Dempsey and Makepeace

1985 | United Kingdom

James Dempsey was a New York cop working out of Manhattan's Ninth Precinct where he had uncovered corruption. That ultimately led him to shooting dead his partner, and in order to secure his own safety he was transferred to Britain. In the UK Dempsey went to work for a covert division of Scotland Yard known as SI10, and there he was teamed up with Lady Harriet Makepeace, a stunning blond graduate with a Cambridge degree in science and a distant claim to the throne, who had chosen to pursue a career in the police. 

Whilst the former Vietnam veteran was brash in his actions and quick to pull out his .357 Magnum, his new partner, a former archery champion was more disposed to using her influence with friends in high places. The result was a high adrenalin, all-action series including obligatory car chases and beatings up of London's criminal fraternity (as well as international drug-pushers and terrorists) in a style that took over where The Professionals left off. 

Michael Brandon was new to British TV viewers but came with a reputation of being a one-time Brooklyn gang member, whilst Glynis Barber was familiar to fans of Blake's 7 and BBC2's adaptation of the Daily Mirror wartime cartoon series Jane. Ray Smith starred as the pair's boss, loudmouth Liverpudlian Gordon Spikings and Tony Osoba (Jock in the comedy series Porridge) appeared as DS Charles Jarvis. The series was devised by Jesse Carr-Martindale but Ranald Graham created the TV format in the 105-minute pilot, Armed and Extremely Dangerous). The programme mainly worked because of the chemistry between the two stars - and not only on screen; romance blossomed and the pair eventually married in real life.

Published on December 7th, 2018. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.