Entertaining series with Peter Bowen starring as Major Sinclair Yates who leaves the army to take a job in Ireland as the Resident Magistrate. The local characters have their own ideas of justice that don’t always agree with Yates’.
Opening episode:January 6,1983 – “Great-Uncle McCarthy” – It’s 1897 in London. Major Sinclair Yates’s fiancee Philippa Butler informs him that he’ll never rise any further in rank. Her father is his commander and she says that Yates just doesn’t have the right connections. That’s okay with him. He tells her he’s out of the army and has taken a job as Resident Magistrate in Ireland. He says once he gets settled they can get married.
He rents a large house complete with stables from Flurry Knox (Bryan Murray). Almost everyone in the area is a Knox or a McCarthy. It’s pouring rain as Yates meets his housekeeper Mrs.Cadogan. After he gets all his stuff, including a case of Dewars Scotch inside, Flurry shows up with his man Slipper. He wants to sell him a horse for his cart.
Flurry comes in and Yates points out the smoky fireplace and clogged gutters. That’ll be taken care of. Then he hears that Flurry’s Great-Uncle McCarthy died in the house. He also finds out that Flurry will be back tomorrow with a group of fox hunters complete with hounds. Yates also meets Peter. He’s Mrs.Cadogan’s nephew. He’s a bit off.
That night he hears noises in the attic. The next morning he finds out Peter sleeps downstairs and that the bed Yates sleeps in is where McCarthy died. Now it’s off to court. His first case is a woman accused of plucking a live goose. She pleads not guilty. Police Sgt.Murray is a witness against her. Yates says not guilty. When she leaves she makes fun of Murray and says she knew the Englishman would be soft. Next case is Slipper. He’s charged with being drunk and disorderly. He gets seven days in jail. The town isn’t used to that since that’s not how things work there.
Another night and more noise. He investigates and discovers his Scotch on the top floor landing. Then he finds there’s a door leading in from the yard that’s locked. The next morning Mrs.Cadogan says it’s been locked forever. Flurry arrives and he’s angry about Slipper going to jail. Then he accuses Yates of chasing away all the foxes.
The good news for him is a letter from Philippa. She’s on her way and will be staying with relatives. Yates orders Mrs.Cadogan to get the house in shape from top to bottom. She says the chimney sweep can’t make it for a few days. One night..more noise. Yates chalks it up to an early arrival by the sweep.
Next morning he’s woken up when the sweep arrives. He decides to invite the neighbors over so he can meet them. Flurry turns down his invitation and then a rock is tossed through the window with a note accusing him of shooting all the foxes. Now Peter tells him the sweep was on the roof and is missing. Flurry and the hounds and hunters show up. The dogs go into the house because they think a fox wandered in.
Everything is done low key and that makes for a real good series.