1 9 6 9 – 1 9 7 5 (UK)
45 x 50 minute episodes
John Stride played David Main, an ambitious, dynamic and highly capable young solicitor, in this superb legal drama series from Yorkshire Television.
Having gained valuable experience over several years in London, David returns to his native Leeds to establish a new practice.
Driven by a thirst for success, he seeks out the most lucrative cases but is also a man with a conscience who often acts for the most vulnerable and underprivileged.
While his occasionally impetuous approach can take him into difficult legal waters – to the distaste of his more reserved and cautious Leeds partner Henry Castleton (John Wentworth) – Main’s acumen and resourcefulness rarely fail him.
As Main’s fortunes peak and trough, the most visible casualty of his ambitions is his personal life. By the beginning of the second series, he has divorced his wife, Julia (Kate O’Mara), to whom he initially gives full custody of their children when she remarries.
Over the years, he also has long drawn-out relationships with his sexy, highly efficient and long-suffering secretaries: first Sarah Courtenay (Anna Palk), who eventually marries to become Lady Radchester, and later the more exotic Inge Lindstrom (Sharon Maughan), who finally returns to Norway after realising that Main can only really love the Law.
His eventual remarriage ends tragically, with his wife’s death at the hands of a drunk driver. Main’s unorthodox attempts to bring to trial those responsible lead eventually to his being struck off the solicitor’s register.
At the conclusion of the final episode, Main is back in the provinces at the bottom rung of the legal ladder, alone and facing an uncertain future.
Created by Edmund Ward, The Main Chance was produced by David Cunliffe and John Frankau and ran for four series between 1969 and 1975.
Initially made in black and white, as the series’ popularity grew and it transferred to colour, some episodes even included overseas filming.