7.6/10
61
2 user 1 critic

Special Branch 

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.
Reviews

Episodes

Seasons


Years



4   3   2   1  
1974   1973   1970   1969  

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Minder (1979–1994)
Adventure | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

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 »

Stars: George Cole, Glynn Edwards, Dennis Waterman
Bergerac (1981–1991)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

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.

Stars: John Nettles, Terence Alexander, Sean Arnold
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
Target (1977–1978)
Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A small team of detectives solve crimes of a varied nature in Southampton.

Stars: Patrick Mower, Philip Madoc, Brendan Price
Softly Softly: Task Force (TV Series 1969)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

1970s BBC police drama with experienced cop DCS Charlie Barlow. and DS John Watt who lead a task force charged with tackling the toughest chases Thamesford has to offer.

Stars: Frank Windsor, Norman Bowler, David Lloyd Meredith
The Sweeney (1974–1978)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Jack Regan is a hard edged detective in the Flying Squad of London's Metropolitan Police. He pursues villains by methods which are underhanded and often illegal themselves, frequently violent and more often than not successful.

Stars: John Thaw, Dennis Waterman, Garfield Morgan
Public Eye (1965–1975)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Cynical, dour and world-weary, private eye Frank Marker is frequently the unwitting stooge in bigger criminal wheels in his attempts to make a tenuous living on the outskirts of London.

Stars: Alfred Burke, Ray Smith, Pauline Delaney
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
Derren Nesbitt ...  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
Fulton Mackay ...  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 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:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 September 1969 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Brigada especial See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(53 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Patrick Mower has said that he was brought into the series to give "Special Branch" a bit more zest. 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 Remembering Douglas Camfield (2013) 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 kmoh-1See 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).


15 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed