THE XYY MAN
(Granada, 2 series, 1976-77)
Taken from the novels by Kenneth Royce, this series was notable for a number of reasons and is still well-remembered today. The story of a former cat-burglar, "Spider" Scott (played by Stephen Yardley in his first major role), employed by the British intelligence services to undertake their most difficult and daring missions due to his natural disposition towards criminality. In applying a criminal's mind, "Spider" could always keep one step ahead of his pursuers and his other talents made him a natural asset. Plus of course the fact that he was easily dispensable should he cease to remain useful. Also making their debut in The XYY Man were a certain DS George Bulman and DC Derek Willis, characters who would become fixtures in the world of TV detective fiction over the next decade. Both went on to star in Strangers, and the eccentric, perpetually-gloved and inhaler-sniffing sergeant later got his own series, titled simply Bulman. The XYY Man set up the skilfully-handled treatment of the shadowy world of espionage that formed a mainstay of the two sequel series and also shows a very different Bulman from the one we know and love.
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