Friday, 8 April 2016
373 Danger UXB
First viewed : Winter 1979
I never saw very much of this wartime drama series made by Euston Films , either because it was on at 9.00 pm on a Monday or because Mum preferred the Nine o Clock News to something with the loathed Iain Cuthbertson in it or a combination of the two.
The series followed a young lieutenant Brian Ash ( Anthony Andrews ) who unexpectedly finds himself in charge of a bomb disposal unit in London during the Blitz. He has to deal with unexploded bombs as the Germans make their fuses progressively more complicated and his life ever more dangerous. His love life becomes equally complicated when he starts an affair with Susan ( Judy Geeson ), the married daughter of the boffin Dr Gillespie ( Cuthbertson ) with whom he is working. There was a strong supporting cast with stony-faced Scot Maurice Roeves playing his loyal Sergeant, George Innes as his shiftless Corporal and first regular TV roles for Kenneth Cranham and Robert Pugh ( the priest in The Lakes ).
The series, based on the real life adventures of a Major A B Hartley, made for good drama with plenty of nailbiting tension, a high mortality rate and plenty of gallows humour. It only lasted for one 13-part series but that was probably for the best; there's only so many bomb de-fusings you can screen without the series either getting boring or needing a replacement lead character on a regular basis.
Andrews went on to Brideshead Revisited but aside from the forgotten Breakaway this was the last regular British TV series for Geeson before she emigrated to LA in 1984.