Special Branch

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ITV (ended 1974)

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Special Branch

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Welcome to the Special Branch guide.

Special Branch was a ground-breaking crime drama series from Thames Television, focusing on the tough cops from Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist unit.

Shot in the studio on videotape and broadcast in monochrome, the programme initially starred Wensley Pithey as Detective Supt. Eden and Derren Nesbitt as Det. Chief Insp. Jordan. Eden was soon replaced by Det. Chief Supt. Inman (Fulton Mackay) and the show had its first makeover in 1970, with a switch to colour and new theme music by Robert Earley. The series, now led by the glamorous Nesbitt, prospered in its midweek post-watershed slot and was one of the ITV network's top-rated shows.

After a hiatus, Special Branch was resurrected as the first series to be produced by Thames Television's new Euston Films subsidiary. The series now had higher production values, being shot entirely on location using 16mm colour film. Euston productions were designed with an eye on potential overseas sales, albeit with a self-consciously harder edge than the slick productions from ITC.

Now wholly recast, the series centred on George Sewell as Det. Chief Insp. Craven, the archetypal underdog policeman who was prepared to break the rules to get the right result. The intense production schedule proved onerous, however, and he was soon joined by Det. Chief Insp. Haggerty (Patrick Mower). It is this reinvented version that is now available on DVD (although each series set contains a single episode from 1969/70!).

After two years, Special Branch gave way to The Sweeney, but would be fondly remembered for its Euston Films years in particular.moreless
Fulton Mackay

Fulton Mackay

Det. (Chief) Supt. Patrick Inman [ 1969 - 1970 ]

Paul Eddington

Paul Eddington

Strand [ 1974 ]

Derren Nesbitt

Derren Nesbitt

Det. Chief Insp. Jordan [ 1969 - 1970 ]

Frederick Jaeger

Frederick Jaeger

Commander Fletcher [ 1974 ]

George Sewell

George Sewell

Detective Chief Inspector Alan Craven [ 1973 - 1974 ]

Patrick Mower

Patrick Mower

Detective Chief Inspector Tom Haggerty [ 1973 - 1974 ]

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