Friday, 20 February 2015
96 The Long Chase
First watched : Uncertain
Another one for my personal Top 10 here. This was probably the most ambitious and daring of all childrens' serials , a thirteen part thriller about two teenagers caught up in an international criminal conspiracy through the boys' father , a shamed policeman . The action moved across the length of the British Isles and involved some impressive stunt work with bikes being driven over cliffs, a well-staged kidnapping and as the title implies , plenty of nail-biting chases. It was I think the only dip into childrens' TV for the prolific writer N J Crisp who specialised in gritty thrillers and this was quite near the knuckle in its violence and suspense.
It was first broadcast on Monday teatimes from September 1972 but I don't think I saw too much of it then perhaps finding it a bit too scary but I watched the repeats on Sunday afternoons in the summer of 1974 religiously.
It's thought to be still extant but the Beeb have so far resisted calls for any further repeat or DVD release . Much of the clamour comes from fiftysomething guys wanting another look at the young Jan Francis although she was actually 24 at the time of filming. Her partner on the run was Simon Turner, fresh from his success in Tom Brown's Schooldays and the father was rugged Glyn Houston who starred in another Crisp drama The Brothers that we'll be discussing shortly.