Manhunt (1969 TV series)

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Manhunt
GenreDrama
Created byRex Firkin
StarringAlfred Lynch
Peter Barkworth
Cyd Hayman
Theme music composerLudwig van Beethoven
Opening themeSymphony No. 5 (Beethoven)
Ending themeSymphony No. 5 (Beethoven)
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series1
No. of episodes26
Production
Executive producer(s)Rex Firkin
Producer(s)Andrew Brown
Running time26 x 50 minute episodes
Production company(s)London Weekend Television
Release
Original networkITV
Audio formatMono
Original release2 January (1970-01-02) –
26 June 1970 (1970-06-26)

Manhunt is a World War II drama series consisting of 26 episodes, produced by London Weekend Television in 1969 and broadcast nationwide from January 1970.[1]

Synopsis[edit]

British pilot Jimmy Briggs (Alfred Lynch) crashes his aeroplane in occupied France and immediately finds himself on the run from the Nazis, he meets a young girl, Nina (Cyd Hayman), a part-Jewish agent with important information, and vows to get her back to Britain. He is helped by another agent, code-named Vincent (Peter Barkworth), and pursued across France by S.S. Officer Lutzig (Philip Madoc), and the ambivalent Abwehr Sgt. Gratz (Robert Hardy), a complex psychological character who is implied to fall in love with Nina. Unlike most previous war dramas, the Nazis were presented as more than just fanatical thugs. While Lutzig was close to the stereotype, although given great depth by Philip Madoc, Gratz could not have been more different. Unlike many similar dramas, Manhunt also portrayed in detail the rivalry between the SS and the Abwehr.

Although the overall plot is driven by the need to keep Nina out of the hands of the Germans and return her to England with her secret information, the series ended in an anti-climax. Gratz is sure that he has all of Nina's information anyway, mostly through pillow talk and carelessness on her part. Nina and Jimmy, despite their closeness while on the run, live in different worlds in England, their relationship does not endure.

Cast[edit]

Character Actor
Jimmy Briggs Alfred Lynch
Vincent Peter Barkworth
Nina Cyd Hayman
Adelaide Maggie Fitzgibbon
Abwehr Sgt Gratz Robert Hardy
Lutzig Philip Madoc

In addition, Manhunt features many notable guest appearances, such as by Paul Darrow, John Savident, George Sewell, Julian Glover, Nerys Hughes, Tony Beckley, and Richard Hurndall.

Notes[edit]

  • The Allied agents identify themselves to each other at one point with the challenge "What is war?" to which the answer is "War is love."
  • The musical theme was taken from Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, which features the famous rhythm used to introduce radio broadcasts to Nazi occupied territories, and also signifies the letter "V", for Victory, in Morse Code.
  • With the exception of the episode "One More River" which was shot on film, the programme was shot on colour videotape.
  • The episode "Intent To Steal" is most uncharacteristic of the series and features very little dialogue.
  • The Gratz character appears to some extent to be modelled on Abwehr operative Hugo Bleicher, who was also an NCO and reputedly had a French Resistant as a mistress.

Episode list[edit]

