SPECIAL BRANCH, SET 1
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Classic British spy drama
"Groundbreaking drama" -The Independent (U.K.)
This gritty, realistic police procedural focuses on the Special Branch of London’s Metropolitan Police—a force dedicated to stopping terrorist activities and countering espionage in the nation’s capital. With an exceptional cast that includes George Sewell (Get Carter), Patrick Mower (Callan), and Richard Leech (Doctor Who), Special Branch is a suspenseful ride through the underbelly of Britain’s international affairs.
In the role of DCI Alan Craven, George Sewell provides a committed but world-weary epicenter to a dangerous, ever-shifting landscape of spies, assassins, surveillance, and sudden death. Working with a team of officers that includes the younger and brasher DCI Tom Haggerty (Mower), the veteran cop confronts explosive issues with life-or-death consequences.
BONUS Interview with George Sewell and Patrick Mower (17 min.)
Top Customer Reviews
National security is the theme in this Special Branch series. Perfection 1970s period crime mystery since it was filmed as contemporary in the 70s. Stories are good but lack the special final surprise twist built into 21st Century TV cop episodes. This series is liberally sprinkled with big guest stars, fun for nostalgia lovers. A few noted below.
SDH SUBTITLES for all episodes. Details for those who like them.
~~1 A Copper Called Craven
Smuggler claims he bribed D.C.I. Craven, who's suspended, & needs to clear his name. Pettiford (Peter Jeffrey -Middlemarch) treats him harsh. His boss is Nicholls (Richard Butler- Middlemarch). Craven's black lover, Pam (Sheila Scott-Wilkinson), also a nurse, appears in 7 episodes.
~~2 Round the Clock
Stakeout with partner DCI Haggerty is long & filled with tension.
Craven nicks a bloke (Clifford Rose- G.B.H. & Iron Lady) on small crimes, an effort to get more important secrets from the suspect.
Haggerty's dad's beating resulting in a coma is out of Special Branch jurisdiction until another victim (Richard Vernon- Duchess of Duke Street) leads to a manhunt.
Polish ship Capt/former Nazi collaborator will be a hard man for Craven & North to protect.Read more ›
In several episodes the senior police officers have culturally lower class confrontive behavior towards each other. They engage in physical and emotional violence against innocent suspects. In one episode the suspect is interviewed for several days and is not allowed to have an attorney present.
There are technical flaws. In one episode there is a cargo ship tied up at a dock. A frogman jumps into the water and is able to scale the sheer cliff 40 foot side of the ship in a few minutes without any tools. He is able to search the ship for a certain person without being seen by the crew and several police officers who are waiting for him. He shoots his victim only once and in the back. (The assailant is an experienced war veteran and would have emptied the whole clip on the victim.) The frogman leaps into the water. Instead of swimming away to a place where the shore is not swarming with policemen waiting for him, he makes to the local shore where he is caught. In a later scene the victim is in the hospital with a wound in the front of his shoulder. It is then revealed that the victim, even though he is a Polish citizen and captain of a Polish cargo ship, has detailed and up to date knowledge of Soviet practices in using trawlers for intelligence platforms. This is about as realistic as the CIA telling a Japanese cargo ship captain about how they collect information.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really tried to like this series, but the acting is so bad I lose interest after a few minutes.Published 19 months ago by bj
Even though this is listed as "Set one" it is actually season-3 of the series.
So if you are looking for series-1, this is not it.
Special Branch was a great disappointment .It was neither hard-hitting as The Scotsman (UK) nor ground breaking as The Independent (UK) stated. Read morePublished on April 9, 2013 by Bahaman
I'm of two minds about Special Branch. On the one hand, it features George Sewell, an actor I came to like through his appearance in the appalling science fiction series UFO. Read morePublished on February 28, 2013 by J. R. Trtek