In London, the twenty-seven year-old hairdresser Rita decides to complete her basic education before having children as desired by her husband Denny. She joins the literature course in an ... See full summary »
This series chronicled the lives of Bodie and Doyle, top agents for Britain's CI5 (Criminal Intelligence 5), and their controller, George Cowley. The mandate of CI5 was to fight terrorism ... See full summary »
Alcoholic and divorced father of a young daughter, DS Jim Bergerac is a true maverick who prefers doing things his own way, and consequently doesn't always carry out his investigations the way his boss would like.
A woman is found murdered in a house along the coast from Brighton. Local detectives Fellows and Wilks lead an investigation methodically following up leads and clues mostly in Brighton and... See full summary »
Arthur Daley, a small-time conman, hires former boxer Terry McCann to be his 'minder', so Terry can protect him (Arthur) from other, small-time, crooks. While Terry is trying his hardest to... See full summary »
Martin is a committee man. He has numerous schemes and committees organised around the neighbourhood. He is so obsessive about every detail of everything he does he is driving his long ... See full summary »
The series followed the wavering relationship between two ex-lovers, Penny Warrender, a secretary for an advertising firm, and Vincent Pinner, an ex ice cream salesman turned turf ... See full summary »
George Baxter was a highly successful corporation lawyer who was always in control of everything at the office, but almost nothing at home. When he returned from the office at day's end, to... See full summary »
Good series from the days when ITV could make drama
Hazell was one of a clutch of London-based drama series of high quality which ITV produced in the 1970s, with others from this era including Minder, Budgie and Out. Minder aside, I was too young to watch these series when they were originally broadcast, however I've really enjoyed catching them on DVD. Hazell was an interesting take on the private eye genre, with the 'tec as a Cockney ex-cop with a classic car and a nice line in dialogue.
Nicholas Ball is convincing in the title role, and I'm a little surprised he didn't become a bigger name on TV post-Hazell. I didn't know the writers thought he was too young for the part, and I'm astounded they considered John Bindon for the role. Bindon could play a tough nut, which of course is what he was in real life, but as Dennis Waterman said in his autobiography, Bindon wasn't what you would call an actor.
As well as sharp dialogue, Hazell benefited from a very capable supporting cast, which included Roddy McMillan as the teetotal Scots CID officer Choc Minty, Desmond McNamara as cousin Tel, and James Faulkner as Gordon Gregory, the posh lawyer with some very dubious clients. With regard to a remake of Hazell, I did hear a rumour a while back about Ray Winstone taking the lead role (I feel Jimmy Hazell would be a better part for him than Vincent), and I'm disappointed it hasn't happened.
However, it doesn't surprise me in the slightest that the useless lot in charge of drama at ITV think Hazell is 'dated and sexist'. James Hazell was hardly someone who treated women badly, and Barbara Young played a strong (but not butch) lesbian character in the series, so go figure, as the Americans say. Nowadays, Network Centre (dubbed by one national TV critic Notwork Centre) is content to churn out endless series by Lynda La Plante and unimaginative guff by Kay Mellor, therefore how they can dismiss worthwhile ideas so freely is beyond me.
A measure of ITV's current hold on reality - phone quiz cons aside - is that they think Caroline Quentin is star material. Dearie me. Back to Hazell, and it's a great shame there's been no similar series on our screens for many years. Television drama series aimed primarily at men have been extremely thin on the ground for a very long time, and with TV advertisers said to be desperate to reach younger men, you'd think the answer was obvious. Even to the right-on dullards running drama at ITV.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?