World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Bergerac (TV series)

Main title.
Created by Robert Banks Stewart
Starring John Nettles
Terence Alexander
Sean Arnold
Louise Jameson
Deborah Grant
Cécile Paoli
Celia Imrie
Thérèse Liotard
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 87 (list of episodes)
Running time 50 min (81 episodes), 90 min (6 Christmas Specials)
Original channel BBC1
Original release 18 October 1981 –
26 December 1991

Bergerac is a British television show set in Jersey. Produced by the BBC in association with the Seven Network, and first screened on BBC1, it starred John Nettles as the title character Detective Sergeant Jim Bergerac, a detective in Le Bureau des Étrangers ("The Foreigners' Office", a fictional department dealing with non-Jersey residents), part of the States of Jersey Police.[1][2]


  • Background 1
  • Lead character 2
  • Other characters 3
  • Locations 4
  • Supernatural elements 5
  • DVD release 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


The series ran from 1981 to 1991. It was created by producer Robert Banks Stewart after another of his popular detective series Shoestring, starring Trevor Eve, came to an abrupt end.[3][4] Like Shoestring, the series begins with a man returning to work after a particularly bad period in his life: Eddie Shoestring from a nervous breakdown; Jim Bergerac from alcoholism and a broken leg.

Bergerac sometimes dealt with controversial topics – for example when an old man was unmasked as a Nazi war criminal his age raised various moral dilemmas. Supernatural elements occasionally appeared in the series, and some episodes ended with unpleasant twists, as in "Offshore Trades" and "A Hole In The Bucket".

The evocative theme tune, composed by reggae and accordion refrain.

The final episode filmed was the 1991 Christmas Special titled "All for Love", set partly in Bath. The final scene provided a strong hint about Bergerac's future, after Charlie Hungerford recommended Bergerac for a new position heading up the Bureau des Étrangers rolled out across the Channel Islands following its success in Jersey.

The show is repeated on channels such as Alibi, RTE and Drama. On 24 February 2014 the BBC started a rerun of the series on daytime afternoons on BBC2.[5][6]

Lead character

Jim Bergerac was a complex character, presented by the series as a somewhat unorthodox police officer. He was recovering from alcoholism, partly resulting from an unpleasant divorce. A Jersey native, he returned to the island at the start of the series after recuperating in England from ill health dipsomania and major surgery on his leg following an accident caused by his drinking heavily prior to an attempted arrest. The accident was shown in episode two as a flashback: Bergerac was swigging brandy during a surveillance when he noticed his suspect and gave chase. Under the influence of his drinking, he attempted to prevent the man's escape by leaping onto his boat and got his leg crushed against the harbour wall as he slipped back. He was deemed unfit for the force as a result of this accident, but helped his old colleagues out in the recently formed "Bureau des étrangers" and was posted to that unit. By the end of the series Bergerac had become a private detective.

Bergerac's relationships with women were a frequent theme – often as a subplot to the main crime investigation. Bergerac's girlfriends included Francine Leland (Cécile Paoli) (who had been the fiancée of a dead colleague), Marianne Bellshade (Celia Imrie), Susan Young (Louise Jameson) and Danielle Aubry (Thérèse Liotard). He had several encounters with ex-wife Deborah (Deborah Grant) who had custody of their daughter Kim (Lindsay Heath).

Bergerac regularly drove a burgundy 1947 Triumph Roadster (a forerunner of the Triumph's TR series of sports cars).[7] Two different vehicles were used throughout the series. The original was notoriously unreliable and would not always stop when it was supposed to; its engine was excessively noisy and a separate soundtrack was utilised to enhance the supposed coolness of the vehicle. The replacement was mechanically sound.

Other characters

The main supporting character was Jim Bergerac's former father-in-law Charlie Hungerford (played by Terence Alexander, known as having played Monty in the BBC adaptation of The Forsyte Saga). Charlie was a lovable rogue and would-be tycoon, often involved in shady dealings, but paradoxically something of an innocent. Bergerac usually had a good relationship with him, although in the first episode "Picking It Up" they were not on the best of terms. Charlie was involved in all but one of the 87 episodes.

Other regular characters in the series included Deborah (Deborah Grant), Bergerac's ex-wife, and his boss, Superintendent Barney Crozier (Sean Arnold), previously an Inspector (promoted from Sergeant immediately before the first episode) and later Chief Inspector. Bergerac had several sidekicks who were generally detective constables.

