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John Thaw takes the first starring role of his career in Redcap, playing Sergeant John Mann of the Royal Military Police's Special Investigation Branch. Made in the mid 1960s at a time when the British Army was still highly active, Redcap's stories cover investigations in Germany, Malaysia, Cyprus and Borneo and feature guest stars of the calibre of George Sewell, Peter Bowles, Edward Fox and Brian Cox.
Not seen since its original transmission, this set contains the complete first series and the surviving ten episodes of the second series, featuring scripts from both Troy Kennedy Martin (The Sweeney, Z Cars) and Julian Bond (The Saint, Ruth Rendell Mysteries).
Strictly by the Book: The surviving twelve minutes of this missing episode, recovered from an engineer's test reel of film.
Redcap Annual PDF
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Top Customer Reviews
in his first regular starring t.v role, john thaw plays a military police officer who is sent to different parts of the world and investigates cases of assault, soldiers who are absent without leave, armed robberies, allegations of systematic beatings, murder and almost any other reported crime that occurs at an army barracks.
the thing that struck me when i watch this series, is how most of the characters in any given episode, prove to be thoroughly unhelpful and obstructive. it is mainly down to officer types who would rather brush the current investigation under the carpet and forget about it all. of course, john thaw as sergeant mann, will not let the matter drop until he has solved each and every one of his cases to the best of his ability.
john thaw has been superbly cast and given his very young age at the time(22 when "redcap" was first broadcast), he injects plenty of authority and maturity into his character. his take on sergeant mann, although tough and harsh at times, is also possessed of a compassionate streak as he hates injustice but also loathes the idea of criminals escaping their crimes unpunished.
considering that the british t.v archives are in somewhat of a mess with a good deal of programmes missing or destroyed, happily "redcap" is hardly affected. 26 episodes of this series were made and 23 currently exist. as a special feature, approximately 12 minutes that was recovered from a missing episode has been added in this dvd set.Read more ›
Despite the globe-trotting nature of the series the programme never left the UK, as it was a largely studio based production. This isn't a criticism though, as flashy foreign visuals were not what the show was about - instead Redcap offered well-written and well-acted stories that still have impact today.
The script editor for the first series was Ian Kennedy-Martin (later to create The Sweeney, amongst other notable programmes). He assembled a first rate roster of writers - including Richard Harris, Roger Marshall, Troy Kennedy-Martin, Julian Bond and Leon Griffiths - who were responsible for the high standard of scripting (maintained in the second series).
There was also plenty of talent in front of the camera across both series, with Keith Barron, Michael Robbins, Glynn Edwards, Yootha Joyce, Leonard Rossiter, Mike Pratt, Ian McShane, Warren Mitchell, Windsor Davies, Brian Wilde, Hywel Bennett, Richard O'Sullivan, Colin Blakley, James Grout, Graham Crowden, George Sewell, Brian Cox, Peter Bowles, Philip Madoc, Edward Fox and Donald Hewlett all guest-starring.
The bulk of the episodes are sourced from 16mm telerecordings made from the original videotapes - presumably for overseas sale. Generally, these are in pretty good shape - although a number of episodes do have very visible tramlining on the third part of the story.Read more ›
Studio-shot, and apparently broadcast live, REDCAP (not to be confused with RED CAP, the 2003-04 series in which Tamzin Outhwaite also played a sergeant in the SIB) doesn't have the visual clarity of a filmed series, but it more than makes up for it with excellent scripts, and fine performances. It's startling how authoritative Thaw is, easily projecting leadership, decisiveness, and toughness though only a few years out of his teens.
The military background of the show is unusual for a police series, and makes it possible for Sgt. Mann to solve cases in locales as diverse East Berlin, Cyprus, and the Far East (though, as I mentioned, it was mostly studio-shot).
Highly recommended, for the gritty, pacy scripts, and for Thaw's electrifying performance.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
this is a very old b&w tv series which has not survived transfer: appalling sound and picture qualityPublished 7 days ago by PH
Too bad there were episode(s) missing.
Good writing, great acting, good stories.
Wished more episodes were made. Read more
It's amazing to look back at a series like this from the early sixties and reflect on how amateurish TV was back then. Read morePublished 20 months ago by tonewheel
Remembered this from early years and use it to authenticate my uniform collection.The first part is Black and White but it becomes colour as the series progresses.Published on 20 Sept. 2013 by Dazz
While the acting and the writing are quite good,
it is a dated 60's B&W TV production.
It looks like it was made with a very limited budget,
which was normal for the... Read more
Not good if your hearing isn't perfect! The dialogue is very fast and there are no subtitles, so I was forever rewinding to try to work out what had been said. Read morePublished on 3 Mar. 2013 by Ratti