The XYY Man Strangers Bulman

July 3, 1976 – August 29, 1977
The XYY Man began life as a series of novels by Kenneth Royce, featuring the character of William (or Willie) ‘Spider’ Scott, a one-time cat-burglar who leaves prison aiming to go straight but finds his talents still to be very much in demand by both the criminal underworld and the British secret service. Scott has an extra Y chromosome that supposedly gives him a criminal predisposition – although he tries to go straight, he is genetically incapable of doing so.

Regular characters included Scott’s long-suffering girlfriend Maggie Parsons; British secret service head Fairfax; Detective Sergeant George Bulman, the tenacious policeman who wants nothing more than to see Scott back behind bars; journalist Ray Lynch; gay photographer Bluie Palmer and KGB chief Kransouski.

In 1976 the first of Royce’s novels was transferred to British television by Granada TV, in a three-part adaptation with Stephen Yardley playing Scott. The adventures of Scott caught the public imagination and ten more episodes followed in 1977. He is often co-opted (usually through some kind of blackmail) into working for shadowy civil-servant and MI5 officer Fairfax (Mark Dignam). Doggedly on his trail is his nemesis Bulman (Don Henderson) and his assistant, Detective Constable Derek Willis (Dennis Blanch).

When the series came to an end, the character of Bulman and Willis were considered popular enough to merit their own spin-off series, Strangers and later Bulman.


William ‘Spider’ Scott (1976-77) Steven Yardley

George Bulman (1976-77) Don Henderson

Derek Willis (1976-77) Dennis Blanch

Fairfax (1977) Mark Dignam

1978-Strangers STRANGERS
June 5, 1978 – October 20, 1982
Strangers is a UK police drama that appeared on ITV 1978-1982.

After the success of the TV series The XYY Man, Granada Television devised a new series to feature the regular characters of Detective Sergeant George Bulman (Don Henderson) and his assistant Detective Constable Derek Willis (Dennis Blanch).

The series began as a fairly standard police drama series with Bulman as its eccentric lead. Its premise was that a group of police officers have been brought together from different parts of the country to the north of England. There, the fact that they are not known locally gives them the opportunity to infiltrate where a more familiar local detective could not. Initially, the team consisted of Bulman, Willis (promoted to Sergeant) and Linda Doran (Frances Tomelty). Their local liaison was provided by Detective Sergeant David Singer; their superior was Chief Inspector Rainbow. Despite being based around a comparatively small team of detectives, a regular feature of the programme in its early years was that few episodes featured the entire team, with most using just two or three of the regulars in any major role.

Series two, shown in early 1979, introduced the character of Detective Constable Vanessa Bennett. The same series would be the last to feature the characters Linda Doran and Chief Inspector Rainbow.

In series three (1980), Bulman, Willis, Bennett and the newly promoted Detective Inspector David Singer became members of the Inter City Squad under the command of Detective Chief Superintendent Jack Lambie (played by Mark McManus). The basic premise was similar, but rather than covering just the north west of England, the team’s remit now extended to the whole country.

By series four (1981), Bulman had also gained promotion – to Detective Chief Inspector. The same series also introduced the semi-regular character of William ‘Bill’ Dugdale (Thorley Walters) a member of the British Foreign Office/Secret Services who would become involved when there was a political or intelligence aspect to the investigation.

The character of Chief Inspector Bulman, still played by Don Henderson, appeared in a subsequent series Bulman by which point he had retired from the police but was still involved in detective work.


George Bulman (1978-82) Don Henderson

Derek Willis (1978-82) Dennis Blanch

Linda Doran (1978-79) Frances Tomelty

Jack Lambie (1980-82) Mark McManus

William Dugdale (1980-82) Thorley Walters

1985-Bulman_(TV_series) BULMAN
June 5, 1985 – August 8, 1987
Bulman is a Granada TV series which ran from 1985–1987 and followed the fortunes of the major character from the earlier XYY Man and Strangers series.

In this incarnation, Don Henderson appeared again as former Detective Chief Inspector George Bulman, ostensibly retired from police work and repairing old clocks but active as a private investigator, with Lucy McGinty (played by Siobhan Redmond) as his assistant. They are frequently drawn into the clandestine world of the secret service through the machinations of security chief Dugdale (Thorley Walters) or Bulman’s one-time police boss Lambie (Mark McManus).


George Bulman (1985-87) Don Henderson

Lucy McGinty (1985-87) Siobhan Redmond

William Dugdale (1985-87) Thorley Walters

Jack Lambie (1985-87) Mark McManus