Trevor Chaplin teaches woodwork and likes to listen to jazz. Jill Swinburne teaches English and wants to help save the planet. Trevor tries to buy some jazz records but this leads to ... See full summary »

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Complete series cast summary:
 Trevor Chaplin (6 episodes, 1985)
 Jill Swinburne (6 episodes, 1985)
 Det. Sgt. Hobson (6 episodes, 1985)
 Big Al (6 episodes, 1985)
 Mr. Carter (6 episodes, 1985)
Keith Smith ...
 Mr. Wheeler (6 episodes, 1985)
Danny Schiller ...
 Little Norm (5 episodes, 1985)
 Chief Supt. Forrest (4 episodes, 1985)
Keith Marsh ...
 Harry (4 episodes, 1985)
Alison Skilbeck ...
 Helen / ... (3 episodes, 1985)
Sue Jenkins ...
 Janey (3 episodes, 1985)


Trevor Chaplin teaches woodwork and likes to listen to jazz. Jill Swinburne teaches English and wants to help save the planet. Trevor tries to buy some jazz records but this leads to meeting a "dazzlingly beautiful platinum blond", a suspicious detective sergeant and a strange pair of men running a junior football team. Big Al and Little Norm agree to help Trevor and Jill with their school supplies problems. Jill decides to stand as a local councillor. A tale of "Black Economies", council corruption and many strange characters all set to a background of Bix Beiderbecke. Written by Steve Crook <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

6 January 1985 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(6 parts)

Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


The names of the leading characters were developed from the characters in Alan Plater's earlier series Get Lost! (1981). When the actors had to be re-cast, Plater looked for new names for what were similar characters. Neville Keaton from 'Get Lost' was a woodwork teacher who liked jazz and football. For the Beiderbecke Trilogy, he became Trevor Chaplin, Keaton and Chaplin being two of Plater's comic heroes. Judy Threadgold from 'Get Lost' was an English teacher and an environmentalist who had been named in homage to Sunderland A.F.C. goalkeeper Harry Threadgold. For the Beiderbecke Trilogy, she became Jill Swinburne, named after Newcastle United F.C. goalkeeper Tom Swinburne. See more »


Trevor Chaplin: It's two years exactly...
Jill Swinburne: Two years exactly since I dragged you into bed for the first time and slaked my lust on your body.
Mr Carter: Education is wonderful, isn't it?
Jill Swinburne: Yes. I wonder why we're all teachers - seems such a waste.
See more »


Followed by The Beiderbecke Connection (1988) See more »


Cryin' All Day
Written by Frankie Trumbauer and Chauncey Morehouse
Performed by Bix Beiderbecke
See more »

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User Reviews

Splendily entertaining and disturbingly prescient
3 May 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This was not the first outing for Alan Plater's schoolteacher detectives, who in 1981's Get Lost had been played admirably by Alun Armstrong and Frances Tomelty. However no-one could quibble with the re-casting. James Bolam effortlessly nails each line of the arch dialogue, while the talented Barbara Flynn has that rare quality of looking both believably ordinary and incredibly fanciable. Some wonderful British character actors also get plenty of screen time in what is effectively an ensemble piece. Colin Blakely, Keith Marsh, Danny Schiller, Robert Longden and Keith Clarke all do sterling work, but special mention must be made of Dudley Sutton's tweedy schoolmaster and Terence Rigby's saturnine Big Al, while Dominic Jephcott was a real find as the callow university educated detective. A beautifully constructed series, that remains as pertinent as ever in a society increasingly disrespectful of privacy and intolerant of eccentricity.

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