Episode no. Title Director Writer(s) Original Air Date
01"Fare Forward Voyagers"Bill BainBruce Stewart2 January 1970 (1970-01-02)
As Germans break up a meeting of French Resistance leaders, ‘Nina’ escapes with British agent ‘Vincent’, along with RAF pilot Jimmy, whose plane has crashed nearby.
02"Break-Up"Rex FirkinDerek Ingrey9 January 1970 (1970-01-09)
After witnessing the rape of a farm girl by a Vichy policeman, Nina is shocked by the scant sympathy shown by the others and breaks away on her own - with dire results.
03"Only The Dead Survive"Cyril CokeRoy Clarke16 January 1970 (1970-01-16)
With the Gestapo closing in on them, Vincent takes Nina and Jimmy to his family chateau where they are hidden by a loyal gamekeeper.
04"What Did You Do In The War, Daddy?"Bill BainArden Winch23 January 1970 (1970-01-23)
JImmy, Vincent and Nina hide in a disused room at the top of Vincent’s family chateau - but the refuge becomes a prison when the Gestapo occupy the lower rooms.
05"One More River"Cyril CokeBruce Stewart30 January 1970 (1970-01-30)
Vincent, Jimmy and Nina have 50 miles of occupied France to traverse before they reach the River Cher, where Free France begins.
06"Open House"Bill BainJonathan Hales6 February 1970 (1970-02-06)
Vincent, Jimmy and Nina seek refuge in a ‘safe’ house. But who are the mysterious figures in the shadows?
07"Better Doubt Than Die"Cyril CokeHarry Green13 February 1970 (1970-02-13)
As the German military roars south to Toulon, Vincent, Jimmy and Nina hide in an old toll-house. But Vincent risks their lives by trying to contact the local Resistance.
08"A Different Kind of War"Rex FirkinJonathan Hales20 February 1970 (1970-02-20)
Jimmy and Nina shelter at a farmhouse. At once, they realise they’ve walked into a bizarre and sinister situation.
09"Betrayal"Cyril CokeElwyn Jones27 February 1970 (1970-02-27)
Gratz closes in on Vincent, Jimmy and Nina as they hide in an armaments factory. One of the workers is an informer - but which one?
10"With a Sort of Love"Bill BainVincent Tilsley6 March 1970 (1970-03-06)
Gratz interrogates Nina; his methods are persuasive. Lutzig also wants her information - provoking conflict between the SS and the Abwehr.
11"The Price of Resistance"Cyril CokeHugo Charteris13 March 1970 (1970-03-13)
.
12"The Enemy You Know"Bill BainJonathan Hales20 March 1970 (1970-03-20)
At a sleazy nightclub - now the focal point for both the Resistance and collaborators - Vincent, Jimmy and Nina see more danger in hiding and put themselves in full view of the SS.
13"A Way to Die"Cyril CokeAndrew Brown27 March 1970 (1970-03-27)
Jimmy and Vincent learn of an impending SS raid on a junk shop where a Resistance meeting is planned. Unable to give warning, they visit the shop - with tragic results.
14"One Way Home"Bill BainJonathan Hales3 April 1970 (1970-04-03)
Narrowly escaping the SS round-up in which Vincent was caught, Jimmy is hidden by a French Resistance girl - but her brainwashed younger brother is a potential informer.
15"Little Man, Big Gun Pt 1"Robert TronsonVincent Tilsley10 April 1970 (1970-04-10)
Gratz captures a young British agent, and exploits Nina's attraction for the agent in order to extract information from him. But the agent is wary of Gratz's offer.
16"Little Man, Big Gun pt 2"James OrmerodVincent Tilsley17 April 1970 (1970-04-17)
Nina and David are holed up in Gratz's apartment. Playing a series of mind games, Gratz proves that David’s affection for Nina is weaker than his sense of duty.
17"The Ugly Side of War"Cyril CokeWilliam Martin24 April 1970 (1970-04-24)
Posing as a seaman, Jimmy infiltrates the German-controlled metalworks in Bordeaux where he makes an important discovery.
18"Confessional"Bill BainHugo Charteris1 May 1970 (1970-05-01)
Nina and Adelaide rendezvous in the church of St Xavier. But is it a Gestapo ruse to get Nina away from Gratz?
19"The Death-Wish"Robert TronsonArden Winch8 May 1970 (1970-05-08)
In Paris, Vincent is offered his freedom. How can he be sure it is not a trap?
20"Machine"James OrmerodPeter J Hammond15 May 1970 (1970-05-15)
A Gestapo agent in the metalworks terrorises Jimmy into revealing his identity - and an innocent Polish worker is executed.
21"Degrade and Rule"Cyril CokeHarry Green22 May 1970 (1970-05-22)
Gratz tries to trick British Intelligence by the use of a captured transmitter and a British agent; his plan backfires and he is arrested.
22"Intent to Steal"Robert TronsonJonathan Hales29 May 1970 (1970-05-29)
Vincent, Jimmy and Adelaide, with a strong force of the Bordeaux Resistance organisation, infiltrate the German-controlled metalworks in a last desperate attempt to seize an aircraft component.
23"The Train May Be Late"James OrmerodAlfred Shaughnessy5 June 1970 (1970-06-05)
Vincent, Nina and Adelaide embark on a highly dangerous train journey.
24"Little Man, What Next? Pt 1"Bill BainVincent Tilsley12 June 1970 (1970-06-12)
Lutzig arrests Gratz, who is tortured in an effort to force him to betray Nina. He resists and survives, but is finally confronted by someone he is shocked to see.
25"Little Man, What Next? Pt 2"Robert TronsonVincent Tilsley19 June 1970 (1970-06-19)
As the price of his freedom, Gratz makes a promise to Lutzig: he will lead the SS to Nina.
26"The Losers"James GoddardWilliam Martin26 June 1970 (1970-06-26)
Encouraged by Gratz and aided by the Resistance, Nina, JImmy and Adelaide hope to escape to England. Can they really make it to freedom?

See also[edit]

  • Colditz, a 1972 television drama set during WW2, which also portrayed German characters in a more sympathetic way.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brockman, David (1 November 2002). "Watching London". Transdiffusion Broadcasting System. Archived from the original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 9 October 2007. Early programmes from LWT included a 26-part drama series set among the French resistance in World War II called 'Manhunt'
  • Evans, Jeff (2001). The Penguin TV Companion. Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-051467-8.

External links[edit]