Dick Barton - Television

Television

In 1979, Southern Television, one of the smaller ITV Network Companies, made a series of Dick Barton - Special Agent which ran in an early evening slot on the ITV Network.

Like the original, it ran in 15 minute segments and was again accompanied by the iconic theme tune, the titles playing against an animated dagger and target motif. The production was blighted by financial troubles though and some critics said it was a mistake to try to resurrect the character.

The cast of the show were Tony Vogel as Dick Barton, Anthony Heaton as Snowey White, James Cosmo as Jock Anderson, John Gantrel as Sir Richard Marley. The 32x15 minutes episodes were transmitted by most of the ITV network on Saturdays and Sundays between January and April 1979. Southern, however, screened the show across consecutive nights from Mondays through to Thursday in the radio series' original timeslot of 6.45 to 7.00pm

  • Adventure One written by Clive Exton, in ten parts. Demobbed after six years in the army, old friend Sir Richard Marley asks Barton to look into the disappearance of his daughter Virginia (Fiona Fullerton) and son Rex (Kevan Sheehan). They come up against master criminal, Melganik played by John G Heller.
  • Adventure Two written by Julian Bond, in eight parts. At a late night celebration at the "Blue Parrot", Barton and his colleagues rescue a young girl, Lucy Cameron (Debbie Farrington) from being attacked. She tells them that her father, George Cameron (Colin Rix) has been kidnapped by the evil Muller (Guy Deghy) who is after the deadly poison he has developed.
  • Adventure Three written by Clive Exton, in six parts. Celebrating from the last adventure, Dick's Aunt Agatha (Stella Kemball) rings up and tells him that her house has vanished. A further phone call from Sir Richard Marley reveals that scientist, Harold Jenkins (Peter Godfrey) has perfected his ultimate weapon and Barton and comrades soon find themselves up against Melganik again.
  • Adventure Four written by Julian Bond, in eight parts. Dandy Parkes (Terence Seward), a middle-aged playboy and Amanda Aston (Marsha Fitzalan), wife of a respected Whitehall official are threatened by the Drew Brothers (Ernie Drew by Bernard Kay).

The complete series was released on DVD in March 2009, and in 2010 reruns of Dick Barton are being shown on the British satellite television channel Film 24. Rumours have suggested that a revival starring actor Nigel Havers was being planned, but to date this has come to nothing.

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