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Chancer is a British television crime drama serial, produced by Central Television for ITV, that first broadcast on 6 March 1990.[1] Starring Clive Owen in the title role of Stephen Crane, Chancer tells the story of a likable conman and rogue at the end of the yuppie eighties. The first series concerns Crane's attempts to save an ailing car firm, which at first seems to be straightforward, until he is forced to reconcile himself with his past. In the second series, Crane, now using his real name of Derek Love, assists his friend Piers, who has inherited a stately home, and with it, a financial nightmare.[2]

GenreCrime drama
Created byGuy Andrews
Written by
Directed by
Composer(s)Jan Hammer
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series2
No. of episodes20 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)Ted Childs
Producer(s)Sarah Wilson
CinematographyColin Munn
Editor(s)Mike Mulliner
Running time50 minutes
Production company(s)Central Television
Original networkITV
Picture format4:3
Audio formatMono
Original release6 March 1990 –
4 June 1991

The series boasted a high profile cast, including Simon Shepherd, Susannah Harker, Leslie Phillips and Peter Vaughan in leading roles. Notably, Christopher Eccleston also had one of his first television roles, featuring in the opening episode of series two as a prison inmate. Across the two series, a total of twenty episodes were broadcast, with both series airing on Tuesdays at 21:00.[1] The theme music for the series was written by Jan Hammer. In 1991, Hammer's Miami Vice soundtrack "Crockett's Theme" was re-released with his Chancer theme tune as a double A-side, after the former featured in a series of NatWest adverts. The release charted at #47 on the UK Singles Chart.[1]

Both series have since been released on DVD via Network, with a complete box set first issued on 4 October 2004.[3]



Series 1 (1990)Edit

Series 2 (1991)Edit


Series 1 (1990)Edit

Episode Title Director Writer Original airdate
1"Weapons from the Wall"Alan GrintGuy Andrews6 March 1990 (1990-03-06)
When the Douglas Motors factory is destroyed in a suspected arson attack, Gavin Nichols, son-in-law of managing director Robert Douglas, calls upon an old friend for help.
2"Killing Floor"Alan GrintGuy Andrews13 March 1990 (1990-03-13)
Crane attempts to save Douglas Motors by stealing half a million pounds from his boss in an insider trading scam, while Robert hires a private detective to look for Jamie.
3"Hazard"Alan GrintGuy Andrews20 March 1990 (1990-03-20)
Crane tries to secure himself a job with Douglas Motors after both he and Jo are sacked from the bank.
4"Trust"Alan GrintTony Grounds27 March 1990 (1990-03-27)
Desperate to get his money back, Blake takes revenge on Crane by spilling the beans about his past to Robert. Meanwhile, Tom is also out for revenge.
5"Pretenders"Laurence MoodySimon Burke3 April 1990 (1990-04-03)
Crane discovers that Douglas Motors has been the victim of a scam operated by Fitchford, Lunchbox and Gerald. An absent Jamie returns home after two years in the French Foreign Legion.
6"Possessions"Laurence MoodyGuy Andrews10 April 1990 (1990-04-10)
Robert is forced to come clean to Crane after using the money from the bank to pay off Jamie's gambling debts. Jo begins an affairs with Piers behind Crane's back.
7"Faith"Laurence MoodyGuy Andrews17 April 1990 (1990-04-17)
Victoria talks Crane into a dangerous scam to ruin a property developer. Meanwhile, the residents of Stoneleigh are unhappy about a planned toxic waste dump orchestrated by Robert.
8"Lies"Alan GrintGuy Andrews24 April 1990 (1990-04-24)
Tom returns from Hong Kong, desperate to catch up with Crane for a few choice words. But when Crane surrenders to his demands, Tom is taken aback, resulting in a surprising offer.
9"Wreckage"Alan GrintSimon Burke1 May 1990 (1990-05-01)
The arrival of Crane's brother sparks concern for his position at the company, while Jamie's suicide throws up a number of interesting questions.
10"Sanctuary"Alan GrintGuy Andrews8 May 1990 (1990-05-08)
Tom secures control of Douglas Motors, while Blake plans to settle some old scores in time for his retirement - unaware that Crane will soon become an unlikely ally.
11"History"Alan GrintGuy Andrews15 May 1990 (1990-05-15)
Crane revisits his past when he receives news of an unexpected death.
12"Temptation"Alan GrintSimon Burke22 May 1990 (1990-05-22)
The death of the real Stephen Crane threatens to blow Crane's cover, while Tom offers to leave Douglas Motors alone in return for Crane's help.
13"Love"Alan GrintGuy Andrews29 May 1990 (1990-05-29)
Crane ensures the survival of Douglas Motors by winning a dangerous bet with Tom, but little is he prepared to suffer the consequences.

Series 2 (1991)Edit

Episode Title Director Writer Original airdate
1"Jo"Alan GrintGuy Andrews23 April 1991 (1991-04-23)
Crane, now out of prison, decides to make winning back Jo's affections his only goal.
2"Ashes"Alan GrintGuy Andrews30 April 1991 (1991-04-30)
Devastated by Jo's death, Crane is manipulated by Tom after a letter from Jo regarding the paternity of her son mysteriously disappears. Blake continues in his attempts to track down Anna.
3"Secrets"Alan GrintGuy Andrews7 May 1991 (1991-05-07)
Tom begins to suspect that Anna may have been involved in Jo's death. Crane offers to help Piers save Winterleigh after scamming Tom's casino out of a fortune.
4"Remembrance"Alan GrintSimon Burke14 May 1991 (1991-05-14)
Anna, now on the run, declares her love for Crane. Meanwhile, having stolen membership records from Franklyn's gambling operation, Crane and Piers start up a gaming club at Winterleigh.
5"Blood"Alan GrintGuy Andrews21 May 1991 (1991-05-21)
The letter confirming Joseph's paternity finds it's way back into Crane's hands. But having already crossed paths with Piers over the gaming club, Crane finds his world is slowly crumbling around him.
6"Fall"Alan GrintSimon Burke28 May 1991 (1991-05-28)
Tom offers Crane access to his son in return for accepting a job with him. Having discovered the secret gaming club at Winterleigh, Tom tries to make life difficult for Piers.
7"Sacrifice"Alan GrintGuy Andrews4 June 1991 (1991-06-04)
Crane, now working for Franklyn's ailing 'Build British, Buy British' campaign, discovers his main weapon is to pour scorn on the bankers who refuse to back it.


  1. ^ a b c "TVChancer (ITV 1990-1991, Clive Owen, Simon Shepherd)". Memorable TV. 9 February 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  2. ^ "Clive Bio Notes from Chancer Pressbooks". Murph's Place. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  3. ^ "Chancer - Complete Series 1 & 2 [DVD] [2004]". Amazon. Retrieved 24 April 2019.

External linksEdit