILL LEADBITTER
Det Sgt Cronk…………………………….. STUART McQUARRIE

WRITER: Dominic Minghella
DIRECTOR: Patrick Lau

 

4.WEST COAST STORY
Hamish gets caught in the middle during rehearsals for a performance of West Side Story when the bank managers daughter falls in love with Jimmy Soutar and he (the bank manager) disapproves.

Cameron Dicks…………………………… KEN DRURY
Duncan Soutar…………………………… ALEX NORTON
Zoot………………………………………… RON DONACHIE
Phyllis Dicks…………………………….. LAURA KELLMAN
Janie………………………………………. MAUREANN KELLY
Jimmy Soutar……………………………. RAB CHRISTIE
Kenneth Dicks ………………………….. HUGH MACQUARRIE

WRITER: Bryan Elsley
DIRECTOR: Ian Knox

 

5.WEE JOCK’S LAMENT
When a pair of escaped convicts career through the village in a stolen car they run down poor Wee Jock, Hamish’s dog, Hamish tracks them into the hillls determined to get revenge.

Harry Dobbs……………………………… KEN HUTCHINSON
Frankie McGulp…………………………. BILLY McCOLL
Robert Graham………………………….. GRAHAM DE BANZIE
Jimmy Soutar …………………………… RAB CHRISTIE

WRITER: Daniel Boyle
DIRECTOR: Nicholas Renton

 

6. A BIT OF AN EPIC
Outward bound organiser Colonel Maxwell leads an ill equipped team on a mountain climb, Hamish has to launch a rescue attempt when their lives are in danger.

Colonel Maxwell………………………… JAMES FAULKNER
Jenny Carpenter………………………… SUSANNAH HITCHING
Mike Beardsall………………………….. JOHN WARNABY
Helen Wadlow…………………………… LENA HODGSON

WRITER: Julian Spilsbury
DIRECTOR: Sid Roberson

 

SEASON TWO 24 March – 28 April 1996

1. A PERFECTLY SIMPLE EXPLANATION
Cult leader Malachi McBean tries to undermine Hamish by embarking on a campaign to denounce him as the Devil incarnate, but Hamish discovers that Malachi also has other extramarital things on his mind.

Malachi McBean……………………………. PHILIP JACKSON
Jubel…………………………………………… BRIAN ALEXANDER
Bathsheba McBean……………………….. JULIET CADZOW
Zoot McPherin……………………………… RON DONACHIE

WRITER: Daniel Boyle
DIRECTOR: Nicholas Renton

 

2. IN SEARCH OF A ROSE
Lachie Jr is organising dodgy whalespotting trips whilst discovering a cache of washed up cannabis. Hamish, meanwhile looks into the disappearance of a local fisherman.

Miss Meiklejohn…………………………….. ANNE KRISTEN
Torquil…………………………………………. CRAIG FERGUSON
Mrs McLorg …………………………………. SARAH COLLIER

WRITER: Stuart Hepburn
DIRECTOR: Mandie Fletcher

 

3. ISOBEL PULLS IT OFF
Hamish feels put out, even though he is living with Alex, when Isobel’s burgeoning reporting skills could see her whisked off to the city, he is even more jealous when she appears to have got a boyfriend.

Gloria………………………………………….. LIBBY McARTHUR
Gary…………………………………………… ROBERT CAVANAGH
Auntie Ella…………………………………… SHEILA KEITH
Flora…………………………………………… DOLINA McKENNON

WRITER: Dominic Minghella
DIRECTOR: Mandie Fletcher

 

4. RADIO LOCHDUBH
Lachie Jr has started up a pirate radio station that is attracting the interest of the radio authorities who want it closed down. Alex has started a book programme on the station which is inspiring an outbreak of literary fever but there is a tradegy in store for Lochdubh and Hamish especially when Alex dies after the pirate radio van crashes whilst being pursued by a detector van.

Hector MacNeil………………………….. HUGO MUNRO
Jean MacNeil……………………………..MARGERY WITHERS
Magda Milligan………………………….. DINAH STABB

WRITER: Daniel Boyle
DIRECTOR: Nicholas Renton

 

5. NO MAN IS AN ISLAND
A grief stricken Hamish seeks solitude on a remote island but is peturbed to find an elderly woman there, trapped with an unexploded landmine under her foot. The villagers of Lochdubh have to cope with an overly enthusiastic stand in bobby.

Belle…………………………………………… EDITH MacARTHUR
Constable Duggan ………………………… GERARD KELLY
Ferdie McLupez……………………………. MICHAEL McKENZIE
Mr Stevens………………………………….. IAIN ANDREW

WRITER: Daniel Boyle
DIRECTOR: Nicholas Renton

 

6. THE LOCHDUBH DELUXE
Lachie Jr, in a bid for independance from his father, takes a job at an undertakers and finds himself involved in a family fued, meanwhile, there appears to be an epidemic of UFO activity in Lochdubh.

