Second Verdict
Created byTroy Kennedy Martin
Elwyn Jones
StarringStratford Johns
Frank Windsor
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes6
Running time50 minutes
Original release
Release27 May (1976-05-27) –
1 July 1976 (1976-07-01)

Second Verdict is a six-part BBC television series from 1976. It combines the genres of police procedural and docudrama, with dramatised documentaries in which classic criminal cases and unsolved crimes from history were re-appraised by fictional police officers. In Second Verdict, Stratford Johns and Frank Windsor reprised for a final time their double-act as Detective Chief Superintendents Barlow and Watt, hugely popular with TV audiences from the long-running series Z-Cars, Softly, Softly and Barlow at Large. Second Verdict built on the formula of their 1973 series Jack the Ripper in which dramatised documentary was drawn together with a discussion between the two police officers which formed the narrative. Second Verdict also allowed for some location filming and, when the case being re-appraised was within living memory, interviews with real witnesses.

The episodes were:

In 2015 BBC's Genome Blog described Second Verdict as "An odd and jarring mixture of drama and documentary" which "never really excited much interest".[1]

Although this was the last time Barlow and Watt would be seen together on British TV (and the last time Barlow would be seen at all), the Watt character would appear again later in the year in the final series of Softly, Softly: Task Force and then make one final appearance in the last episode of Z-Cars in September 1978.


See also


  1. ^ Martin, Andrew (6 September 2015). "The Sunday Post: Barlow at Large". BBC Genome Blog. BBC. Retrieved 28 September 2023.