1 9 7 1 – 1 9 7 3 (UK)
13 x 50 minute episodes
Premiering on Thursday 25 November 1971, this superb BBC2 drama series (later repeated on BBC1) featured the adventures of Daniel Pike (Roddy McMillan), a low-paid but tough and fearless private detective who looked and talked like a navvy and worked from a sleazy office in Glasgow’s Argyll Street.
Pike would investigate cases ranging from drug dealing to kidnap to murder with a little debt-collecting on the side for good measure. In the final episode, Four Walls, Pike was asked to help four bank robbers escape Glasgow – because one of them was his sluttish ex-wife!
Pike’s blind girlfriend, Sweet Sam (Beth Robens,) worked as a jazz pianist in a club.
McMillan delivered Pike’s hardboiled quips with a poker face and curling lip which would have done credit to Humphrey Bogart, and there was not a superfluous line of dialogue to be found.
The gritty series – born out of a play (Good Morning Yesterday) in the previous year’s Menace series on BBC2 – was devised by Edward Boyd.
Philomena and the Tattie-Howkers | The Manufactured Clue | Little Bird Lost | The Short Price Premium | A Tale of Two Cities | So This Is Olympus || Big Fleas, Little Fleas | Credit Where It’s Due | Away Match | None So Blind | Pig in the Middle | A Slight Case of Absalom | Four Walls