Murray McMurray……………………….. ANDREW KEIR
Christie McMurray……………………… JIMMY CHISHOLM
Mr Ferguson…………………………….. DANIEL BOYLE
Mrs Lewis ……………………………….. IDA SHUSTER

WRITER: Daniel Boyle
DIRECTOR: Nicholas Renton

 

SEASON THREE 16 March – 4 May 1997

1. THE HONOURABLE POLICEMAN
Major Maclean returns from holiday with a very glamorous fiancee in tow, Edie his housekeeper is convinced the woman, Serena St Claire, is only after his money. Hamish, meanwhile, is having trouble coping with the attentions of an overly enthusiastic trainee policewoman.

Serena St Claire………………………… SALLY DEXTER
Annie Patterson………………………… SHARON SMALL
Edie……………………………………….. MONA BRUCE
Professor Svenson…………………….. JOHN MALCOLM

WRITERS: Daniel Boyle, Dominic Minghella
DIRECTOR: Jonas Grimes

 

2. DEFERRED SENTENCE
Hamish goes on holiday, to the island of Laggan-Laggan and finds himself caught up in a 20 year old mystery that leads him to solving a murder.

Father McPhail…………………………… ALAN MacNAUGHTON
Enoch Macduff…………………………… TOM WATSON
Laura Macduff……………………………. CAROLINE PATERSON
Duncan Scott…………………………….. MICHAEL BYRNE
Handsome Sailor………………………… DANIEL BYRNE

WRITER: Daniel Boyle
DIRECTOR: Nicholas Renton

 

3. THE LOCHDUBH ASSASSIN
Isobel, having taken a job in the big city, returns to Lochdubh with a young single mum, Jean, and her son Frankie in town, seeking sanctuary from the attentions of a trio of gun toting gangsters. The villagers help them get one over on the baddies and Lachie Jr falls for Jean. For some reason young lad Frankie is dubbed by what sounds like a middle aged woman.

Frankie………………………………………… STEPHEN HENDERSON
Jean……………………………………………. SANDY McDADE
Tam Flood……………………………………. FORBES MASSON
Andy Glass………………………………….. STUART PORTER
Ferdie McLopez…………………………….. MICHAEL McKENZIE

WRITER: Daniel Boyle
DIRECTOR: Nicholas Renton

 

4. THE GOOD THIEF
Lochdubh is about to do battle with rival village Dunbracken in the annual singing competition and Esme learns that young Frankie has an amazing singing voice, but the Dunbracken’s will stop at nothing to win the contest and Frankie has problems of his own coping with the antics of visiting pal Tusker Gray.

Tusker Gray……………………………….. JAMES YOUNG
Frankie Bryce…………………………….. STEPHEN HENDERSON
Harry Balfour……………………………… CAMPBELL MORRISON
Black Bob…………………………………. TAM DEAN BURN

WRITER: Daniel Boyle
DIRECTOR: Jonas Grimas

 

5. THE TROUBLE WITH RORY
Esme is put out when, after the school house is ravaged by fire, the council refuse to rebuild, which would force the kids to travel miles to school. She is even put out by the actions of Rory, who is heavily involved with the council begins acting strangely. Hamish, meanwhile, is busy trying to discover the identity of the arsonist.

Peter the Fireman………………………… RONNIE LATHAM
Alma Mathers…………………………….. ALYXIS DALY
Edie…………………………………………. MONA BRUCE
Archie the Cameraman…………………. GORDON MUNRO

WRITER: Stuart Hepburn
DIRECTOR: Mandie Fletcher

 

6. MORE THAN A GAME
The whole of Lochdubh gears up for its highly antagonistic annual shinty match with rival village Dunbracken.

Black Bob…………………………………… TAM DEAN BURN
Harry Balfour……………………………….. CAMPBELL MORRISON
Dolores Balfour…………………………….. MORAG HOOD
Edie…………………………………………… MONA BRUCE
Neil the Bus…………………………………. IAIN McCOLL
Houston Old………………………………… DALLAS YOUNG

WRITER: Stuart Hepburn
DIRECTOR: Mandie Fletcher

 

7/8. DESTINY
A 2 part story. A millionaire decides to break TV John’s long lost brother Kenneth McIver out of the South American jail he is stuck in order for him to steal the legendary Stone of Destiny which the fathers of some of the Lochdubh residents were responsible for putting into safe keeping. Hamish, meanwhile is rekindling his romance with a returned Isobel.

Kenneth McIver……………………………. SEAN SCANLAN
Torquil McFarquar………………………… KENNY IRELAND
Ava Grimm…………………………………. CAROLINE LONQ
Jean…………………………………………. SANDY McDADE
Dugal Finlay……………………………….. JOE GRIEG

WRITER: Daniel Boyle
DIRECTOR: Nicholas Renton