TV Cream

TV: D is for...

Dempsey and Makepeace

“A GOLDEN EAGLE Production for London Weekend Television” Ah dear. That ace theme couldn’t paper over the flakiness of this one-eye-on-flogging-it-to-the-Yanks effort, wherein New York cop MICHAEL BRANDON teams up with landed gentry LADY GLYNIS BARBER to fight crime on the bonechilling streets of Bloomsbury. Scouse boss Gordon Spikings (RAY SMITH) always acted like he didn’t give a shit.



  1. Glenn A

    July 5, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Oh come on, what would you sooner have on a Saturday night, a rigged talent contest that is like watching paint dry or a pair of crimefighters taking on gangsters and terrorists in London. 14 million people seemed to think Dempsey and Makepeace were worth it.

  2. Richard16378

    July 6, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    I was just thinking today how ITV seem to make OK programmes only when they really try, & normally just make the minimum effort, even when ratings & ad revenue is really low.

  3. THX 1139

    July 26, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    Ray Smith was Welsh, not Scouse, hence the Welsh accent. This series appeared to have been designed for those who believe Brannigan is the best John Wayne movie. Which it is, of course. Only joking. Or am I?

  4. Joanne Gray

    February 10, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    I loved this show (well, I spent a lot of time fantasising about Michael Brandon – but what red blooded teenage girl didn’t back then?) and found it an adequate replacement for The Professionals.

  5. Glenn Aylett

    July 25, 2020 at 5:08 pm

    Re runs on ITV 4 have proven how good this series was, and being made on location, hasn’t dated it as badly as BBC dramas of this era. Also the car chases, brusque boss in the form of Spikings and daft plots owe quite a lot to The Professionals.

  6. Sidney Balmoral James

    August 5, 2022 at 8:30 pm

    THX 1139 is spot-on with the Brannigan vibe. Although this looks a bit naff when viewed today, to youngsters in the 80s this was absolutely bloody fantastic, with some quite dark stories (the one with Suzi Quatro is particularly good).

    • Glenn Aylett

      August 7, 2022 at 12:57 pm

      @ Sidney Balmoral James, Brannigan was class, the best John Wayne film ever( miles better than his tedious westerns). Tony Booth, the Capri jumping Tower Bridge, the killer in the clapped out E Type Jaguar and a booby trap with a shotgun, it’s so seventies, but with an American slant. Also worth checking out is Wayne’s other cop film, Mc Q, his second best film ever with the memorable chase through seventies Seattle and the car chase on the beach.

  7. Droogie

    August 6, 2022 at 1:40 am

    The only episode of this I remember seeing was one where Glynis Barber goes undercover as a high class escort girl and briefly appears in sexy underwear ( well I was 14.)
    I wouldn’t mind watching some old episodes of this – just for the shots of 80’s deserted Docklands London before gentrification happened. They’d nearly always have a scene on Bankside by The Thames – usually for a car chase. They wouldn’t be able to film that now – there’d be a Starbucks in shot every 50 feet.

    • Sidney Balmoral James

      August 6, 2022 at 8:53 am

      The credits had a prominent shot of Barber in some sort of very 80s teddy but the programme was arguably quite restrained in not flaunting her indubitable charms. It was all lost on me anyway, as I was about 9 when it started. This sort of programme – which really belonged in the 1970s – took a long time to die out – think Virtual Murder, Bugs (1999 incredibly).

      • Richardpd

        August 6, 2022 at 10:47 am

        Virtual Murder was a weird show, especially the one with Tony Robinson & the skeletons!

        Bugs was an mixed bag, trying to be an Avengers for the cyberpunk era on the same budget per minute as McCoy era Dr Who. The first series was OK with mostly self contained episodes, especially as the BBC had been loathe to make science fiction drama for years.

        Shame the later episodes gradually phased in a near-future setting just made everything even more cheap & embarrassing.

  8. David Smith

    August 6, 2022 at 7:49 am

    There was at least one episode of this which featured the LWT building standing in as some villain’s HQ.

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