Bergerac had an ongoing flirtatious relationship with glamorous jewel thief Philippa Vale (Liza Goddard) who went by the nickname of the Ice Maiden.


The series played heavily on its Jersey location and its supposed Frenchness. The early storylines were usually in and around Jersey, with short scenes shot in England and France. In later episodes the action strayed further away from Jersey, and was increasingly based in France.

As Jersey is a small island (nine miles long by five miles wide), most of the filming locations there can be tracked down with ease. Jim Bergerac and Susan Young's flat was located just above St Aubin, a few doors along from the Somerville Hotel; part of the interior was shot within another flat at Gorey six miles away. Jim's original home in the first few series was submerged when the States of Jersey flooded the valley to create the Queen's Valley reservoir in 1991. Plans for this reservoir were referred to at the start of series four, when Bergerac was forced to seek new accommodation because of them, in the process meeting an estate agent who became his lover.

Frontage of Haut de la Garenne

One of the main locations of the series achieved later notoriety. The "Bureau des Étrangers" was located at Grouville, ceased being a children's home in 1983 and was re-opened as Jersey's first and only youth hostel.

The original Bureau in the TV series was located in St Helier's Royal Square, but filming there became difficult after the first series as the pretence of filming a documentary series was spoilt by public recognition of Bergerac's Triumph.

Windward House, Jersey

Windward House,[8] Le Mont Sohier, St Brelade (since demolished) with lush grounds overlooking Ouaisné and St Brelade's Bay, was a stunning location used internally and externally throughout all nine series and the Christmas specials. This pink and grey building with white pillared entrance first appeared in series 1, episode 6 "Portrait of Yesterday", as the home and wedding venue of the incidental characters. Windward House then reappeared from series 2, episode 1 as Charlie Hungerford's main residence where he hosted a large garden fête, and then in almost every episode of the show – either used as part of the central plot, or as a backdrop for family gatherings, drinks parties, business meetings, barbecues, marquee events, etc. The entire house was used over time, particularly the living room with French windows, dining room, conservatory and long gallery hallways. External filming regularly included the gardens, paddock, driveways, fruit gardens, greenhouse, cider press and rockery.

Noirmont Manor, Noirmont, was Charlie Hungerford's home throughout series one.

As the series ran for a decade, directors found it increasingly difficult to find locations which had not been overused. While promoting his film White Noise in an interview with Xpose magazine, director Geoffrey Sax described how he made an effort to find new locations, only to return for the actual shoot to find camera tripod marks in the ground, another director having shot there in the meantime.

Plot lines occasionally took the action onto the British mainland, particularly London, and Richmond Riverside figured prominently.

Supernatural elements

The fourth series episode "What Dreams May Come?" was the start of an annual tradition of episodes with supernatural elements and a surreal atmosphere. Later episodes with fantasy elements included the bizarre poisoning of freemasons in "Poison"; the Christmas episode "Fires in the Fall" (which featured a Bergmanesque representation of Death which appears, to judge from the last line, to have been real in spite of a 'Scooby-Doo' explanation having been offered a scene earlier); the densely plotted "The Other Woman"; "The Dig" involving a Viking curse (apparently inspired by Hammer Horror movies); and "Warriors", about a group who believed in the existence of Atlantis.

DVD release

Bergerac was made available on DVD by 2 Entertain / Cinema Club. The first series was released on 8 May 2006, including audio commentaries on three episodes.

Mistakes occurred in the supply of the source material for the DVD releases which meant the episodes of Series 1 and 6 were edited versions, originally broadcast on UK daytime television. This was amended for Bergerac: The Complete Collection, a box set released in 2009, which includes all episodes in their full length.

See also


  1. ^ "Bergerac set for a come back 20 years on?". The Independent. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "'"BBC News - Bergerac return 'a boost. BBC News. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  3. ^ "Robert Banks Stewart on creating Charles Endell, Esquire". STV Entertainment. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  4. ^ "The 30 best TV detectives and sleuths - Telegraph". 1 November 2014. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  5. ^ "BBC News - Bergerac rerun postponed owing to abuse inquiry". BBC News. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  6. ^ Jane Mathews. "John Nettles blasts BBC for pulling Bergerac re-runs featuring Haut de la Garenne home - UK - News - Daily Express". Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  7. ^ "Bergerac's car up for sale". 30 October 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  8. ^ "Flickr: Windward House Jersey's Photostream". Flickr. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.