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5.0 out of 5 stars A strong end to the series, 1 Sept. 2013
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Mr. D. K. Smith (South Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Main Chance - The Complete Series 4 [DVD] (DVD)
Series Four of The Main Chance, originally broadcast in 1975, starts with a jolt. David Main's wife and son are killed off-screen by a drunken lorry driver. Shortly afterwards he makes a professional decision which results in him being struck off the Roll of Solicitors, and therefore unable to practice.

This provides a good hook for the rest of the series, as Main has to come to terms with this double blow and rebuild both his life and career. Later on he attempts to overturn this decision and return to practice, and the final episodes show how the programme could have progressed quite easily into a fifth series.

John Stride is excellent as ever as David Main, and is the strong centre of the series. There are plenty of good performances around him though, particularly Glyn Edwards as his leg-man, ex Detective Inspector Walter Clegg. Edwards is probably most familiar as the long-suffering landlord of the Winchester Club in Minder, but in this series he gets the chance to flex his acting muscles a little more.

Two episodes, No Names and It Couldn't Happen Here, are particularly fine showcases for him. In No Names he attempts to help his sister who is being targeted by a group of young tearaways and in It Couldn't Happen Here he infiltrates a building site to observe an agitator called Joe Holroyd (a wonderfully understated and menacing performance by Ray Smith) whose favourite tricks are intimidation, violence and mob rule.

Most of the episodes were written by the series' co-creators Edmund Ward and John Batt (Ward writing six, Batt writing four and Ray Jenkins writing the other three). The small group of writers produces a continuity over the series that ensures that the quality of the scripting remains very high.

There are plenty of strong performances from a talented list of guest actors which include Denis Lill, Ronald Radd, Leslie Schofield, Stuart Damon, Geoffrey Chater, David Daker, Ray Smith, John Savident, Nigel Stock, Bernard Kay, William Russell and John Nettleton. The quality of performances is another reason why this is such a good watch.

Although The Main Chance is not a series that is particularly remembered today, it's pleasing that all four series are now available to watch, thanks to Network. And this is a series that, due to the quality of the writing and acting, is still enjoyable, absorbing and thought-provoking today.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Forgot how good this series was, 6 May 2013
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This review is from: The Main Chance - The Complete Series 4 [DVD] (DVD)
Superb entertainment and very bold for is time. A little glamorized and melodramatic compared to some of its genre at the time but that gives it its natural appeal and escapism value.
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The Main Chance - The Complete Series 4 [DVD]
The Main Chance - The Complete Series 4 [DVD] by Michael Ferguson (DVD - 2012)
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