Much as detective inspector Sam Harvey would like to retire to devote himself full-time to his hobby of writing children's books, he has to solve a couple of intricate and baffling murder cases first.








Series cast summary:
Martin Jarvis ...  Detective Inspector Sam Harvey 12 episodes, 1980
Ed Bishop ...  Scott Douglas 6 episodes, 1980
Angela Browne ...  Margaret Randall 6 episodes, 1980
David Collings ...  Dr. Tucker 6 episodes, 1980
Judy Geeson ...  Becky Royce 6 episodes, 1980
John Lee ...  Norman Harris 6 episodes, 1980
Paul Shelley Paul Shelley ...  Peter Bradford 6 episodes, 1980
Michael Culver ...  Ernest Clifford 5 episodes, 1980
Derek Farr ...  Walter Randall 5 episodes, 1980
Glyn Houston ...  C.S. Bert Sinclair 5 episodes, 1980
Hilary Ryan Hilary Ryan ...  Jill Foster 5 episodes, 1980


Detective inspector Sam Harvey, better known to the general public as the author of the latest best-seller for ages 3 and up, 'Breakfast at the Zoo,' would like nothing better than to retire so he can devote himself full-time to penning the riveting sequels 'Lunch at the Zoo' and 'Dinner at the Zoo.' However, he has to solve a couple of complicated murder cases first. Plot twists and red herrings abound in this intricate thriller series, and corpses turn up with distressing regularity before the culprits are finally collared. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Mystery | Thriller







Release Date:

11 January 1980 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Auf eigene Faust - Eine Familienangelegenheit See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(12 episodes)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The second story of the pair, "The Local Affair", is a remake of Durbridge's earlier tale The Scarf (1959). See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Two great mysteries.
29 April 2019 | by Sleepin_DragonSee all my reviews

Breakaway remains the penultimate Francis Durbridge penned TV series, preceded of course by Channel four's adaptation of Melissa.

Twelve episodes divided into two mysteries, Breakaway tells the story of Sam Harvey, a Detective who aims to breakaway from the Police and focus on his writing.

Both stories show Durbridge at his very best, he uses a bag of tricks to throw the viewer into multiple blind alleys, very easy to get sucked in by one of the many red herrings.

Both stories are equally as good, and both feature some terrific performances.

I only wish they'd made more of them, if only to see more of those wonderful 1980's opening credits, the locked doors.

I wouldn't say it's Durbridge at his best, but they are excellent. 8/10

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See one user review »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed