Special Branch (1969–1974)

TV Series  |   |  Action, Crime
7.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 49 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 2 critic

Ground-breaking British police drama series following the exploits of the Special Branch of the Metropolitan Police. An elite group of officers tasked with protecting London from spies, terrorists and subversives.

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

on Amazon Instant Video

10 Best Back-to-School TV Shows

Dust off your varsity jacket and get excited for fall with our list of the 10 best back-to-school TV shows.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 47 titles
created 17 May 2013
 
a list of 100 titles
created 09 Feb 2014
 
a list of 2130 titles
created 15 May 2014
 

Related Items

Search for "Special Branch" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Special Branch (1969–1974)

Special Branch (1969–1974) on IMDb 7.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Special Branch.

Episodes

Seasons


Years



4   3   2   1  
1974   1973   1970   1969  
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Department S (1969–1970)
Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An elite department within Interpol, Department S inherited those cases which the other member groups had failed to solve. The brains of the group was Jason King, a hedonistic maverick who ... See full summary »

Stars: Peter Wyngarde, Joel Fabiani, Rosemary Nicols
A Very Peculiar Practice (1986–1988)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A surreal comedy series tracking the career of Stephen Daker, a young doctor who works for the health centre of a modern British university.

Stars: Peter Davison, Graham Crowden, Barbara Flynn
Jason King (1971–1972)
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

This spin-off from the earlier "Department S" continued the adventures of hedonistic, womanizing dandy Jason King. After leaving Department S, Jason settled down to a full-time career of ... See full summary »

Stars: Peter Wyngarde, Anne Sharp, Ronald Lacey
Strange Report (TV Series 1968)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Retired Scotland Yard commissioner Adam Strange investigates bizarre mysteries in "Swinging Sixties" London.

Stars: Anthony Quayle, Kaz Garas, Anneke Wills
Espionage (1963–1964)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An anthology series telling different and unrelated stories of espionage set in many countries and historical periods.

Stars: Victor Platt, Maxwell Shaw, Alan Tilvern
Callan (1967–1972)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

David Callan is the top agent/assassin for the Security Service (British counterintelligence), but he is an embittered man who performs his duties "for Queen and country" under duress. This... See full summary »

Stars: Edward Woodward, Russell Hunter, Lisa Langdon
The Sandbaggers (1978–1980)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

The missions of an elite British Intelligence covert operations unit.

Stars: Roy Marsden, Ray Lonnen, Jerome Willis
Boys from the Blackstuff (TV Mini-Series 1982)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Five unemployed men would do anything just to have a job in Thatchers era Britain.

Stars: Michael Angelis, Bernard Hill, Alan Igbon
Sweeney 2 (1978)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Second cinematic spin-off from the popular 70's police series. Regan & Carter head a Flying Squad investigation into a series of bank raids by a team of well-armed villains who are flying in from the continent.

Director: Tom Clegg
Stars: John Thaw, Dennis Waterman, Denholm Elliott
Public Eye (1965–1975)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A long-running British TV series starring Alfred Burke as dour private-eye Frank Marker. Cynical and world-weary, Marker is frequently the unwitting stooge in bigger criminal wheels in his ... See full summary »

Stars: Alfred Burke, Ray Smith, Pauline Delaney
Target (1977–1978)
Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Stars: Patrick Mower, Philip Madoc, Brendan Price
Shoestring (1979–1980)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Lighthearted detective series set in the West Country, about Eddie Shoestring, a radio-phone-in detective

Stars: Trevor Eve, Michael Medwin, Doran Godwin
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Det. Chief Insp. Jordan (27 episodes, 1969-1970)
George Sewell ...
 Det. Chief Insp. Alan Craven / ... (26 episodes, 1973-1974)
Morris Perry ...
 Charles Moxon (21 episodes, 1969-1970)
...
 Det. Chief Supt. Inman / ... (18 episodes, 1969-1970)
Patrick Mower ...
 Det. Chief Insp. Tom Haggerty / ... (16 episodes, 1973-1974)
Roger Rowland ...
 Det. Sgt. Bill North / ... (15 episodes, 1969-1974)
Keith Washington ...
 Det. Con. Morrissey / ... (14 episodes, 1969-1970)
Paul Eddington ...
 Strand (11 episodes, 1974)
Edit

Storyline

Ground-breaking British police drama series following the exploits of the Special Branch of the Metropolitan Police. An elite group of officers tasked with protecting London from spies, terrorists and subversives.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

police | See All (1) »

Genres:

Action | Crime

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 September 1969 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Brigada especial  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(53 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The first nine episodes of Season 1 were made in black and white, and used a different titles/credits sequence compared with the later colour episodes in this season; even for the colour episodes, the introductory Thames caption (the iconic London skyline and river montage) was in black and white. See more »

Crazy Credits

The credit lists for many episode in Season 3 only listed the character names for the main characters; a lot of minor parts were listed as actor names with no corresponding character names. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Man About the House: It's Only Money (1973) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Two programmes for the price of one
27 August 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This cop show about Britain's police force which fights crime with a national security angle is actually two almost completely different series, each of which ran for two seasons.

The first is a studio-made production from the late 1960s starring Derren Nesbitt (Jordan), with Wensley Pithey (Eden) and then Fulton Mackay (Inman) as his superiors, all three putting in excellent performances. Nesbitt in particular, looking immensely trendy, is magnificent, characteristically twitchy.

This Special Branch is in a state of perpetual tension with MI5, Britain's spy service, represented by the wily Moxon, who makes Machiavelli look naive. The first season contains a running thread following a failed case in the first episode, 'Troika', which puts Eden under pressure from his mysterious superiors.

The quality of script and acting of these two seasons is marvellous, but the productions mix studio-bound scenes, with the painted 'view' from Eden/Inman's window particularly obvious, with location-filmed inserts. Excellent, and very much of its time.

The third and fourth seasons are totally different under the same brand or banner, with virtually no overlap in cast with the first two seasons. These were entirely filmed by Euston, and intended to look gritty and realistic - and so it seemed at the time, but it looks a bit pedestrian in comparison with, say, The Sweeney, never mind The Wire. Compared with the first two seasons, it shifted the focus from talk to action, from internal politics to enemy action, and was much less cerebral and concerned with character. Not quite dumbed down, but the last two seasons were certainly inferior to the first two.

The star of the show was George Sewell. He had a posh sidekick, Roger Rowland who proved extremely boring (he was one of the very few cast overlaps with the first two seasons, having appeared in a small part in an early show), so while the third season was being filmed they pepped up the cast with the addition of Patrick Mower, who quickly added a bit of tension and his peculiar brand of sleazy glam.

All four seasons are available on DVD in the UK, but make sure you know what you are buying. Seasons 1 & 2 are traditional, talky and studio set, so comparable with something like the Sandbaggers (not as good, I should add, but not unlike in style). Seasons 3 & 4 are location-filmed, gritty and action-oriented, so more like The Sweeney (not as good either).


11 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Special Branch (1969) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page