26th December 1991
Last ever episode of Bergerac is broadcast
All good things must come to an end – eventually. After nine series, comprising 81 episodes and six Christmas specials, the story of Jim Bergerac of the fictional Bureau des Etrangers was brought to a close. One of the BBC’s longest-running and most successful police dramas, Bergerac drew to a close.
The series had been created by producer Robert Banks Steward and was first broadcast in autumn 1981. Made by the BBC in association with Seven Network in Australia, it starred John Nettles as a divorced, recovering alcoholic policeman returning to work after an accident that had resulted in a broken leg.
There were several recurring characters aside from Bergerac himself, including most notably Charlie Hungerford, played by Terence Alexander who had a knack of knowing many of the subjects of Bergerac’s investigations. There was a family connection, too, as Hungerford was Bergerac’s ex-father in law, and the two enjoyed an amicable but occasionally testy relationship. Bergerac’s car, a 1940s-vintage burgundy Triumph was also, practically, a character in its own right.
After divorcing Deborah (before the series began), Bergerac had a string of girlfriends through the first three series, but settled down with Susan, played by Louise Jamieson, who first appeared in the fourth series and remained with it until the end of its run.
They met when Jim enquired about a house on sale through the estate agency where she worked when his own home, an old farmhouse, was set to be submerged as part of the project to build the Queen’s Valley Reservoir. The projected flooding was even given as the reason for the location change in the series, thus reflecting real-life events.
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