1 9 6 9 (UK)
8 x 60 minute episodes
Peter Egan played the title role – “Hog” being a nickname for George Hogarth – in this London gangland underworld series from Granada.
Ruthlessly ambitious, young, long-haired, handsome and flash, Hog was the nemesis of the old-style London gangs as well as the police.
He was a nasty up-and-coming young villain. The sort of villain you didn’t want to cross.
Hog had no respect for authority whatever side of the law it was on, and his audacious robberies soon brought him to the attention of the established underworld who decided he needed a lesson in criminal etiquette.
But when local crime boss Ryan (Godfrey Quigley) made an example of Hog by giving him a public beating in his nightclub the young upstart exacted his revenge by returning with a bottle of acid and throwing it into the face of one of Ryan’s subordinates.
A daring raid on several jewellery establishments suddenly put Hog into the big league but also brought him to the attention of a law firm nicknamed Scot-Yanks – which was actually a front for a mafia-style operation that controlled and took profits from all major criminal activity.
With the owner of Scot-Yanks residing in a high-security prison, the firm was experiencing its own power struggle. Scot-Yanks was currently controlled by the equally ruthless and manipulative Lennox (Timothy West) who decided that Hog was just the person he needed to spring their owner from prison – but only so Lennox could have him murdered.
But Hog was one step ahead and had knowledge of another murder arranged by Lennox, which had left a crucial witness, Ackerman (Donald Burton), a one-time private eye who had been blackmailed into working for Scot-Yanks and bitterly resented Lennox as a consequence.
Hog then set his sights on taking over Scot-Yanks.
The unprecedented violence in the programme led to many viewer complaints, right from the very first episode – probably why this otherwise brilliant series was so short-lived.
Many ITV regions dropped the series after the first two episodes. It seems the public were not yet ready for the criminal fraternity in all their gory colours. The series was never repeated on television again.
Robin Chapman produced and wrote the show, with Michael Apted and Mike Newell directing.
George ‘Hog’ Hogarth
A Promising, If Impulsive Pupil | Hogarth Can Do Better | Improving, But He Must Not Flout Authority | Immature, Unsatisfactory Work… | Hogarth Accepts Responsibility | Self-Discipline Is Its Own Reward | Hogarth Cannot Rest on His Laurels | A Credit to Us All