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Target: Shipment

I try not to do much in the way of description here, because there's a lot of that about on the internet. In the case of Target there isn't any, so here we go.
Hackett arranges a sting because he is informed a strong van is going to be raised. It doesn't happen but he finds his informant has been murdered in his own car. Hackett immediately suspects Maynard, a local respectable luminary of being behind this, and confronts him at the golf club. After twists, threats and intimidation, and much police footwork, the truth about what is happening on the ship, is revealed. I love the glee with which Hackett confronts Maynard at the end.
I commented before that the cars in this show are gorgeous. Hackett is given a mark 3 Ford Cortina to drive after the murder in his original car, a more recent Ford. The flares are also quite something.
Apart from the cars what most strikes me about this show is how old fashioned the police's office looks. The clattering of typewriters dominates everything, and I know this is slightly ridiculous but that really struck me in comparison to modern offices. In addition to the settings on dry land there are also scenes on ships. Again I suspect that things are very different behind the scenes on ships these days. Hackett is quite antagonistic to the chief petty officer, played to sinister effect by (I think) Jack May.
Hackett comes across as a frankly acerbic and rather unlikeable character. I rather like that myself, I don't think you could do his job and not be embittered. Having blithely said there was an absence of sex in this show, of course there is some in this episode. Hackett pursues women in the kind of way you would expect of the protagonist of this kind of show. Unusually for the time Mower himself seems to be the main sex object, with a whole scene wearing only underpants. There is also a joke when he is handed his property from the car in which the murder took place, where he comments that the packet of three items for his own pleasure, are not his size! He does, however, come across as genuinely sympathetic to the murdered informer's widow.
Otherwise this episode of Target is open to the main criticism which can be levelled against the show: it's one-dimensional, violent, and I have seen it described as being like a boy's adventure comic of the time (here which is also my source for the gracious illustration to this post). Personally I don't mind that. Moral depth and philosophical hand-wringing would be out of place in this show, where the police are dealing with some really nasty pieces of work. And long diversions into the characters' love lives would slow it down.
So my verdict is that if you don't think you'll like this, you probably won't, but if you like this sort of thing you'll be in your element.

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