An early hit for ATV, Probation Officer,  starring John Paul and Honor Blackman aired on ITV from 1959 through to 1962.

Tony Booth appears in a later episode of Probation Officer from ATV

The saga is described as an ‘absorbing, rigorously researched drama’ which centres on the work of a team of probation officers based in London, and the lives of the men and women of all ages and backgrounds who come under their care.

Probation Officer sadly, like so many ATV programmes of the era, does not exist complete in the archive – this volume contains the twelve earliest surviving episodes from series one which was produced in the last year of the 1950s.

Drawing on the documentary skills of creator Julian Bond  and produced by Emergency – Ward 10’s Antony Kearey, Probation Officer was broadcast at a time when the service was increasingly coming into focus as a progressive response to rising crime.

Guests include Alfred Burke of Public Eye fame, Susan Hampshire from Monarch of the Glen, Strange Report’s Charles Lloyd Pack, Richard Vernon as seen in Goldfinger and Peter Vaughan of Porridge fame.

Also in this first volume Earl Cameron and Lloyd Reckord star in a blistering tale of racism and intolerance which features one of the earliest interracial kisses ever broadcast on British television.

Probation Officer – Volume One (12) is released on the 30th of January 2017 with a RRP: £29.99. The three disc set has been complied from the ITV Studios archives by Network Releasing.

A scene from an early edition of ATV’s Probation Officer featuring Susan Hampshire (centre)
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