Home Television Drama Beiderbecke Tapes, The

Beiderbecke Tapes, The

1 9 8 7 (UK)
4 x 55 minute episodes

This four-part series followed on from The Beiderbecke Affair (1985) and was followed in turn by the four-part The Beiderbecke Connection in 1988.

Woodwork teacher Trevor Chaplin (James Bolam) moves in with his politically active English teacher girlfriend Jill Swinburne (Barbara Flynn) when his flat is knocked down to make way for a new road. He brings with him his thousands of jazz records and tapes.

Feeling swamped by his belongings, they go out for a drink. At the pub, Trevor befriends John, the barman (David Battley) who is also a jazz buff and promises to make Trevor some tapes from his record collection.

Trevor duly receives a pack of tapes from John and discovers among them a recording of men talking. Listening to it, Jill realises that it contains a discussion of plans to secretly dump nuclear waste in the Yorkshire dales.

Shortly afterwards, Trevor and Jill find that their flat has been searched and discover John has died in an accident.

Jill and Trevor are confronted by a man from Special Branch called Peterson (Malcolm Storry) who threatens them and demands to know where the tape is. Jill convinces him that she threw it in the canal.

At school, the headmaster Mr Wheeler (Keith Smith) tells Trevor and Jill that he has received complaints about the fact that they are living together despite being unmarried. To make amends he makes them promise to take part in a school trip to Holland, where they are pursued by the security forces

The tapes are eventually revealed as just a charade invented by shady government forces as a part of a disinformation campaign.

Trevor Chaplin
James Bolam
Jill Swinburne
Barbara Flynn
Mr Carter
Dudley Sutton
Mr Peterson
Malcolm Storry
Mr Wheeler
Keith Smith
Sylvia
Beryl Reid
John the Barman
David Battley