Created by Thomas B. Dewey (1951-81)
The Broker's Man, a BBC show about former police officer turned insurance investigator JIMMY GRIFFIN, was a slight but entertaining spin on two of TV's most beloved tropes: the doofus dad and the P.I.
Not that good-natured, mild-mannered Jimmy's a full-fledged moron, but his bland affability and look of constant bewilderment certainly distinguish him from most of his trench-coated brethren. So it's probably just as well that his cases unfold in a gently linear fashion that usually requires little in the way of fisticuffs or gunfire on Jimmy's part -- mostly just the slow and patient questioning of witnesses and suspects and some convenient flashes of genius on Jimmy's part is enough. In fact his domestic situation often seems at least as compelling as the insurance fraud cases he works, although of course the lines frequently become blurred, with the hapless Jimmy frequently finding a personal angle in his cases, or having his carefully laid out plans ripped asunder by an inconvenient domestic crisis..
Recently divorced and even more recently broken off with his mistress, Jimmy is struggling to do right by his son, his precocious teenage daughter and his surprisingly forgiving ex-wife, whom he still has feelings for, while trying to get keep his small, struggling agency afloat.
Actor Kevin Whatley, who plays Jimmy, went on to bigger and better things (Inspector Morse! Inspector Lewis!), which may explain the surprising affection among PBS fans for this pleasant but inconsequential show.
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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