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4.0 out of 5 stars Goodbye James, 4 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Hadleigh - Series 4 [DVD] [1974] (DVD)
Fourth and final series of Hadleigh, the fifth including the main character who first appeared in the earlier Yorkshire Television drama, Gazette.

The early episodes deal with the break-up of his marriage to the beautiful Jennifer. Hilary Dwyer who played Jennifer had fallen out with producer Jacky Stoller which necessitated her dedparture from the series. This absence disrupted the balance of the series and the relationships between the other main characters. James, Lady Helen, Sutton and Charlie Caldwell. Without Jennifer and her frequent tantrums, butler Sutton becomes almost a cipher and the father-in-law-son-in-law conflicts between James and Charlie Caldwell are less meaningful. The introduction of Jenny Twigge as goddaughter Joanna is not sufficient to make up for absence of Jennifer.

The main storyline is James speculative 1 million investment in a merchant bank. The 1975 stock market crash leaves him in financial trouble. Given his apparent affluence its hard to believe that even such a loss could lead him to being declared bankrupt

The endeavours of James to ease his financial situation and his relationships with new girlfriends fill the rest of the series, reaching an unsatisfactory conclusion. The two main storylines led to the scriptwriters being boxed into a corner, and with the decline in viewing figures, there would be no more Hadleighs.

The extras contain two features of outstanding interest. The first is the commentary by Gerald Herald and Jacky Stoller on the final episode, Broke. The second is the documentary, The Lonely Man on the Hill, again featuring Gerald Harper with a number of the actors from the four series(Hilary Dwyer who played Jennifer is missing)and the two producers reminiscing on the origins and the development of the drama.

The series a good watch, but not of the same quality as series 3, and a reminder of one of top 1970s ITV dramas.
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