Law & Order (UK TV series)

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This article is about the 1978 BBC Two television plays. For the 2009 spin-off of the U.S. television series, see Law & Order: UK.

Law & Order (often referred to as Law and Order) is a series of four British television plays written by G. F. Newman and directed by Les Blair. It was first transmitted in 1978 on BBC Two.

The Tales[edit]

The four stories within Law & Order were told from the perspective of the Detective, the Villain, the Brief and the Prisoner.

A Detective's Tale[edit]

The first play (broadcast on BBC2 on 6 April 1978) focuses upon Scotland Yard, Detective Inspector Fred Pyle - played by Derek Martin. Pyle is open to corruption from villains and operates a system of 'checks and balances' where certain villains get brought to justice and some do not. After a meeting with his informant Mickey Fielder (Roy Stone), Pyle discovers that a villain from Kentish Town Jack Lynn (Peter Dean) is putting together an armed robbery of a supermarket in Putney. Prior to this Pyle had arrested Clifford Harding (Alan Ford), following a police raid of his home which recovered an illegal firearm. Harding agrees to bribe Pyle to walk away from the firearms charge. Pyle however knows he can get more out of Harding and later on uses Harding's relationship with Lynn to make him turn informant and gain further information about the supermarket robbery. Pyle's informant Fielder reveals the date and time of Lynn's robbery but for some reason it does not happen. Pyle however is determined to nail Lynn and is willing to resort to 'fit up' tactics to gain a conviction - even if he has not actually committed the crime in question. Add to this a cosy relationship with a corrupt lawyer Alex Gladwell (Ken Campbell), and a seemingly blind eye to his activities from superiors within Scotland Yard it seems Pyle is almost a law unto himself.

  • Derek Martin – D.I. Fred Pyall
  • Ken Campbell (I) – Alex Gladwell
Guest cast
  • Byron Sotiris – Duty Sergeant
  • Stewart Harwood – Police Constable Malcolm
  • Chris Hallam – D.S. Lewis
  • David Stockton – D.S. Tony Shields
  • Tom De-Ville – D.I. Frank Polden
  • Roy Sone – Micky Fielder
  • John Hogan – D.S. Ian Middlewick
  • Geoffrey Todd – D.C. Peter Fenton
  • David Harris (II) – Witness
  • Val Clover – Telephonist
  • Michael Sheard – Insurance Assessor
  • Cy Wallis – Billy Little
  • Steve Kelly – Maurice Dickinson
  • Billy Dean (II) – David Shepley
  • Stanley Price – Brian Finch

A Villain's Tale[edit]

The second play (broadcast on BBC2 on 13 April 1978) focuses on Jack Lynn. After two of his 'firm' are arrested for an unconnected armed robbery, Lynn is short of personnel and sets about recruiting for the supermarket robbery. He approaches longtime associate John Tully (Barry Summerford), who is interested but has already made commitments to a 'firm' planning an armed raid on a British Gas depot in Romford. Lynn continues with his plans recruiting Tommy Haines (Mike Cummings), to act as a backup man, and procures firearms from Alf Coster an arms dealer with a middle-class grocer front (Philip Hayes). Lynn stores the weapons at a lock-up garage that he rented in a false name, and is ready to go. However he is under pressure from his wife Cathy (Deirdre Costello), to give up his life of crime and go straight. Furthermore Lynn discovers Mickey Fielder is Pyle's informant and has given Pyle details of their supermarket robbery. Lynn decides to postpone the robbery and take retribution against Fielder for informing, giving him a severe beating and smashing his kneecaps.

  • Peter Dean – Jack Lynn
  • Derek Martin – D.I. Fred Pyall
Guest cast
  • Fred Haggerty – D.C.I. Tony Simmons
  • Mike Cummings – Tommy Haines
  • John Bardon – Del Rogers
  • Alf Coster – Philip Hayes
  • Tony Barouch – Collin Coleman
  • Alan Davidson (II) – Benny Isaacs
  • Barry Summerford – John Tully
  • Colin Howells – D.C. Roger Humphreys
  • Robert Oates – D.C. Warren Salter
  • Johnny Feltwell – D.C. Matthew Hall
  • Alan Clarke (II) – D.C. Ray Jenkins
  • Mike Horsburgh – D.I. Graham McHale
  • Doug Sheldon – D.S. Jack Barcy
  • Geoffrey Todd – D.C. Peter Fenton
  • John Blackburn – Security Guard

A Brief's Tale[edit]

(Broadcast on BBC2 on 20 April 1978)

Episode Summary

Alex Gladwell, brought in to represent Jack Lynn, will use any means to get his client off.

Stars
  • Peter Dean – Jack Lynn
  • Derek Martin – D.I. Fred Pyall
  • Ken Campbell (I) – Alex Gladwell
Guest cast
  • Terence Bayler – Michel Messick Q.C.
  • André van Gyseghem – Judge Robert Quigley
  • Michael Griffiths – Horace McMillan Q.C.
  • Peter Welch – Brian Harpenden-Smith Q.C.
  • Barry Summerford – John Tully
  • Alan Davidson (II) – Benny Isaacs
  • Tony Barouch – Colin Coleman
  • Jason White – D.C. Simon Brent
  • Frank Henson – Frank Ryan
  • Mark Gordon (III) – Mr. English
  • Jean Leppard – Margaret Lloyd
  • Peter Craze – T.D.C. Peter Footring
  • Jeffrey Segal – Stanley Eaton Q.C.
Recurring roles

A Prisoner's Tale[edit]

(Broadcast on BBC2 on 27 April 1978)

Episode Summary

Lynn is sent down, (to prison) but rehabilitation is not on the agenda.

Star
  • Peter Dean – Jack Lynn
Guest cast
  • Graham Gough – P.O. Powell
  • Ronan Paterson – P.O. Westbury
  • Dave Atkins – P.O. Dorman
  • Max Latimer – Prison Officer, Visiting Room
  • Laurence Foster – Senior Officer Walters
  • Stanley Illsley – Visiting Committee
  • Terry Yorke – Police Sergeant, A.10
  • Dominic Allan – Inspector Chatt, A.10
  • Stanley McGeagh – Trevor Reid
  • Alf Roberts – Prison Officer, Punishment Block
  • Ian Munro – Prison Officer, Punishment Block
  • Mark Warren (IV) – Prison Officer, Legal Visiting Room
  • Colin Taylor – Prison Officer, Visiting Room
  • Harry Landis – M.P.
  • Pauline Wynn – Visiting Committee

Critical reaction[edit]

The series was highly controversial upon its release because of its depiction of a corrupt British law enforcement and legal system.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Newman, G.F. Television interview with Mark Lawson. Mark Lawson Talks to... G.F. Newman. United Kingdom: BBC Four. 11 August 2008.

External links[edit]