Jericho (British TV series)

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Jericho is a British period crime drama series, first broadcast as a series of four episodes on ITV from 16 October 2005. The series was written and created by Stewart Harcourt, and starred Robert Lindsay as Detective Inspector Michael Jericho, a Scotland Yard detective who is loved by the public but embarrassed by his status as a hero. The series was set in London in 1958. The series was seen as an attempt to exploit ITV's success in period crime drama, best exemplified by Foyle's War, and to rival the BBC's staple dramas such as Waking the Dead.[1][2]

DVD cover
GenreCrime drama
Created byStewart Harcourt
Developed byGranada Television
Directed byNicholas Renton
Diarmuid Lawrence
Tom Shankland
StarringRobert Lindsay
David Troughton
Ciarán McMenamin
Nicholas Jones
Lydia Leonard
ComposerDominik Scherrer
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series1
No. of episodes4 (list of episodes)
Executive producersRebecca Eaton
Damien Timmer
Michele Buck
ProducersCameron McAllister
Production locationsState Theatre, Grays, Essex, England, UK
Running time120 minutes (including adverts)
Production companiesGranada Television
WGBH Boston
Original networkITV
Picture format16:9
Audio formatStereo
Original release16 October (2005-10-16) –
6 November 2005 (2005-11-06)
Related showsFoyle's War

The first episode drew in 5.9 million viewers, but this quickly fell to 4.7 million for the second episode, significantly less than its BBC rival.[3] Critical response to the series was cautious,[4] and a second series was not commissioned. The series was later shown in the United States in 2006 and 2007 under the title Jericho of Scotland Yard as part of the PBS Mystery! series, and was also broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 2008.


Detective Inspector Michael Jericho – who has a Jewish background – is the son of an English policeman who returned from World War I a violent and changed man. Young Jericho witnessed his father shot and killed in his own front hall by two gunmen. In his father's right hand was his pocket watch, which Jericho now keeps with him constantly. In the series, Jericho carries on a private feud with a local crime boss, whom Jericho believes, but cannot prove, either brought about his father's death or knew who had him killed; the boss in turn has suborned a thuggish Scotland Yard Inspector named Christie to hound Jericho by planting scandal sheets under his nose about his father being a "corrupt policeman" or by implying Jericho has a less than professional relationship with his downstairs neighbour – a French prostitute. Jericho's mother is still alive, although they are only seen meeting in the cemetery on the anniversary of his father's death.

Jericho served in World War II. Besides his off again-on again relationship with his downstairs neighbour, he is a workaholic who sleeps poorly. He has a faithful secretary, a tough sergeant, a younger DI assistant, and, as comic relief, an informer who is a street fence. The last episode, "The Hollow Men", features in-jokes about the TV industry: a director replaces Jericho with a comic actor, starring as Jericho in a fictionalized series of Jericho's Scotland Yard cases; at a banquet meeting of police widows and orphans, Christie tries to get Jericho as the master of ceremonies after guest speaker Benny Hill has cancelled.



Three of the four episode titles are derived from poems by T. S. Eliot. "A Pair of Ragged Claws" is quoted from a book of Eliot poetry owned by the mistress of a murder victim in that episode. In "To Murder and Create", a murder victim has the name "Thomas Stearns Eliot". Both are lines from "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock". "The Hollow Men" is also the title of Eliot's poem from 1925.

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.K. viewers
1"A Pair of Ragged Claws"Nicholas RentonStewart Harcourt16 October 2005 (2005-10-16)6.54[5]
Jericho investigates the brutal murder of a young Jamaican in Notting Hill, and soon identifies it as a racial killing - but his work is interrupted when a wealthy businessman is kidnapped. But all is not as it seems - Sir Nicholas Wellesley has not been staying at his club or visiting his usual haunts.
2"The Killing of Johnny Swan"Nicholas RentonStewart Harcourt23 October 2005 (2005-10-23)5.08[5]
Jericho and his team investigate the double murder of a bride and a renowned runner which takes place in the bridal suite after national hero Johnny Swan gets married. The upcoming race between Swan and a Soviet runner is a national obsession, and the police must determine if international intrigue or a simple domestic triangle is at the heart of the crime.
3"To Murder and Create"Diarmuid LawrenceStewart Harcourt30 October 2005 (2005-10-30)4.99[5]
When a thermonuclear scientist turns up strangled with cheese-wire, lipstick on his cheek, and a sheet of newspaper stuffed into his mouth, Jericho and his team aren't sure if this is a political assassination, or a crime passionnel.
4"The Hollow Men"Tom ShanklandStewart Harcourt6 November 2005 (2005-11-06)5.43[5]
Jericho investigates the murders of couples who attended a showing of The Bridge on the River Kwai, while a fog has descended on the city. The press thinks that it's the work of "The Butcher", a murderer who has been on the loose since the 20s.


  1. ^ Deans, Jason (14 November 2003). "Detective drama lures Lindsay to ITV". Media Guardian. Retrieved 16 November 2007.
  2. ^ Gibson, Owen (14 September 2005). "ITV's big hope for Sunday nights". Media Guardian. Retrieved 16 November 2007.
  3. ^ Plunkett, John (24 October 2005). "Jericho's audience comes tumbling down". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 November 2007.
  4. ^ Banks-Smith, Nancy (17 October 2005). "The weekend's TV". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 November 2007.
  5. ^ a b c d "Viewing Data — Top Tens". BARB. Archived from the original on 18 July 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2014.

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