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Fraud Squad, Run for Your Money: review

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Jan. 1st, 1970 | 09:15 pm

An epsiode review by Josephine Haworth was published in The Stage, published 19 June 1969.
Extracts are reproduced below.

ATV series shows no sign of flagging

… It is difficult to sustain a good pace throughout a series of hour-long crime stories, and all too often the content is padded with irrelevant sentimental soul-searching, or gratuitous stunts. Fraud Squad, produced by Nicholas Palmer and Robert D. Cardona, has so far avoided these devices …

A well-worn con game was neatly unrolled for us, with plenty of twists to the theme. A philanthropic lady with the comfortable name of Mrs Pilgrim (Caroline Blakiston) advertised in Nuneaton’s local Argus, promising a luxury flat at 35s. a week for destitute Cathys in the area. Just ten shillings sent to a P.O. box number would buy the applicant a brochure giving full details.

The members of the gang were well cast in their contrasting roles, each one a different class of crook: Caroline Blakiston the crisply efficient, hard working brains of the outfit, Michael Gothard as her young lover, messenger boy and acolyte, scared of the police, ready to ditch the operation; and best of all Richard Pearson as Skeggy, the petty confidence trickster, well known to the police …

All this was nicely offset by the fraud squad’s activity at each stage of their game. Inevitably, the atmosphere of a series, and hence to a large extent its popularity, is set by the heroes. Here, Patrick O’Connell and Joanna Van Gyseghem as Detective Sergeant Vicky Hicks score ... This could be the basic stuff for a marathon series.

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