"Eddie Boyd writes The View From Daniel Pike - if your scruples can stand it". The Guardian.
The View From Daniel Pike made it's tv debut on BBC2 on 25th November 1971, starring legendary Scots star Roddy McMillan. Over the course of two series and thirteen episodes it became the BBC's counter to ITV's legendary Public Eye. Daniel Pike, a shabby private detective, was the Glaswegian answer to Frank Marker. Two episodes ('A Slight Case of Absalom' and 'Four Walls') are sadly missing from the archives, but it's time for a dvd release of the remaining eleven so that this forgotten classic can enjoy the recognition it deserves.
Created by Scottish writer Edward Boyd (1916-1989) it brought the down-at-heel detective to the back streets of Glasgow, and out as far as the Hebrides, as Pike encounters a wide range of cases and people with secrets to hide. Contemporary press coverage was mostly positive, but also taken aback at the gritty tone for Sunday night BBC2 drama...
The character had debuted earlier in 1971 in a play by Boyd under the 'Menace' anthology strand. The first episode was a grim look at the world of gang-led potato pickers...
Pike was given a blind girlfriend...
The series was well-received from many quarters...
A second series followed in 1972/1973 (with a few repeats from series one interspersed amongst the new episodes). Filming took place on Skye for sadly lost episode "A Slight Case of Absalom".
In 1974 a tie-in collection of short stories based on five episodes from the series was released...
Sadly the plug was pulled after two series.
Surely now is the time to release this under-appreciated BBC classic on DVD?
Philomena and the Tattie-Howkers (25th November 1971)
- When Michael Holmes goes missing from a squad of Irish tattie-howkers working as sweated labour, Pike is commissioned to find him. A dangerous business when you are working for Philomena Hawley.
The Manufactured Clue (2nd December 1971)
- Pike becomes personally involved in the murder of a street pie-man when Sweet Sam is the only witness. But Sam has lost her memory and Pike has to use his own methods to bring the murderer to book.
Little Bird Lost (2nd December 1971)
- A teenage girl is kidnapped, Pike must investigate.
The Short Price Premium (16th December 1971)
- Pike is commissioned as a debt-collector and follows a trail that leads to murder.
A Tale of Two Cities (23rd December 1971)
- Pike becomes involved in drugs and murder when a body is found in a hearse, but it's on the front seat.
So This Is Olympus (30th December 1971)
- Pike has to pick his way through a minefield of intrigue to reach a prodigal son, a university student who is implicated in the murder of a girl.
Big Fleas, Little Fleas (31st December 1972)
- The Clearances seem to have come to Scotland again and Pike finds himself working on the side of the villains.
Credit Where It's Due (7th January 1973)
- Pike is accused of blackmailing a former employer.
Away Match (14th January 1973)
- Employed to collect money owed for damage to a club, Pike gets involved in a complicated case of fraud.
None So Blind (21st January 1973)
- Pike finds that a motorway site can be pretty unhealthy, even if you're trying to pay a debt instead of collect it.
Pig in the Middle (4th February 1973)
- Who is Pike really following? And come to that, who is really following Pike?
A Slight Case of Absalom (15th February 1973)
- The search for a missing girl takes Pike to the Hebridean island of Falibost, where he encounters the army.
Four Walls (25th February 1973)
- Pike is asked to help four bank-robbers escape Glasgow, because one of them is his ex-wife.