Dick Barton, Special Agent, The TV Series, 1979
By 1979 Dick Barton was nothing new. The character had began life on the BBC Light programme in 1946 as a weekly radio series that ran until 1951, when it was replaced by The Archers no less.
Hammer Productions made 3 films between 1948 and 1950. After which Dick Barton went quiet. It would be almost 30 years after the last film that Southern Television would bring Barton to TV screens.
Dick Barton, Special Agent hit our screens in April 1979. Screened across most of the ITV network on Saturday and Sunday teatime in it’s original 15 min episode length. Again like the original the show was accompanied by the familiar theme tune, with the titles playing against an animated dagger and target motif. 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.
The production was blighted by financial troubles, though, and some critics said it was a mistake to try to resurrect the character. However it still managed 4 adventures totalling 32 episodes all broadcast in 1979
The serial followed the adventures of ex-Commando Captain Richard Barton MC, who, with his mates Jock Anderson and Snowy White solved all sorts of crimes, escaped from dangerous situations, and saved the nation from disaster time and again.
Tony Vogel – Dick Barton
Anthony Heaton – Snowy White
James Cosmo – Jock Anderson
John Gatrell – Sir Richard Marley
Written By: Clive Exton and Julian Bond
Produced By: Southern Television for the ITV network
Originally Transmitted: January – April 1979