Home Television Drama No Hiding Place

No Hiding Place

1 9 5 9 – 1 9 6 7 (UK)
236 x 55 minute episodes

ITV’s best new series of 1959 was No Hiding Place – son of Crime Sheet and grandson of Murder Bag.

Raymond Francis as Superintendent Lockhart was still the central character, but Sergeant Harry Baxter (Eric Lander) built up such a strong female following that he was promoted to his own series, Echo Four-Two, in 1961.

Unfortunately, an Equity strike meant that only seven of the intended thirteen programmes were recorded and Echo Four-Two died a quick death.

At first, No Hiding Place was filmed live, which meant that even car chases were done in the studio. As the series progressed, Lockhart was joined by two more detectives, played by Michael McStay and Johnny Briggs.

The latter, who went on to find fame in Coronation Street as Mike Baldwin, joined the force in 1964 as Detective Sergeant Russell; but he nearly didn’t measure up to the part.

Briggs is relatively short, and Raymond Francis – who was 6′ 1″ – advised him that he stood a better chance of getting the part if he wore lifts in his shoes. So Briggs did just that. Once he had got the part he had a pair of shoes specially made to make him three inches taller.

Chief Detective Superintendent Lockhart and Detective Sergeant Baxter.

While filming on the Embankment in London, Michael McStay (in plain clothes) was leading two uniformed policemen in a chase for an unseen villain.

A passer-by witnessed this, thought McStay was trying to escape from the officers and whacked the actor over the head with a silver-knobbed cane, and McStay had to be taken to hospital.

No Hiding Place never lost its appeal, and when in 1965 it was announced that the series was to be dropped, both the public and the police protested. So it was brought back for two more years before Lockhart finally laid his snuffbox to rest.

Det. Supt. Tom Lockhart
Raymond Francis
DS Harry Baxter

Eric Lander
DS Russell

Johnny Briggs
DS Gregg

Sean Caffrey
DS Perryman

Michael McStay