1 9 6 7 – 1 9 6 8 (UK)
13 x 30 minute episodes
1 9 7 1 (UK)
6 x 30 minute episodes
The ancient and irascible Albert Haddock (played years above his age by Roy Dotrice) brought up and argued obscure points of arcane English law, such as in the debut episode – “The Negotiable Cow” – where he tried to settle a bill by presenting a cheque written on the side of a cow.
His adversary was usually Sir Joshua Hoot QC (Thorley Walters), and Avice Landon was Albert’s often bemused, long-suffering but always patient wife.
Stipendiary Magistrate Mr Justice Swallow (Alistair Sim) viewed Haddock’s rounds of unorthodox litigations and jurisprudence with tolerant admiration and occasional exasperation.
The episodes were adapted from Oxford law graduate A.P. Herbert’s collection of legal absurdities, which attempted to prove that the law, if not an ass, very often appears to behave like one.
The stories were first published in Punch magazine in 1924 and were later released over six books, the first of which was Misleading Cases, printed in 1927.
Alan Melville adapted the stories for the first two series. The third series appeared three years after the second and was written by Christopher Bond and Michael Gilbert.
Guest stars throughout the run of the show included such TV luminaries as Warren Mitchell, John Le Mesurier, Patricia Hayes, Irene Handl, Arthur Mullard and Fred Emney. John Cleese appeared in one episode just so he could work with Alistair Sim.
Stipendiary Magistrate Mr Justice Swallow
Sir Joshua Hoot QC