1973 UK spy/crime drama targeted for America. Even hostage demands come in dollars, not pounds. Action, violence, and on-location filming (not sets), new at the time. A huge change from "Special Branch" of earlier years, including cast. DCI Craven (George Sewell- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) leads and is capable of break & entry, blackmail, and assault when off or on duty. Patrick Mower (Callan; Sweeney) plays DCI Haggerty in 7 episodes. DS North (Roger Rowland) shares Craven's office.
National security is the theme in this Special Branch series. Perfection 1970s period crime mystery since it was filmed as contemporary in the 70s. Stories are good but lack the special final surprise twist built into 21st Century TV cop episodes. This series is liberally sprinkled with big guest stars, fun for nostalgia lovers. A few noted below.
SDH SUBTITLES for all episodes. Details for those who like them.
~~1 A Copper Called Craven
Smuggler claims he bribed D.C.I. Craven, who's suspended, & needs to clear his name. Pettiford (Peter Jeffrey -Middlemarch) treats him harsh. His boss is Nicholls (Richard Butler- Middlemarch). Craven's black lover, Pam (Sheila Scott-Wilkinson), also a nurse, appears in 7 episodes.
~~2 Round the Clock
Stakeout with partner DCI Haggerty is long & filled with tension.
Craven nicks a bloke (Clifford Rose- G.B.H. & Iron Lady) on small crimes, an effort to get more important secrets from the suspect.
Haggerty's dad's beating resulting in a coma is out of Special Branch jurisdiction until another victim (Richard Vernon- Duchess of Duke Street) leads to a manhunt.
Polish ship Capt/former Nazi collaborator will be a hard man for Craven & North to protect.
~~6 Red Herring
Can a Spec. Branch team and an explosive expert stop Comm. Party youth bombs?
~~7 Death by Drowning
A drowning is suspicious requiring Spec. Branch to prove murder, suicide, or accident. See Doreen Mantle (One foot in the Grave).
~~8 All the King's Men
Computer expert psycho (Geoffrey Bayldon) who threatens London with hostage and bombs, tests Craven's team's skill. Wife played by Ursula Howells.
Threatened actress (Stephanie Beacham -Bad Girls) gets protection assistance from Sp. Branch, on the QT. She has other plans.
~~10 The Other Man
Is the Doc a traitor, leaking sensitive secrets while under surveillance? Craven must answer the question. Dr. wife played by a young perky Annette Crosbie (One foot in the Grave, Little Dorrit).
~~11 You won't remember me
Special Branch has a young newly engaged couple under surveillance & not for premarital bliss. The guy played by Michael Latimer (Van der Valk).
A German diplomat's (Michael Gambon- H. Potter) daughter of 8 years is kidnapped and Craven and team race the clock to a rescue.
~~13 Blueprint for Murder
African diplomat given protection from potential assassination. Craven finds little help from Sgt. North and the targeted diplomat.